With all the appealing small sedans on the market right now, it can be tough to remember which one's which. That's why we appreciate the familiar 2014 Nissan Sentra. Nissan's been making the Sentra for over three decades, so you won't find any beginner's mistakes here, but the Sentra also got a full redesign last year that finally gave it some style to go with its substance. Here are five reasons why the proven Sentra is still a solid choice.

Comfortable Ride

You hear a lot these days about small sedans that are fun to drive, but most people we know would rather have some peace and quiet during their commutes. That's why the Sentra is tuned for comfort, not crazy handling. When you hit a pothole, the Sentra barely bats an eyelid. It's a relaxing car to drive, and that's a big deal when you're driving it daily.

High-End Features

Like most of its rivals, the Sentra can be loaded up with the latest amenities. Available features include alloy wheels, keyless entry/ignition, Bluetooth, a 4.3-inch display screen, smartphone integration, dual-zone automatic climate control and leather upholstery. You can even get a Bose audio system via the Premium package. This isn't one of those bare-bones Sentras from the '90s; it has all the extras if you want them.

Spacious Cabin and Trunk

Nissan has made passenger room a matter of high importance in its smaller cars, and that's evident inside the Sentra. Front-seat riders have plenty of space, but the real revelation is the back seat, which can accommodate a couple 6-footers just as capably as a midsize family sedan. The trunk is also generous, nearly matching the larger Altima with 15 cu ft. of space.

Mature Styling

The Sentra's revised styling looks more upscale than before. Clearly inspired by the Altima and Maxima, the Sentra flaunts aggressive headlights and curvaceous body panels that punch above their price. Some competitors try hard to bring a more youthful style, but the Sentra rolls with the same grown-up, organic lines as Nissan's other sedans. It just happens to be served in a smaller portion.

Great Fuel Economy

Fuel efficiency has always been a Sentra hallmark, but the latest model ups its game. With the continuously variable automatic transmission, the Sentra delivers up to 30 miles per gallon in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. That puts it right up there with the class leaders, especially for city driving. It's rare for a car to return 30 mpg on the urban cycle without diesel or hybrid power.

AutoTrader Says

The 2014 Nissan Sentra has history on its side, and it's priced right, too. Take one for a spin and see if it fits your idea of what a small car should be.

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Josh Sadlier is an automotive journalist based in Los Angeles and has contributed to such publications as Edmunds.com and DriverSide.com. He holds arguably the most unexpected degree in his profession: a master's in Theological Studies.

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