Seeing the 10.000th mile click up on our Toyota long term test car turned out to be a significant moment.
The Japanese firm’s latest petrol-electric model was zipping along a Continental motorway at the time and had covered 200 miles in little more than three hours.
Not the progress you’d expect from a type of car generally associated with urban mobility - and it underlined the fact that hybrid technology really is a viable alternative to traditional power in the fleet sector.
Toyota has gone to great lengths to make the HSD Auris appear as just another version in the range of compact family models it produces here in Britain.
It reckons that blurring the visual distinction of the hybrid should be as effective in raising consumer acceptance as the ever-rising cost of filling up at the pumps.
After six months behind the wheel, I have to agree. As more than half the distance covered by our car has been over major routes, average economy of 55mpg represents a good return for a fairly roomy five-seat model, although my failure to achieve the official 70mpg figure has been a disappointment.
Frugality comes with a degree of compromise in the HSD and ECO mode driving makes progress from rest decidedly leisurely unless extra pressure on the accelerator blanks the green light in the instrument cluster and sends the engine spinning at relatively high revs.
That said, the CVT transmission does help keep the eco light glowing once cruising speed is reached and it’s satisfying to see it remain illuminated up to more than 80mph in light throttle driving.
The second compromise concerns luggage carrying capacity. With its full-width hatchback layout, the HSD is practical for both fleet and family use, but greater care is needed when packing for long trips because placing the engine-boosting battery pack in a compartment behind the rear seat means the car has 20 per cent less load space than usual.
For the same reason, fuel capacity is also lower, which means effective range is restricted to around 450 miles.
In weather conditions ranging from –15C to +38C during the six months it has been with us, our car has put in a faultless performance. It’s also proved to have the handling agility to match its low, wide stance and mildly aggressive styling.