We road test... The Clarkson Hubby

David Randall assembled a top team to put an old model through his paces

Some say he's the biggest loudmouth on the planet. Others claim he's a former minor public schoolboy who never got over being rejected by Sandra Tomkins when he was 15. We only know he's the Clarkson Hubby. He was in the news again last week, and so we asked three experienced women to test drive him. This is what they found:





Performance "Looks good on paper," said one tester, "but really he's just all torque."



Noise A big drawback, said our reviewers. "In any situation," said one, "there was this constant droning noise. It just didn't stop."



Bodywork "Having seen him on television, I was expecting something smarter," said a tester. "A bit battered and worn, especially on top."



Immobiliser Doesn't have one. "A big omission," said all our testers.



Seat No one could accuse the Clarkson Hubby of not being well-upholstered, but all of our reviewers said they found the seat far too large.



Brakes The problem, said all of our test drivers, is not starting him, but stopping him. "You can press anything you like," said one, "but nothing happens. He just goes on and on and on."



Mirrors "He couldn't ever pass one," said our team. "Looking glasses, dark windows, even heavily lacquered vases. He just had to stop and admire himself."



Air intake Large enough, our reviewers reported, but one found that, towards the end of the day, these were apt to become clogged with granular deposits. However, a good sneeze often cleared them.



Airbags "This was one of the many problems," said one reviewer. "You tried to stop him, and there was just this gigantic explosion of hot air. Maddening."



Emissions Constant – and very smoky. "Judging by the exhaust," said one tester, "there's something very wrong here."



Flappy paddle Far too small, and overly flappy, our test drivers found. "I couldn't do a thing with it. It was utterly useless."



Steering "You tried to keep him on the straight and narrow," said a reviewer, "but he just kept on straying."



Road and other sense We pitted him against a crash dummy in a series of tests. The dummy won.



Reliability Now a relatively old model and prone to spluttering. Developed a cough after the mildest outing.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star