Reno shows its flair in little ways. Let’s start with the engine, which is a 2.0-liter 16-valve four cylinder with 126 horsepower at 5400 rpm and 131 pounds-feet torque at 4000 rpm. Put that engine and a five speed manual transmission in a five-door that weighs 2739 pounds. The result? A car with low speed stamina, and that is a good thing. This car performs comfortably below 80 mph, so any temptation to continually disobey speed limits is gone, yet there’s adequate power for passing. The bottom line: This is a compact car that shows all the necessary power movements without leaving the driver paying at the pump after every motoring excursion. (Mileage counts are 22 city/30 highway.) Another way Reno expresses its aptitude is by its understated interior, which again is a good thing. It’s nice to be able to focus on driving without the distractions of technical gadgets, dials, buttons, and screens ala an airplane cockpit.

The Suzuki Reno places many features on the standard list. So accessories and items that truly aid driving – like fog lamps and speed sensitive steering – as well as comfort appointments – like air conditioning, cruise control, and CD/AM/FM/MP-3 audio system – are on the dock. Reno doesn’t skimp on safety features, either. There are driver and front passenger airbags, three-point safety belts with shoulder height adjustment for driver and front passengers as well as headrests for all passengers. Stow zones are also prevalent, including a glovebox that can hold more than the owner’s manual, molded plastic door pockets, a center bin with a flip-up lid, and a slotted tray behind the rear seats (which doubles as the trunk’s inner cover). MSRP is $16,149.