Bottom line: The 2014 Subaru Impreza 2.0i PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle — argh!) is one of the best, most affordable, most reliable compact sedans available. It just needs some sound deadening and cosmetic updating.

Ride, acceleration and handling: Ride is good. Handling is excellent. Acceleration is decent, meaning that you can move along the highway without problems.

Head-turning quotient: The car is so boring, even the Internal Revenue Service would miss it.

Body style/layout: The 2014 Subaru Impreza 2.0i is a front-engine, all-wheel-drive compact four-door family sedan. It is also available as a hatchback with five doors.

Engine/transmission: The car comes with a horizontally opposed, 16-valve, 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine delivering 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. The engine is linked to a standard five-speed manual transmission. An automatic continuously variable transmission, which provides more drive power to the front wheels and shifts extra power to the rear wheels when needed, is optional.

Capacities: Seats five people. Cargo capacity with all seats in place is 12 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 14.5 gallons of gasoline (regular grade is recommended).

Real-world mileage: I averaged 25 miles per gallon in city driving (traffic jams everywhere — Christmas shopping season, I guess) and 34 mpg on the highway.

Safety: Standard equipment includes symmetrical all-wheel drive, four-wheel anti-lock brake protection, four-wheel disc brakes, ventilated front and solid rear discs, traction and stability control, emergency braking assistance, electronic brake-force distribution, Perimeter Alarm Shock Sensor (think lane-departure warning system), and side and head air bags.

Price: The base price of the 2014 Subaru Impreza 2.0i PZEV sedan with optional continuously variable automatic transmission is $20,295 with a dealer’s invoice price of $19,315. Price as tested is $21,610 including $520 in options (auto dimming mirror with compass and Homelink, all-weather floor mats) and a $795 factory-to-dealer destination charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $20,445.