So I had a go in the new Kia that can supposedly do 88mpg the other day. Having seen the ads on TV and read the initial first drive reports, I was fascinated to see if this car – called the Rio 1.1 CRDi 1 Eco – really can do what it says on the tin.

When it arrived I was stunned to discover how normal it seemed in the flesh. In a street full of Golfs and Fiestas, it fitted right in. Which was nice.

Next day we drove to a restaurant on Mersea Island in Essex that had been recommended to us by some friends who like fish. It’s called The Company Shed and is fantastic – so long as you have a reason to do a 250-mile round trip and are partial to a bowl of razor clams with bacon.

I drove the Rio as I would have done any other car on the journey, cruising at a steady 80-ish on the motorway, blending in with the flow everywhere else. By the time we got home there was still three quarters of a tank left, so before re-brimming it I drove the Rio around for a few days more, treating it as the runabout that it’s so clearly designed to be, delaying the moment of truth that little bit longer.