INTERIOR

While the interior fit and finish of the 2010 Kizashi still reads a bit "cheap," there are some details that are better thought out. For example, the fabric upholstery has a wood grain finish that makes it more interesting than other midsize sedans on the market. Leather seating upholstery with butt warmers is also available.

The standard SmartPass keyless entry and start was my favorite feature in this car. I just loved not having to dig through my purse — it's really too deep to be functional — to hunt down car keys.

I also enjoyed the steering-wheel controls with toggle switches that just feel good to the touch. They're actually reminiscent of ones I loved on a Jaguar I drove last summer. From a parent's perspective, you want as many features in the car to be easy to operate so you can keep your focus on the driving rather than on fumbling for radio controls. My test car also had a tilt/telescoping steering wheel.

The backseat seemed molded for kids. There was plenty of legroom for youngsters; however, the fit would be a tad bit snug for most adults. There are two cupholders for backseat occupants in the fold-down armrest and a bottleholder in each door.

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