2013 Acura ILX Verdict
The 2013 Acura ILX is like one of those scary gateway drugs you always hear about. Acura hopes with just one taste you'll be hooked forever. We recently came down from more than a year's worth of hits off the most entertaining version of the ILX, a car that tempts potential addicts, er, customers "to move up without settling down." While we walked away from our time with the 2013 ILX without having to enter rehab, the version of the Acura compact we tested left us high on its numerous strong points.
It's important to emphasize that the particular ILX we had was powered by Honda's 2.4-liter inline-four with 201 hp and 170 lb-ft partnered with a six-speed manual. This is the enthusiast's choice of the ILX lineup, and running it through the gears again and again to its 7100-rpm redline is one of the biggest highs you'll get from it, but you will build up a tolerance. With a 6.4-second 0-60-mph time, the ILX isn't going to blow your mind with straight-line speed. Its handling prowess won't make you OD. But it does have a certain visceral appeal to it, and with a DNA similar to that of its distant Civic Si cousin, it scores pretty high on enthusiast purity.
Arguably the best-looking Acura in the current stable, the ILX has elements that work for and against it. Its standard moonroof seems a great luxury touch, but only if you're under 6 feet tall. Otherwise, prepare to have your noggin glancing off the headliner. Rear-seat passengers are snug, but not stiflingly so, and at 12.3 cubes the trunk isn't cavernous, but it'll hold groceries or a couple of big travel bags.
The ILX Is aimed at young, mainly single upwardly mobile types, aka millennials, the new Holy Grail demographic. It has most of the features today's connected kids are seeking, such as Pandora integration, Bluetooth streaming, and convenient spots to hook in and throw your smartphone. It also has some of the best cupholders in the business to house that triple mocha non-fat venti latte. And given that millennials are known to inhabit urban environments, the ILX makes sense in that it's easy to park and maneuver in tight situations. The 2.4 doesn't come with a factory navigation option, but who needs that when you have nav on your smart phone, right?
I spent the majority of my time in the cockpit of the ILX traversing the mean streets of the City of Angels. The driver's seat strikes a more than acceptable comfort/sport balance, and while the cockpit as a whole is snug, it isn't smothering. For a compact, the sight lines are acceptable, and I was always aware of lane-splitting bikers cutting through the red zones. In L.A.'s interminable stop-and-go traffic, the ILX's six-speed manual doesn't punish your left leg and is one of the easiest to modulate shift-for-yourself units I have ever rowed. Under hard acceleration, the ILX's cabin is noisier than other offerings in the segment (our scientific measurements showed the Buick Verano proved quieter), but in some ways it burnishes the car's "without settling down" marketing tag line. When traffic unexpectedly slowed, the ILX's brakes (120 feet from 60 to 0 mph) stopped strong all year long.
"With a rev-happy powertrain, lively character, and 23K trouble-free miles, the 2013 Acura ILX proved a habit-forming compact while in the MT garage."
Nobody took any mega road trips in the ILX, but multiple 5-8-hour open road jaunts proved uneventful. The car buzzed along at around 3000 rpm at 70-75 mph in sixth during long freeway stretches. Range from its 13.2-gallon tank wasn't exactly impressive. About the best I could squeeze out of it was around 340 miles, and only during long, steady freeway stints. MT observed mileage came out to 27.2 mpg combined, higher than the 2013 ILX 2.4's rating of 22/31/25 city/highway/combined.
Speaking of uneventful, the same can be said of the ILX's service. We took it in to the dealer three times for its normal scheduled intervals, and, while spendy at more than $100 a pop, the work was done without incident, as was one recall fix to address a door latch issue. The only unplanned service was for a driver-side foglamp area that took a hit that knocked out the lamp and damaged a few other parts. The repair was $392.65. And other than a passenger-side door speaker cover that came loose, the cabin held up well.
Acura's been hammered over the years for having too many buttons in the center stack, but not so much on this ILX, especially without the nav/infotainment. We're going to miss the habit-forming raw sophistication of the ILX. It keeps you engaged and entertained, whether you're attacking your favorite on-ramp or downshifting past yet another annoying left lane chicane. And Acura's hoping the ILX has just enough other tech and features to keep the folks hooked on some of that prime A stuff.
|Service life||15 mo/23,475 mi|
|Price as Tested||$30,095|
|Average fuel economy||27.2 mpg|
|CO2 emissions||0.71 lb/mi|
|EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ||22/31/25 mpg|
|Maintenance cost||$401.92 (3-oil change, inspection; 1- tire rotation)|
|3-Year Residual Value*||$15,649|
|Recalls||Front door latch|
|*Automotive Lease Guide|
|2013 Acura ILX 2.4|
|DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT||Front engine, FWD|
|ENGINE TYPE||I-4, aluminum block/head|
|VALVETRAIN||DOHC, 4 valves/cyl|
|DISPLACEMENT||143.6 cu in/2354 cc|
|POWER (SAE NET)||201 hp @ 7000 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||170 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm|
|WEIGHT TO POWER||14.7 lb/hp|
|SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR||Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|BRAKES, F;R||11.8-in vented disc; 10.2-in disc, ABS|
|WHEELS||7.0 x 17-in, cast aluminum|
|TIRES|| 215/45R17 87V M+S |
Michelin Pilot HX MXM4
|TRACK, F/R||59.4/60.3 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||179.1 x 70.6 x 55.6 in|
|TURNING CIRCLE||36.1 ft|
|CURB WEIGHT||2953 lb|
|WEIGHT DIST, F/R||61/39%|
|HEADROOM, F/R||37.9/35.9 in|
|LEGROOM, F/R||42.3/34.0 in|
|SHOULDER ROOM, F/R||55.6/53.5 in|
|CARGO VOLUME||12.3 cu ft|
|ACCELERATION TO MPH|
|PASSING, 45-65 MPH||3.3|
|QUARTER MILE||14.9 sec @ 94.1 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||120 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.80 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||27.9 sec @ 0.56 g (avg)|
|TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH||2600 rpm|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$30,095|
|AIRBAGS||Dual front, front side, f/r curtain|
|BASIC WARRANTY||4 yrs/50,000 mi|
|POWERTRAIN WARRANTY||6 yrs/70,000 mi|
|ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE||4 yrs/50,000 mi|
|FUEL CAPACITY||13.2 gal|
|EPA CITY/HWY ECON||22/31 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY||153/109 kW-hrs/100 mi|
|CO2 EMISSIONS||0.77 lb/mi|
|RECOMMENDED FUEL||Unleaded premium|