I recently bought my wife a new Renault Grand Scenic, not because I wanted to, but because she simply had to have one.
You see, my wife, like millions of other wives across the globe, has entered the "soccer mom" phase, in which they have babies - and lots of them.
So, to carry the little offspring around, they need big cars with lots of space for the prams and the bags and the shopping and for the friends who help with the prams, bags and shopping.
There's room for more
So it is with this in mind that I now have a Grand Scenic parked in my garage. Not because it's a beautiful vehicle to look at, which it is and not because it drives and handles like something much more expensive, which it does. And also not because it's as cheap as chips when compared to its German rivals - if there are any.
If we had to pay a road tax based on the interior space of our vehicles, this would be an expensive car to run.On a recent shopping trip, my wife fitted two car seats, two prams, two babies and three adults with the normal handbags and accessories that modern women tend to carry around with them, into her Scenic with amazing ease.
The interior is funky, the dash is stylish, the sound system is adequate and the space, oh the space. If you?ve ever flown first class long haul, you would appreciate the interior of the Grand Scenic.
However, there are some quirky things about the Grand Scenic that I can only contribute to the recent success of Renault in F1. Perhaps the engineers or designers were so busy watching Alonso prancing around the world, they didn?t quite get to finish the Scenic project.
The automatic handbrake is as bizarre as it is unfriendly, the auto gearbox has a mind of its own and the interior noises resemble something that I can only liken to the overhead stowage areas on an old Boeing 747. It's a kind of soft plastic against plastic creak, not a rattle, but a creak.
For all the quirky little things that do bother me, there is a stack of reasons why I like this car. It is a safe car to be in - it achieved a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP. The fact that you are also far less likely to be hijacked in one of these as you would be in a top German or Japanese branded vehicle also brings some degree of peace of mind, especially on those frequent shopping trips.
Now if I can just find a place to hide my credit cards where my dear wife can?t find them, I would be so much nearer to finding complete inner peace.