With a base price starting below $14,000, the Suzuki Reno is not only affordable and practical, it provides cargo versatility and a sporty ride that makes this four-door hatchback extremely fun to drive.

Nicely loaded for the segment, it also comes with a 7-year/100,000-mile, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain warranty.

Value, content and a guarantee ó not bad at all.

During my week-long test drive, I found the Reno well suited for my daily trips between assignments in town.

Its nimble handling made it easy to get in and out of tight parking spaces and its spirited powerplant made the commutes fun.

The Reno is powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 (127 horsepower/131 lb.-ft. torque) and mated to either a five-speed manual (which I thoroughly enjoyed) or a four-speed automatic transmission.

The 2007 Reno meets Ultra Low Emission Vehicle standards.

Aside from its European styling, one of its most appealing features is its practicality.

In addition to offering a very affordable base price and Americaís best warranty, the Reno helps stretch the fuel budget with an EPA fuel economy rating of 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway.

Thatís not exceptional, but itís not bad, either ó especially when you factor in its versatile cargo capabilities with the hatchback.

And yes, there is a lot of room inside. I was actually impressed with the amount of interior room for both front and rear seat passengers.

Standard safety features include dual front, dual stage airbags with advanced weight-sensing front passenger airbag supplemental restraint system and driver and front passenger seat-mounted side impact airbags; three-point safety belts for all passengers; LATCH child seat system and child-safety rear door locks.

Anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution is offered as an option.

Standard equipment includes tire pressure monitoring system, four-wheel independent suspension, disc brakes, tilt steering column, power windows and door locks, dual sun visors with vanity mirrors, remote fuel door releases, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with eight speakers, air conditioning with micron air filtration system and heated power side mirrors.

Thatís a lot of equipment for $13,499.

Buyers also have the option of the convenience package, which adds remote keyless entry, steering wheel integrated audio controls, leather-wrapped steering wheel, security alarm system and cruise control.

Reno models equipped with the convenience package list for $14,949.

Putting pencil to paper, thatís a lot of bang for the buck.

I was impressed.

I was impressed not only with the Renoís handling and performance capabilities, but with its styling and level of equipment which provide exceptional value in the segment.

It is a peppy, fun to drive car with lots of room inside.

For those in the market for an entry-level vehicle, or those looking for a practical urban commuter car, I highly recommend adding the 2007 Suzuki Reno to the test drive list when shopping.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 15 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. Comments may be sent to Neal at neal.white@waxahachiedailylight.com.