An obliging lightness of control weights, a softness of gait and supple ride isolation characterise the way the C3 conducts itself on the road.
In a modern supermini, these things do feel somewhat contrived – and even if they’re perfectly executed, we’re not convinced that they are necessarily the way to make a small car manageable, comfortable and easy to use either in town or out of it.
But it’s an academic point because, here in the new C3, they’re ideals gestured at or grasped for but ultimately only imperfectly delivered.
The car’s suspension feels not only soft but also long of travel on most roads and at most speeds. The set-up deals with bigger, gentler intrusions well, particularly sleeping policemen around town, and also keeps the car’s body fairly level at B-road speeds.
But before long – about as long, in fact, as it takes to hit a shorter and more severe bump in the road – you realise that this is quite a basic kind of comfort and compliance delivered by an absence of damping rather than a clever, progressive interpretation of it.
The ride turns noisy and quite crashy over sharper edges, although wheel control is never bad enough to allow tyres to part company with asphalt at normal speeds.
As you’d expect from a car thus suspended, the chief price to be paid is in terms of handling response. So while the C3 steers with decent overall pace, it takes a while to roll, settle on its outside wheels and really heel into a corner.