Features: Prove that the hot hatchbacks of their youth were better than their modern equivalents: (Volkswagen Golf Mk2 GTI • Vauxhall Nova SRi • Ford Fiesta XR2i)
Guest: Hugh Bonneville
Original air date: February 2, 2014
In an attempt to prove that modern hot hatchbacks are not as good as those from their youths, each of the trio are told to buy a classic hot hatchback they liked very much and prepare them for a series of challenges – Clarkson figures his Volkswagen Golf Mk2 GTI will be a good hatchback, May expects his Ford Fiesta XR2i not to let them down, and Hammond shows that his Vauxhall Nova SRi will do well. In their efforts to prove their point, the trio attempt to set a fast time on the Shelsley Wash Hill Climb that is better than the one set by Teenage Stig and his SEAT Ibiza Cupra, give their cars a factory fresh look, drive fast in a supermarket circuit without breaking stuff, play a number of car-related games that wouldn’t be legal in the modern age, and then see who can outlast a pursuit in an abandoned army base by their rival colleagues utilising the TGPD’s (Top Gear Police Department) selection of vehicles. Meanwhile, Hugh Bonneville from Downton Abbey is the latest star to drive the Astra.