3. 2014 Nissan Altima
We once compared the Altima with a cinder block, a good tomato paste or Eli Manning's haircut -- steady, reliable and at its best when it's reminding you it's not there. We stand by that claim, even if that relative facelessness is starting to lose car buyers' attention as the Detroit midsize crowd gets its makeover.
The Altima's combined 33 miles per gallon are still well ahead of the pack, even if its 15.4 cubic feet of cargo lags behind. The cabin is quiet, the new tech features include satellite radio, Pandora, Bluetooth and hands-free texting, and safety options include blind-spot monitoring, a lane-departure warning system and a moving-object detector.
Even a year after getting a sporty facelift in 2013, the Altima is gaining ground. With this year's buyers getting a larger, lighter Altima than they did in 2012, it's easy to see why.