2. Midsize Car–Nissan Altima
Starting price: $22,980
Fuel-economy rating (EPA city/highway combined): 25-31 mpg
The Altima sedan
literally covers all the bases with clean styling, sporty ride and handling attributes, and myriad high-tech features. While a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivering a sufficient 182 horsepower comes standard, the Altima is one of a dwindling number of mainstream midsize cars to offer an optional V-6 engine, a 3.5-liter version that puts a smooth and strong 270 horses to the pavement. Designed in conjunction with NASA, the car’s so-called “zero gravity” front seats are among the most comfortable and supportive in the industry. Novel features include a Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant and an Easy-Fill Tire Alert that chirps the horn to tell the driver when a tire being pumped with air has reached the correct pressure.