2014 Nissan Altima
MSRP: $22,110

Perhaps the king of utilitarian family sedans, the Nissan Altima is trying to shake that image by offering a combined 33 miles per gallon. It's also been streamlined with a sporty new exterior and is laden with a smattering of new toys to placate patents settled into a sedan existence.

That 15.4 cubic feet of cargo capacity isn't a whole lot, but 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.

It's not the most exciting car on the market, but it's safe, sturdy, roomy and efficient. It's a tough tradeoff, but often necessary.

2014 Honda Accord
MSRP: $21,680

It's nice to watch a year of upgrades pay off immediately.

Back in 2013, Honda's goal was to make the Accord less of a Point A-to-Point B snooze fest by adding standard an 8-inch LCD display for its information, communication and app-based entertainment system, a single-angle backup camera, dual zone climate control, a lane-drift detector, a power moon roof and alloy wheels. Other new options include a three-angle backup cam, enhanced safety sensors, LED running lights and adaptive cruise control.

The one element that remained intact, however, was the Accord's combined 32 miles per gallon. Though the Detroit makeovers haven't helped the Accord, either, it's still one of only two cars among the Top 5 vehicles sold in the U.S. The country that loves it a Ford F-Series, a Chevy Silverado and a Dodge Ram also loves an Accord.

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