It may be regarded as an old-fashioned notion, but the extra care taken over the first few thousand miles is beneficial in helping the 'bedding in' process – and this is certainly proving the case with the Fleet News long-term Nissan Almera Tino test car.
With the most powerful of the Japanese company's choice of 2.2-litre turbodiesel engines under its short and sharply raked bonnet, our SVE was a little more raucous than I had expected when it arrived.
The six-speed manual transmission was also inclined to feel a little sticky at times. But, with 3,000 miles now behind it, the ultimate rendition of Nissan's compact multi-purpose vehicle is proving to be a more satisfying motoring experience because the engine is discernably quieter and the gearchange moves through the ratios much more smoothly.
That being said, there's still room for improvement on the economy front. In spite of my decidedly light-footed approach, the car's average fuel return so far has been no better than 38mpg – something of a disappointment when the manufacturer is claiming an official combined cycle economy figure of 42.8mpg.
In every other respect, however, the Tino is living up to expectations and proving to be comfortable and relaxing transport into the bargain.
Company car tax bill 2003/04 (22% tax-payer): £73 per month