By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.1
The 2013 Acura ILX sedan has set its sights on tapping into a 4-door luxury-leaning market that sits just below, in price and size, the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 audience. Acura has its entry-level-luxury bets covered with three models – sedate, sporty and hybrid – each with its own style.
For the time being, the 2013 Acura ILX has a lock on this little-lux sedan niche, so if you gotta get a diminutive, fine-finished 4-door today, look no further.
If you think that for a new car to carry a strong whiff of luxury, it needs to have some stretch-out room and standard leather, the ILX is not your first choice. You'll have to go up a size or wait a year for the 2014 Audi A3 sedan or the rumored 2014 BMW 1 Series sedan.
All-new to Acura, but based on the new-for-2012 Honda Civic architecture, the 2013 ILX sedan isn't full-court luxury, but it's nicer than a really nice Civic.
Driving Impressions It would be easy to say that the ILX drives just like a Civic, but truth be told, it doesn't. Although the ILX is small and light like a Civic,...its interior layout looks far more sophisticated and the cabin is beefed up to drown out the outside noise, which makes for an overall more pleasant driving experience. The steering effort is light and the ride varies from comfortable to firm depending upon the model. We had the chance to sample all three powertrains the ILX has to offer and came away impressed with all them, each in its own way. The base 2.0-liter engine has plenty of power for the everyday drive, although getting up steep hills proved a little challenging. BMW 3 Series, this is not. The hybrid powertrain, while slower than the 2.0, easily netted us a constant 38 mpg in mixed driving conditions. The high-revving 2.4-liter puts a legit sporting face on the ILX.
2.4-LITER, i-VTEC ENGINE
Taken straight out of the Honda Civic Si, the high-revving 2.4-liter engine offered in the ILX adds a wild side to the car and is enough to awaken anyone's inner boy racer.
The Technology Package is offered in all of Acura's models and we would definitely opt for it in the ILX. We like the sweet sounds of the Acura ELS 10-speaker audio system, as well as the intuitive navigation system with AcuraLink Realtime traffic and weather.
The 2013 ILX interior is roomy in front, claustrophobic in the rear, and well equipped throughout. Comfort and convenience items like keyless entry, dual-zone climate control and a power tilt/slide moonroof are standard, as is modern magic like Bluetooth capability, an iPhone-compatible USB port, text messaging and Pandora radio.Exterior
We define the Acura ILX's exterior as "subtly elegant." So much so that one could forgive the signature Acura shield-style grille that can be off-putting on other models. But in comparison to other cars in the segment like the Buick Verano or the CT 200h, the ILX treats viewers to a contemporary look, forgoing an overly staid or overtly futuristic approach.
The 2013 Acura ILX comes with a healthy list of standard features. Some of the more notable ones include a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition and entry, Bluetooth and audio connectivity, a rearview camera, and a 6-speaker audio system with a USB/iPod interface, and Pandora integration. Cloth seating surfaces are standard, as are 16-inch wheels.
Two major packages dominate the ILX options roster. For the comfort lover, Premium Package highlights include leather upholstery, a power-adjustable seat for the driver, heated front seats, plus a hotted-up 7-speaker sound system and rearview camera. The Technology Package includes the upgraded audio, navigation and voice recognition, and AcuraLink's satellite communications menu which features Real-Time Traffic, traffic rerouting and weather.
The three distinct ILX personalities referred to earlier shake out thus:
ILX 2.0L – 150 horsepower with a smooth-shifting 5-speed automatic transmission.
ILX 2.4L – 201 horsepower pulling strong through a 6-speed manual transmission.
ILX 1.5L Hybrid – 39 miles per gallon in the city, 38 mpg on the highway.
150 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
140 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/35 mpg
201 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
170 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 mpg
1.5-liter inline-4 + electric motor
111 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
127 lb-ft of torque @ 1,000-3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 39/38 mpg
The 2013 Acura ILX carries a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) that starts at around $26,000, while checking off the Technology and Premium package boxes will push the price to about $32,000. Both the 2.4-liter and the Hybrid trim levels carry a $30,000 price tag, but adding the Technology package onto the latter will tack on about $5,000 to that price. By comparison, a Buick Verano starts at around $2,000 less than a base ILX and tops out at around the same price, while the Lexus CT 200h and the Audi A3 both start closer to $30,000. We expect the Acura ILX will hold its value over time on par with the Audi and Lexus and better than the Buick Verano.
By AJ on Sunday, March 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,800overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Interior and great gas mileage"
Cons: "hand rests by the driver's door are too low"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I fell in love with this car the moment I saw it at the dealer's showroom. Even though, I feel like I paid a bit more than what I wanted, I am truly enjoying my ILX. It is one of the best cars I have driven so far. Acura makes quality cars and ILX is a perfection from them."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By ZOCCJ on Friday, March 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "TOP comfort, features, & refinement for the value"
Cons: "Low on power, suspension on the softer side"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I was apprehensive about this car at first. I drive an American performance-oriented car and my wife drove an old Honda Accord sedan. Recently we realized that we need a replacement for her car and started shopping around. We had around $30,000 to play with and were going to settle for something like a Mazda6 or a Buick Verano when this car caught our attention. --- At first, I was unimpressed. 150 horses isn't a lot, though the car is pretty small and light.. About 500 lbs lighter than the Accord sedan it would replace. We were disappointed that the "sporty" model with the highly-lauded and high revving Civic Si engine did not come with automatic (I guess that makes sense) or technology package (meaning no Nav). Wife doesn't want to drive stick every day, so we were suck with the 150 horses. --- I'll admit, it's slow. But after taking a couple of test drives in this car plus some others, I've come to the conclusion that contrary to what my mindset was before looking at this car - remember I drive a performance-oriented American car - there really is more to life than horsepower. The engine has enough spunk to speed off from a stop sign with ease, and just enough to make passing maneuvers on the highway safe and not a struggle. You won't win any stoplight derbies against anyone actually trying, though. --- What makes up for it is everything else. The styling is attractive. The 2014 model has a standard upgraded interior. The center console is elegantly designed for this price range and very intuitive, like on most Hondas/Acuras. Nothing superfluous or overly-complicated. The seats are comfortable, even for long trips, and the leather is high quality. --- The driving dynamics, OTHER than the power, are great too. Typical Honda/Acura light steering, which lets you handle the car with ease, but with a decent amount of feedback from the wheel compared to other brands that offer light steering with little driving feedback at all. Very good handling for a front-wheel drive car, with almost unnoticeable torque-steer under load. The engine is also buttery-smooth and very refined, as are most Honda 4 cylinder engines. No, it's not the Si engine, but it feels almost as happy to rev (and believe me, you'll have to). The suspension is a little soft, definitely not sport-tuned, but for an entry luxury car, I didn't expect the suspension to have the tightness of a sports car. Overall, averaging about 30 mpg, so no complaints there. --- Value-wise, this is a STEAL. We paid right around $30,000 for a smartly designed car with all the right features - Leather, well-designed nav/infotainment system, backup camera, Pandora radio, voice control, bluetooth all integrated, and a lot more. Can't think of many cars in this price range that offer all of these features in such a nice package. --- Overall, I think we made the right choice. Maybe it's a little frustrating to have to mash the gas pedal to get some oomph out of the car, but everything else falls right into place. Also, unlike with other brands, we know that Honda/Acura make quality cars that are built to last. Our Accord had over 200K miles on it and was still going strong with its 4 cylinder engine, so we have no doubt that this car will do the same. I would highly recommend this car to any of my friends, as well as anyone reading this review."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By xoquixxoqafxo on Wednesday, February 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good looking, fun-to-drive, generous feature list"
Cons: "No Navi opt, could use more distinction between Si"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Let me first start by saying that the ILX was not at the top of my list when I began searching for a new car last year. I had my mind set on a new Volkswagen GLI or Civic Si. I was set on buying a sporty, fun to drive sedan with a manual transmission and good fuel-economy that was under $30,000. I also wanted a good amount of premium features as I was trading up from a somewhat basic Honda Fit. When I looked at the Si, I felt it to be quick and fun but lacking in luxury features. Its loud cabin and stiff ride also didn't fit what I was looking for. The GLI was the more refined choice, it had the luxury features I was looking for, but was still quick enough when I wanted to do some spirited driving. I was about to get the VW but it's higher price was an issue, I also wasn't thrilled on the high depreciation and lower reliability ratings. I remembered the ILX at the last minute and although its MSRP was higher, Acura dealers were willing to discount the car significantly and it made it less expensive than a GLI. I did lose the factory navigation but Acura's tech package is getting old anyways. The ILX effectively blends the sporting character of the Si but gives me that softer ride, higher quality interior, and premium features I was looking for. The 2.4L engine is smooth, quick to rev, and powerful pushing the lighter ILX to 60 quicker than the turbocharged and heavier GLI. I've been averaging 27 MPG in mostly city driving with a heavy foot. Overall, after a year of ownership, there are some things I want to change about the car, but there's also a lot of like and for those of you who want a small, efficient, and fun to drive luxury sedan the ILX 6-speed is a great choice."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By G on Monday, December 30, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,300overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "It does look nice"
Cons: "Overpriced Civic not worth 34k"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I traded in my TSX and purchased an ILX Hybrid with Tech. I regret this purchase with all my heart and I am very close to taking a loss and trading it in I am that unhappy with it. The handling and breaking are nothing like the TSX, I am not even going to comment on the acceleration, it's a joke. The trunk is over 4 cubic feet smaller and the seats don't go down because there are batteries in the trunk. There is hardly any storage in the cabin, the only thing you could fit in the door would be a water bottle. The sound system sounds far from premium, the blue tooth is very poor quality, the tires are an inch smaller and look puny. I don't know what I was thinking buying this car. Oh and I haven't been able to get over 35 mpg highway yet. Acura made a big mistake with this car. IT IS NOT WORTH 34k, and I would NEVER recommend this to a friend, family member or a stranger. It's the worst feeling ever being so disappointed with a big purchase like this. If you owned a TSX and loved it then I promise you will hate the ILX."
9 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By iamfranki on Wednesday, October 30, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Car exterior looks, interior comfort"
Cons: "Hybrid stop/start kinetics are not the smoothest"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought this 2013 ILX Hybrid with Technology packing as a CPO with 800 miles on it. For the price paid and the remaining warranty I am very happy with the value I received. I test drove a Accord, Civic, Focus and Countryman in my efforts to find a new car. Pro’s – great exterior look, very sporty. Comfortable front seats, nice leather. Great Mileage – for me averaging 40mpg. Decent back seat legroom. Great stereo system. Nice to have a USB input for my own songs. Cabin noise is low. Steering is very light, I like that but for some the road feel may be missing. Keyless entry and start. Back up camera. entertainment screen is of decent size. Hands free commands of phone, radio ect (still working on using this feature) Con’s - Stop/start w/ hybrid is a bit jerky ie let off the brake, motor comes on then accelerate. If you want to avoid this put the car in sport mode and the motor does not shut off at a stop. Some hesitation at certain speeds when accelerating (typically lower ones 5 -10 MPH). AC system Fan is controlled by up/down buttons, i would have preferred a turnable knob as i have to glance down to find these smallish buttons. Overall very happy and I am looking forward to driving this car for the next few years"
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Marshall on Sunday, September 29, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas mileage, styling"
Cons: "No memory front seats. no Apple interface"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I really like this car after having an '01 3.2 CL Type S. It doesn't have the same refinement as the old CL (uses the Civic driveline), but the gas mileage picks up for that. I average 25,000 per year and I've been able to stay at 33.6 MPG combined for the entire time. The majority of my commute is highway, so YMMV. It drives just like I remember my CL to drive and having owned an '07 Accord prior to this, I'm looking forward to only having to change plugs at 100K. Nice that they are right on top too. I use AmsOil, so oil changes are every 25,000 miles with a new filter each time the oil minder light comes on. I've been able to run "regular" gas without any issues with drivability or mileage loss. No issues other than a recall a few months back, but I was in an Acura loaner (TSX) for the day while the work was done. Overall a very nice little car. Seating for 5 is a stretch with my 3 boys across the back (ages 10, 8, 6), so it really is just good for 4 regular sized adults."
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful