Competition: 2013 Nissan Sentra
It may not be as raucous as what's going on in the mid-size segment, but the compact world keeps improving just the same. Nissan has some stiff competition it's facing thanks to the likes of the Ford Focus, Dodge Dart, Hyundai Elantra, and the Honda Civic. Those are strong choices in a clearly strong category, but the Sentra has a few tricks up its sleeve.
Sliding inside, you'll quickly find that the Sentra offers up class-leading interior space including a nearly gargantuan-for-the-class 37.4 inches of rear seat legroom. On top of that, the 111.0 cubic feet of total interior volume (including the trunk) is an amount of space the others can only wish to achieve.
Nissan has worked hard to ensure that occupants feel they're riding in a car that's a class above. Interior matierals have been refined, the audio system has been improved, and the roominess makes it feel like you're riding in a larger vehicle.
On the flip side, the engine is a bit under powered compared to what else is available in the segment. With just 130 horsepower on tap, the Sentra makes do and runs down the road towards solid fuel economy figures, but it's certainly not sporty.