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Ariel Nomad

Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Ariel Nomad


On the inside

Layout, finish and space

Hard to say where outside ends and inside begins. So let’s start with the getting in. Two hands on the top bar of the roll cage, step inside, both feet on the seat, then twist and slither down. Don’t make the mistake of trying to drag the trailing leg in at the end.

Once in you’ll be surprisingly comfortable. The two moulded one-piece plastic seats are well shaped, but don’t forget that the only padding comes from your clothing. The pedals, gearlever and steering are beautiful to operate, and you barely ever need to take your hands from the wheel as lights, indicators, wipers and so on are just a finger-move away. The only exception is the handbrake. Hopefully you’ll have specced the rally-style hydraulic handbrake. Go and find a wet field and have a play.

You can get a full car cover for the Nomad. It’s nicknamed the NomDom. It’s not pretty and takes ages to fit. You’re better off weather-proofing yourself rather than the car. Moving on to storage. Travelling solo you can get a lot in the passenger footwell. There is a small compartment under the nose, about the right size for a pair of gloves and a hat. You can carry more, but straps and bungees will be involved.

By the standards of most cars it’s extreme, but if you’ve driven other lightweights you’ll find this way more comfortable and more protected.