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30 Best Top Gear Episodes Ranked

Not that long ago, "Top Gear" was one of the most popular shows in the world. Launched in 1977, it was revamped in 2002 with the trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May taking on presenting duties with the help of a mysterious test driver known as the Stig. Broadcast in more than 200 countries, it was considered one of the best British TV shows on the air and ensured that the three presenters became household names.

"Top Gear" is not without controversy, and it has faced plenty of criticism over the years. These unpleasant incidents include the cast making incredibly offensive remarks and driving irresponsibly. This controversy culminated in Clarkson being fired from the show in 2015. Shortly afterward, Hammond, May, and executive producer Andy Wilman all left "Top Gear" to create "The Grand Tour" with Clarkson on Amazon Prime. They were ultimately replaced by a series of new presenters, though it's debatable whether any of them resonated with audiences quite like the original three.

Despite all those negative aspects, "Top Gear" was undoubtedly one of the most entertaining shows on television when it was in its prime. Spanning more than 30 seasons and 200 episodes means that picking the very best of the best is a difficult task. Fortunately, we've done the hard work already. You can just sit back and find out which episodes of "Top Gear" are simply unmissable.

30. Super Car Road Trip From Las Vegas, Nevada To Calexico, California

In the second episode of Season 19, the three presenters went on a road trip across the United States. Traveling across the west coast of the country, they journeyed from Nevada down to the Mexican border, taking in Las Vegas and Los Angeles along the way. Each of the three hosts chose a supercar for the challenge, with Clarkson going with the Lexus LFA, Hammond picking the Dodge Viper, and May decided on the Aston Martin Vanquish. The road trip involved a legal drag race in Las Vegas organized by the police and a game of aerial laser tag with a group of fighter pilots. 

The episode lacked a news segment and did not feature any reviews or power tests. Instead, most of the show was dedicated to the American road trip. This ended with a race from Palm Springs to Calexico, which Clarkson won. Meanwhile, the star in a reasonably priced car for this episode was Fleetwood Mac member Mick Fleetwood, who went around the track in a time of 1 minute and 45.4 seconds.

29. Making A Commercial For Reducing Cycle-Related Accidents

The fifth episode of Season 21 saw Hammond travel to Abu Dhabi to test out the Porsche 918 Spyder. This hybrid supercar makes use of a pair of electric motors with a traditional V8 petrol engine to create a stunningly fast vehicle. To put it through its paces, Hammond took it for a spin around the Yas Marina Circuit, home of the Abu Dhabi Formula One race, and compared it to the McLaren P1. In an earlier segment, Clarkson reviewed the BMW M135i and Volkswagen's latest Golf GTI. After that, he and May set about creating a brand-new public information film to promote safety for cyclists in London.

The star in a reasonably priced car for this episode was "Breaking Bad" actor Aaron Paul. He spoke about his time on the iconic AMC show as well as his role in the 2014 movie "Need for Speed." He managed to set a time of 1 minute and 44.7 seconds in the Vauxhall Astra, which put him in first place ... until pop star Olly Murs came along and beat Paul's time in a later episode.

28. Patagonia Special

The "Patagonia Special" was a two-part "Top Gear" episode that did not feature any studio segments, with the action taking place entirely in South America. Airing over the holiday season in 2014 across two consecutive days, it saw Clarkson, Hammond, and May celebrate the 60th anniversary of the V8 engine by driving three V8-engined sports cars across Chile and Argentina. The trip was roughly 1,600 miles long and involved a Porsche 928, a Ford Mustang, and Lotus Esprit.

Along the way, the trio struggled to navigate the difficult terrain and poor roads, with the Ford and Porsche suffering numerous breakdowns and faults. The presenters were forced to camp outside, travel over an old and broken bridge, and get through a boggy marsh. Yet the episode is perhaps most famous for the ending that saw the production crew and the presenters faced with a host of protesters following what was perceived to be offensive number plates that referenced the Falklands War. An investigation later found the license plates had been registered to the car since 1991.

27. Australian Northern Territory Road Trip In GT Cars

In this Season 22 episode of "Top Gear," the three presenters take a road trip across the Northern Territory of Australia. Each of them picked a fast and comfortable grand tourer for the trip, with Clarkson going for a BMW M6 Gran Coupé, Hammond a Bentley Continental GT V8, and May opting for the Nissan GT-R. Driving across the vast open spaces in Australia, they visited an abandoned gold mine, got to see some of the world's longest lorries, and finally ended the challenge by helping herd more than 4,000 cows in one of the largest farms in Australia. This experience may have come in handy for Clarkson on his later show, "Clarkson's Farm" on Amazon Prime.

Unlike most "Top Gear" episodes, there was no news segment or power test; most of the screentime was devoted to the Australian challenge. However, Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland did appear as the star in a reasonably priced car, setting a time of 1 minute and 49.2 seconds in wet conditions.

26. Amphibious Car Challenge

The third episode of Season 8 featured what has become known as the "Amphibious Car Challenge." This is the first incarnation of the challenge and saw Clarkson, Hammond, and May building cars that could work when driving on land or sailing on water. Hammond chose a Volkswagen camper van that he dubbed the Damper Van, May attached a sail to a classic Triumph Herald, while Clarkson modified a Toyota Hilux truck to create a Toybota. May ultimately won the challenge when Clarkson and Hammond failed to finish — their vehicles sank in the reservoir they were racing across.

As well as the main challenge, the episode also featured the usual "Top Gear" segments. Philip Glenister appeared as the star in a reasonably priced car, who drove the Lacetti around a wet track in a time of 1 minute and 54.3 seconds. Clarkson and the Stig helped test out the Lotus Exige S, a car that was ultimately deemed to be uncool when it was put on the "Top Gear" cool board.

25. Perfect £2,500 Car For 17-Year-Olds

Episode 2 of Season 13 was focused on the team trying to find what would be the best car for a 17-year-old driver. This included examining multiple factors, such as what would reduce insurance costs, be cheap to repair after accidents, and be able to navigate muddy fields and uneven terrains at music festivals in the U.K. May chose a Volkswagen Golf Mark-III, Clarkson picked a turbocharged Volvo 940 Estate, and Hammond selected a Hyundai SCoupe.

In a later segment, Hammond went to Abu Dhabi to try out the Lamborghini Murcielago SV. Impressed with the car, he tested it out against the far more expensive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722. He later stages a race between the Bugatti Veyron and the McLaren F1, two of the fastest cars on the planet. The McLaren F1 took an early lead in the drag race, but the Veyron ultimately caught up to it and used its superior top speed to take a significant lead. The "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" segment featured actor, writer, and presenter Stephen Fry.

24. Season 15, Episode 1

This episode of "Top Gear" saw the team investigate why the world does not have more three-wheeled cars, with Clarkson testing out the classic Reliant Robin. He drove the car from Sheffield to Rotherham, but immediately found out that the vehicle is incredibly prone to toppling over due to the unusual configuration of having the single wheel at the front rather than the rear. During the episode, Clarkson also tested out the Bentley Continental Supersports while May took the Toyota Hilux to the top of an active volcano.

Season 15 marked the end of the Chevrolet Lacetti as the reasonably priced car used in the "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" segment. The show would now use the Kia Ceed, a car that could go 0 to 60 mph in 10.4 seconds with a top speed of 119 mph. Rather than feature a single guest star, the team decided to invite several celebrities who would be able to fill out the leaderboard and ensure it had more than a single time on it. The guests included comedian Al Murray, journalist Nick Robinson, dancer Louie Spence, athlete Amy Williams, businessman Peter Jones, presenter Johnny Vaughan, and stand-up Bill Bailey.

23. Albania Road Trip

The third episode of Season 16 saw the "Top Gear" gang head to Albania in order to test out three super-luxurious cars. The ultimate aim was to see what car was best suited for an organized crime boss. The trio originally chose a Rolls-Royce Ghost, a Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG, and a Bentley Mulsanne. Unfortunately for Clarkson, Bentley withdrew from the episode shortly before the start. Circumstances forced him to switch his choice to a Yugo Skala 55, which caused a few issues when the car refused to start during a drag race midway through the episode.

Outside of the challenge, where the group robs a bank, Clarkson tested the Subaru Impreza STI CS400, the latest car from Cosworth. He later compares it to the Ford Focus RS500 and the Volvo C30 PCP. British presenter Jonathan Ross was the star in a reasonably priced car, and he managed to record a time of 1 minute 49 seconds on a wet track.

22. Spanish Road Trip In Budget Convertibles

Featuring the "Spanish Supercar Road Trip," this is the third episode of Season 20 of "Top Gear." The main challenge in this entry was the presenters going to the Iberian Peninsula to cross southern Spain from Gibraltar to Madrid. Clarson chose a McLaren MP4-12C Spider, Hammond a Ferrari 458 Spider, and May an Audi R8 V10 Spyder.

The challenge saw the cars tested in a variety of environments as they traveled through the mountain regions of Spain, raced at an abandoned airport, and drove around an area of Madrid that had been converted into a street circuit. 

Unlike other studio-based episodes of "Top Gear," this one didn't have any standard reviews or other features outside of "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car." The celebrity this week was "Doctor Strange" and "Sherlock" leading man Benedict Cumberbatch. He made it around the track in 1 minute and 47.8 seconds.

21. Building The Ford Transit Hovervan

The fourth episode of Season 20, this entry in the car series saw the three presenters building a car that is able to operate as a hovercraft. Using a Ford Transit van, they created what they dubbed the "Hovervan." The first version of the vehicle proved to be a failure. The second iteration featured an improved design that worked better but still had some notable issues that made it impractical and difficult to control as they traveled down the River Avon.

The show did face some criticism over claims that some scenes featured paid actors rather than genuine members of the public, but that didn't stop the episode from being a hit with fans. Clarkson also reviewed the Mercedes SLS Black along with the Mercedes SLS Electric Drive.

The star in a reasonably priced car for this episode was actor Hugh Jackman. He drove the Vauxhall Astra in a time of 1 minute and 46.1 seconds, posting a time that put him in fifth place on the leaderboard, beating out the likes of Will Smith, Ron Howard, and Margot Robbie.

20. Best Crossovers For Caravanners

The fifth episode of Season 20, this installment of "Top Gear" featured a challenge focused on a new type of hatchback known as a crossover. Believing that these vehicles are most popular with caravanners, each presenter picked an example of the vehicle class and went on a caravan holiday, ending up with a Mazda CX-5 and a Volkswagen Tiguan. The challenge sees them testing the type of activities that a crossover would be used for and living life as someone who goes on caravan trips.

There were two reviews in this episode of "Top Gear." The first was done by May and involved the latest edition of the Porsche 911 Carrera, which was largely unchanged from when the car was first introduced in the 1960s. Later, Hammond tested the Lamborghini Aventador Roadster, taking it to Italy and racing it around the famous Imola track. Finally, Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler was the star in a reasonably priced car, driving the Vauxhall Astra around the track in a time of 1 minute and 51 seconds.

19. Amphibious Car Challenge II

In this Season 10 episode, Clarkson, Hammond, and May revisited one of their most popular challenges from earlier in the series. Working with a variety of vehicles, they each try to create amphibious cars that work equally as well on the ground as they do in the water. Clarkson used a Nissan pickup that he dubbed the Nissank; Hammond used a Volkswagen as he did in the previous amphibious challenge; May went back to his original Triumph Herald, although he upgraded it with some new materials and features.

Starting off in Sidcup, the group drove to Dover, and then attempted to cross the English Channel and make it to Calais in France. Unfortunately, both Hammond and May had issues with their vehicles in the sea and were unable to complete the challenge as their vehicles sank. Meanwhile, Clarkson's Nissank proved effective, and he eventually picked up his two colleagues.

The star in a reasonably priced car for this episode was musician and presenter Jools Holland. He posted a time of 1 minute and 49.9 seconds. The main review of the episode was of the Audi R8, which Clarkson drove and compared to Hammond's very own Porsche 997 Carrera S. The Audi performed better around the track, but both presenters agreed it lacks soul.

18. Britcar 24 Hour Endurance Race — Fiat 500 vs. BMX Riders Through Budapest Race

Episode 9 of Season 10 is a 2007 "Top Gear" episode that was a follow-up to an episode from the previous season. Back in Season 9, the presenters had used tractors to plant seeds and create a biofuel crop. However, when they harvested the crops, they were shocked to find they planted the wrong seeds and are left with 500 gallons of biodiesel instead of the fuel they initially wanted.

To make the best of the situation, the trio used the biodiesel to enter the Britcar 24-hour endurance race at Silverstone. Driving a modified BMW 330d, they managed to qualify but suffered a number of mechanical issues during the race that put them at the back of the grid multiple times. Fortunately, the Stig was able to keep them in the race and they ended up finishing in 39th place overall.

Outside of the main challenge, actor Keith Allen took part in the "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" segment, recording a time of 1 minute and 51.7 seconds on what was described as one of the wettest days at the "Top Gear" test track in the history of the show. May reviewed the latest Fiat 500 in Hungary while Clarkson compared the Daihatsu Materia hatchback with the Ascari A10.

17. Race Across The Urban Landscape Of St. Petersburg

The Season 22 premiere of "Top Gear" saw the gang take part in a race across the Russian city of Saint Petersburg. The race was essentially a recreation of the Season 10 race where the trio competed to get across London. May chose a tiny Renault for the journey, Hammond cycled, and Clarkson used a hovercraft to travel mainly by water. May ended up winning while the Stig failed to finish after struggling to travel on public transport.

Elsewhere in the episode, Hammond reviewed the Huracán, a replacement for the Lamborghini Gallardo. Pop singer Ed Sheeran was the star in a reasonably priced car. Sheeran claimed this was the first time that he had ever driven a car, so he had to use an automatic. He posted a time of 1 minute 54.2 seconds in very wet conditions.

One of the most famous moments of this episode came when a lorry pulled out in front of Hammond while he was cycling. This led to a foul-mouthed tirade against the driver that was mostly cut from the original broadcast. However, the uncensored version was included on the DVD release and has become popular on social media platforms such as TikTok.

16. Homemade Ambulance Challenge

Airing in February of 2015, this is the third episode of Season 22 and saw the three main presenters compete in a series of challenges as they created their very own ambulances. After examining the limitations of a normal ambulance used in the U.K., the trio set about designing their very own vehicles that would improve the transport experience for patients. These projects were tested for their usefulness, speed, practicality, and their monetary value. Ultimately, Hammond came out on top with his Chevrolet G20 van, while Clarkson came second with his Porsche 944 Turbo, and May came last with a Ford Scorpio Cardinal.

The star in a reasonably priced car for this episode was Formula One racing driver Daniel Ricciardo. Rather than use the Vauxhall Astra Tech Line GT that was used for the segment from Season 20 onwards, Ricciardo was given the original Suzuki Liana like all previous Formula One drivers to make the leaderboard a level playing field. He set a time of 1 minute and 42.2 seconds, making him the fastest Formula One driver on the leaderboard.

15. Hammond Is Dropped Into British Columbia, Canada To Test A Watch With A Built-In Energy Beacon

Season 22 of "Top Gear" was the last to feature the talents of Clarkson, Hammond, and May following Clarkson's high-profile dismissal from the BBC. Despite the controversy, the eight episodes included in the 2015 season are all rated quite highly by fans. This is the second installment of Season 22 to appear in this article, and there's more from "Top Gear" in 2015 on the way.

This episode sees Hammond testing a specially made watch that is designed to work in severe weather and alert rescue teams when the beacon is activated. However, it ends up alerting Clarkson and May who are forced to rescue Hammond when he gets stuck. The two choose pickup trucks and race to get to their colleague first.

Outside of the main challenge, the episode also featured standard "Top Gear" segments. Clarkson road tested the Lexus RC F coupe. The star in a reasonably priced car for this episode was Gillian Anderson, best known for her roles in "The X-Files" and "The Fall." She set a time of 1 minute and 48.5 seconds, although the track was deemed to be mildly moist.

14. Making A Train Out Of A Specially Modified Car And Caravans As Carriages

This Season 17 episode first aired in July of 2011 and saw the group try to improve the railway experience in the U.K. Expressing the opinion that traveling by train can be expensive, slow, and inconvenient, the gang adapted a series of different vehicles and caravans so that they can operate on standard railways. Eventually, Hammond and May gave up and stuck with a normal train as they raced against Clarkson's new sports train invention.

Rowan Atkinson, known for his role in "Mr. Bean," was the star in a reasonably priced car and he drove the Kia Ceed around the test track. He managed a time of 1 minute and 42.2 seconds, putting him in second place on the leaderboard behind Matt LeBlanc, who went a tenth of a second quicker.

The Stig test drove the Nissan GT-R around the track, setting a blistering time that beat out many of its rivals by a significant margin. Meanwhile, the car was compared to the Jaguar XKR-S in a review by Clarkson, who suggested the Nissan GT-R was a better car for most people and far more practical.

13. US Special

First broadcast in February of 2007, the "US Special" was the third episode of Season 9. As is usual for specials, this episode features none of the standard "Top Gear" in-studio segments. Instead, it features a 60-minute segment that charts the group's progress as they travel through the United States.

The concept behind the special sees the trio attempting to prove that buying cars would be more enjoyable and cheaper than simply renting a car. Given just $1,000 to make their purchases, Clarkson, Hammond, and May end up buying a 1991 Chevrolet Camaro RS, a 1991 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck, and a 1989 Cadillac Brougham. The route sees them go from Miami to New Orleans and meet the Stig's American cousin, who tests each of the cars to determine their performance.

The episode is perhaps best known for a scene where the group are chased from an Alabama gas station. This was in response to hilarious slogans that the presenters had painted on each other's cars, which included a taunt about NASCAR.

12. Race To The North — Ferrari FXX Lap Time — The Stig Revealed

The opening episode of Season 13, this "Top Gear" installment first aired in the summer of 2009. During the "Race to the North" segment, iconic Formula One driver Michael Schumacher appeared as a guest. It was jokingly revealed that Schumacher was actually the Stig, but many were skeptical that the Formula One star could actually be the test driver. One source told The Guardian that this revelation was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek prank.

In the "Race to the North," the team competed against each other as they traveled from London to Edinburgh. The concept was that this would demonstrate what "Top Gear" might look like if it was filmed 60 years ago. Hammond and May drove a Vincent Black Shadow motorbike and a Jaguar XK120, while Clarkson used a Tornado steam locomotive. May went on to win the race by a relatively small margin of just 10 minutes, with Clarkson coming in second.

11. Season 15, Episode 5

First broadcast in July of 2010, Episode 5 of Season 15 of "Top Gear" stands out for a number of reasons. Chief among them is the fact that both Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz take part in the "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" segment. The pair were promoting their movie "Knight and Day" and finished in nineth and 13th place, respectively, in what ended up being one of the show's most watched episodes in the U.K. with over seven million viewers.

The rest of the episode features two segments that involve Hammond and May. In the first, Hammond raced a group of snowmobile pilots in Sweden as he drove the Volkswagen Touareg. Hammond won thanks to the 130-mph top speed of the car. The final segment saw May attempting to set a new world's record for the fastest car using the new Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. He managed to reach a speed of 259 mph while test driver Pierre-Henri Raphanel made it a staggering 267 mph.

10. Polar Special

The "Polar Special" episode of "Top Gear" first aired in 2007 and marked the first time that the show was broadcast in HD. Clarkson and May attempted to reach the north magnetic pole in a Toyota Hilux Double Cab 3.0L, while the crew used a different modified Hilux for filming and a Toyota Land Cruiser 120. Meanwhile, Hammond raced against the pair using a dog sled pulled by huskies with explorer Matty McNair.

Before the group started their challenge in Canada, they received cold weather training in Australia with the help of Sir Ranulph Fiennes. The journey itself took all of the competitors around 450 miles in total. While the episode was well received by fans, it did come under some criticism.

One of the main complaints focused on a scene where Clarkson and May appeared to be drinking gin and tonics while driving, suggesting they had consumed alcohol while behind the wheel. The BBC Trust later upheld a complaint saying the inclusion of the footage was not justified. Explorers also criticized the episode for making polar expeditions seem easier and less dangerous than they really are.

9. Building Motor Homes

Episode 4 of "Top Gear" Season 15 is known as the "Building Motor Homes" episode. Unlike many others in this list, this particular episode is more of a traditional entry in the series, following the usual format rather than that of a special. Airing in 2010, the main challenge for Clarkson, Hammond, and May was to build their own motorhomes. Using cars they purchased — including a Citroën, Land Rover, and a Lotus — they had to modify the vehicles so that they would work as motorhomes as they traveled across the West Country in the U.K. to test out how well they work in typical situations for campervans.

Model Lauren McAvoy also appeared in a segment where she was driven around the test track by Clarkson. Meanwhile, "The Godfather: Part III" and "Ocean's Eleven" actor Andy Garcia was the star in a reasonably priced car. Throughout the episode, the presenters also tested a variety of cars, with the Audi R8 V10 Spyder pitted against the latest version of the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet.

8. Middle East Special

The "Middle East Special" was a 2010 episode of "Top Gear" that saw the trio go on a 1,200-mile trip from Iraq, through Turkey and Syria, and finally reaching Palestine through Jordan. Along the way, the group visited an abandoned theme park, drove through cities such as Aleppo and Bethlehem, and saw landmarks like the Mount of Olives and the Sea of Galilee.

The idea behind the special was to see Clarkson, Hammond, and May follow the path that the Three Wise Men seemingly took in the Bible when they set out to visit the newborn Jesus. It aired over the Christmas period in 2010 and ran for 76 minutes, making it one of the longest "Top Gear" episodes. They drove a Mazda MX-5, Fiat Barchetta Riviera, and BMW Z3, respectively. The presenters had to modify the cars for challenges, including making them bulletproof and customizing their appearance.

Clarkson himself has since admitted that the "Middle East Special" is one of his favorite episodes. Listing the episode along with the "Botswana Special" and "The Grand Tour" episode where they visited Mongolia, the presenter said that this episode was "probably the most amazing to watch."

7. Botswana Special

First aired on November of 2007, "Botswana Special" is a 60-minute episode of "Top Gear" that acted as the fourth episode of Season 10. The trio of Clarkson, Hammond, and May are forced to purchase secondhand cars with just £1,500, and then travel across the salt flats of Botswana. The three presenters were joined by the Stig's African cousin, who tested the cars purchased by the presenters by racing them around a dirty rally track.

The three vehicles used in the special were a Mercedes-Benz 230 E from 1985, a Lancia Beta coupé from 1981, and an Opel Kadett from 1963. A Volkswagen Beetle was kept in reserve as the backup car, as punishment for any presenter whose car became too damaged to drive. The team eventually arrived after a 1,000-mile trip at the Namibian border, where they ultimately declared that the Beetle was the best car as it had needed no repairs during the journey. The setting's breathtaking visuals and unique scenery were particular highlights among the lighthearted and entertaining action of the presenters.

6. A Tribute To Sabine Schmitz

This episode of "Top Gear" was unusual in that it is considered one of the better episodes despite the fact that it first aired well into the post-2015 era of the show. It also had a tragic overtone, acting as a tribute to Sabine Schmitz. The former professional racing driver who competed most regularly for BMW passed away from cancer in 2021. Before that, she made numerous appearances on "Top Gear" and went on to act as a host on the revamped version of the series, along with the likes of Chris Evans, Matt LeBlanc, Rory Reid, and Chris Harris.

number of other former "Top Gear" personalities also returned to pay tribute to their colleague, including Clarkson, Hammond, and May. It aired in April of 2021, just a few weeks after Schmitz's death, and showed important moments from her life as well as some of her best scenes from "Top Gear." Fans and critics alike praised the episode, saying that it was a fitting way to honor the memory of the 51-year-old.

5. Africa Special

Another two-part special, this "Top Gear" episode first aired in March of 2013. The sixth episode of Season 19, this installment sees the three presenters attempting to find the true source of the great river known as the Nile as they traverse east Africa. Along the way, they had to contend with a variety of challenges and obstacles, including hectic traffic and seeing their vehicles damaged in a multitude of ways.

Clarkson chose a BMW 528i Touring for the journey, Hammond picked a Subaru Impreza WRX Estate, and May drove a Volvo 850 R. Throughout the two parts, the trio also had to deal with mud slides and navigating with limited maps and a distinct lack of skills. Like many of the "Top Gear" specials, this episode lacked the usual studio segments and instead focused fully on the main feature.

In reviews, some critics who admitted they were not fans of the series said they actually enjoyed its "Africa Special." Stuart Heritage of The Guardian noted that the special felt more organic and genuine, with real moments of emotion.

4. Burma Special

The "Burma Special" was a two-part "Top Gear" episode that saw the three presenters travel across Burma in derelict lorries. The basic premise is that they would journey to the border with Thailand and attempt to build a bridge across the River Kwai. This was a clear reference to the 1957 film "The Bridge on the River Kwai" starring Alec Guinness. Both parts aired in March of 2014.

Clarkson and Hammond both drove a modified Isuzu TX, although the two lorries looked very different, while May used a Hino FB110. The special sees the trio play soccer with a group of police officers, customize their lorries with paint jobs, and face a constant struggle to keep the vehicles going through tough conditions. According to The Guardian, the episode was "undeniably funny" and full of childish pranks that would make most viewers laugh.

3. Bolivia Special

Part of Season 14, the "Bolivia Special" first aired in 2009 shortly after Christmas. Despite being called the "Bolivia Special," the episode actually takes place in several South American countries, as the presenters journey from the Amazon rainforest in the center of Bolivia down to the Pacific coast of Chile.

Given £3,500 to purchase vehicles, the gang ends up with a Range Rover, a Suzuki SJ40, and a Toyota Land Cruiser that are transported up the river on a raft. Before the group can get going, they are forced to find a way of getting the cars off the boat and onto land. Other challenges involved waterproofing the cars so they could cross safely over a river.

The episode ended up being incredibly popular with viewers, becoming the most watched show on the BBC when it aired, attracting 6.4 million viewers in the U.K. alone. Highlights included confrontation with local drug lords and the infamous Road of Death, one of the world's most dangerous roads.

2. Vietnam Special

The eighth episode of Season 12 of "Top Gear" is the "Vietnam Special," where the trio of presenters were given 15 million đồng to buy motorbikes to travel across the Asian country. In total, the presenters traveled some 1,000 miles, going from Ho Chi Minh City to Hạ Long Bay. Unlike most episodes of the series, it ran for a total of 75 minutes and didn't feature any of the traditional elements that are usually included in "Top Gear" episodes, such as "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car."

While most "Top Gear" episodes are very much focused on the vehicles, "Vietnam Special" stood out. Director and producer Andy Wilman said that the story of this installment was "skewed towards the three guys." Many viewers and critics agreed that this allowed the hosts to show more of their chemistry and banter with each other in a way that was not usually possible. Hot Cars suggested the fact that Clarkson was forced to use a motorbike when he hates them so much added to the comedy.

1. Season 22, Episode 8

This episode of "Top Gear" was originally due to air in March of 2015 but was delayed following an incident involving Jeremy Clarkson. He was suspended on March 10, just days before the episode was due to hit TV screens. The presenter was ultimately let go by the BBC when the corporation decided not to renew his contract following what it described as an "unprovoked physical attack" on a producer of the show.

The episode itself featured few of the common elements of a standard "Top Gear" episode and opened with May and Hammond explaining that it had been put together using two features that had been filmed for the previous season. It aired in June of 2015, following a lengthy hiatus for the show and was the last to feature the three main presenters before they were replaced for Season 23 by Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc.

The first of the two films saw the trio purchase classic convertible cars for the English summer and learn what it takes to look after the vehicles and the culture that surrounds them. The second feature tasked the presenters with choosing an SUV to take part in a series of challenges designed to test out their abilities.