Thursday , May 23 2024
Are Top Gear and I having our first lovers' spat?

Top Gear Drives Me Around the Bend

I don’t know how to tell you this.  It actually physically pains me to write what I have to now write.  Seriously, my fingers are cramping, my stomach is in knots, and my vision is going a little blurry.  There I was watching Top Gear last night, and I totally and completely disagreed with what they had to say about the Honda Element. 

Now, I know that the episode that aired as "new" on Monday night (the episode I watched last night) was only new to this country, it actually aired several years ago in England, but I would have disagreed with James May then just as I disagreed with him last night.  He, and Clarkson, and Hammond actually thought that the Honda Element looked good.  They stated that Hondas always looking boring, that they're reliable, economical, and generally well-built, but boring.  That may be true, but the Honda Element is not a "funky" or "cool" looking car.  No way.  It simply isn't.  It's ugly as sin.  The first moment I saw an Element I deemed it ugly as sin and my opinion has never wavered.  It looks as though, as it's an inexpensive car, the corner that was cut was bringing in a designer who could actually design something staid.  It looks like they grabbed some guy off the street, Homer Simpson-style, and had him design it.

How could the guys at Top Gear, my heroes, be so horrifically wrong?  I love them, they're geniuses and the show is brilliant, how did they go so far awry here?  I don't know and it upsets me. 

Okay… deep breath.  The rest of the show was fantastic.  It featured the first instance of car football (that would be soccer to us in the States) and Jeremy Clarkson battling a tank (literally) while in a Land Rover Sport.  There was so much good to be had. 

My wife actually laughed during the Toyota Aygo football match.  That's right, she thought it was fun and fantastic, so they had to be doing something right.  Think about it for yourself for a minute – they had professional drivers sitting in Toyota Aygos (they don't have them in the States) and a huge soccer ball that they had to hit, using the cars, into unmanned nets.  It was like a giant game of bumper cars, and, as I said above, my wife even loved it (she's a notorious Top Gear doubter).  Forget "loved it," she actually wanted to get into an Aygo and play in the match.  She doesn't even like driving.

Clarkson and the tank was typical Clarkson, silly and over-the-top, but definitely trying to test something almost worthwhile.  He was trying to figure out if the Land Rover Sport could drive off-road.  He thought it wouldn't do a terribly good job, and even though he got blown away (or would have if the tank had been using live ammo), it turned out that the Sport did perfectly well off-road.  It didn't perform as well as a tank, but I think that the treads gave the tank an unfair advantage.

But man, they like the Honda Element.  I just keep coming back to that.  It might be a great car on the inside, it might be comfortable and fantastic and well-built, but it looks horrible.  I own an Accord, which I really like, and my first car was a Civic, and while neither car looks fantastic, I was and am very happy with them.  I'm a Honda fan, but the Element… wow… no way.

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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