My sx-4 crossover has the 6-speed MT, the first 6 speed I have had - and I really enjoy having that extra gearing for high speed interstates. My normal commute is 55 miles each way and its mostly in 5th gear. The fuel economy is much better than claimed. I usually get 31-32 mpg commuting using E10 fuel but a little better now with the AC off.
I got a high of 35.7 on an interstate trip with ethanol-free fuel. I have the base model with nothing that I don't want. The base model lacks cruise control and I am fine with that. I prefer to have features that I'll actually use. I didn't realize until I drove it home just how great the visibility is on this car - great for merging to the right!
The AWD switch allows driving in fwd, awd, or locking diff up to about 40mph. I've had lots of subarus and the problem with permanent AWD is that every tire must be exactly the same circumference - so flats get expensive because you should replace all 4. The Suzuki would allow you to drive in FWD and just balance out tire sizes F&R.
The side mirrors may be the best I have seen on any small car at any price - perfect shape and size for great visibility.
I find the seats and driving position to be great. My lower back killed me after driving my 55 mile commute in my 02 Chev Prizm (a Corolla) - and this is a huge improvement.
The car is a bargain!
The manual tranny is a bit like shifting through a bag of baseballs. Its not very precise or sporting. Sometimes it feels like the synchros are not right. A nice B&M racing shifter would be great if the transmission was crisp.