Top Gear and The Grand Tour fans have said it is time to end the comparisons between the motoring shows, insisting there is “room for both” programmes.
The BBC’s Top Gear returned to television screens on Sunday night for its 25th series, with Matt LeBlanc back in the driving seat and Chris Harris and Rory Reid as co-hosts.
Last season the trio were credited with helping to save the much-loved show after the series with former Friends star LeBlanc and radio presenter Chris Evans as hosts was panned.
Many viewers praised the current line-up on social media, noting their “good chemistry” and the fact the episode was packed full of cars.
But others accused them of “false banter” and said they still felt the show’s former trio Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May – who now present Amazon show The Grand Tour – were a better Top Gear team.
However, several fans said the endless comparisons were “outdated” and that there was no reason viewers could not enjoy both shows.
One person posted on Twitter: “#TopGear I like new Top Gear. There I said. I also like the #TheGrandTour. Luckily I can have both.”
One said: “Twitters ranting #TopGear isn’t the same anymore! Isn’t it about time people get over it it’s been like 3 years. Can one not like both?”
Another said: “The argument that Top Gear is rubbish now without Clarkson, Hammond and May is an outdated and simply wrong one. Grand Tour is great and Top Gear is great too. Can one enjoy both?”
“Loved the V8 tribute on #TopGear this evening. Room for both #TheGrandTour and this. #moreofthesame please BBC – cracking programme!” posted another.
LeBlanc and Evans took over the series in 2016 when Top Gear was rebooted following the departure of Clarkson, May and Hammond.
Evans quit after one series following plummeting ratings and poor reviews, saying he gave it his best shot but that it was “not enough”.
While it seems there is no replacing the show’s original stars in many viewers’ hearts, many people watching conceded that the current line-up works better than than the LeBlanc/Evans partnership.
One viewer said: “#topgear much better without Chris Evans! May actually start watching it again.”
“Enjoyed that,” tweeted another. “The first series with Chris Evans was awful, but it has really progressed since then into an enjoyable watch.”
The new series of Top Gear is comprised of six, hour-long episodes and will see the team take on the task of building the world’s fastest tractor – and attempting to land a Nasa research plane in an American muscle car.
It was filmed in locations including Japan, USA, Portugal and Italy.