What is the Acura ILX?
Replacing the old CSX, the ILX is Acura's new entry-level model. It's a compact luxury sedan that proves more refined than its predecessor: Whereas the CSX was nothing more than a dressed-up Honda Civic, the ILX is a totally different car. Modern styling and premium accommodations confirm its prestige and contradict its price point.
Too bad the engine lacks power...
2013 Acura ILX Price and Specs
While a 201-horsepower, 2.4L unit is available, I was left with the base 2.0L 4-cylinder engine that produces a meagre 150 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque, which is barely more than the Civic's output, by the way. Since the 2013 Acura ILX is heavier as well, you can feel it running out of steam after a short while.
On the bright side, I achieved 6.1L/100km on the highway, and my combined rating was still shy of 8.5L/100km. That'll make visits at the gas station a lot easier on the wallet!
The 2013 Acura ILX starts at $27,790, while my Technology tester costs $32,290 (Note: for 2014, the former is just $200 more expensive, while the latter drops by $300). A hybrid variant is also available.
Driving the 2013 Acura ILX
Notwithstanding its lacklustre powertrain, the 2013 Acura ILX Tech is quite pleasant to drive. Steering is sharp and fun to manipulate, while the paddle shifters make for a more rewarding driving experience, especially in sport mode.
There is some body roll in corners, and given the luxurious nature of the 2013 Acura ILX Tech, I would have liked a suspension slightly better suited to our roads. The ride becomes pretty noisy when you leave the comfort of slick pavement.
The brakes, meanwhile, are fairly competent. Despite the weight of the 2013 Acura ILX Tech, the ventilated front discs and solid rear discs do a nice job in most situations.
Moreover, visibility is adequate up front and on the sides, but it gets more complicated when you want to back up. The optional rearview camera is basically a must.
Inside and Out of the 2013 Acura ILX
While Acura's signature grille has yet to grow on me, I can see how beautifully integrated it is and how it spices up the front fascia, particularly with the Acura logo in the middle of the big chrome blade. The rather bland headlights of the ILX contrast with the sharper, more sculpted taillights. The raised trunk combined with the beefy rear bumper contributes to a youthful, modern look that's easy on the eyes.
As soon as you step inside the 2013 Acura ILX Tech, you'll be amazed and even shocked by the quality of materials, the near-perfect ergonomics, the readily accessible controls, the slick navigation display, and the two-tone dashboard. Everything looks and feels refined.
On the other hand, the 2013 Acura ILX Tech is missing some advanced technologies included in many comparably priced sedans like the Mazda6, for instance. A blind-spot monitor and lane-departure warning system would seem like standard fare in such a premium model.
Interior room is quite impressive for a compact car. The trunk can hold more luggage than most competitors, although I sometimes wished for a larger opening.
Comparing the 2013 Acura ILX
As far as entry-level luxury cars go, the 2013 Acura ILX rivals the likes of the Buick Verano, Audi A3, and BMW 1 Series -- all of which are more powerful. The ILX will still attract a fair share of buyers with its affordable price, high levels of comfort and luxury, and the brand's solid reputation.