Fifth Gear Season 14 Episode 4 |

This week Fifth Gear really prepared a lot of test drives for us, which can only bring smiles upon our faces. The show kicked off with a Honda Civic Mugen RR, the fastest hot-hatch model available, unfortunately, only in Japan. So Jason Plato decided to put it up against Honda’s fastest model available in Europe, the S2000. The Civic really proved it’s worth on the track, being especially tuned by the guys from Mugen, and beat the S2000, which lagged almost a whole two seconds behing the Japanese model. In the end, the Civic really sounds great, but for an everyday car, which offers you power in the right situations, the S2000 is the right one.

Next up, Tim Shaw showed us some situations where you can beat the CO2 emissions tax. Starting next year, in the UK, new tax bands will be introduced, making the car owners pay a lot more on their yearly tax. Tim came up with quite a few ways of cheating the tax or advantages that it brings. The first solution was getting a motorbike, which has a tax of maximum £66. Next up, was getting a car which was 8 years old, before the tax was introduced, or you can take it one step further, by buying a classic car, registered before 1973. Another way is by getting a car from a low volume manufacturer like Ariel which make the fabulous Atom. A clever advantage of the CO2 tax is that you can really tune out your car, and take the engine to new heights in terms of performance or emissions, the car being taxed only as it came out of the factory. The last solution to a smaller tax was getting an ultra-fast diesel, like the BMW Alpina D3, which produces 214 hp but only pays £125 as a CO2 tax, lower than a VW Golf or Citroen C4.

The “It’s new but is it any good?” segment followed, this week’s car being the VW Passat CC, being put against the toughest competition out there in it’s niche, the Mercedes-Benz CLS. The test taken was a bit weird to say the least, Jonny deciding to see how quiet was the cars’ cockpit, the benchmark was set by the CLS, 73 decibels, which unsurprisingly wasn’t matched by the Passat, reaching the 75 decibel mark, considering that the V8 in the Merc is bigger than the V6 of the VW. In the end, the £20,000 price difference between the cars shows, but if you want a niche 4-door coupe (yeah, the terms are contradictory, but that’s the name of this segment) but can’t afford a Mercedes-Benz CLS or BMW 6-series, you can get the Passat CC.

Tom Ford took another quite weird niche car, the BMW X6, which although on the outside isn’t quite a pretty sight, the driving capability really conquered Tom, rapidly falling in love with the car since he grabbed the wheel. Practicality isn’t one of it’s strong points, but what in terms of ride quality and handling is the best in it’s class.

Next up, Jonny decided to test the Citroen Berlingo Multispace, the french manufacturer’s attempt to use almost all the space available in the car. So Jonny decided to take it to an amusement park and turn the Berlingo into an ice cream van, by putting a fridge in the back and storing all the necesary accesories in the Multispace’s variety of storage spaces. Although when he started the weather was quite fine, the British rain made its appearance, and drove off his customers. In the end, the rain stopped and people began to buy ice cream from his van. All of them agreed on something, although the looks aren’t really nice, the practicality is something you can’t ignore.

The next part of the show had Vicky drive at the Goodwood Festival of Speed where she drove one of the most sought-after cars around, the Tesla Roadster. It really made an impact there, being completely silent, as opposed to all those other noisy monsters which raced on the circuit. Next up, Vicky had the opportunity to drive one of Britain’s newest supercars, from the manufacturer that wants to replace TVR in the history of british muscle-cars, the Breekland Belra, which brang a smile on her face, upon the hearing the sound of the engine.

In the last part of the show, Tiff tested one of the coolest looking cars around, the KTM X-Bow. Although it really had a great handling, the chasis being really good, according to Tiff, but the lack of engine sound, Audi’s 2 litre engine borrowed from the TT, being silenced quite effectively by the engineers from KTM.

As a conclusion, this show really brought us quite a lot of cars, which were tested effectively by the team from Fifth Gear and here’s a video of Viky’s tests from Goodwood.