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Image source: TopGear

6 Shows like Top Gear: All About the Cars

Adam Pothitos itcherThe genre of motoring shows may owe a lot to ‘Top Gear’ but there are certainly other shows like ‘Fifth Gear’ and ‘Roadkill’ which offer their own unique perspectives. ~ Adam Pothitos

A New Beginning

‘Top Gear’ is, without a doubt, one of the most durable shows on television. Even now that the popular trio has been replaced, the show’s future looks as bright as ever. After all, motoring enthusiasts don’t really have a lot of other places to turn to.

For better or worse, it’s safe to say that few motoring shows will ever reach the bar set by ‘Top Gear’.


Shows Similar to ‘Top Gear’…

‘Fifth Gear’ (Channel 5, 2002-2011)

After ‘Top Gear’ was briefly cancelled in 2001, ‘Fifth Gear’ was introduced as a replacement, albeit on a different channel. Because many of the people involved in ‘Top Gear’ were instantly drawn to this show, it was an instant success.

‘Fifth Gear’ is all about cars, featuring expert opinions, test drives, and generally everything there is to know about a particular vehicle. With entertaining hosts and informative segments, there’s not much else you can ask for!

The show’s origins were particularly helpful in solidifying its creative direction and we should all be thankful for it.

Similarity Match: 95%
This is the closest you can possibly get to ‘Top Gear’, though ‘Fifth Gear’ is less extravagant and often more serious.

‘Roadkill’ (Motor Trend Channel YT, 2012- )

Though some might be skeptical of a YouTube series, ‘Roadkill’ is often hailed as one of the best alternatives to ‘Top Gear’. This is a show with incredibly high production value as it is produced by two notable car magazines. And, in a twist of fate, ‘Roadkill’ now produces a printed magazine, too.

Aside from being a very informative show, ‘Roadkill’ features some crazy challenges that would make every ‘Top Gear’ presenter proud. In addition to that, the show never gets old because the guys always try to do something different, such as creating new challenges or focusing on entirely different types of cars.

Similarity Match: 85%
‘Roadkill is like a ‘Top Gear’ without the huge budget as the show is presented in the same lighthearted and humorous manner.

‘Victory by Design’ (Speed Channel, 2003-2005)

Though the series started as a one-off documentary about Porsche, it later became a real documentary-like show that aired on Speed Channel. Each episode focuses on a famous manufacturer of racing and sports cars including Ferrari, Maserati, Jaguar, and more.

Each episode focuses on multiple cars as it details their histories, technical specifications, and pretty much everything else about them. The show features some beautiful cars and some absolutely fantastic shots of the English and French countryside.

As the focus is placed entirely on the cars themselves, the show feels incredibly relaxing as you delve deeper and deeper into the history of fast-moving vehicles.

Similarity Match: 75%
‘Victory by Design’ is nothing like ‘Top Gear’ in the sense that there are no challenges or game show segments here. However, you can feel that everyone involved with the show truly loves cars.

‘For the Love of Cars’ (Channel 4, 2014- )

Even when they’re old and abandoned, some cars are simply works of art – this show proves that by finding old cars, restoring them, and showcasing their social and engineering importance. Some of the facts presented in the show are truly surprising, especially as far as the social aspects are concerned.

The two hosts represent the show’s dual nature. The first is concerned entirely with the impact of a particular car in the culture of Europe (or just Britain). The second is interested only in the technical aspects which include restoring and actually driving the refreshed car before it’s sold off in an auction.

A very amusing series with some incredibly beautiful cars.

Similarity Match: 70%
Both shows are interested in showcasing everything there is to know about a car but this show is purely about restoring and showcasing the vehicles instead of testing them to their limits like in ‘Top Gear’.

‘Jeremy Clarkson’s Motorworld’ (BBC Two, 1995-1996)

‘Motorworld’ is an intensely interesting look at the car cultures of twelve different regions. Clarkson details the history of the car in that particular country, how it became a part of the culture, and what kinds of cars are most popular in each area.

The show is one of the most relaxing car shows I’ve ever watched. It feels like a traveling documentary with an emphasis on vehicles as Clarkson is extremely casual as the show’s host. Watching how cars were slowly integrated into each of those societies is simply fascinating.

Similarity Match: 65%
‘Motorworld’ feels like another segment of ‘Top Gear’ as Jeremy Clarkson brings his unique sense of humor and style to the mix, even though the two shows have little else in common.


If You Like ‘Top Gear’, You Will Like…

Nowadays, cars are such an integral part of our lives that it’s incredibly hard to imagine life without them.

Of course, cars were not always a part of life. In fact, their arrival brought huge changes which had ripple effects in almost every aspect of our culture.

‘James May’s Cars of the People’ (BBC Two, 2014- )

Another show presented by a former Top Gear host, ‘Cars of the People’ chronicles the history of the car and how it was integrated into our lives. Some parts of the show focus on individual cars while others focus on wider car trends which signified a particular period or a particular region.

‘Cars of the People’ may focus on cars but it’s really more like a historical documentary. James May is excellent at presenting complex historical details in an amusing and entertaining manner. In fact, this is probably your best bet at learning about the history of car manufacturing without being bored for a second.

Though it has nothing to do with ‘Top Gear’ or other monitoring shows, most car enthusiasts will find a lot to like in ‘Cars of the People’.


Moving Forward

When you think about it, it’s pretty strange that there aren’t many TV series like ‘Top Gear’. When most shows become popular, the most common next step is to produce a series of similar offerings that usually fail spectacularly. I guess that ‘Top Gear’ fans are lucky in that regard, especially since the show has been on air for so many years.

Do you know any other series similar to ‘Top Gear’? In case you do, feel free to share them with us in the comments!

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