By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 6/19/2012
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.You'll Like This Car If...
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.What's New for 2013
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.
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.Notable Standard Equipment
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.