2013 Acura ILX : Heels on Wheels Review
HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel
INTRO TO THE ACURA ILX VEHICLE
The all-new compact ILX sedan represents a new move for Acura by offering a more affordable option for those looking to join the luxury vehicle ranks at a slightly lower cost. Like the mid-size TL and TSX sedans, it features refined interior accoutrements paired with sleek styling and an athletic ride.
I drove a 2013 Acura ILX with the standard 150-horsepower 2-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine and five-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift. Available in just one trim (and a Hybrid version) with or without several packages, my ILX with the Technology Package came with the following features: leather-trimmed sport seats; eight-way power driver’s seat; heated front seats; moonroof; Bluetooth; steering-wheel mounted controls; radio data system; XM radio; USB port and auxiliary input jack; push-button start; fog lights; Xenon headlights; seventeen-inch wheels; and all-season tires. The Technology Package brought navigation, rearview camera, AcuraLink for traffic and weather updates, an upgraded ten-speaker Dolby ProLogic II audio system, and dual-zone climate control. Total vehicle price came to $31,400.
A unique concept to the market, the only other premium model that comes to mind for cross-comparison is the Buick Verano. Otherwise, you might want to look into striking sedan models that still feature an affordable edge when fully loaded like the redesigned Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata.
HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA
Stylish But Comfortable Results: The smaller dimensions of the compact ILX take some getting used to, but the center stack with streamlined technology commands and overall interior build remind drivers every Acura still offers sought-after luxury items like a navigation display with backup camera, XM radio, dual-climate control, heated seats, leather upholstery and a moonroof. As always, the Technology Package is a recommended option. The rear dimensions do allow for child car seats that don’t cramp front or driver passenger legroom drastically. Cargo space is cramped at 12.3 cubic feet and the small opening poses a loading challenge.
Reliability & Safety Factor: The ILX features a standard rearview camera, ACE body structure, anti-lock brakes, hill start assist, traction control, and an advanced airbag system. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the ILX with “Good” performance front, side, rollover, and rear crash tests. It also has a 5-Star rating with The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Cost Issues: The 2013 Acura ILX starts at $25,900 and tops out at $34,400 for the Hybrid version with Technology Package. The 2013 Buick Verano begins at $23,080 and reaches $29,105.
Activity & Performance Ability: With the ILX, you’ll miss out on V6 engine power but are far from plagued with typical four-cylinder quirks – the smaller 2-liter does a good job of distributing power and shift smoothly even under duress. There is also a 201-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a 111-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder Hybrid version that gets an EPA-estimated 38 miles-per-gallon combined.
The Green Concern: My 150-horsepower 2-liter gets 24 miles-per-gallon city and 35 highway for a combined 28. Again, the Hybrid version gets 39-city and 38-highway for a combined 38.
FINAL PARTING WORDS The 2013 Acura ILX represents a compact sedan upgrade without sizable guilt, a comfortable and practical treat for commuters who do not want to compromise luxury, fuel efficiency and the family budget.
©2012 Katrina Ramser