First Drive: 2013 Acura ILX

Posted on 20. Apr, 2012 by in Auto News

When Acura unveiled its 2013 ILX sedan at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, we wondered why the company would like to add another small sedan, just below the TSX in size and price. We also asked if the demand does exist for a luxury car of this size and price that has been projected by Acura as "well below $ 30,000." (We complete pricing information released last night.) But I asked, could the same thing about the Buick Verano, and once I drove this model and saw the differences between him and the Chevrolet Cruze on which it is based, does not deny me, his appeal .

To make a decision on the ILX, I would drive it. Yesterday I, all three variants: the 2.0L, 2.4L and 1.5L hybrid.

Automakers get cagey when talking of common platforms, especially between brands of different costs and the call to start. Acura openly that the new entry-level ILX. Shares its foundation with the redesigned Honda Civic, but has also on the mechanical differences between the two

Firstly the ILX lower and about 1.5 inches wider than the Civic, and its torsional stiffness (the resistance of the body against rotation) is greater, by 18% at the front and 11% rear. The ILX uses different shock absorbers, called reactive amplitude damper, typically found in European luxury cars. The two-piston systems are a soft ride, without offering sharper bump absorption or cornering.

The ILX also has a quicker steering ratio and upgraded hardware, such as a larger diameter steering shaft for improved feel. There is more noise, and: thicker glass, more insulation and active noise cancellation in models with 17-inch wheels, among other measures.

How does all this translate to the driving experience?

First I drove the 2.4, which like most of the Civic Si that there is a 201-hp. 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and comes only with a six-speed manual transmission. As expected, it is fast, although the torque peak 170 pounds-feet do not give the vehicle the urgency some drivers want on the line. The engine and exhaust sound pretty good, but it is. Loud and intrusive as the speed where you can climb to get the most out of it

The manual is very satisfying when you get on the unreasonable expectations evoked by his shift. (The sight of this shifter always recalls the Honda S2000, but unfortunately nothing has ever matched that auto-rifle-bolt precision.) Are the translations to the cause well coordinated.

Despite the special provisions, the lack steering feel. Torque steer is under control, although with a stiffening of the steering wheel, which is perhaps a countermeasure by the electric power steering seems to get adopted.

Where is 2.4 on the ILX as the Civic Si is the most disappointing way: roll. However, this version has the same suspension setup as the other models, and it just needs more control over the body slim. Without the confidence and road handling that comes with competent agency, the 2.4 's power increase is mostly wasted.

The ride quality is pretty good, but exhibiting the roadbed awareness we expect from Acura without unnecessary punishment is an extreme or luxuriate on the other.

I also drove the ILX Hybrid, Acura first whose mileage is (originally estimated 35/38 mpg city / highway) now officially EPA-estimated 39 mpg / 38. It is significantly lower than the Civic Hybrid at 44/44 mpg.

Although the drive train is the same hardware and the ILX hybrid a rear spoiler and a low rolling resistance tire, are not so many Acura aerodynamic concessions. It is also about 100 pounds heavier, and its hybrid system is tuned for better responsiveness.

On the street does not have too much of the hybrid material acceleration delayed reaction we have as many tolerate the rubber band or motorboat hybrids known effect-at least. Not when accelerating from a standstill, it is more of it, if you can, the gas nail already in motion, but three driving modes you trade mileage for responsiveness: The Econ button makes the car cautiously rev the engine keeps the sport mode the speed is higher all the time and the normal drive mode, as you would expect, is right in between. Not a bad arrangement. If this does not produce the desired result, you can choose to paddle on the steering wheel at seven fixed ratios for the continuously variable automatic transmission.

The ILX Hybrid is not fast, and the brakes have a terribly mushy pedal, but if you're in it with the right expectations to go hybrid (quirky acceleration and braking, not much vibrancy or fun), it should satisfy you.

With a 2.0-liter four-cylinder instead of the Civic 1.8-liter meets the ILX 2.0 a good balance, what is determined Acura. It did not demonstrably faster than the Civic to me, though, perhaps because of the increased equipped weight about 145 pounds more than the automatic Civic EX. The five-speed automatic transmission is well behaved and offers smooth shifts and quick kickdown if it is to happen at the time.

The ILX is definitely quieter than the Civic, but not exceptionally quiet, and if memory serves, not as cheerful as the Verano. Rather than a tripling in traversing pavement cracks and tar patches that emit low frequency tire of a distant drumbeat.

It goes without saying that the ILX the interior quality better than widely criticized cabin of the Civic (Honda has acknowledged) is. All test cars I drove at least had the option premium, and thus perforated leather and vinyl seats that are well executed. The instrument panel has a low-gloss soft surfaces, and the center panel has an interesting surface. Less impressive is the silver-gray trim elsewhere and the black plastic on the front of the armrests and around the door handles.

Help a little more consistency would, as would some color, especially if the ILX up against the Verano. With the exception of the optional ivory seats and select surfaces in our test car, this is Acura 2.0 characteristically black and gray.

My day of driving ILXes with an interstate trip back to Cars.com with 2.0 for further evaluation, and the seats are comfortable and turned end after five hours of highway driving. Acura has produced a better Civic? Of course. But that's better than the $ 25,900 ILX $ 22,585 Verano or other competitors? I'm skeptical, but I and the other editors of this volume challenge model and publish a full review in the near future.