Whether it’s being violently hangry, being involved with some public controversy or having the increasingly popular title of “Ex-Top Gear Presenter,” Jeremy Clarkson is most known for, above all, his wealth of knowledge and love of cars. Over the course of 22 seasons of Top Gear, when Clarkson had something to say about cars, we all listened.
In his column for the Sunday Times, Clarkson made his list of top ten cars of the past two years official. And we must say, we whole heartedly agree with his picks — for the most part. A diesel Vauxhall Zafira? Come on, really?
Jeremy Clarkson’s Top 10 Cars
2015 – 2016
Mazda MX-5 2.0 Sport Recaro
Clarkson’s Verdict: “It’s a cure for depression, this car, it really is. You just can’t be in a bad mood when you’re driving it.”
Our Verdict: “The lines were sharpened, and the curves given more muscle; the look of the car finally matches the race track potential and aggressive ways the car can actually be driven.” Read our review.
Alfa Romeo 4C Coupé
Clarkson’s Verdict: “It’s a terrible car. And yet I adored it. Every other vehicle, with its perfect refinement and its perfect electrics, cannot help but feel like a machine. Whereas the Alfa, with its flaws and its tendency to go where it wants, feels human.
Our Verdict: “It boasts the curves of a $300,000 supercar, enough precision steering to slosh your organs, and a turbo dump with enough swoosh to make Nike sue for infringement.” Read our review.
Mercedes-AMG GT S
Clarkson’s Verdict: “This is a modern-day muscle car. It’s Merc’s Mustang. You sense this when you drive it. It feels raw.”
Our Verdict: “What we’ve just witnessed is the culmination of years of AMG HQ’s most intense R&D since the spectacular gull-winged SLS”. Read our review.
Ford Focus RS
Clarkson’s Verdict: “Even at James May speeds, on a roundabout in Hounslow, this car feels cleverer than is normal. It feels like a Nissan GT-R.”
Our Verdict: Coming soon. But rest assured, it’s very good.
Ford Mustang Fastback 5.0 V8 GT
Clarkson’s Verdict: “What it is, is a muscle car. And you sense that in the second yard. This is a machine that wants to turn its tires into smoke and go round every corner sideways.”
Our Verdict: “Like the bourbon coming from Kentucky these days, it’s redefining the way the world looks at a classic all-American product.” Read our review.
Volvo XC90 D5 AWD
Clarkson’s Verdict: “This car is so good in fact that it’d be ideal for those who find the offerings from Land Rover a bit — how can I put this? — pratty.”
Our Verdict: “The XC90 shows a well-executed trifecta of industrial, interior and user experience design, all of which make the XC90 feel technologically evolved and refined on a micro level.” Read our review.
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 1.6 CDTi Tech Line
Clarkson’s Verdict: “Never have I encountered any car, including the Rolls-Royce Phantom, that’s so good at refusing to transmit road irregularities into the cabin.
Our Verdict: No.
Clarkson’s Verdict: “There was the original, 286-brake-horsepower M5: the ultimate Q-car. It looked like the sort of box that your chest freezer was delivered in but it went like a spaceship. That’s always been my favorite M car. Until now.”
Our Verdict: It may wear an M2 badge, but this is the closest BMW have gotten to the original E30 M3.
Ferrari 488 GTB
Clarkson’s Verdict: “When you drive a Ferrari 488 GTB round a corner on a racetrack, it doesn’t feel like a tool that you’re operating. Or even a comfy, well-fitting glove. It feels like an extension of your very self.”
Our Verdict: “It’s proof positive that for Ferrari, performance and efficiency are no longer mutually exclusive.” Read our review.
Clarkson’s Verdict: “Yes, it’s soundly beaten both in a straight line and round a corner by the new hybrid hypercars, but, while they make a range of unusual noises, they can’t compete with the visceral bellow of the T-rex that lives under the Aventador’s engine cover.”
Our Verdict: “Terms like ‘milestone,’ ‘landmark’ and ‘watershed moment’ get thrown around way too often these days, such that their verbal potency is lost when they’re most applicable. Which is a shame, because those superlatives perfectly describe what the Lamborghini Aventador Roadster is, yet fall so, so short of accurately framing the magnitude of Sant’Agata’s current flagship.” Read our review.