I'm still trying to get my head around the Suzuki Kizashi. To my mind, this has to be one of the most extraordinary cars out of Japan this year, or any year come to that.

Who would have thought that Suzuki, at a first attempt, could turn out a brand new D-sector saloon with front drive handling and chassis balance to rival the best in Europe? A car that's smaller and more exclusive than a Mondeo and has BMW levels of quality to match?

Suzuki Kizashi first drive review

Hi-res Suzuki Kizashi pictures

Stranger than fiction and against the run of play, you could say, but that's just what Suzuki's has served up.

Truth is, the Kizashi's been a bit alternative right from the start. There were three quite promising Kizashi show cars between 2007-08. Then silence...

The Kizashi eventually launched at a WWII memorial site in the US this summer... Then, without warning, it turned up again at the Tokyo show, where Suzuki just parked it by the side of the stage and, er, that was pretty much it.