Top Gear has made a return to screens after its last series suffered plummeting ratings and poor reviews.
The BBC Two motoring show is back with former Friends star Matt LeBlanc in the driving seat and Chris Harris and Rory Reid joining him as co-hosts, following the departure of Chris Evans.
The last series was savaged on social media, with much of the criticism levelled at Chris’s hosting style, and many wondered whether Top Gear had many miles left in the tank.
But Sunday’s instalment, which featured a trip to Kazakhstan and an interview with actor James McAvoy, fared much better, with viewers saying on social media that it was a “massive improvement” and it had made “a promising start”.
“Top Gear is back how it should be!” enthused one viewer on Twitter.
“Top Gear is back and it was so sweet I could have licked it,” said another.
Matt, 49, was called “a natural” as a presenter and several people said the programme was better without Chris, who quit after the last series saying he gave it his best shot but that it was “not enough”.
5 Seconds in and new #TopGear without Chris Evans looks 9,999,999 times better already 👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻— PatChamp (@PatChampYoutube) March 5, 2017
The new series of #TopGear is very watchable, well done lads!! More car focused, entertaining, funny and beautifully filmed.— Brian Harrison (@1986Harrison) March 5, 2017
But although there was plenty of goodwill for Matt, the first non-British host in the programme’s 40-year history, it seems there is no replacing the old trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May in the audience’s hearts.
— Rob Pearce (@PearceRa) March 5, 2017
Still doesn't compete with Jeremy et al, but #TopGear is heaps better without Chris Evans.— ShaunyB (@Shauny_B_) March 5, 2017
“Thought the new #TopGear was decent. Much better without the unbearable Chris Evans. Still not a patch on clarkson and co though,” said another.