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The Top Gear TV programme has begin to achieve nationwide recognition in it's last few series, and with good reason; you'll struggle to find anything more entertaining on the box. However, with this popularity has come a burden of sorts - the new audience. Previously it was the reserve of automotive buffs, but now, people from all walks of life, whatever their opinion on cars, are tuning in, because it is such good entertainment. In short, while the show is still very good and highly enjoyable, it isn't quite as good at providing information on cars as it used to be.
So what can the motoring enthusiast do to fill this void? The answer comes in Top Gear magazine. The articles are more technical, and because they are targeted towards a more niche audience, place a much higher focus on the vehicles themselves. However, the wonderful sense of humour has not been lost, and the zany, entertaining nature still remains. The challenges for which the TV series is now famous for still exist (for example, the January 09 issue contained a drive across the spine of the USA in a knackered ex-police car), but in less quantity. In fact, the magazine seems to have found the same mix as the earlier TV shows - primarily a car publication, in a highly amusing, entertaining style, rather than the other way around.
At times, it can get a little technical for the average reader - people who enjoy the TV programme won't necessarily enjoy the magazine. However, the reviews of the vehicles are top class, and the magazine is very casual and funny throughout, which gives it the edge over many of it's paper rivals. Top Gear magazine is informative, well written, and a very good read.
If I had to sum it up in one sentence, it would be this: just as entertaining as the TV show, but with a higher emphasis on the cars themselves. To get the most out of the magazine, you need at least some interest or passion for cars. If you have that, and enjoy the humour of the TV programmes, I'm sure you'll love the magazine. I know I do.