'Just right' is probably what many Americans will think when they size the Kizashi up. It's about right for young families, empty nesters, or just urban commuters who want a reasonably roomy vehicle that's also not a burden to park. Factor in the well-designed cabin, pleasing materials, and refined ride, and it's a compelling package with a lot of passenger appeal.
We're not saying that Suzuki has accomplished any packaging magic here, though. The Kizashi is more of a compact sedan than a mid-size one on the outside, and the same rings true inside. But what you get helps make the most of the space--like nice, supportive bucket seats that bring plenty of support for taller drivers, as well as a great driving position.
Trunk space is also where the Kizashi reveals that it's not quite mid-size. The trunk opening is quite narrow, too, but the seatbacks are split 60/40 and can easily be flipped forward. It's not quite a flat floor in the end, but however headrests tuck nicely away without needing to be removed.
If you love the detailed feel and upscale materials of luxury models, but you see no need for their image or higher price tag, the Kizashi is a good fit. It really shines in the details--better than most other models in this class--with nicely grained plastics plus soft-touch and padded surfaces in most of the places you'd brush against. Controls for audio and climate have a positive, high-quality feel with a textured grip; they wouldn't be out of place on a car costing twice as much.
Otherwise, we appreciate how there are some clever smaller storage spaces: There's a large storage bin just ahead of the shifter, with a lid to leave electronics out of view, and a conveniently located USB input, for iPod connectivity.
The Kizashi rides in the same measured, upscale, and sporty way. It's somewhat firm, but not so much as to be jarring, and it damps out road noise surprisingly well. At the same time, there's not all that much road noise or coarseness, thanks to some smart tuning and cabin insulation.