Tim Saunders

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Tim Saunders is the former Business and Motoring Editor of the Bournemouth Echo in the UK.testdrives.biz

Most Recent Articles by Tim Saunders:

VW Passat Estate

May 5, 2017 — Tim Saunders

We live in a materialistic world.

This fact becomes blatantly clear when I park the sleek Volkswagen Passat Bluemotion estate on the busy main road outside my house. The previous day I had done this with my own ageing mark 5 Ford Fiesta and had very quickly proceeded to be bibbed and tooted by a series of impatient motorists fed up with queuing to get passed me. Yet not a soul does this with the Passat, which is parked there at a much busier time of day for considerably longer. Now aside from this being an interesting study in human behaviour the large VW plays a vitally important role in my family’s move from our Victorian mid-terrace to a more family friendly detached property in a quieter location. Without doubt parking the VW outside our house increases the street’s credibility and there is no qualm about doing this because there are power folding wing mirrors so they cannot be knocked by frustrated drivers.

A slower pace of life can be found in Suffolk

Apr 13, 2017 — Tim Saunders

This comes as quite a surprise when you think that it is only 80 miles from London. In Suffolk there is great support for local produce and the independent trader. So much so that I am told even a well known supermarket chain has been unable to secure planning permission to build a store in Halesworth.

“The owner of the wine shop here has been trading for over 30 years,” one local entrepreneur, who has relocated from Surrey, tells me. “I was an accountant for BP for 30 years and every day as a commuter I used to leave my house in the dark and return in the dark and did not even know my next door neighbour. It’s different here; it takes me twice as long as it should to walk up the street in the morning because I’m talking to so many people.” In Suffolk there is plenty of farmland and house prices are comparatively low compared to the built up south of England, making homebuyers contemplate a move here.

Motoring: Honda HR-V

Apr 9, 2017 — Tim Saunders

When the Honda HR-V arrives on my doorstep (it’s a tough job being a motoring journalist) I am very pleasantly surprised. You see I remember the original HR-V in production from 1999 to 2006, which looked, frankly, strange. It was a quirky vehicle that didn’t really look comfortable in itself and quite boxy, too.

This second generation model is a veritable delight. It’s curvaceous and sexy and extremely youthful looking no doubt enhanced by its pearly white finish. First and foremost it is a sports utility vehicle (SUV) but I would go as far as saying that it is one of the most stylish I have had the pleasure of driving. Head on it looks fresh; I like the curvaceous front end and from the rear there is a hint of the frog about it thanks to its slightly arched back.

Travel: Wiltshire

Mar 4, 2017 — Tim Saunders

More of us are holidaying at home and this becomes apparent during a trip to Devizes, which is experiencing a booming tourism trade.

“We’ve already beaten last year’s bookings and we’re not even half way through the year,” reveals Michael Messam, volunteer at Kennet & Avon Canal Trust, which has just received the Queen’s Voluntary Award.

Motoring: Fiat 500x

Mar 4, 2017 — Tim Saunders

Teenagers standing by the roadside clapping and cheering.

Not something that I expect as I drive past in the Fiat 500x and at first I am oblivious but then slowly realise it’s the bright Amalfi yellow exterior - costing in excess of £1,000 - that’s really brought us to their attention.

Few vehicles on Britain’s roads have this effect and that alone makes you stand back and admire this characterful Italian.

Fiat has really achieved something special with this sports utility vehicle. It’s a difficult thing to do when considering the competition from the likes of the eye-catching Nissan Juke and Qashqai etc. etc.

Motoring: Mazda 2

May 9, 2016 — Tim Saunders

The art of deception is a difficult thing to master.

The Victorians were particularly adept at this when building their terrace houses that appear small from the outside and are often far larger than expected on the inside. I know because I live in one. But the modern houses of today are very small in comparison.  Some car manufacturers are able to replicate this with their vehicles. I am particularly thinking of the Kia Venga, which is certainly spacious. I am not expecting anything great though from the Mazda 2 because after all it is a supermini and they are small aren’t they?

Motoring: Citroen C1 road test

Apr 1, 2016 — Tim Saunders

“It’s the same car isn’t it?” asks a friend as he looks at the Citroen C1 parked alongside the Peugeot 108. They even share the same glass tailgate and handles.

Travel feature: Bridport and Lyme Regis

Apr 1, 2016 — Tim Saunders

Holidays are sacred.  So when a bank holiday arrives you don’t really want to be stuck at home doing the chores. Much better to explore the great British countryside. That’s what I did when I visited Dorset with my wife Caroline and baby daughter Harriett.

NEW Mitsubishi Outlander

Mar 1, 2016 — Tim Saunders

It is interesting to see how technology falls down through the ranks. When I road tested the Rolls Royce Ghost a few years ago it shared a unique piece of technology with Volvo. That was intelligent cruise control that kept the vehicle at a safe distance from the car in front, automatically braking and accelerating as required.

TRAVEL FEATURE: Hampshire: Shawford and Winchester

Mar 1, 2016 — Tim Saunders

The little known village of Shawford on the outskirts of Winchester is famous for two things. Firstly, it has the longest railway viaduct of over 2,000 feet in length and 40 feet in height. Secondly, its village pub The Bridge Inn was chosen as the location of the cantankerous Victor Meldrew’s hit-and-run death in the final episode of BBC comedy One Foot in the Grave.