Ξ Comments are off

2013 Acura ILX 2.4-Liter Premium Review & Test Drive

posted by  
Filed under Acura, Automotive, Test Drives

2013 Acura ILX Sport Sedan Beauty Left Up Done Small


The all-new 2013 Acura ILX Premium model is a great economical way to own an Acura performance luxury sedan for less than $30,000.00.  Its initial success can be indicated by the fact that the ILX is the only luxury model on the top ten list of Generation Y shoppers according to J.D. Powers and Associates.  The new Premium model that I tested came with all of the features that gives Acura vehicles such high marks for styling, performance, comfort, luxury, infotainment and safety.

Sleek, sporty and aerodynamically efficient, the new ILX exterior simultaneously combines themes of luxury, performance and efficiency-edgy and fluid with dynamic forms and expressive lines flowing from the front, along the sides and across the three-dimensional cabin to the distinctly styled trunk.  The signature Acura grille features a bold satin surround with a single black horizontal grille bar.  Flanking the grille are the sweeping headlights with HID lamps and multi-reflector high beams.  The model’s headlight covers follow the sweep of the broad front fenders, while also including strong character lines of their own.  Amber side marker lights and reflectors are positioned in the outer edges of the headlight cluster.  Down below the front fascia is an aerodynamically tailored lowered edge and a pair of recesses with a honeycomb grills design that includes foglamps.  The long aluminum hood has a center character line that flows from the top of the grille back to the windshield.  Swept back and narrow A-pillars afford good front visibility through the acoustic glass windshield.  The side also shows the body-color side mirrors, door windows surrounded by satin trim that visually elongates the cabin shape, an additional character line –a deeply set three dimensional element that provides a look of solidity at the bottom.    Deep lower side extensions lower the center of gravity to enhance handling capabilities.

2013 Acura ILX Sport Sedan Beauty Side Done Small

Broad front fenders and pronounced front and rear wheel arches gives the ILX an athletic presence.  The fenders are highlighted with crisp-edged flares that further emphasize the five-spoke 17X7 inch cast aluminum wheel design wrapped with Michelin 215/45R17 inch Pilot MXM4 high-performance tires.   The most prominent character line on the ILX starts from behind the front wheel arches and then rises as it flows rearward through the front door handle, over the rear door handle and rear wheel arches, and finally towards the deck lid.  This rising character line imparts a sense of muscularity and motion, even when the ILX is parked.  The rear of the cabin emphasizes the appearance of the wheel arches and compliments the strong, wide rear fenders.  The taillight array wraps around the rear fenders and extends onto the back of the deck lid.  The backup lights are located on the deck lid and the CHMSL is located at the bottom of the rear windows.  The sheet metal wraps around the body tight and taut, lean and mean.

The ILX offers three distinct engines-a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine that is good for 150hp at 6,500rpm and 140lb.ft. of torque at 4,300rpm.  This is a worthy starting powerplant giving an excellent 24/35/28mpg.  This engine is mated to a standard electronically-controlled Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic with steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters.  In addition to Grade Logic Control and Shift Hold control, this ILX model also incorporates Cornering G-Shift Control which suppresses unwanted upshifts when the car is cornering aggressively.  The ILX Hybrid is the first-ever hybrid vehicle from Acura powered by a fifth-generation of Honda’s integrated electric motor system.  It is mated to Honda’s CVT transmission that also integrates SportShift manual mode thus living up to Acura’s reputation for delivering an engaging driving experience while giving back a superb 39/38/38mpg spec.  The 1.5 liter i-VTEC inline 4-cylinder engine with integrated electric motor has a combined maximum output of 111hp at 5,500rpm and 127lb.ft. of torque at 1,000-3,500rpm.  It is for the more economically minded consumers.

2013 Acura ILX Sport Sedan Engine Done Small

I tested the sporty, more powerful 2.4 liter 4-cylinder engine that generates a more performance-minded driving experience.  It is offered with a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission that is butter smooth and the clear choice for the enthusiast minded consumer-like me.  It features Acura’s i-VTEC ‘intelligent’ valve control system that pairs VVT and Lift Electronic Control with Variable Valve Timing Control that improves low-rpm torque, strong high-rpm power and outstanding fuel efficiency.  This all-aluminum, DOHC engine produces a generous 201hp at 7,000rpm and 170lb.ft. of torque at 4,400rpm.  Adding to the performance look of this powertrain is the aluminum foot pedals inside.  This combination propels the 2.4 liter powered ILX to 60 mph from a standstill in just 6.4 seconds.  Not bad for a sporty luxury sedan for under $30,000.00.

The real fun and excitement of driving the all-new ILX 2.4 comes from the fully independent suspension.  Up front are MacPherson struts with Telescopic Hydraulic Nitrogen Gas Filled Amplitude Reactive Dampers that reduce damping forces over small-amplitude road imperfections, rebound springs, a 20mm solid stabilizer bar and low-friction bushings to further improve ride quality in small-amplitude impacts.  The performance-tuned front ensures optimal wheel alignment while turning for confident handling.  The rear multi-link setup features stamped-steel upper A-arms, cast-aluminum knuckles, double lower tubular lateral links, tubular steel toe-control links, coil-over Amplitude Reactive Dampers and a 14mm solid stabilizer bar.  This setup provides excellent handling, a flat ride and excellent control of NVH.

2013 Acura ILX Sport Sedan Beauty Rear Done Small

The new Amplitude Reactive Dampers provide a superior level of ride comfort with crisp, precise handling.  The dampers operate in two distinct performance parameters including a Ride Zone and a Handling Zone.  Each zone has a unique set of compression and rebound damping forces tailored to provide the desired ride and handling attributes.  In essence, the amplitude reactive operates like two separate suspension systems combined in one.  These new dampers are entirely mechanical in operation with no electronics required.

The new Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS) Rack & Pinion steering system offers a direct feel and efficient steering performance together with improved active safety.  Motion-Adaptive EPS is a sophisticated new system that incorporates driving stability technology which initiates steering inputs that prompt you to steer in the correct direction during cornering and when experiencing slippery road conditions.  Using vehicle speed and steering angle data, Motion-Adaptive EPS works with Vehicle Stability Assist and Electric Power Steering to detect instability in low traction conditions (both during cornering and under braking) and automatically initiates steering inputs aimed at prompting me to steer in the correct direction.  It helps to mitigate understeer to trace the intended curve of the road; it mitigates oversteer by tracing the intended curve of the road and stabilizes braking when braking on hard road surfaces with different friction coefficients such as pavement that is only partially covered with dirt or snow.  This sophisticated system is more accurate and helpful that with a hydraulic system.

Safely and slowly bringing the 2.4 liter ILX down from speed are new, more sophisticated brakes with standard ABS, EBD and BA.  Up front are 11.8 inch vented discs clamped with single-piston calipers and 10.2 inch solid discs clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear featuring a splash shield for better performance in wet conditions.  The servo ratio is idealized for improved braking response with initial pedal force, while high-strength calipers add stiffness for improved pedal feel and braking effectiveness.  The result is a secure, linear, effective and satisfying braking system.

2013 Acura ILX Sport Sedan Dashboard Done Small

The interior of the all-new ILX Premium follows the great mechanicals under the skin with a cabin of high levels of fit and finish, quality soft-to-the-touch materials expected of Acura.  It is a seamless combination of luxury, performance cues and technology.  The 8-way power driver’s bucket seat is very comfortable and supportive for long or short drives.  Driver controls are the main focus as I look straight ahead.  The cockpit has an efficient layout with crisp and clear LED-illuminated analog instrumentation.  The thick, leather-wrapped/tilt/telescopic steering wheel features controls for the cruise control, Bluetooth, and for the premium audio system with 7-speakers.  The leather-wrapped/aluminum topped shifter handle is positioned on the center console for easy reach.  The spacious 5-passenger interior is trimmed in leather.  A large, full-color information display is positioned in the instrument panel’s center stack and dual-zone automatic climate control is standard.  In the back seat there is room for 3-passengers, a pull-down armrest with dual cupholders and a convenient fold-down rear seatback that reveals a pass-through to the trunk that expands the already large cargo-carrying versatility.

2013 Acura ILX Sport Sedan Front Seats Done Small

Acura’s reputation for advanced and highly functional technology is clearly embodied in the all-new ILX.  A Bluetooth HandsFreeLink cellular telephone and music interface system is standard, as is a new SMS text messaging function and a Pandora internet radio interface that can display album art on the color central screen.  Though the ILX is Acura’s most affordable vehicle, it more than lives up to the brand’s standard in terms of quiet interior refinement.  The ILX has an exceptionally low amount of interior noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) due to features such as acoustic glass front windshield, thick side glass, extensive use of sound-deadening insulation and specially designed underfloor covers.

2013 Acura ILX Sport Sedan Rear Seats Done Small

Standard features not mentioned above include MP3 auxiliary jack, USB audio interface, radio data system, push button start/stop, air filtration system, power windows/door locks with front express up/down, storage slots in each door, center console with dual cupholders/padded armrest/storage bin, aluminum door kick plates, maintenance minder system, grab handles above each door, map pocket behind the front passenger seatback, dual map lights, dual lighted vanity mirrors, remote fuel filler door/trunk opener, variable speed wipers/wipers, cruise control, keyless entry, automatic on/off headlights, power tilt/slide moonroof.  The Premium Package comes with leather seating surfaces, 2-way heated front seats, 360-wat audio system with 7-speakers, multi-view rear camera, auto-dimming rearview mirror, HID headlights and foglamps.

Standard safety features include driver/front passenger dual stage airbags, driver/front passenger side airbags, side curtain airbags, Hill Start Assist, 3-point safety belts with front pretensioners/load limiters, tire pressure monitoring system, ACE body structure, daytime running lights, and the LATCH system for child seats.

When taking a look at the all-new 2013 Acura ILX Premium as a whole it is amazing that you only have to pay $30,095.00 for this very nicely equipped performance and luxurious sedan.



  • Price: Base ILX $25,900 As-Tested ILX Premium $30,095.00
  • Engine: 2.4 liter 4-cylinder DOHC 201 horsepower $ 7,000 rpm / 170 lb.ft. of torque @ 4,400 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 105.1 inches
  •  Total length: 179.1 inches
  • Total width: 70.6 inches
  • Total height: 55.6 inches
  • Track: f/r-59.4/60.3 inches
  • Ground clearance: 6.2 inches
  • Headroom: f/r-37.9/35.9 inches
  • Legroom: f/r-42.3/34 inches
  • Turning circle: 36.1 ft.
  • EPA passenger volume: 80.3 cu.ft.
  • EPA cargo volume: 10 cu.ft.
  • Curb weight: 2,978 pounds
  • EPA mileage: 22mpg/city, 31mpg/highway
  • 0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds

You May Also Like

No Related Posts


Automotive Manufacturers & Categories