Top Gear: Now and then

November 14th another Top Gear DVD was released. “Top Gear at the Movies”. Basically, Richard and James discuss various action movies and attempt to recreate some of the scenes with varying luck. At one point they try to make a car bulletproof, but could only afford to fit one side with steel plates. The result was that the car was severely leaning towards one side and almost impossible to drive.

All in good fun, but in the end they put their ‘hero car’ through the ultimate test: Being chased by various baddies in budget baddies cars. The final baddie… A Saab NG900! (or is it an OG9-3?)

But this time (spoiler alert…), the “architect turned bad” gets away. Richard’s flame thrower literally back-fires and the Saab escapes unscathed (well, of course it does).

As we all have noticed by now, there has not been much Saabs on the revived version of Top Gear. Ever since Clarkson took over, it is mostly German and British cars. They had one silly 9-5 review a few years ago, pitting it against a Harrier Jump Jet, which I guess Saab had coming seeing as they were pushing the “Born From Jets” image. There was also their limousine project, half 9000 half Alfa Romeo, but in recent years Top Gear seems to have shunned Saab.

Rather interestingly, the old-school Top Gear had several Saab reviews and presentations. Thanks to the power of Youtube… Here are two of them!

Old school Top Gear or new school silly Top Gear, which version do you guys prefer?

17 thoughts on “Top Gear: Now and then”

  1. Two totally diff programmes with only the Title in common, sadly Saab always got the James May old man tag……Clarkson tended to be dismissive at best….

    • True, very different shows–but I’d say both recognized Saab as a good buy. I wouldn’t say they’d put Saab above Alfa Romeo, but certainly in the category of fun, interesting cars that may give you problems, but you don’t care because you’ve fallen in love with the car.

    • I Agree…

      Clarkson is becoming very tedious of late [yes, even more so!!].
      The little one is like a ‘nodding dog’ in the back of a car.

      All becoming a bore at best.

      It’s a shame they never got their hands on a NG9.5, as James May kept pumping for it, but….””

      I am afraid what with all the repeat stints [even on BBC prime time] I am switching over more..

      • Not sure that he’s a nodding dog. The entire bunch has a quite different taste in cars. I don’t think that the new 9-5 should’ve been reviewed by them. Sorry to say it, but I don’t think that it’d get a very high position on the lap board.
        However, I’m truly pissed they didn’t review the Turbo X.

  2. Have you noticed throughout all the movies how common SAABs are featured in them. Too numerous to mention. Even on one of the BBC’s MI-5 heros died in a blaze of glory when he drove frantically to move a booby-trapped 9-3 from a crowd. It was so strong that the shell remained as it exploded!

  3. I haven’t watched old Top Gear, but I am a huge fan of the new one with the 3 jokers. I have to say, they like Saab, the Clarkson review of the 9-5 was actually a positive one if you ask me. They also found the 9-3 Sportscombi nice looking on one of the episode’s news. I remember Swade had posted a link to an article by Clarkson on the 9-3 he owned when GM announced it was shutting down Saab in 2009.

    “The Saab 9-5, good in parts, better in others.” -Clarkson

  4. When asked what to look forward to during 2011 (in the last episode of 2010, I think) James May said he was really looking forward to driving the NG9-5.
    I wonder if he did, the new season starts in January. The we’ll see. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. This one sounds great:
    “…not surprising when you learn that last year the 900 outsold both BMW and Audi in the convertible market…”
    Wish Saab could come back to such a headline…

  6. Long live my dads saab scania 900 1984 5 door Carb 100bhp model saloon in silver. The car is in need of a rebuild soon. All is genuine. The problem is that my dad says he can not do the job himself, due to his age. The bodywork is sound but rusty round the edges. It is one of the last on the road in the UK, drives like a dream. I would have it if I had a double garage, but I dont. If anyone is interested to do a restoration please get in touch. He is looking to off load the car about March 2012. I want him to pay for a restoration but he is reluctant to the idea as mum wants a small car such as a merc A class. ๐Ÿ™

  7. A very un-informative review of the 9-3. Then again, most Tiff Needell reviews are. The man was blessed with driving talent, but not with cunning insight. Mind you, all he ever seems to do anymore is spin tyres like a learner in a snow bank.

    It’s a good thing that the new TG has mostly ignored Saab. Can you picture a 9-7x or 9-2x review? The Turbo-X could have been interesting, but I guess it didn’t fit in a three-way test like the M3/S4/C63. They would also have called it a Vauxhall, even though they never call the S4 a Passat, or the S60 a Mondeo.

  8. We love the new Top Gear Gang… especially the expeditions, the stars in reasonably priced car, the joking around and challenges.
    There are lots of car review shows and they are just boring. That’s not what Top Gear is all about.

    If they had tested the NG95 it would have probably been slammed for having a harsh ride (European models) and chances are the steering coloumn lock messsage and remote not detected message would have appeared with a non-start, power steering would have been groaning and the infotainment would have played up!

    So I agree… good job they didn’t get one to test….

    • Conkers,

      I have a 95 MY11, starting to develop remote not detected behaviour, any suggestions? I am in the US and have trouble finding a delaership aware of the issue or software. I am trying a Caddilac service shop but I could also use your help. How can we get in touch? Thanks for your help.


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