Have you ever had a nephew or niece who you knew when they were just a kid but hadn’t seen for a while? You live in a different part of the country and then – family reunion! Who are these people? They’re all grown up and mature. Refined, even. That’s what I felt about the 2013 Nissan Sentra. My sister-in-law had Sentras for years. She just liked the way they drove, and they worked well for her. She eventually graduated to other Nissans and I hadn’t been around a Sentra for a while. Now I meet a 2013 and feel like I just met a now-grown up niece. There is a familiarity, but with a new level of sophistication that shows its relationship to its larger siblings.To start our get-reacquainted relationship, I had to stock up on matt boards for a series of art projects I was working on. While a box of matt boards isn’t huge, it still had to fit in the Sentra to get back to my studio. When I opened the trunk, I wasn’t getting that compact car vibe. In fact, the trunk seemed large; the whole car seemed more mid-size than compact. Almost. My boards wouldn’t fit, but a quick push of a button and I had ample room for my load with the rear seat backs folded.While the new Nissan Sentra has a presence in the parking lot, with its chrome grille, chrome door handles, body colour side mirrors, alloy wheels, fog lights and side-mirror-integrated turn signals, I was completely unfamiliar with its CVT transmission and its 1.8 l 4-cylinder engine. But I was pleasantly surprised by the Sentra’s starting-from-stop capability. While I realize that the Sentra is far removed from a performance vehicle, it may actually have hit the sweet spot for those who want a stylish vehicle with very good fuel economy and want to go about their business transporting friends, family and art boards.When it came to doing a painting of the 2013 Nissan Sentra, I had a few thoughts on the project. I wanted to show the now-grown-up niece that the Sentra had symbolically become, and I wanted to add a bit of colour to the project. The colour of the Nissan Sentra I had was Amethyst Grey. While that colour made a very handsome car, I needed a bit more colour in my painting. I saw that the Sentra also wore a fetching Metalic Blue, and decided that would be a good choice. Luckily in painting, as opposed to life unless you are a chameleon, changing colours doesn’t require a lot of sanding, taping and spraying, so the revision was relatively painless.More and more, with families wanting a car that does double duty with city and highway driving, hauling the occasional load, and needing to keep within the family budget, the compact car, and the Sentra in particular with its excellent fuel economy and interior space, is the way to go.Prints of this painting are available at www.thedrawingroomgallery.com.