Used 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid
- Generous number of standard features
- above-average fuel economy from Hybrid model.
- Lackluster base engine
- smallish trunk
- no automatic transmission or top-end features for sport-oriented 2.4L model.
Used 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid for Sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Excellent build quality, good fuel economy and palatable starting prices make the 2013 Acura ILX an intriguing option for a compact luxury sedan. Still, there are other worthy alternatives that savvy shoppers should consider.
After a decade of moving upmarket and farther away from the entry-level buyer, Acura's back with a new-generation compact model, the 2013 ILX. Smaller and less expensive than the TSX, the ILX sedan is aimed at shoppers who want something a bit nicer and sportier than the typical mainstream sedan but aren't willing to step up to the higher expense of an established luxury car. Overall, the ILX is fairly successful in its mission. Nevertheless, you'll also want to be aware of the limitations of this strategy.
The 2013 Acura ILX is based on the Honda Civic, but it's slightly longer and wider, and has unique styling that sets it pretty far apart from its Honda relative. Most importantly, there are significant engineering and interior enhancements. Dismissing the ILX as just a Civic wearing Acura badges would be unfair.
There's just a single sedan body style, but Acura's making up for the lack of coupe/hatchback options by offering three distinct powertrain options for the new ILX. The base ILX comes with a modestly powered but economical 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. Markedly more performance comes from the ILX 2.4 and its larger, more-powerful 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Unfortunately this model comes only with a six-speed manual transmission. The third ILX model is the frugal Hybrid, which is the first hybrid-electric vehicle from Acura.
With a comfortable ride, comparatively spacious interior and decent level of standard equipment, the base ILX is a new and interesting option for buyers looking for an affordable entry point into the premium Acura brand. The ILX 2.4 is compelling as a low-key premium sport sedan, but it is expensive in relation to its absolute performance, and the lack of an automatic transmission limits its appeal. The ILX Hybrid delivers good -- but not outstanding -- fuel economy and also is relatively expensive.
The 2013 Acura ILX is one of but a few choices for a truly entry-level car from a luxury brand. The Buick Verano is one such model. It may not offer a hybrid version, but it's less expensive to start and offers a strong 250-horsepower engine upgrade as well as a nicer interior. There are also the Audi A3 and Lexus CT 200h, two premium models worth cross-shopping with the ILX, as they offer hatchback utility and fuel economy similar to that of the ILX Hybrid.
One other aspect to consider is the ILX's price once you've loaded it up with options. For the same money, you could also get a loaded version of a popular midsize sedan such as a Ford Fusion, Kia Optima or Nissan Altima. You could also save some money and consider loaded versions of the Dodge Dart or Ford Focus. Most of these cars will offer the same number of convenience and luxury features as the ILX. But for somebody desiring a relatively affordable small sedan that's good on gas and gives off a premium vibe, the ILX is a smart choice.
Trim levels & features
The 2013 Acura ILX entry-level luxury sedan comes in six trim levels: base 2.0, base 2.0 with Premium package, base 2.0 with Technology package, base 2.4 with Premium package, Hybrid and Hybrid with Technology package.
Standard equipment is pretty much the same for both the base 2.0 and Hybrid and includes 16-inch wheels, a sunroof, full power accessories, keyless ignition/entry, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB/iPod audio interface and Pandora integration.
Moving up to the Premium trims gets you 17-inch wheels, xenon headlamps, foglamps, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power driver seat, a more advanced rearview camera, active noise cancellation (Hybrid excluded) and an upgraded seven-speaker sound system with satellite radio. Acura also offers the Premium package-equipped ILX with the 2.4-liter engine configuration.
The Technology trim (oddly not available on the 2.4) includes the equipment from the Premium package and adds a hard drive-based navigation system and a surround-sound audio system with digital music storage.
Performance & mpg
The standard engine for the 2013 ILX is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 150 hp and 140 pound-feet of torque. The only transmission offered is a five-speed automatic that sends its power to the front wheels. In Edmunds performance testing, this powertrain brought the ILX from zero to 60 mph in 9 seconds. That's average for a compact economy car but slow for a compact wearing a premium badge. Fuel economy is pretty respectable at 24 mpg city/35 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined.
The ILX with the Premium package can also be had with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that's rated at 201 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard; an automatic isn't available for this configuration. In Edmunds performance testing, the ILX 2.4 went from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds. This is average for both entry-level luxury sedans with a base engine and regular midsize sedans with an upgrade engine. Some fuel economy is sacrificed in return for more spirited performance, but not much: The ILX 2.4's ratings are 22/31/25.
The ILX Hybrid uses the same propulsion setup Honda employs in the Civic Hybrid: a 1.5-liter four-cylinder coupled with Honda's well-known Integrated Motor Assist, an electric motor that acts as an occasional power booster and to convert braking energy into electricity, which is used to recharge the hybrid ILX's modestly sized lithium-ion battery pack. The motor and gasoline engine produce 111 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque.
A continuously variable automatic transmission is standard. Performance-oriented gearing unique to the ILX Hybrid produces fuel economy of 39 city/38 highway and 38 mpg combined, markedly less than the Civic Hybrid's 44 mpg across the board. We can't say it did much for the car's performance, though, as the ILX Hybrid goes from zero to 60 mph in 10.4 seconds, which is actually slower than the Civic Hybrid. Still, that's the same as a Lexus CT 200h.
The 2013 Acura ILX comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A rearview camera is also standard.
In government crash tests, the Acura ILX earned a top five-star rating for overall protection in crash tests, with four stars total for frontal impact safety and five stars for side-impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway safety gave the ILX a top score of "Good" for the car's performance in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. In Edmunds brake testing, the ILX Premium 2.0 came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, which is a little better than average. Curiously, the supposedly sportier ILX 2.4 stopped in 130 feet, which is longer than average. The Hybrid posted basically the same distance.
Nobody is going to mistake the 2013 Acura ILX for a BMW 3 Series, but overall performance is more than adequate for everyday commuting duty. The standard 2.0-liter engine's 150 hp delivers the sort of acceleration you'd expect from a non-luxury compact car, but the engine revs willingly and enjoyably, so wringing the most from it is not an annoying task. The ILX Hybrid is slower still, but obviously benefits from dramatically improved fuel economy. It can't accelerate using electricity alone, however, and the hybrid system isn't as sophisticated or seamless as that of a Lexus.
The ILX with the 2.4-liter engine is a different animal, as its sporting exhaust note and greater horsepower translates to markedly quicker acceleration. We're also quite fond of the precision-machined action of the six-speed manual transmission, which is one of the easiest and most enjoyable to use in any car.
Acura's loyal band of driving enthusiasts might be disappointed that the ILX 2.4 doesn't come with any sportier suspension or steering calibrations, but the ILX in general is a sure-footed and pretty nimble car to pilot. The ride quality is an almost ideal compromise between control and comfort, although the tires do seem to generate more chatter through the cabin than we'd prefer, as do the small imperfections of broken pavement.
The ILX's interior is impeccably well constructed, but the materials used aren't really a step up from top non-luxury sedans. Similarly, the design features Acura's typical high-tech vibe, but the inside doesn't exactly scream "luxury!"
Nevertheless, if you're looking for high-tech features to go along with that high-tech vibe, the ILX definitely delivers. There is a 5-inch display screen topping the center stack for the myriad infotainment functions, and smartly placed buttons and knobs to control them. A 6-inch screen comes with the navigation/upgraded audio systems. Another nice feature is that even the base ILX audio has the capability to convert SMS text messages to speech.
Special care was used in designing the seats to be supportive, yet not give the impression of confinement or hardness. The ILX is also pretty spacious for a compact car, with a decent amount of backseat room. Trunk space, at 12.4 cubic feet, is average, and the opening is a little narrow. The rear seat folds down to facilitate carrying longer items, but the seatback is not split to permit a mix of long cargo and a passenger or two in the backseat. The Hybrid, due to its battery pack, drops to 10 cubic feet of space.
Features & Specs
More About This Model
The 2013 Acura ILX is the smallest sedan in Acura's lineup since the Integra, but it's not a spiritual successor to that car.
Although the ILX is efficient and lightweight like the Acura Integra, the ILX is a more polished sedan for grown-ups. It has a well-damped ride, an upscale interior and plenty of electronics to placate smartphone users. It's priced sanely, too, with a base MSRP of $26,795.
It's the kind of small car you enjoy driving to work more so than wringing it out on a back road. And while that's not exactly what old-school Honda guys want to hear, the ILX marks a return to the less-is-more philosophy that defined Acura in its early years.
It's a Civic, Right?
Much like the dear old Integra, the 2013 Acura ILX shares its wheelbase (105.1 inches) and platform architecture with the current-generation Honda Civic sedan. But it isn't a straight-up badge-and-paint job.
Acura engineers lengthened the car's nose, fitted an aluminum hood and set the windshield farther back to lessen the pronounced cab-forward feel of the Civic, while adding nearly 2 inches to overall length (179.1 inches). In addition, the ILX is 1.6 inches wider (70.6 inches), and its roof line is 1 inch lower, reducing overall height to 55.6 inches. The result is a sedan that wears the current Acura beak more naturally than any other car in the lineup.
Inside, the Civic's controversial, digital-over-analog gauge pack has been banished in favor of more traditional instrumentation. We immediately notice the upgraded materials, all of which look and feel good, including the metallic trim. Quality isn't quite at TSX levels, but it's easily on par with the Honda Accord. Of course, the ILX comes with more amenities than the Civic, like standard dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, all of which push the curb weight up to 2,900 pounds on the lightest version. That's about 100 pounds more than a 2012 Civic EX-L Navi, or if you're curious, an automatic-equipped 2000 Integra GS sedan.
The 2013 Acura ILX is close in size to the Buick Verano and Volkswagen Jetta, but company officials don't consider either of those cars key competitors. Instead, they have their eyes on the Audi A3, Volvo S40 (well, whatever latent demand it left behind when Volvo discontinued it) and Lexus CT 200h.
Pick Your Drivetrain
Honestly, it's hard to pinpoint the 2013 ILX's competition, because Acura is offering three very different drivetrains on this car. The company expects 75 percent of customers (and it's hoped there will be 35,000 of them annually) to go for the ILX 2.0L model, and that's the one we're driving on this sunny morning in Scottsdale.
It features a single-overhead-cam, 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that's essentially a longer-stroke version (81mm bore diameter, 97mm stroke) of the 1.8-liter engine in the Civic (81mm by 87mm). Compression remains 10.6:1, and the engine uses variable intake valves to improve power and efficiency. The 2.0-liter is rated at 150 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 140 pound-feet of torque at 4,300 rpm — up from 140 hp and 128 lb-ft at the same thresholds in the Civic. In a nod to reality, Acura is only offering this engine with a five-speed automatic transmission driving its front wheels. As in the TSX, you get a manual mode and paddle shifters.
While we're busy talking, our co-driver hits the highway and the ILX 2.0L gets up to freeway speed easily enough. It's light on low-end grunt, but it feels stronger than the Civic EX we tested, and we expect it to beat that car's 9.2-second 0-60-mph time when we eventually test it. Acura estimates the ILX's EPA fuel economy ratings at 24 city/35 highway/28 combined mpg versus 28/39/32 for an automatic-equipped Civic.
As this is a Honda four-cylinder, it feels most potent up high and revs freely to its 6,700-rpm redline. Upshifts are smooth, and downshifts come when we need them in "D," though Mazda's new six-speed automatic provides quicker gearchanges (whether you want to acknowledge Mazda as a competitor or not). Overall, this five-speed auto gets the job done, and we even detect some attempt to match revs when driving with more gusto.
What Are My Other Choices?
Next up is the 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid ($29,785), which is expected to account for the greenest 20 percent of ILX buyers. It shares its drivetrain with the Civic Hybrid and features a 1.5-liter inline-4 engine with a small 17-kilowatt, front-drive electric motor mounted in parallel behind it, and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) behind that. Forty 3.6-volt lithium batteries occupy the trunk, reducing capacity from 12.4 cubic feet to 10 even, but surely you can order a set of custom cloth grocery bags.
Total system power is rated at 111 hp at 5,500 rpm (exactly 1 more hp than the Civic), while torque tops out at 127 lb-ft from 1,000-3,500 rpm. Acura engineers have fiddled with the software, so you get a sharper throttle response for any given pedal input. This, along with the ILX's extra weight, takes a toll on fuel economy ratings, which the company pegs at 39 city/38 highway/38 combined versus 44/44/44 for the Honda.
Of course, like the Honda, the Acura ILX Hybrid feels sluggish if you're thinking about anything other than reducing your environmental footprint. However, we end up enjoying our time on Phoenix's 101 freeway, because the ILX Hybrid has paddle shifters, as well as seven (yes, seven) simulated forward gear ratios. Yank the paddle a couple times and you have enough juice for passing even if you're cruising around in Econ mode.
And if you want something completely different, there's the 2013 ILX 2.4L ($30,095). Acura expects just 5 percent of you to go for this model, the main reason being you can get it only with a six-speed manual gearbox.
The engine is the same sweet-tempered 2.4-liter inline-4 offered in the TSX and Civic Si, and it's rated at 201 hp at 7,000 rpm and 170 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. We get only 10 minutes in this car, but predictably, this is our favorite engine and we're ripping off heel-and-toe downshifts at 20 mph in the parking lot. Fuel economy estimates are 22 city/31 highway/25 combined.
Probably the most impressive thing about the 2013 Acura ILX is how it rides. Mind you, we're only speaking for Arizona highways, which seem to get more love from the state coffers than our California roads. But there's a new level of compliance here, and it doesn't come at the expense of control over bumps and ruts. It's also a quiet ride, as the ILX has all sorts of noise-reduction measures not found on the Civic, including laminated glass and active noise cancellation (via the audio system).
Suspension design is the same as the Civic's, but Acura engineers have upgraded the dampers and bushings, and those new dampers incorporate rebound springs, which are a means of reducing body roll without resorting to aggressive damping or massive stabilizer bars. It sounds good, but there aren't any serious curves on our route, so we'll reserve judgment on handling until we instrument-test the ILX.
All ILXs get the same basic suspension calibration, which we think might be too soft for the 2.4L model and its high-revving engine. (Along with this caveat comes another: The ILX 2.4L is the only one of the ILX models that can't be equipped with a navigation system, though you can at least have a Premium package with HID headlights.)
You get 17-inch wheels and P215/45R17 Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 all-season tires standard on the ILX 2.4L. These tires are optional on the ILX 2.0L, which along with the ILX Hybrid, comes with standard P205/55R16 Continental ContiProContact all-season rubber. Front brake disc diameter varies by model: The Hybrid has 10.3-inch rotors, the 2.0L has 11.1-inch rotors and the 2.4L gets 11.8-inch rotors. Everybody gets 10.2-inch solid discs in back, and the cast-iron calipers are strictly of the single-piston, sliding variety.
The steering system uses electric assist, but it has a quicker ratio than the Civic — 15.1:1 versus 16.1. It's precise, with good stability on-center, but we wish it had more feel.
If you're still giving unsolicited eulogies to the Integra at dinner parties, then the 2013 Acura ILX probably isn't your car. But if you want a refined compact car that has everything you and your smartphone need and not 1 cubic foot more, there's a case to be made for the ILX over the larger, less efficient cars in this price range.
And we're cautiously hopeful that the ILX might point the way to a renaissance of smaller, lighter cars for the Acura brand.
"Most of the sales growth is at the entry level, and that requires us to move beyond our volume midsize models, the TL and MDX," Jeff Conrad, Acura's vice president of sales and service, told media assembled in Arizona.
Great, we say. Bring on the ILX Type R.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
Used 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid Overview
The Used 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid is offered in the following styles: Hybrid w/Technology Package 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).
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Save up to $300 on one of 3 Used 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, VA with prices as low as $11,595 as of09/25/2018, based on data from dealers and consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from5 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for Used 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid trim styles:
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Used 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid Listings and Inventory
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Should I lease or buy a 2013 Acura ILX?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.