2013 Acura ILX Review
We drive the entry-level Acura.No Comments
It's quick to scamper away from stoplights, it handles with poise and accurate, sharp steering; and the clutch and shifter are engaging.
It's a luxury car, it's a sports car, it's...the most expensive Honda Civic Si ever?
Acura is positioning its ILX compact sedan as a near-luxury sports sedan, especially with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder and six-speed manual transmission, slotting just below the TSX as its entry-level car.
Entry-level is relative to class and price, of course, as with the 2.4-liter engine and the manual (the 2.4 is only available with a stickshift) the ILX bases at just a tick under $30K. Honda evidently thinks it can move some compact-car buyers up to its Acura luxury division without too much trouble, just as competitor Buick is evidently thinking with its Chevrolet Cruze-based Verano compact.
When we slowed it down a bit, there was little ride sacrifice--while the suspension is tuned to sport, the ride is pleasant enough for longer drives. The car generally feels well balanced.
While we found the steering to be accurate, we also found it to be a tad too light and artificial-feeling for our tastes.
We also were at turns delighted and annoyed by the exhaust note--it's loud and brash nature was appreciated during spirited driving, but not nearly as much during around-town driving or highway cruising.
We liked the ILX's sports-sedan chops, but it could get tiresome to live with, mainly due to the boy-racer exhaust.
Headroom and legroom feels a bit tight--one never forgets this is a compact. Still, the overall space is about par for the class.
Fuel economy is rated at 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway with the 2.4 and the manual transmission.
Not only that, but the car doesn't always balance the sport versus comfort equation correctly, with the loud exhaust being a particular sore point.
Finally, will Acura buyers be enticed by a manual-transmission-only sports sedan? We think many Acura shoppers will lean toward the 2.0-liter ILX or the perhaps even the hybrid. So 2.4-liter ILXs might be a rare example of the ILX breed.
From a driver's perspective, the ILX is damn fun. From a value perspective, it's a tough sell.
Perhaps the ILX 2.4 is the nicest Civic Si out there. Too bad the real Si is available for less money.
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Drive Wheels: Front
As-Tested Price: $30,095
Available Features: USB port, auxiliary input jack, push-button ignition, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, fog lights, moonroof, leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats.