The latest Top Gear issue included an interesting and very professional section called ‘The Best Cars in the World’ in which the British guys included the “cars that Top Gear magazine would happily recommend to family and best friends, without reservation”. In its September edition, the magazine presented the 3 best cars for 12 different categories based on 3 different scales: the attainable version, an aspiration and a dream. They classified their best cars in 12 categories: Coupes, Hot Hatches, Family, Cool, SUVs, City, Fast, Green Tech, Luxury, Cabrios, Racecars, and Lightweights. But they also included a terrible list of the 12 worst cars people can buy right now. You may agree or not, but the truth is that Top Gear is one of the world’s most popular car magazines and being in this list, for good or for bad, is a very important fact to be considered and worried about. What’s the result for Fiat and its brands? bad, too bad. The whole group was considered by the Bristih magazine tree times, two for good and one for bad. From 36 cars recomended by Top Gear, there were only two that belong to FCA: the Ferrari 458 Speciale, as the aspirational among the fast cars, and the Fiat 500C Lounge Twinair among the cabrios. In the other side the Fiat Punto was described as “an outclassed elderly supermini that kicks out 126 g/km yet takes 14.4 secs to wheeze to 62 mph”.
It’s sad to see how the Italian cars are not considered by foreign press. Excluding the Fiat 500, the other cars are barely mentioned by non-Italian press. And is even more frustrating when the group has launched fantastic cars in the last year (yes, not a lot but at least great cars). The Porsche Cayman S took the place of the Alfa Romeo 4C as the attainable best car among the fast cars. The VW Up! won the race against the Panda/500 as the attainable option for city cars. The family cars included the Citroën C4 Grand Picasso and not the Fiat 500L. No Maseratis made part of the Luxury category. However, the 4C, the Maseratis and the 500 family are just the beginning of the new FCA for Europe. And it will certainly have an impact on future contests.