What is brown and sticky?
For those looking outside at falling autumn leaves for the traditional answer to this conundrum, there is an alternative automotive answer – my Peugeot 308 long-termer.
The genesis of the syrupy texture of the interior is down to a simple equation known to any parent.
(Children+Food+Drink)*Journey Time – Cleaning = State of Car
I can’t even blame the car, as one of the great benefits of a Peugeot is its feline-supple suspension, which irons out the punch of any particularly vicious potholes and prevents unwarranted Iron Bru-related disasters.
Still, with a bit of elbow grease the £1,200 leather interior has proved more than capable of returning to a new car sheen after previous jaunts.
The Peugeot has also helped to keep food-related chaos in the back to a minimum by seamlessly linking the calming influence of child-based iPods to the car’s stereo – because parents love Mr Gum too, of course.
As a result, the miles have just flown by, along with the odd croissant or peanut, and our 308 has politely informed me that its service is due in the next 500 miles or so.
It’s a useful feature, made more valuable by an automated oil level update when you start the engine.
I have been taking quite a few motorway journeys recently, which has pushed the Peugeot’s odometer past 10,000 miles and also exposed wind noise at higher speeds. It’s a very comfortable car, but the rush of wind can be tiring on long journeys and make the quiet bits on Radio 4 that little bit harder to hear on work-based travel.
Of course, on family journeys, there is always the helpful commentary from the back.
Child: “Dad, why did the chicken cross the road?
Me: “I don’t know”
Child: “To see his friend who was a complete loser.”
Child: “Dad, knock knock.”
Me: “Who’s there?”
Child: “The chicken……”