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Steering, suspension and comfort

The 300C is a curious car to drive, as was its predecessor. Until the 300C arrived, we’d become accustomed to big American cars being hopelessly vague, with light, uncommunicative steering and poor body control that took ages to settle over crests and dips.

The 300C changed much of that; it was tighter, better controlled and more European in its focus, as it needed to be to sell here. And so the latest 300C continues, to a point.

Its 45-profile tyres aren’t that tall, but the 300C displays a fine resistance to kerbed alloy wheels

Its 2040kg kerb weight means it’s a heavy car, and it rides with the sort of heft that is implied by such a porky figure. Across low-frequency lumps, it does take a moment to settle, whereas most of the European competition are more tightly controlled. With it, though, the 300C doesn’t quite have an equivalent compliance over smaller ruts.

It feels like there’s a fair amount of unsprung mass, which perhaps there is on wheels this size, robbing the 300C of the ultimate isolation that you’d hope for. It’s not uncomfortable – far from it – but it has neither the outright control nor the outright absorbency of the best cars in the class.

At nearly three turns lock to lock, the 300C isn’t an agile steer, either.

If anything, we’d like a little less weight to the hydraulically assisted set-up most of the time – there’s no feel to speak of, so it wouldn’t hurt – because it firms up under cornering too much for our tastes. Perhaps if it were equally heavy all the time, we’d have become more used to it.

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Nonetheless, although it’s some way short of the deftness, comfort and agility of the best in class, the 300C is a pretty amiable companion.