Category Archives: Reviews

The Grand Tour: S2E2- The Falls Guys [Review]

With the smashing start to Season 2 of The Grand Tour the question on everyone’s mind is, can they keep it going?  The answer to that question is simply……

You didn’t think we’d actually make it that easy did you?

Episode 2 starts off with a bang and a big American one at that. Jeremy Clarkson takes us to one of the most iconic cities in the world, New York City, to drive one of the most controversial new supercars in the world, the Ford GT. Clarkson, as you may remember is a previous owner of the last iteration of the Ford GT ( which he owned for approximately one whole month), so it is no surprise to see that he chose to be behind the wheel of the newest evolution of the legendary supercar.

Ford GT

Jeremy gives us the type of clever, and smart-ass overview of the car that only he could. In exceptional fashion, Clarkson reveals several flaws of the car in an unbiased style that has been missing from the majority of other reviews of the GT (paid reviews anyone?).

Ford GT with Jeremy Clarkson

As it is with all episodes of The Grand Tour, this isn’t simply a review, it’s the main film, the theme of which is, which is a faster method of getting to Canada from New York City, the Ford GT by road, or using public transport (planes trains, and buses), which is the route James May and a somewhat physically inhibited ( see our review of S2E1 to find out why) Richard Hammond take.


We won’t give any spoilers as to who wins this competition but it makes for a seriously funny film, and to the boy’s credit, they are still going exceptionally strong this episode.

Episode 2 continues carrying the torch of improved segments this season by including the refreshed Conversation Street and the newest segment, Celebrity Face Off.

Conversation Street Title Page

Conversation street keeps us happy in Episode 2 by including the classic back-and-forth banter that we’ve come to know and love for years now. It’s a solid bet that until the trio retires, no one will tire of it, and as such, it’s not going anywhere.

Episode 2 also includes an excellent review of the Mercedes-Benz AMG GTR, by Jeremy Clarkson. The review is done in brilliant fashion with beautiful cinematography, great info, and brilliant sound. Clarkson really shines.


The GTR also completes the first timed lap of the Grand Tour track for Season 2. You might be wondering who drove this green machine, and the answer is the newest driver and replacement (thankfully) for the American, Abbie Eaton.

Abbie Eaton Driving

Abigail, or Abbie for short, is, according to her Wikipedia page, “… a racing driver from the East Riding of Yorkshire, England…” She’s had an impressive racing career for only being 25, with 21 wins to her name, and certainly is a breath of fresh air and a welcome addition to the show.

Abbie Eaton Driving

The guests for Celebrity Face Off this time are cricket star Kevin Pieterson and professional baseball player and former relief pitcher for the Giants and Dodger, Brian Wilson.

Kevin Pieterson and Brian Wilson on Celebrity Face Off

The guests, and especially the driving, this episode are quite a bit more exciting than the first episode & the segment as a whole is still a wildly big improvement from the often maligned Celebrity Brain Crash. In reality though, whether its Top Gear in it’s various iterations or The Grand Tour, the celebrity guest segments, except in rare occurrences, have always been a dull spot but The Grand Tour is working hard to change that.

So what did we think overall of the episode? The boys are clearly still going strong. Abbie Eaton is a great new addition, the new and refreshed segments still feel solid, and the quality of the show continues to soar. The only downside, we really would have liked to see the Ford GT do a hot lap.

We give Episode 2 of The Grand Tour Season 2, 4.5 stars.

4 out of 5 star rating



The Grand Tour Season 2 Episode 1: Past, Present, or Future [REVIEW]

The boys are back in town. Well, actually, they’re not in town at all, unless you live near Oxfordshire, UK, anyways. As you most likely have heard, The Grand Tour is no longer touring. But that’s not the point. Let’s get into what’s most important, how the premiere episode of the newest season did.


The episode starts out with a similar preview segment that we saw last season, showcasing what we can expect over the coming weeks. This is quickly followed by the main film of the series, a fantastic comparison between three amazing supercars; the Lamborghini Aventador, Acura NSX, and Rimac Concept One. The film is set in the jaw-droppingly beautiful, Swiss mountains, as if we’d expect anything less.


Clarkson, Hammond, and May debate throughout the film over which of the vehicles is best. Harkening back to the episode’s title, Past, Present, or Future, the cars each represent one of those aspects, Aventador being the past, NSX being the future, and the Rimac taking up the position of future. The boys never really come up with a solid decision, not that you’d expect them to, but the beauty of the cars and the scenery and the comedy musings we’ve come to expect from the trio result in a great start for the season.

nsx aventador rimac

Conversation Street is back this season. The segment really just consists of the three hosts harassing each other and making fun of random subjects. If there’s one thing the Grand Tour hosts have fantastic chemistry, and the segment shines because of it. It’s nothing new, but we like that.

conversation street

As is the tradition with Hammond, Clarkson, and May, in the following portion of the Past, Present, or Future film, our hosts end up taking very nice, very expensive cars off-roading.


It’s hard not to grimace at the sight of such high end driving machines scraping over rocks and rubbing into walls, but it does make for entertaining television.



I know you’re probably wondering, do they ever end up racing these amazing cars? Well, yes. But no spoilers here. You’ll have to watch the episode to see who wins, but we do have a few gorgeous screenshots for you.


The film then continues with some proper supercar hooning and Clarkson running into a bit of trouble with his Lamborghini.


Continuing on, we see a welcome change to The Grand Tour, the replacement for Celebrity Brain Crash. From now on we will be seeing the new and amazing segment, Celebrity Face Off, or Celebrity F-Off for short, in which two celebrities from the same fields will face off in a Jaguar F-Type for the fastest lap times. No doubt this will do much better with audiences this season.


The Grand Tour also has an all-new track for this season and, taking a bit of style from Top Gear UK, it’s got tarmac and gravel bits, which should create some excitement.

new track

The guests in the first ever Celebrity F-Off are a man who really needs no introduction, David Hasselhoff, aka the Hoff, and Ricky Wilson, lead singer of the Kaiser Chiefs and former judge on the Voice UK.


While there’s no Stig (obviously), and no American (thankfully), the interview, the laps, and the segment as a whole are a breath of fresh air for The Grand Tour.

The premiere episode wraps up with an already infamous bit of film.  The boys take off to a hill climb event in Hemberg to see who’s car is the king of the hill.


The course, which covers 1.09 miles, contains 11 corners, puts all three hosts and their cars to the test, but none so much as Hammond and the Rimac…

In a bizarre series of events, Hammond careened off of a turn and the Rimac was up in flames in next to no time at all.

rimac7rimac 8

Luckily, and with a great sigh of relief, we can all be happy that while the car is no more, Hammond is alive and well.

The same can also be said of The Grand Tour. Gone are many of the gimmicks and forced humor, back is the fantastic chemistry, beautiful films, and amazing cars. I can easily say that The Grand Tour is off to a fantastic start and here’s to season 2.

We give this episode, 5 stars.

gold star

Top Gear America Episode 5: Humble Beginnings [Review]

Episode 5 has aired and as always we have the review! Top Gear America has done a great job tying in their content with their title, Top Gear America, and this episode is no different.  In this weeks episode we have some segments based on, you guessed it, “humble beginnings”.

Bill Fichtner is back to giving us solid segments, a welcome sign for those disappointing by his work in Episode 4, with a video about NASCAR.


While NASCAR has seen some rough times lately with dwindling followers and lost revenues, you wouldn’t guess it from the way Top Gear and Mr. Fichtner give it justice in Episode 5. With a bit of backstory about where the sport came from and where it is now as well as a bit of a throwback “NASCAR” competition between the hosts, the show does well and maintains an entertaining momentum continuing it’s overall solid performance this season.


The guest on this weeks episode, another fairly random celebrity, is the singer Aaron Carter, brother of famed Backstreet Boy, Nick Carter. Aaron has some odd and fairly awkward interactions with the hosts, no surprise really since he seems to be almost a polar opposite of Fichtner in particular, but he puts down an impressive lap and has a lot of energy which was not a bad thing to bring to the table.


The shining star of Episode 5, especially to the Gran Turismo generation, is no doubt the segment with Tom “Wookie” Ford and the legendary car known as Godzilla, the Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R. Tom absolutely nails it in this segment giving fans exactly what they want to see in a video showcasing what has been an idol to most for many years. It really shows that Tom has a passion for this car and I would go so far as to say this may be his best segment yet this season because of it. Tom if you’re reading this, you killed it and we want more!


Another highlight of the Episode, is the showcasing of the Audi Vets to Techs program and the new Audi R8 V10. It’s great to see a company providing such a valuable service to veterans and to tell an audience as massive as Top Gear’s about it.


In addition, we get to see The Stig take the R8 out on the Top Gear America track and set the first Top Gear lap time to ever include a passenger in the car, a veteran and member of the Vets to Techs program to boot. A tip of the hat is most appropriate to Top Gear for this one.


Episode 5 is definitely a big step in the right direction for Top Gear America. We’re happy to give this weeks episode a 4 out of 5 stars.


What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments!

Top Gear America Episode 4: Drive of Your Life [Review]

If you’re still with us watching Top Gear America, we’ve made it to Episode 4. This episode has some clear highs and lows, some winners and some losers.

drag school

The show starts out with a strong segment. Wookie is challenged with learning how to drag race from none other than his co-host Antron Brown, at the legendary Doug Foley Racing School, in Mooresville, NC. For fans of drag racing, it’s a must see, and the entire part of the show is done well. We get to see a more natural Antron in the depth of his element, and the level of comfortability in this setting really shows.



Now, if only he could bring just a bit more of that back into the studio.

TGA follows up this segment with a rather random celebrity guest, Haley Joel Osment. While Haley looks like a young, up and coming Santa Clause actor, with the personality to boot, be sure to stick around for his hot lap because it is legendary. We won’t tell you why, but it will definitely go down in history as a Top Gear best, and we’re talking all Top gears.


Unfortunately, Episode 4 also features the first truly bad film done by the current favorite host of TGA, Bill Fichtner. In what could’ve been a great segment, Bill reviews the new Cadillac CTS-V and instead of it being exciting, or even mildly interesting, all we get are a few straight line shots, boring music, and a disappointed Bill. Hopefully, this won’t become a trend for Bill.


The final segment of the show features Wookie once again in action. This time he’s learning to drive the new Dodge Charger police vehicle. The segment also briefly features the Fiat Abarth 124 Spyder. Fans of the show will appreciate the dry British humor and the well shot slow-mo bits which have become a staple on Top Gear, but overall the segment is a bit rushed and feels choppy.


While there was certainly some great high points and hilarious bits of laughter, Episode 4 was overall down a bit from Episode 3, so we’re giving it a 3 out of 5 stars.


What did you think of Episode 4? Let us know in the comments.



Top Gear America Episode 3: Life On The Go [Review]

So we’ve made it this far. While Top Gear America has received poor reviews overall, we at AutoMoguls still feel that the BBC is on the right track this time. Episode 3 improves on the previous two, and while it still feels a bit forced at times, it seems like TGA is finally picking up some positive momentum.


Episode 3 takes us on a wide array of adventures this time. The main segment features a classic Top Gear challenge in which the hosts must go off-roading and camping with a minimal $3,000 budget.


The celebrity guest, a surprising high point for TGA, continues to shine with an appearance by legendary comedian Russell Peters.  Russell brings some great jokes as well as some hilarious back with Antron and the rest of the crew that really helps to keep the viewers entertained.


A great and fairly unusual appearance for Top Gear, Ep.3 features a tuned vehicle, and if the tuning wasn’t enough, it’s also a minivan. While it may sound off-putting at first, give the segment a chance and you’ll see it’s actually quite good.


The real highlight of Episode 3 comes about three-quarters of the way through with a segment featuring the one and only Magnus Walker. If you don’t know about this guy, can you really call yourself a car guy/girl? In what seems like a clip taken from any number of Magnus Walker featurettes, Magnus and his cars shine like always. If you only watch this episode for one reason, it will be this segment.

Overall we would give Episode 3 of Top Gear America a 3.5 out of 5.


What did you think of Episode 3 of Top Gear America? Let us know in the comments below!


Top Gear America Episode 2: Movie Magic [Review]

This weeks episode of Top Gear America is all about famous cars, what makes the “coolest” car, and look at some amazing movie tricks.

The first scene features one of the most iconic movie cars of all time. The classic 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT driven by Steve McQueen in Bullitt.   The segment, done by William Fichtner, much like in the first episode, is fantastic. Fichtner seems like the most natural person to pair with a vehicle like the Bullitt Mustang and the entire film is just that, natural, authentic, and a pleasure to watch.


The special guest for this week’s episode is one of the stars of The Blacklist, Ryan Eggold. The show continues the awkward guest drive in by The Stig, but the interview itself is quick, to the point, and a huge improvement over Top Gears of the past.


The second segment of the show features an Italian beast and the America drag racer, Antron Brown. Antron has chosen to showcase the beautiful Lamborghini Huracan Spyder. With the amazing sound and stunning good looks of the Huracan there’s very little not to like about this film. While Antron is still not the greatest presenter, always coming across as trying just a little too hard, the segment itself is still very good. With little in the way of scenery to distract away from the Lamborghini, it’s all eyes on the bull.



As the segment progresses we’re introduced to an even more amazing machine, a $250,000 camera which is placed on a crane, which is then attached to a blacked-out, 580 horsepower, Cadillac  CTS-V wagon called the Ultimate Arm. The film rig is exceptionally high end and able to capture the highest quality video in almost any condition.


filmrig12 But wait! That’s not all that’s in this segment. There’s an even cooler Ultimate Arm! This one, an off-roader with a 650 horsepower motor, allows for the same amazing film capabilities in rough and uneven terrain without breaking a sweat.



What? Two amazing film cars and a Lamborghini Huracan Spyder aren’t enough for you? Well how about a professional dirt bike rider as well!  Top Gear piles on the action with the film buggy chasing down and filming this pro rider and of course, it looks amazing.


The show isn’t done with the Huracan though, The Stig takes the Huracan (albeit the all-wheel drive model) around the all new Top Gear test track. So is it faster than the NSX from Episode 1? Any bets? Spoiler alert! The Huracan manages to set a blistering lap time of 1:10:47! Nearly three seconds slower than the Acura NSX,! Ok, so night quite blistering, but still pretty quick. Are you surprised?



Fichtner is back in another segment following The Stig’s lap. This time he shows us an American classic, the 1955 Cadillac Convertible. Will does an amazing job of taking us down memory road. He gives us a bit of personal backstory, some American history, and as is quickly becoming tradition, an amazing narrative overall. The segment is a must see for anyone who’s a fan of classic cars, Americana, and beautifully restored Cadillacs.



Carrying over from the initial interview, the show continues with the rest of Ryan Eggold’s interview before his lap in the Top Gear Honda Civic. Ryan gives an excellent interview and we’re sure all fans of Top Gear and The Grand Tour are really going to appreciate the new interview format that Top Gear America has decided to go with. It’s the direction the BBC (and lets be honest, Amazon) should both have gone long ago.

Ryan’s lap starts off pretty rough, but comical, and he doesn’t improve much through the rest of the lap. He does deserve praise for keeping a smile on his face the whole time, but a racecar driver he is not. While there isn’t much to learn from his technique, his segment is a must see for a good laugh.


Picking up with the next scene, we have all three hosts in a classic Top Gear challenge segment learning to become 70’s stunt drivers. It’s a bit odd not seeing or hearing about the producers forcing the hosts to complete the channel, but new fans of the show won’t know any better.

Their first challenge? Complete a bootlegger turn. A bootlegger turn is one where you drive straight, pull the e-brake to lock up the rear tires, turn 180 degrees, and power out back the way you came. All three hosts manage to get this one done. This segment is great thanks to some humor, a lack of that “overly-scripted” feeling, and obviously, car stunts.



Moving on to the second stunt, the boys now have to complete a reverse 180 flick. This stunt is when you put the car in reverse, drive at speed, crank the wheel from 3 to 6, and turn it around putting the car into gear and drive away.

stunt 3

The final stunt of the segment calls for the hosts to drive down the street and perfectly slide into a parallel parking spot without crashing into the barriers on either side which are of course, baskets of fruit. While this may sound like a good premise, unfortunately the stunt is underwhelming which makes for a rather disappointing end to an otherwise solid episode.


Top Gear America is still up and running strong and it looks like the first episode may not have been a fluke after all.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments!

Top Gear America: Episode 1: Made in America [Review]

Recently Top Gear has had a bit of a rough go. From the separation of its famed hosts, Clarkson, Hammond, and May, and their subsequent success on Amazon’s, The Grand Tour, to the utterly disappointing performance of replacement lead host Chris Evans, which saw the follow up season of Top Gear U.K.’s ratings take a nosedive to their lowest level ever, with only 1.9 million viewers turning in to the season finale.

After Evan’s departure, Top Gear has continued to have a tough time overall, with generally mixed reviews at best, so the question was, will the replacement for Top Gear U.S.A, aptly named Top Gear America, be any better?

It’s with a sigh of relief that I can confidently say, “yes”, it is in fact better. Not only is it better than Top Gear U.S.A, it’s quite easily better than the current iteration of Top Gear U.K.


Featuring three new hosts, NHRA Top Fuel champ, Antron Brown, British motoring journalist, Tom “Wookie” Ford, and actor, William Fichtner. The hosts clearly fill archetypes any Top Gear fan will instantly recognize. One surprise is the chemistry the hosts seem to already have. While far away from the classic trio, they are themselves easily outpacing the current U.K. hosts. Maybe the BBC sent them all away on a team building expedition before filming.

The premier episode features the typical Top Gear segments we’ve come to know and love. There’s an adventure/challenge feature, a celebrity guest who drives a reasonably priced car, and a couple of reviews.

The adventure segment takes our new hosts south of the border to Mexico. Their challenge, to drive two Baja Beetles 212 miles from Mexico, back to the U.S.A, in the spirit of the famed Baja 1000 race.


While the script seems a bit forced at times, the segment is actually really well done overall. There’s the great cinematics that we’ve all come to expect from Top Gear, fun action clips, and a some good humor, even if it is a bit forced, such as where one of the Beetles “runs out of gas” or really without giving too much away,  the entire premise of the segment.

The review of the new Acura NSX is a shining feature in the new Top Gear America’s roster. While recent reviews on both Top Gear U.K. and Top Gear U.S.A, before it ended, were pretty bad, if not outright unwatchable, Tom “Wookie” Ford does an excellent job giving the NSX a well deserved review. No condescension, no ridiculous out of left field opinions, and no unnecessary hype. While the back in the studio follow up has the scripted me vs you opinions built in, it does little to take away from the actual segment.



Top Gear America’s celebrity segment is now far improved from even the classic Top Gear.  This episode features professional baseball player (now retired) C.J. Wilson. The segment was brief, to the point, and very well done. The chemistry between the guests and the host was there, and the questions related to the show. We didn’t see any of the over the top nonsense from recent episodes of  Top Gear U.K. and none of the crazy celebrity “appearances” that many hated in The Grand Tour’s Celebrity Brain Crash.  The actual lap on TGA’s new track, located in Las Vegas, Nevada, using a 2017 Honda Civic, was done right as well. Although it lacked any drama, and the track itself is a bit underwhelming overall, it set a good direction for the show and Top Gear as a whole.


The other segment of the show, a review of the new Ford Raptor, was done by William Fichtner. I’ll go ahead and say it now, William is the absolute star of the show and does the segment, and the whole show, masterfully. Whoever managed to get him to do the show deserves a raise because he really does carry the show. Fichtner may be the first solid lead on any Top Gear since Clarkson.


Fichtner manages to capture some of that original Top Gear essence that I think we’ve all been missing since the trio’s departure. The soulfulness, the genuineness, the style that Top Gear so desperately needed, and used to have in excess. If you watch the new episode for one reason, it should be his segment on the Raptor.


So, Top Gear America is off to a great start. Where does that leave us now? The Grand Tour premiers with its second season on Amazon Prime soon and if there’s any indication based off last season, it’s going to be a hit. Top Gear U.K. is still struggling to regain ground, but may very well be recovering, and  as for Top Gear America, it just may be the BBC’s new shining star.


Hopefully they can keep it up, all of us in the automotive community need a good show like this. Let us know what you thought of the episode in the comments, and be sure to like and share!

Stay tuned to Automoguls for reviews of every new episode all season long, as well as reviews of The Grand Tour, Top Gear U.K, and much more.

Image Source: BBC America