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2014 Nissan Altima is hard to beat

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Nissan Altima

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With its cool styling, convenient features and fantastic fuel economy, the 2014 Nissan Altima has quietly crept up to become one of the best midsize sedans on the market.

The Altima, which was redesigned last year, is powered by a 2.5-liter four cylinder engine that makes 182 horsepower. You can also opt for a 3.5-liter V-6 that makes makes 270 horsepower, but frankly, why bother?

The four-banger is plenty powerful, and its gas mileage is superb, rated at 27 mpg city, 38 highway.

In our week of combined driving, we registered about 35 mpg - quite impressive.

The V-6 is rated at 22 and 31.

Both engines are linked to a continuously variable transmission.

On the outside, the Altima has standard 16-inch wheels, with 17- or 18- inchers available.

The Altima also has Nissan's cool tire inflation feature, in which the horn beeps when you are adding air and have reached the correct pressure.

On the inside, you'll find a comfortable interior that makes efficient use of space and a dashboard that has conveniently placed controls.

Driving dynamics are solid, but not flashy; certainly adequate for everyday needs. There is good acceleration, crisp handling and steady braking.

For safety, there is an optional blind spot warning system and a moving object detection system when the car is in reverse.

The Altima starts at around $23,000 and ranges to nearly $33,000.

With everything it has to offer, the Altima is one of the best midsize sedans on the market.

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