• Mar 25th 2009 at 8:58AM
  • 17
Newsflash: Television production sounds more glamorous than it really is. Oh sure, there are some that cruise around in conspicuous rides, but most tend to drive workaday cars. It'd be natural to expect the producer of "Rinky-Dink Town Today" on Cable Access would be tooling around in something less than a Mercedes S Class, but the people that make car shows, especially the Top Gear franchise, why, that producer surely drives something outrageously fly, right? Umm... no.
Andy Wilman, producer of the current Top Gear incarnation (and a presenter for the original series), is probably expected to drive something exotic or bombastic like his mates Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May – but that's not how he rolls, apparently. A Honda Jazz (that's a Fit to you, Yankee) is at least a choice that car guys can still get behind, marrying utility and economy with a measure of fun.

Could Top Gear be headed for the same responsible, economical fate with all the new chatter about frugality? Not entirely, the exotics will always be there, and the entertaining road trips will continue to up the hijinks ante, but the show will be filled out by more economically-minded cars in light of the recent economic mood. There's probably more up Wilman's sleeve when it comes to Top Gear development, and he's also got his eye on a new Kia Soul, so it doesn't look like the Zebra's going to change his stripes much any time soon.

[Source: Independent.co.uk]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      With the amount of scratches, dings, dents, etc that can happen to a car in a major city I'm surprised to see the number of people that drive uber sedans as commuters.

      IMO a performance car is supposed to be fun and their is nothing fun about sitting in traffic in Manhattan.... or London for that matter.

      • 6 Years Ago
      "A Honda Jazz (that's a Fit to you, Yankee) is at least a choice that car guys can still get behind, marrying utility and economy with a measure of fun."

      I'm not so sure about that. I think (emphasis on "think") the Jazz is softer than our Fit. Many of the UK reviews of the Jazz say it's not really that fun and is mainly for old people. I think Clarkson's mother has one.
        • 6 Years Ago
        OK, maybe it's not softer, but they still don't think the Jazz is much fun.

        "But the Jazz’s chassis remains a source of disappointment. Much has been done to improve the almost unacceptably stiff ride the car had when it first appeared, but it’s still one of the poorer-riding cars in the class. Surprisingly perhaps, nor is it very much fun to drive. The steering lacks feel and that chuckable enthusiasm that’s been so much part of every Civic generation for years has been omitted from the Jazz’s dynamic repertoire."

        (New Jazz)
        "In a nutshell, the Honda Jazz can't match the driving skills of the best superminis such as the Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio or Vauxhall Corsa. But the Jazz isn't designed to deliver the chuckability of the livelier superminis. Compared to the old car, the new Jazz has a smoother ride, while it’s quiet at speed, bar a little rustle from the door mirrors.

        The five-speed manual ‘box is slick, but the automated manual – while better than the old CVT – still leaves your head bobbing a little on upchanges. But unless Grandma is seriously nailing every straight she encounters, she won’t really notice."
        • 6 Years Ago
        Bloke, it always matters.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mobius_1, my point is enthusiasts of his own country won't get excited over his choice of car. Grandmas might.
        • 6 Years Ago
        After looking at a whole bunch 7 year old superminis, the Jazz would have been my choice to.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio or Vauxhall Corsa"

        None of which, at the moment at least, you get in the USA.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Do you think it matters when you're driving in a typical London rushhour?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I guess that he's just one sensible fellow ...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh Honda jAzz. I totally misread that and I was like he drives a WHAT???????????
      • 6 Years Ago
      maybe when you have your choice of every conceivable cool car in the world at your hand, maybe just maybe it would be sensible not to buy one of your own. i work for a large "smart choice" used car dealership and if i had the option of taking any one of the cool stuff that comes through home with me on a regular basis i wouldnt own the car i have. id have a 10 year old jetta diesel or something. it just doesnt make much sense to spend your fortune on something you get for free every day of your life i thinks.
      • 6 Years Ago
      quit calling us Yankee.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So what? James May drives a Fiat Panda. Utility and simplicity make for a better daily driver than anything a big shouty supercar can offer.
        • 6 Years Ago
        and an old triumph
        • 6 Years Ago
        A Fiat Panda along with a Boxster, old 911, and an old Rolls.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, he does work for the government. Should be happy tax dollars are not going to his "fly" ride. LOL
      • 6 Years Ago
      Everyone seems to be missing the (obvious) point. Given the bloke drives through central London every day, a seven-year old Jazz is a perfect commuter car: economical in gridlocked traffic, utterly reliable, more than enough space to carry personal wares, and he won't care less if it picks up any war wounds.

      I'd never spend a fortune on a commuter car, either. You may as well pour that money on something which stays in the garage ready for smiles on the weekend.

      He certainly doesn't need to worry about whether a B-segment hatchback drives like a BMW M3 in central London, that's for sure.
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