A 40-mile motorway trip with a token-gesture five miles of sub-urban sprawl at either end should provide an ideal test route for a car like the Chrysler 300C CRD.

So I snagged photographer Stan Papior's 300C for the run home last night, to see how it would perform.

Briskly, is certainly the first word that springs to mind. It's hard to imagine what this car would be like without the Mercedes diesel engine. At each sliproad I simply pushed the accelerator as far as it would go and watched as the traffic on the motorway pulled out to overtake... and then pulled back in.

The seats were surprisingly comfortable, but I really couldn't get used to the rest of the driving position. For one thing, how long, wide and heavy does a car have to be before there is sufficient space for a left-foot rest? I ended up hoiking my leg up and resting my size 12 on its side, diagonally across the footwell.

Attention from other drivers and pedestrians confirmed that the 300C also has the looks to match. But, for me, that's where the magic ends.

This is not a sports car, and it doesn't handle like one. But for something with this wheelbase and kerbweight, the fidgety ride is beyond defence. Similarly the flimsy rear-view mirror and loose steering wheel stitching did nothing to make me look forward to my return journey.

Amazingly, I saw about ten 300Cs on my trip - a lot of encounters for what is most definitely at the quirky end of the E-class alternatives. But each time I saw one I thought, 'That would be fun,' before remembering that I was driving one... and it wasn't.