A 1.0-litre three-cylinder version of the Ford Fiesta Zetec, equipped with a six-speed twin-clutch “Powershift” automatic gearbox, arrived in the Autocar car park a couple of days ago, generating instant interest.

We’ve been keen to try this combination ever since it was first suggested: twin-clutch gearboxes play well here, and we were curious to see whether the ubiquitous 1.0-litre turbo triple engine — which must surely be heading for immortality already in the Ford engines Hall of Fame — could cut it when attached to a modern self-shifter.

So impressed was I after the first few miles that I tweeted about the car’s excellence, half-knowing what would happen — and it duly did. In came the usual volley of complaints from respondents convinced (correctly) that the Powershift Fiesta was never going to deliver on its official fuel figures: 42.8mpg urban, 72.4mph extra-urban and 57.7mg combined. 

The inference, as usual, was that this was a deception being visited on the gullible and financially oppressed public by the Big Bad manufacturer, who probably lies about everything.

Which, of course, is nothing like the truth. I do wonder, sometimes, how consumers can be quite so dimwitted. Perhaps it’s because they’re so used to protection that rational thoughts no longer need be on the agenda.