With a model name pronounced ‘seed’ and a green leaf Ecodynamics badge on its tailgate, our 1.6-litre diesel Kia SW estate car lays claim to environmental credentials.

But after more than five months and 5000 miles, the smart, well-equipped and more than competent wagon is arguably not an eco warrior.

Its 116g/km CO2 rating is average compared with newer Ford Focus, VW Golf and Vauxhall Astra fleet contenders, plus the upcoming Seat Leon ST Ecomotive’s sub-90g/km.

Kia’s plea in mitigation is that developing the second-generation Ceed for pan-European sales involved a CO2 compromise because other Euro markets do not share the UK’s fleet-related, tax-efficient emissions regime, making it difficult to justify costly CO2-cutting investment.

The Ceed also has a smaller carbon footprint than some Japanese and Korean-built rivals, courtesy of being built in Slovakia.

Our most recent fuel consumption audit registered a 52.5mpg average, 18% adrift of the official combined 64.2mpg figure, which is a bit disappointing when you consider my rule-of-thumb allowance for real-world driving is 15%.