Top Gear UK vs. Top Gear USA: Which Top Gear is Better?

top gear
Top Gear

If you love cars as much as I do, you inevitably love Top Gear. If you don't know what Top Gear is, I can sum up the the TV show for you like this, “The greatest thing EVER!”

Top Gear shows you what happens when you let loose three crazed automotive journalists and give them an unlimited budget to do what they want with cars. The three hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond get into wacky situations during each episode. They engage in antics such as driving to the North Pole, crossing the English Channel in homemade amphibious vehicles, and trying to prove British Leyland built good cars, just a few situations the three hosts get into during an episode. Top Gear goes boldly where no other TV show goes. It also answers the question of what every man would do if he could remain a kid forever.

Top Gear UK is an immensely popular TV show. I am not the only one who thinks so, as the original British Top Gear has an estimated global audience of 350 million people in 170 different countries every week.  (According to Wikipedia!) 

Americans like to copy good British TV shows. The Office, American Idol, Survivor, Big Brother, etc. were all British TV shows first. Now you can add Top Gear to that list. The History channel now broadcasts an American version of Top Gear with Rutledge Wood, Adam Ferrara, and Tanner Foust. Top Gear USA follows the same format as the original Top Gear, with the three hosts reviewing cars, getting into crazy situations, having celebrities on the show, etc.

The fact that Top Gear USA is still on TV probably makes diehard fans of the original British version groan with pain. The first time I watched an episode of Top Gear USA I didn't like it. This might be because the hosts are not nearly as witty and entertaining and majority of the segments seem to be carbon copies of the original.

Brits, it seems, are just better at making good TV than “Stupid Americans” as Europeans might call us. It makes we wonder if there will be an Americanized version of Downton Abbey. (At least we make great action movies with lots of explosions!)

I may have my own opinions about Top Gear USA. However, I'd like to hear from my readers on which you prefer.

I have compiled these videos for a heads-up challenge, Top Gear UK vs Top Gear USA. Which do you think is better? Watch the videos and decide for yourself. Leave a comment below and share your opinions.

TRAILER 

SKIERS VS. CAR

Top Gear USA – Mitsubishi Evo X by cjrobe0

VIDEO GAME VS. REAL TRACK

Top Gear -NSX @ Laguna Seca

CELEBRITY APPEARANCES

CAR REVIEW

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Adam loves cars and anything with wheels. He has many interests and passions but he especially loves writing and blogging. Hence starting this auto blog.

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adam

Adam loves cars and anything with wheels. He has many interests and passions but he especially loves writing and blogging. Hence starting this auto blog.

84 thoughts on “Top Gear UK vs. Top Gear USA: Which Top Gear is Better?”

  1. I’m an American and I have watched both shows, and I LOATHE ‘Top Gear USA’.

    I’m a huge ‘Top Gear UK’ fan, I watch it almost every night on ‘BBC America’, and it blows ‘Top Gear USA’ out of the water in every category. From the hosts, the car reviews, the challenges, to the stars in the ‘Reasonably Priced Car’.

    The few episodes of ‘Top Gear USA’ that I have watched showed me that they are just a pale imitation of ‘Top Gear UK’. And they are so unoriginal that they reused challenges ‘Top Gear UK’ did years ago, and considerably better. If ‘Top Gear USA’ were cancelled tomorrow it wouldn’t be soon enough for me.

    As for now, I am patiently waiting for series 18 of ‘Top Gear UK’ to be aired on ‘BBC America’ in about three weeks.

      1. MARCUS HARMON says:

        I love America I lived in Sacramento California and it’s a beautiful place but we do seem to be better at making TV shows for some reason God Bless America!

      1. TopgearUSAfan says:

        @TopgearUSAfan
        Hi

        I’m not trying to be mean or rude but if you watch the new season and some of the old ones (I mean season 3 and a few of season 2) they did their own things ( Best pickup, best HD pickup, cult classics, ect) and don’t hate the show for it they are just on there 3rd season UK has been on for 18 so give them time to grow and some things (if they cut off tomorrow it whould be to soon) should be kept to yourself (not being rude) it’s just that other people watch the show you know.

        Thanks,
        TopgearUSAfan

        1. @TopgearUSAfan
          TV is tough business. You either grab someone’s attention at the get-go or you don’t and risk getting canceled.

          Top Gear needs news hosts or needs to be canceled. Not the Top Gear UK of course! 🙂

    1. Joe Peterson says:

      Hi
      A number of comparisons between the shows yield these reuslts:
      1. Chemistry/Character…. British Top Gear’s presenters have good interpersonal interactions, giving one a sense that they are viewing real people each with their own unique automotive/nonautomotive perspectives. Characters that are not afraid to muck it up a bit, having fun with humorous and serious approaches to their craft; unique and big personalities varied opinions etc… They also add a sense of adventure, history, culture and a world perspective. A bit iconoclastic they reach back to a different time even in British humor with an irreverent branding reminiscent of Monty Python. I could go on but the show is very entertaining.

      American Top Gear is wooden, disconnected, little to no chemistry on a personal or professional level … In the case of Adam Ferrara, disinterested dull blah…. Why is he even on the show? A comedian with no really interest in cars who is not funny in that context, really? He is the first that should go. Rutledge Wood is a nice guy who is more interested than Adam but somehow a bit too enthusiastic like a puppy who you cannot take seriously. Tanner Foust is actually the best driver and the most well rounded, automotively speaking, of the British or American Top Gear personalities, I can see him engaging May about technical aspects (without getting lost on the freeway), racing and beating Clarkson (unless Jeremy cheats) or Hammond while having the some of the same enthusiasm for the automotive world even adding the dimensions of professional racing to the mix. Tanner’s personality is not as colorful as the Brits however with the appropriate co-hosts around him perhaps Foust can be a bit more dynamic. Perhaps bringing in one person who could challenge him, racing and/or information wise, anything to make the challenges more interesting by connecting personalities and abilities together.

      2. American Top Gear treats you like you are stupid…. Explaining every detail of why the show does what it does is insulting and boorish……… Wooden explanations make it appear one is listening to a lecture; not a very engaging or entertaining one at that, especially when one feels insulted etc….

      3. American Top Gear needs more Interesting cars (including more cars from across the pond…)…

      4. American Top Gear should go to more diverse locations outside the US and within.

      5. American Top Gear needs to stop reading from the cards/script and improvise (or find those who have the personalities and/or knowledge enough to do so) and/or learn how to act. One of the many reasons that the show comes off plastic like they are trying too hard without a sense of true personality or focus.

      6. American Top Gear should invest in interesting projects with a true commitment to the task. British Top Gear presenters do the stupidest things but really look committed and determined to soldier through in spite of what others think or the craziness of it all even providing what appears to be heart felt reasons for doing so (wonderful humor)..

      7. American Top Gear comes off plastic like they are trying too hard without a sense of true personality or focus…

      8. I could go on but why?

      1. Peter Richards says:

        I agree on everything… They feel disinterested and just wooden. The bits that make Top Gear so good are the freedom to do whatever, no real script, the willingness to do odd things and just a real, general love and appreciation for all things motoring. I don’t like saying the word hate much but I just hate U.S. Top Gear… It tries too hard and takes itself too seriously.

    2. Joe Peterson says:

      Hi
      A number of comparisons between the shows yield these results:
      1. Chemistry/Character…. British Top Gear’s (BTG) presenters have good interpersonal interactions, giving one a sense that they are viewing real people each with their own unique automotive/nonautomotive perspectives. Characters that are not afraid to muck it up a bit, having fun with humorous and serious approaches to their craft; unique and big personalities varied opinions etc. , they also add a sense of adventure, history, culture and a world perspective. A bit iconoclastic BTG reaches back to a different time even in British humor with an irreverent branding reminiscent of Monty Python. I could go on but the show is very entertaining.
      American Top Gear (ATG) is wooden, disconnected, with little to no chemistry on a personal or professional level … In the case of Adam Ferrara, disinterested dull blah, why is he even on the show? A comedian with no really interest in cars who is not funny in that context, really? He is the first that should go. Rutledge Wood is a nice guy who is more interested than Adam but somehow a bit too enthusiastic, like a puppy who you cannot take seriously. Tanner Foust is actually the best driver and the most well rounded, automotively speaking of the British or American Top Gear personalities, I can see him engaging May about technical aspects (without getting lost on the freeway), racing and beating Clarkson (unless Jeremy cheats) or Hammond while having some of the same enthusiasm for the automotive world even adding the dimensions of professional racing to the mix. Tanner’s personality is not as colorful as the Brits, however with the appropriate co-hosts around him perhaps Foust can be a bit more dynamic. If ATG would bring in a person or persons who could challenge Foust, racing, personality, and/or information wise, (anything to make the challenges more interesting by connecting personalities and abilities together) ATG would be more interesting.

      2. American Top Gear treats you like you are stupid…. Explaining every detail of why the show does what it does is insulting and boorish……… Wooden explanations make it appear one is listening to a lecture; not a very engaging or entertaining one at that (especially when one feels insulted etc…)

      3. American Top Gear needs to bring in more Interesting cars (including more cars from across the pond…)…

      4. American Top Gear should go to more diverse locations outside the US and within.

      5. American Top Gear needs to stop reading from the cards/script and improvise (or find those who have the personalities and/or knowledge enough to do so) and/or learn how to act. One of the many reasons that the show comes off plastic like they are trying too hard without a sense of true personality or focus.

      6. American Top Gear should invest in interesting projects with a true commitment to the task. British Top Gear presenters do the stupidest things but really look committed and determined to soldier through in spite of what others think or the craziness of it all, even providing what appears to be heart felt reasons for doing so (wonderful humor)..

      7. I could go on but why?

    3. Top Gear UK all the way! Top Gear USA is a pale shadow. Yes I live in the USA.

  2. I like them both, but TG US’s episode are almost exact copies of UK ones. And if you like TG UK, don’t waste your time with BBCA. It’s an hour long show with no commercials in Britain, you’re losing at least 20 min on BBCA. Bittorrnet is your friend. 🙂

  3. Top Gear USA blows chunks. Most of the time, the three idiots they have on the screen seem to be reading a damn script. The UK show is very freewheeling and much funnier.

    1. It definitely seems like Tanner Foust and Rutledge Wood read from a script, they probably didn’t write. Adam Ferrara is better since he is stand-up comic.

      To be fair the three British presenters probably read from a script too and use cue cards, but they are soooo much more natural! Top Gear UK all the way!

  4. Top Gear UK is the best, but for me the more Top Gear the better. Top Gear US isn’t bad its just a copy of the original and the original is the best version. Now have you seen Top Gear Australia?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Auto Adam, top gear UK is actually unscripted. UK all the way!

  6. mrusername1999 says:

    top gear USA is wayyyyyyyy better the uk version is boring the hosts are not funny not exiting and are old farts the us version is exciting crazy and EPIC also HISTERICal

      1. TopgearUSAfan says:

        @Petrolhead
        Im guessing by you sueing the word rubbish that you are British you hate US and you think we are all fat right?…..

        1. Shut up u piece of shit US guys are boring as fuck. Uk guys are funny especially Jeremy who says and does the funniest things. And uk guys do funny trips like finding the source of the Nile in one episode. UK all the way! And I am American

        2. Jim Delfo says:

          Just because petrolhead dislikes usa top gear, doesn’t mean that all Americans are large and loath the usa. He believes that uk top gear is better, which it is. Its common sense friend.

    1. YOU Idiot! what kind of stupid person are you! Top Gear UK IS SOOOOOOOOOOO much better then Top Gear US. have Top gear US driven to the North Poll, have they made home made amphibious cars and gone across the English Chanel! Have they gone all thee way from south Vietnam To North Vietnam on small little motor cycles! Have they driven all the way through the rain forest on old 4 wheel drive cars! Have they Driven old cars from the east coast to the west coast!?!?!? NO THEY HAVE NOT! Top Gear UK goes all over the world, and has done way more then I can even right! and they show 5 TIMES more cars then Top Gear US! And the the UK TG host are 100000 times funner then the TG US host! AND all the Top Gear US host ever do is COPY what Top Gear UK have done years ago! The US guys act like 3 people that know nothing about each other read script and just like to party all the time! Therefor you have no idea what you are talking about, and you NEED to watch all the Top Gear UK episodes!The UK TG is SO popular that they have there own LIVE show that they perform all over the world! and JUST this year had a Top Gear UK festival were THOUSANDS of people came! Top Gear UK is the best! Top Gear US, YOU SUCK!

    2. Shiva Srinivasan says:

      I am not sure which show you are talking about because the UK version of Top Gear is laugh riot.

      1. I am comparing Top Gear UK against Top Gear US. Yes, the original Top Gear is funny and the best.

  7. I’m British and I first saw the US version accidently, thinking it was one of UK’s USA specials. I just sat staring in numb horror. Wooden performance from the presenters, over-the-top “epic” music and, as Jeremy says, a tangible Irony Deficiency. Take a gem like Top Gear and ruin it like that, and it only reinforces British stereotypes of Americans. I know you’re not all fat, stupid and geographically challenged, I know you don’t all take yourselves too seriously, but Top Gear US is really not helping your reputation!!

  8. Shawn Spencer says:

    I’ve lived in both England and America and there is no argument that the UK version is about 10X better. Not only are the presenters legends but they make the show entertaining to a wider spectrum of viewers. Where as the American version is a typically American screw up of a great British show. It has a few redeeming qualities but over all it isn’t worth it.

  9. Bridgette Wigington says:

    I love them both. To say one is better than the other seems unfair. By the time Top Gear USA went on the air TGUK had been on for years. They had plenty of time to develop their show. TGUS is only in the third season, but I think they’re finally hitting their stride. While Jeremy, James and Richard are great in the field and in studio after years of developing a rapport, the first season of TGUS is a little awkward, as Tanner, Adam and Rutledge didn’t really know each other. The later seasons have done away with the awkward segments, leaving them with a more comfortable show. They’re great in the field, picking on each other and just being three guys in crazy situations. But even they’ve said they’re not trying to make something “better” than the UK version. This is just an American take on cars. If you don’t like it, okay. But I do.

    1. Anonymous says:

      The thing to think about is how the Brits were doing in their first season. (They’re on Netflix) If you look, they’re still amazing TV shows, maybe not as developed as the later episodes, but they’re still amazing. Top Gear UK really is just a better show, to put it plain and simple. I am very sad that Jeremy got fired and the show will probably get cancelled, but at least I still have Netflix! 🙂

  10. Shawn Spencer says:

    I’m sorry but no, you can give the edge to one show and lets be honest its UK all the way. To say there is a level of equality between the two shows would be like saying Kristen Stewart has emotions.

  11. Shawn Spencer says:

    I’m screwed?

  12. Shawn Spencer says:

    HAHAHA! her posse of sparkling fairies?

  13. Shawn Spencer says:

    I’ll beat them with Jeremy’s MAN drink 😛

  14. If you keep talking so much about Kristen Stewart she might get invited on next weeks Top Gear UK.
    By the way, Top Gear US is , in my opinion, a lame attempt to copy the real UK show. They could be better if they hired more bubbly people, who know what they’re talking about and enjoy doing it . At the moment they look like they learn the script before the show.

    1. Honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Kristen Stewart was on Top Gear US since they have odd guests. Top Gear UK gets some pretty famous American celebrities on the show, like Slash.

      A Top Gear US with better hosts would be nice, but probably won’t happen. 🙁

  15. When I first seen top gear USA I cringed, top gear is my favourite show and I can’t understand why USA producers rips another of the BBC’s shows. First the office now top gear, why can’t America stick with bieber and mythbusters or the REAL top gear?

    1. Not sure why we American can’t come up with our own TV shows but I definitely don’t want to have to stick to Justin Bieber. I definitely don’t have “Bieber Fever” if anyone asks.

  16. What’s so special about Top Gear UK? The same class-laden script (loud head-prefect Jeremy, nerdy asexual (sorry, gay! – not that there’s anything wrong with that) public-servant James and ratty working-class Richard) has been done to death. Same jokes, same lines, same everything. The US version is better, if only because we haven’t heard the same gags repeated so often from those guys.

  17. All of you are hating top gear US. Top gear UK is good but it sucked in the first few seasons if you ask me. Top gear US started off good in te first season and is getting better, but they should bring back news, the stig, car reviews, and big stars in a small car. To be honest I love both versions.

  18. peter.börje.haga. says:

    Hi!I like topgear go +1 Thanks, take best car of you!Frendly Peter.Börje.Haga.

  19. I have watched top gear ‘uk’ for more than 12 years, from the time before Richard and James were ever involved. I have loved this for many years regardless of the shows repetative format it always is exciting and new. To sum US version up in three four letter words fukt shit pile.. proper rubbish. I’d rather poo on my hand and wipe it on my face than watch that gay fest! If i were american I’d be ashamed as you guys same to destroy every show that you have re-done.. America is where original ideas go to die!

  20. Also I only found this fourum by googling top gear US is fcking shit! proof enough!

  21. I love the show TOP GEAR- USA. Rutledge Wood and Tanner Foust, then add Adam Terra and you have a mixture of different driver abilities at different levels. The way they compete and challenge each other really makes the show realistic and fun to watch.

  22. I love top gear USA and do not care much for top gear bbc. Do not cancel top gear USA

  23. Just to clear something up, It’s Top Gear not Top Gear UK. Original and always the best, Top Gear USA just needs to be cancelled already, IT SUCKS.

  24. billly joe says:

    Imagine the american TG copying top gear traveling to bethlehem…

    1. one thing american dont realise, is that bbc let them do whatever they like. If they did that in america the american familes would complain and they would get axed. The bbc just go, take it as a joke or dont watch it. P.s they are wayyyyy better then the US version

      1. I believe a lot of BBCs money comes from Top Gear. This includes Top Gear merchandise like shirts, DVDs, the magazines, etc. That’s why they have free reign. 🙂

  25. Interesting to see the US praise for UK version. Are you not noticing the repetition of ideas and the predictability of the “challenge” sitcom pieces? The UK version needs some new ideas if it is to survive much longer.

  26. godhateus says:

    the true topgear is the one with jennifer the hamster and capitain slow 3 real moron ,and thats why we love them

  27. thehamsterscage says:

    Jennifer is from season 21 when the p1 vs 918. Top gear UK All the way, Go jezza, hamster, and captain slow

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