2013 Acura ILX Sedan (2.0L 4-cyl. FWD 5-speed Automatic)
Driven On 5/30/2012
The Acura ILX provides a lot of equipment for your money, a comfortable and quiet ride, responsive handling and the peace of mind that comes with any Honda/Acura product. However, its standard engine has weak power and average fuel economy, and the cabin lacks the premium ambiance you expect from a luxury badge.
PerformanceSince the free-revving 2.4L four-cylinder requires a manual transmission, few buyers will get the chance to enjoy it. Instead, they'll be stuck with the weak 2.0-liter base engine. The steering and handling are above average regardless of engine.
A 2.4L four-cylinder with the 6-sp manual hits 60 mph in 7.1 sec., which is slower than rivals. The 150-hp 2.0-liter with the 5-sp automatic is almost 2 sec. slower. In sum: It's a lackluster performer.
In typical driving the brake pedal is quite responsive. At our test track we recorded 121 to 130-foot panic stops (average performances) from both 2.0L and 2.4L models with a bit of pedal fade in each car.
All ILX models feature a slightly sportier version of the Honda Civic's electric-assist power steering. It's precise and light, but offers little feedback enthusiasts might crave.
The ILX's comfortable ride does not diminish its competitive handling abilities: Good grip, predictable limits, and actually fun on challenging roads.
The ILX is reasonably well-rounded and easy to live with in most circumstances on a daily basis. However, its base engine's laggardly power will make life stressful entering freeways.
ComfortAcura's new ILX presents a low-impact alternative to high-strung Euro compact sedans. Its comfortable, quiet ride is only part of its appeal.
Front seats are well-bolstered and comfy, but might lack the headroom taller drivers require (due to the standard sunroof). Rear seats offer more room/comfort than most compacts.
One of the most comfortable rides in the compact car segment. Able to smooth all manner of bumps over a variety of surfaces.
With both laminated glass and active noise cancellation, the ILX is a quiet car. Especially for a compact.
InteriorThough this interior is based on the poorly appointed furnishings of the Honda Civic, the ILX shows that Acura still knows how to do it right.
As expected in an Acura, the center stack is button-intensive. But it's highly legible and logically presented. We appreciate the analog gauges in lieu of digital readouts.
Decent entry/exit for a compact, without any real fuss or unexpected pitfalls.
There's a bit more room in the ILX's back seat than you'll find in other similarly-sized luxury cars like the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA. Front seat space is simply average.
Typical sedan sightlines supplemented by a standard rearview camera (a multi-view version is optional).
The ILX has a 12.4 cu-ft trunk, which is about average for the class, but the opening is a bit narrow. The rear seat folds down as a single piece, not a 60/40 split like most competitors.
ValueThe Acura ILX is generously equipped and offers a lengthy warranty. However, it doesn't feel that much nicer than a loaded Honda Civic (upon which it's based) or other compact cars, and it has an unimpressive power-to-fuel economy factor.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Construction is top notch as expected of an Acura, but the materials are merely average and the overall ambiance feels more like that of a nice compact car instead of a small luxury car.
The list of standard features on the ILX is impressive and up-level options are not overly expensive.
With a base ILX priced around $26K and a fully optioned ILX w/Technology package at about $31K, the luxury-branded Acura is aggressively priced for the segment regardless.
The most common ILX (2.0L 5-spd auto) earns 28 mpg combined, while the 2.4L gets 25 mpg combined. Both numbers are lower than the more powerful Mercedes CLA.
The ILX is covered by a competitive 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty. The powertrain warranty extends to 5 years/60,000 miles.
Roadside assistance is offered for 4 years/50,000 miles. Plus, Honda's Acura brand has a well-earned reputation of providing years of carefree ownership. The new ILX is poised to do the same.
Fun To DriveAn ILX with the 2.4-liter 201-hp engine and a 6-speed manual transmission is reasonably fun, but few will actually buy it (because hardly anyone buys manual gearboxes anymore). There's nothing fun about the base 2.0L that most will buy.
Some might compare the ILX to the Honda Civic, but the truth is that the ILX is far more polished and sophisticated in every way.
The ILX is neither frenetic nor boring. It won't put you to sleep nor have you thinking you're a racecar driver. It strikes a nice balance of sporty competence and sharp style.