Based on the same platform as the Honda Civic Hybrid, the 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid offers a surprising amount of luxury for a starting price of under $30,000.
Utilizing the Civic’s Integrated Motor Assist hybrid powertrain, the ILX Hybrid combines a 1.5-liter inline-4 with a 23-horsepower electric motor to achieve a fuel economy of 39 mpg highway. A generous Tech package adds cool amenities like heated leather seats, ELS surround sound, a rearview camera, and navigation with an extensive database of destinations like restaurants, ATMs and more. The front-wheel drive ILX aims at buyers looking for economy, safety and value on the near-luxury end of the premium car market. Rather than being a sporty BMW 3-series competitor, the ILX provides a refined premium small-car experience. Think of it as a luxury sedan and you might well be disappointed, but if you instead think of the ILX as a very nice Honda Civic, you’ll get the car’s appeal.
Like the 2014 Civic with which it shares a platform, the Acura ILX is one of the few compact cars to earn the IIHS’s top safety pick+ rating, doing well in crash-tests and providing some measure of accident avoidance technology. We think the ILX is nicely styled, especially in profile, though the trademark Acura “beak” is sort of love-it-or-hate-it. Inside, materials quality is high, fit and finish is good, and most controls are laid out ergonomically.
Though the ILX has a solid chassis and feels comfortable to drive, it’s somewhat let down by its Civic-hybrid powertrain. It’s 111 total horsepower can feel inadequate during freeway merging, and it’s 10.8 second 0-60 time is somewhat tepid in a world where a base-model Mazda 3 does the same feat in under 8 seconds (and achieves one more MPG on the highway as well.)