Ever wondered what cars the world's most famous car journalist rates the highest?
Jeremy Clarkson is the most recognizable car journalist on the planet. As well as having a larger-than-life personality on TV and at his happiest when conveying an opinion, he is also an idiot. His idiocy, along with James May's and Richard Hammond's, has been well documented on the TV shows Top Gear and The Grand Tour. Don't be fooled, though, because Jeremy Clarkson also has one of the sharpest minds in entertainment and is one hell of a writer. Think of him as that college professor that says inappropriate things occasionally and can't tie their own shoelaces but wrote the book on physics that students will be studying over the coming decades.
With a 40-year-plus career as a journalist and one of the driving forces behind a TV show about cars becoming the most-watched program in the world, Clarkson knows a thing or two about cars. And these are his favorites.
Clarkson is quoted as saying the Alfa Romeo GTV6 is the "best and worst car" he has owned. Anyone that has owned an Alfa Romeo, known someone with an Alfa Romeo, or has read about Alfa Romeo ownership will understand this. Alfas are temperamental when it comes to reliability, but they are amongst the best classic driver's cars around. Alfa only built around 22,000 units of the V6-powered GTV6 models, which puts them on the rare side now. He bought the one he drove in The Grand Tour's Scotland episode, so now there is an Alfa in Jeremy Clarkson's garage again.
The Lexus LFA is among Jeremy Clarkson's favorite cars of all time, which is understandable. The sound alone of the 553-horsepower Yamaha V10 is still one of the seven wonders of the automotive world. Lexus set out to show the world what it could do when it decided to build the perfect Lexus sports car. Yet, it's still underappreciated - as you'll likely see in the comments. Clarkson complained about the fuel tank being too small and the LFA having fiddly seatbelts, but his glowing praise for the car overthrows minor irritations. Maybe its successor, the LFR, will have better luck.
Another car Clarkson has heaped glowing praise upon, mainly in his newspaper and website columns in the UK, is the Volvo XC90. They have been a mainstay as one of Jeremy Clarkson's personal cars over the years and he's owned at least four. "I first saw an XC90 at the Donington Park racetrack," Clarkson said, "I can't remember why it, or I, was there, but as the father of three young children, I knew straight away that I had to have one. And a few years later I bought a second. And then a third. And then a couple of months ago a fourth." He went on to praise the simplicity and comfort of driving it and the fact someone with kids had actually designed an SUV. When he's right, he's absolutely on the nose.
A few years back, in a Q&A session with Drivetribe, Clarkson revealed that selling his BMW 3.0 CSL for a few thousand pounds is his biggest car-selling regret. Financially speaking, that would be heartbreaking for us non-rich folk as it will be worth a fortune now, but Clarkson has plenty of cash. Nicknamed the Batmobile due to its looks, it's one of BMW's most important cars and was part of the lead-up to the M performance division becoming what it was in the 1980s and 1990s. It's also incredibly rare.
"The Yaris is a car you buy because you think the Honda Jazz is a bit too racy," Clarkson typed in his 2019 review for The Times in the UK, "It's for recently widowed old ladies who need something to get them and their friend Peggy to the bridge club." He wasn't excited to drive the little hotted-up Toyota city car, but he found it to be a revelation, then declaring it as one of the most thrilling cars he had ever driven. He also awarded the GR Yaris Car of the Year in the News UK Motor Awards.
Killing Morris Marina sedans was a running gag on Top Gear, but Clarkson had already killed one in his Clarkson's Top 100 Cars video in 2001. That doesn't mean he's averse to old British cars, however. Number one on his list of cars in that video was the Jaguar E-Type "because of its beauty, speed, handling, race pedigree, affordability, soundtrack, and noise." He claims it's superior to any modern car he's ever driven and the best car ever made. It's probably safe to say it's Clarkson's favorite car of all time.
"I want an E-type Eagle Lightweight GT. I want one so much that it keeps me awake at night," Clarkson said in a Sunday Times column in 2020. It wasn't the first time he had waxed lyrically about Eagle's restomod E-Type. Clarkson described the Speedster version as "The most beautiful thing made in all human history," which a few art critics might have something to say about, but we get it. He carried on by talking about the Eagle Lightweight GT's interior being a labor of love he could sit inside for hours and how wonderfully it drives before wandering off the point again to complain about electric cars. But, the point was well-made about the Lightweight GT.
When Ford first brought back the Ford GT, Clarkson jumped through all the hoops to get one. Then, when it finally arrived, he had nothing but trouble with the car. Clarkson, like many of us, is enough of an enthusiast that he'll put up with Alfa Romeo levels of problems. However, the Ford GT broke him, and he vowed to never have another supercar in the Jeremy Clarkson car collection again. As far as we know, he still won't, but when reviewing the Ferrari 458 Spider a few years ago, he heaped praise on it, despite its mild annoyances, and said that "if I were to waver, this would be the one. As a car, it would get two stars, for being silly and too expensive. But as a thing. As a celebration of man's ability to be happy. It's in a seven-star class of one."
Clarkson has said that a Range Rover, any Range Rover, is the best SUV someone can buy. He is correct. It is the best SUV someone can buy. If you think otherwise, you are wrong. You can point at the internet's opinion about reliability, complain about price and value for money, or that it isn't the farmer's knockabout friend of old, but it doesn't change anything. If it's a Range Rover, it's the correct SUV.