Motoring in South Wiltshire & North Dorset

Not pretty, but looks aren’t everything

To paraphrase the late Brucie; ‘Hasn’t Nissan done well?’  They have certainly hit the jackpot with the Qashqai model. Since its launch in 2006, it has created almost two million sales. In 2013, came the second generation, and now we have a refresh. Never...

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Still crazy after all these large hatchbacks

How refreshing: an honest, old-style estate car to review. So many of the new cars launched these days are SUVs, Mini-SUVs, Crossovers and the like, most of which are lovely, reliable and comfortable. They frequently pretend to offer you access to a new life of...

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Road-train workhorse is well-equipped

A FIAT pick-up? No, never. Fiat is the home of good-value family cars, cute city cars and zesty convertibles. Honestly, it is true, Fiat have produced a pick-up. Well, sort of. The new Fiat Fullback is a re-worked Mitsubishi L200 which means it is about as dependable...

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Skoda Superb review

By Dominic Parkes Skoda has broken new ground by introducing a seven-seater to its range. The Kodiaq may run the risk of joining in the 'silly-sounding names club' but that matters not a jot as it is, if you will pardon the pun, quite Superb. It clearly borrows a lot...

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The new Micra raises the game yet again

By Dominic Parkes Do you have a good wedge of cash in your pocket and the desire for a new set of wheels?  Then it should be easy to quench that thirst…you would think. There are just so many good cars on the market that the introduction of the 2017 Micra from Nissan...

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Humble beginnings to heady heights

By Dominic Parkes From humble beginnings manufacturing bicycle parts, Kia reached the heady heights of selling nearly three million units a year, and the South Korean brand seems to be powering ever forward. The 2017 Rio model is in the Clio and Polo super-mini pool...

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A car you buy with your emotion

Pictures and words copyright Dominic Parkes 2017 I think the Fiat media co-ordinator was on the verge of changing her number and email address such was my dogged pursuit of reviewing the Fiat Spider. Almost weekly, I could be heard whining and pleading to secure the...

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Fresh and very stylish Toyota

Pictures and words copyright Dominic Parkes ‘Inspired by the multifaceted precision of a diamond with a sculptured look and powerfully expressive lines’ reads the hyperbole in the sales brochure. For a moment, I thought I was reading one of those stuttering, confused...

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Caravans stolen

Caravans have been stolen from the White Hill Farm site in Pitton. Overnight on Sunday, February 19, two caravans, an Olympus 2012 model 620/6, and a Bailey Barcelona, were stolen, and five other caravans broken into. Enquiries are ongoing to itemise what property was...

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Biking through India

Sixteen regulars of Wilton’s community pub, The Bear Inn, left on Friday, February 17, to tour India by motorbike. Led by Nick Rowe, who has spent a lot of time in the area, the group picked up their Royal Enfield bikes in New Dehli and plan to tour Shimla and other...

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Equipment and styling refreshed

By Dominic Parkes If you live up a rutted country lane and occasionally need the traction of a four-wheel drive but don’t wish to face the opprobrium of owning a Chelsea Tractor, maybe the Peugeot 2008 is for you. The recent facelift of the Peugeot 2008 is just that....

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Rollestone roundabout stays as it is

Highways England and Wiltshire Council have no plans to realign Rollestone crossroads, and have apologised for suggesting a rat-run through to avoid the A303. In correspondence to Ian West, Wiltshire councillor for the area, Cllr Fleur de Rhé-Philipe, Cabinet Member...

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A lot can change in nine months

By Dominic Parkes Such was my eagerness to review another Kia product I forgot it had only been about nine months since I’d previously caressed a Kia steering wheel. A lot can change in nine months, as we all know. But not here. Another chance to witness the enormous...

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Christmas campaign launched to catch drink and drug drivers

If you drink and drive, you will be caught, say Wiltshire Police as the annual Christmas anti-drink and drug driving campaign is launched this week. Wiltshire Police officers and Tri Force Roads Policing Unit will have high profile roadside checks at all times of the...

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Banish memories of previous incarnation

By Dominic Parkes I have to admit that I was kind of hoping that Westover Fiat would have had to do some major work to the review Fiat Tipo, and have no option but to replace it with the Fiat Spider instead. But no such luck. The two-seater sports car was not coming...

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Car wreckers go on rampage

Police are calling for witnesses and more information about vandals who went on the rampage wrecking car windows around roads to the west of Salisbury. During the days of the wide-ranging rampage, vehicles were damaged in Bemerton Heath and Woodford, but police...

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Bongs are no drawback for Megane

By Dominic Parkes The Americans started it, as they often do. Cars are increasingly becoming four-wheeled versions of the nanny state. Should you have the temerity to do any of the following, the car will nag you. Door open? BONG. Too close to the car behind when...

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No-nonsense Hilux won’t disappoint

By Dominic Parkes ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. This has clearly been the view held in Toyota City, Japan, as the 2016 model Toyota Hilux is the first proper update they have sanctioned in 12 years. The Hilux can surely lay claim to being the best pickup truck of...

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A30 improvements in Salisbury

Work to improve safety at the A30 London Road/Barrington Road junction in Salisbury is due to start on October 17. Several collisions during the past 10 years bring changes to the signal phasing, and a right turn lane from the A30 into Barrington Road will be...

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The world’s first hybrid-powered sports coupe

By Dominic Parkes “Probably best if you don’t turn off the traction control,” said the chap from Lexus. To which, the forked devil on my shoulder just chuckled. With so many buttons and switches in the cockpit of the Lexus RC 300h, I probably wouldn’t have worked out...

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Renegade triumphs over competition

By Dominic Parkes Back in the dark days of the 1970s, when I was still in short trousers, my absolute favourite toy was a shoe-box-sized metal car called a Tonka toy. I always marvelled at the way I could stand on it, hurl it down the garden, or even tie it to the dog...

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Quantum leaps for Kia

By Dominic Parkes So there we were, my daughter and I, sat in the car waiting for the rain to stop, when her voice piped up: “Ugh, look at that ugly car…” She was right, it was truly hideous. It was a 2009 Kia and through the rain I think it was called a ‘Soporific’,...

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Main road closed

Wiltshire Council has issued a notice of a temporary closure to all traffic of part of the A345 Salisbury Road to Amesbury, from its junction with Mill Road to its junction with C350 Salisbury Street. It is anticipated that the closure will be required for one evening...

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Bus cuts consultation

Dorset County Council wants residents’ views on a more flexible transport network to meet local needs and reduce costs. The council's budget for public and school transport is around £10million, but the council says it must reduce its transport budget by £1.85million...

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