Bottom line: The 2014 Buick Regal GS AWD is an excellently crafted “entry-level luxury” ($30,000 to $40,000) compact family sedan. Interior quality and craftsmanship rival that of similarly priced competitors. This is a pleasant long-distance cruiser, as opposed to an ego-laden racing machine.

Ride, acceleration and handling: It gets very good marks in all three. That means the Buick Regal GS AWD will be more than pleasing, and probably surprising in many respects, to normal drivers — people who want to get from one place to another in safety and comfort with smiles on their faces.

Head-turning quotients: It looks good on any school, church, factory or corporate parking lot. It is mainstream America done well.

Body style/layout: The 2014 Buick Regal is a front-engine compact sedan available with all-wheel drive (and driven with that option for this column). Various “premium” packages can be unnecessarily confusing. For best oomph and comfort, I’d go straight to the GS model. For best price and operational costs, I’d stick with the base Regal.

Engine/transmission: It The Regal GS AWD comes with a turbocharged, 16-valve 2-liter in-line four-cylinder gasoline engine with variable valve timing (270 horsepower, 295 pound-feet of torque). A six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift capability is standard. A manual six-speed gearbox is optional.

2014 Buick Regal GS. (Buick/Vanderkaay)

Capacities: There are seats for five people. Cargo capacity is 14.2 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 18 gallons of gasoline. This is a car with a forced-air, high-compression engine, and premium gasoline is recommended for best performance.

Mileage:In largely highway driving with a front-seat passenger and 300 pounds of cargo, running mostly at 65 to 75 mph, I averaged 27 miles per gallon.

Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes, four-wheel anti-lock brake protection, emergency braking assistance, emergency brake-force distribution, stability and traction control, a temporary subscription to the OnStar emergency communications system, side and head air bags, and a post-collision safety system.

Prices: The price starts at $34,980, with a dealer’s invoice price of $33,581. But the model driven for this column, replete with advanced safety options and an $895 factory-to-dealer transportation charge, was $37,770 with an invoice price of $36,144.