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since 02/09/2006


Renault Modus 1.5 dCi 17/01/2007

Great for 2 or 3 but tight if more

Renault Modus 1.5 dCi This review comes from one year and 20,000 miles driving. The Dynamique version is a mid range variant and is quite good value, especially secondhand. PERFORMANCE & RUNNING COSTS The 86bhp diesel engine gives reasonable performance (much better than the 1.4 petrol version for example) and excellent economy. I drive mine on fairly quiet main roads and at a steady 55-60 mph. It consistently gives me more than 60 miles to the gallon. That drops to about 50 mpg if being used round town more. Clearly others would get different figures, but it would still be economical compared to many other cars. The servicing comes round every 12,000 miles which is OK if not great, by modern standards. However the servicing costs are the cheapest of all Renaults. The handling is quite good and not too much body roll on the corners. It evens out bumpy roads quite well and gives a comfortble ride. ACCOMMODATION Inside there is a lot of room for what is a small car. It sits higher than many similar cars, giving a good view. The higher seating position is a real boon for disabled people or those with limited mobility as there is little or no bending or crouching needed to get in and out. The doors open quite wide as well. Space in the front is very good and the big windows give an excellent view out. Space in the back, however, is more limited and in order to provide decent footroom the seats need to be moved back - something this car can do, fortunately. However, if you do move the seat ...

The Inverness To Kyle Of Lochalsh Railway, Inverness 17/01/2007

A classic rail journey.

The Inverness To Kyle Of Lochalsh Railway, Inverness This is a journey through varied and beautiful scenery on a line that was difficult to create. There is even a local group who are fighting to preserve the line, which for some time has been under threat of closure. For most people the trip will start from Inverness station and if your time is limited you will have to plan carefully to ensure that there is a return journey available within a reasonable timescale. Within a couple of minutes of leaving Inverness the train crosses over the river Ness which flows throught the centre of the city. The line follows the south side of the Beauly Firth, offering good views over the water to the Black Isle, where the rare Red Kite birds can be found. Soon the train stops at the market town of Dingwall. This is where the Kyle line -as it's known - branches off Westwards and slowly climbs up a valley, giving views down to the spa town of Strathpeffer. As the journey continues westwards the scenery opens out, giving views over open moorland with the Liathach & Torridon mountains in the distance. Those mountains are the home or rare wildlife such as the Ptarmigan and wildcats. It's not at all unusual to see deer close to the line at all times of the year and various birds of prey circling above. As the line approaches the west coast it drops down to sea level again at Strathcarron. The line closely follows the southeast side of Loch Carron, sometimes seeming to cling to the side of the hillsides and at one point it passes ...

Fujifilm FinePix S7000 20/11/2006

A good solid performer.

Fujifilm FinePix S7000 I have owned my S7000 for more than two years and have used almost all of it's functions and used it for a variety of types of photography. I bought it because it was more advanced than the Finepix model I had before and I knew the zoom lens would be a big step forward from the fixed lens of it's predecessor. The design of the camera shows good ergonomics. It sits comfortably in your hand, and the main controls are easy to use. If you are not confident about how to use such a camera setting it to "Auto" allows you to "point and shoot" without having to think about technicalities. Even if you do know your way round a digital camera it's still useful sometimes to just be able to quickly take a shot without fiddling with controls. I have often used it that way and have got good results. The camera can however do much more. A rotary control on the top allows you a lot of control over the picture by allowing you to choose from these options: 1) Manual - set the aperture and shutter speed yourself - this gives you full control over the settings for exposure. 2) Aperture. - set the desired aperture and let the camera pick the shutter speed - useful for circumstances where the depth of field is top priority (such as close up work or special effects.) 3) Shutter - set the desired shutter speed and the camers adjusts the aperture to suit. This could be useful for action photography such as sports. 4) Program - You can run through a variety of combinations of shutter speed ...
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