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BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear

How we review cars

Read about why you can trust BBC Top Gear reviews

How our experts test and review cars at BBC Top Gear, by Ollie Marriage – Head of Car Testing, TopGear.com

Welcome to our user guide to BBC Top Gear’s car reviews and road tests. Here, we explain our test criteria and methods, and introduce you to some key members of our highly-respected reviews team. If you have a question that's not answered here, please drop us a line on editor@bbctopgearmagazine.com.

As the UK’s number one automotive lifestyle brand, BBC Top Gear is trusted for its quality reviews and buyer's guides. It’s not all drag racing and powerslides. Not always, anyway.

Our experts test and rate hundreds of cars a year to bring readers fully impartial, practical advice and help you find the best vehicle for your budget. And we cover everything from humble family hatchbacks and newfangled electric SUVs to rugged off-roaders and madcap hypercars.

Vehicles are carefully tested, scrutinised, and scored against established criteria, and only the best products make it into our detailed, easy-to-digest buyer’s guides as trusted, recommended picks.

Why you can trust us

Every review published on TopGear.com follows a strict editorial ethics policy, adhering to the BBC's Editorial Guidelines. All advertising on TopGear.com must follow the BBC’s Advertising & Sponsorship Guidelines, which means that it must be clearly distinct from editorial content. BBC Top Gear will never promote a product within a review as part of an advertisement, promotion, or any other commercial arrangement.

Products mentioned within reviews are there to offer TopGear.com readers unbiased advice on the best options available on the market.

How we select products to review

We test an extensively researched cross-section of cars in every category to ensure budget, mid-range and luxury options are all represented. TopGear.com strives to cover vehicles from every corner of the market, from high-volume, mainstream manufacturers to low-volume start-ups.

How products are scored

Whether reviewing an honest crossover or a track-focused supercar, we always rely on our tried and tested judging criteria to bring you a fair and reasoned verdict.

Our reviews team considers every aspect of a car’s abilities as part of its road tests, scoring each vehicle in relation to its performance against rival products in its segment of the market.

Only products that achieve a high overall rating are considered for inclusion in our best cars lists. Would we buy it ourselves? This is the question our experienced team keeps firmly in mind at all times, putting themselves in the shoes of actual buyers to rigorously evaluate cars.

Our testing methods are designed to replicate real-world situations and conditions, with some additional challenges to test versatility.

Meet our expert product reviewers

Our test team is a combination of BBC Top Gear staff, product experts and specialist writers. Say hello to just a few of them…

Head of Car Testing, Ollie Marriage

Quite literally Top Gear’s glinting head of car testing. Has driven some of the most powerful cars on the planet, but would trade them all in a heartbeat for a campervan and a selection of bicycles.

Senior Road Test Editor, Ollie Kew

Top Gear road test chap. Likes clever small cars, hot hatches and lightweights, so bought a Lotus Elise. However dislikes unreliable cars, therefore sold said Lotus Elise.

Digital Reviews Editor, Joe Holding

Writes about racing. And cars. And people who go racing in cars. Once awkwardly shook a Daniel Riccirado fist bump. Mistakenly believes a Caterham is 'all the car you'll ever need'.

Staff Writer, Greg Potts

Has an Instagram obsession for Singer 911s. And pretty much anything that mixes modern engineering with retro design. The only known human to have successfully slept in a Morgan 3 Wheeler.

Consultant Editor, Paul Horrell

Been around a long time. If you drive a new car, he tested its predecessor’s predecessor’s predecessor. If you work in the car industry, he knows your boss’s boss’s boss. Often referred to as ‘the brain of Top Gear’ for those reasons.

Associate Editor, Tom Ford

Or Wookie, as he's better known. Though no one is allowed to ask why. Career highlights include driving a Fiat Panda up an active volcano, and being towed on skis by a Koenigsegg Agera. Has a fondness for slow, quirky vehicles. And salad.

BBC Top Gear Awards

We only recommend cars we truly rate. Our awards are available for cars which achieve a rating of 7/10 or above in testing.

BBC Top Gear Awards 2021

The Electric Awards 2022

Keeping reviews up to date

Product reviews are checked frequently in order to ensure the information contained remains relevant and up to date. We also encourage and rely on our loyal readers to reach out and let us know if they spot a change to any of the information provided on reviewed products, including the prices listed on our price comparison widgets. To get in touch, email editor@bbctopgearmagazine.com.

Take a look around our reviews section, or enjoy our most popular recent reviews.

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Honda e

Porsche Taycan

If you have a comment or suggestion about the BBC Top Gear product reviews, or a query that isn't covered above, please get in touch at editor@bbctopgearmagazine.com.