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Steering, suspension and comfort

It’s not uncommon for city cars to do one of these things well at the expense of the other, but the Celerio has a surprising and very welcome array of abilities beneath its skin.

Surprise number one is the ride, which is firmer than you might expect around town but never approaches harshness.

The Celerio isn't just a dependable companion, with decent poise and the agility offered by its light kerb weight. It's also a genuinely good fun car

Instead, it has the kind of supple yet controlled body movement that you might expect of, say, a small Ford - such as the Ka+

It’s composed and secure, although a Ford would back that up with steering that was more positive, secure around the straight-ahead and faster off it than the Suzuki’s, which does require you to wind some lock off at low speeds, rather than self-centring of its own accord.

Raise the speed, however, and the Celerio still impresses, with good straight-line stability making it a decent long-distance car and one that retains good body control should you turn away from the motorway and onto a decent back road.

That its body doesn’t weigh a great deal – the claimed kerb weight is only 835kg – is an obvious help with that, but light bodies don’t always make for smooth-riding bodies, so the Celerio is a fine blend.

In fact, it’s really respectably engaging to row along on good roads. The gearshift, which doesn’t have a great deal of torque to deal with, is one of the best on any production car – it’s so slick and precise – and control weights are all positive and largely well judged.

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If it were a car designed for the likes of us, we’d have preferred a steering system that’s a touch weightier and certainly faster, but for the market at which it’s aimed, it’s not far wrong.