When we talk about Acura, some call it “entry luxury,” which usually means small and affordable cars with luxury trim, amenities and features. And this segment is now more important as more people downsize for better fuel efficiency, and few prefer to compromise the features, comfort and quietness.
Three Engine Options
The 2013 Acura ILX comes in 3 unique flavors: standard 150-hp 2.0-liter four with a five-speed automatic transmission; 201-horse 2.4-liter four with a six-speed manual; and hybrid with a 23-hp electric motor married to a 111-hp 1.5-liter gasoline 4-cylinder through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The higher-performance 2.4-liter ILX is basically Honda’s fun-to-drive Civic Si in four-door formal attire, while the hybrid’s fuel-efficient drive system is borrowed from its Civic hybrid cousin.
Acura ILX Design
Acura calls the 2013 ILX’s exterior “sleek, sporty and windswept,” meaning aero efficient. We call it the brand’s best-looking car in some time. Styling is subjective, but the best exterior news is that the overdone chrome potato-peeler beak found on the fronts of most recent models has been toned way down. Its stance is substantial—low, wide and broad-shouldered, with a long nose, short tail and strong body-side character lines, and its underbody is flat, with add-on covers for smooth air flow.
Inside the Acura ILX is a well-designed blend of upscale features and amenities, including soft-touch materials and satin metal finishes, with a high level of fit and finish. The standard black cloth and faux leather seats are comfortable and supportive, the instruments are high-tech LED, and shift paddles on the leather-wrapped, tilt-telescoping, three-spoke steering wheel allow easy manual control of the automatic transmission. The shifter is also leather-wrapped, and the steering wheel spokes provide handy cruise and audio controls.
Features and Options
Even the base Acura ILX is well equipped. Among its many standard features are keyless access, a one-touch power moonroof, a five-inch color central display, dual-zone automatic climate control, six-speaker audio with auxiliary and USB ports, SMS text messaging, Bluetooth wireless interfaces, Pandora internet radio, ride-smoothing Amplitude Reactive Dampers, auto on/off projector headlights that come on automatically with the windshield wipers and a Battery Management System (BMS) that helps avoid dead batteries.
A Premium option package features leather upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat and seven-speaker audio with XM Radio. A Technology package combines 10-speaker, 365-watt Acura/ELS premium surround-sound audio and GPS navigation with voice recognition and real-time weather and traffic. Both include a multi-view rear camera and Active Noise Control.
2013 Acura ILX safety features have Acura’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure and six airbags, plus accident-avoidance technologies such as Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with new Motion Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS) and electronic traction control (TCS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) with Brake Assist and four-channel Anti-lock Braking (ABS).
With prices starting at about $27K, the 2013 Acura ILX slots perfectly between Buick’s Verano and Audi’s A4 front-drive luxury-compact sedans. If something in this emerging class might match your wants and needs, you might give this one a serious appearance.