Should Car Lovers Watch ‘The Grand Tour’?

by SpeedLux
The Grand Tour

To great fanfare (and relentless advertising), The Grand Tour launched in November. It’s the new venture of the former Top Gear trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May – and viewers were meant to be in for a treat. With a record-breaking budget and free from restrictions of public broadcasting, what could the most notorious petrolheads in media come up with?

The show launched to rave reviews and has continued to do well. It remains a haven for the car fanatic, amid the tomfoolery and japes of middle-aged men in blue wash jeans. It’s difficult not to feel a rush of excitement at the road tests of high-end supercars, even if the guy doing the driving is more than a little annoying.

But does it still hold up? With the final episode of the first series due to be broadcast, is The Grand Tour the worthy fodder for the modern audience – or little more than a vanity project for the presenters involved?


PRO: It’s like Top Gear.

For all the japery, Top Gear was still a fertile hunting ground for the car fanatic. The track tests held up; the historical sections on the history of motorsport were always worth a watch.

All of that remains in The Grand Tour; they tell stories, histories, often voiced by the sonorous tones of James May. They rarely miss the mark in this area.


CON: It’s like Top Gear.

If you wanted something new and exciting, you’ve not got it. It’s Top Gear with a few replacements for segments (“the news” has become “Conversation Street” for example – but is still largely the same). It’s treading a well-worn path, so if you didn’t like Top Gear, you’re not going to like this.


PRO: It’s beautiful to look at.

Most road tests are done in landscapes of beautiful scenery that is simply breathtaking, especially if you’re watching in 4KHD. The bigger budget has led to wider, higher shots that are worthy of any travel documentary, never mind a car show.


CON: It’s still inaccessible.

One of the major criticisms of Top Gear was that it rarely spoke of anything affordable. The cars featured were at the top end of the luxury spectrum – and the same is true of The Grand Tour. No one is expecting a sudden change, with Clarkson standing forth proclaiming the benefits of how to take a 50% discount code on car accessory kit or the benefits of good finance deals – but still. A little nod to the majority of the population who don’t want to be doing the school run in a Mustang would be appreciated.


PRO: The main trio still has chemistry.

Top Gear Richard Hammond James May and Jeremy Clarkson

Even the presenters admitted they were concerned their famed on-air chemistry might falter after two years off screen, but it’s still on point. It may be, but there is something reassuring in the old jokes and roles they have slipped back into with ease.


CON: It’s still controversial.

The controversy around Top Gear was a tiresome distraction from the cars, and it’s a tradition The Grand Tour has continued. Staying in the news for the right reasons would be preferable.

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m bauer February 2, 2017 - 7:45 am

watched top gear fir years. not so much for fancy cars as the crazy sideshows. and scenery of course. the trip to vietnam was amazing, the ataconda desert frightening, sky shots of big beautfiul bridges (as jeremy once commented designed by brits!), getting to the north pole–all great showmanship. that’s what’s missing from grand tour vapid adventures made up and delivered by high school writers/actors. loved the guys…past tense

Jay Gerding February 2, 2017 - 9:18 am

The penis jokes are getting a bit tiresome, as well as the dildo antics. Other than that, I have enjoyed the new show.

Chuck February 2, 2017 - 7:16 pm

Totally agree that most of the cars they talk about our test are only for 5% of the earth population. Wish they would do everyman cars.


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