2013 Acura ILX: Up Close

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The small premium car is seeing a renaissance in the U.S. Buick recently released the Verano sedan, but other players have unique entries, like Lexus with the small CT 200h hybrid, BMW with the 1 Series coupe and Audi’s A3 hatchback. That leaves a lot of room for the practical, yet attractive, Acura ILX.

More 2012 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Based on the Honda Civic platform but with an entirely unique design and cabin, the ILX offers a lot of interior room; the rest of the cars in this group don’t.

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The interior is in line with the TSX and RDX in terms of materials quality. The center stack of controls is perhaps the simplest I've seen in an Acura in years. The interior design also feels sporty, but what impressed me most was the legroom in back. With the driver’s seat adjusted for my 5-foot-10 frame, I had plenty of knee room in the backseat. Pardon the poor iPhone photo below.

Ilxlegroom

The practical stuff is all here, including modest powertrains, but at least the ILX is a looker. This is also why I applaud automakers for bringing more than one exterior color. The car that was placed on the pedestal was a boring bronze, but one nearby in black showed off its curvaceous rear much better.

Acura's much maligned beak-like shield is also better integrated on the ILX than on the TL and RL.

Perhaps Acura is clawing its way out of the doldrums with what should be its most boring car.

Comments 

sheth

The styling seems to be getting a lot of praise simply because acura has released a few duds. This car looks pretty good but same can be said for focus, elantra, verano, etc. The interior is on par with focus and maybe cruze, but doesn't appear to be step up from either.

Tony

Everybody wants to look like AUDI in the back

jett1000

@ sheth,
I agree with you. among those cars, the ilx is no beauty queen, but among the other acuras it is. although the ilx isnt great, its still ok for an acura

Paola

Wow, that's a lot of switches on the steering wheel.

sheth

I dont think the TSX is ugly so I dont see the big "quantum leap" in styling on the ILX. It looks like a smaller TSX with a slight twist and a nicer rear fascia. To me, the real problems are that this interior doesnt look any nicer than a cruze and the base engine is anemic.

anthony

I still prefer the TSX,but Honda have certainly done a great job with the styling,looks very sporty.

Rohit

@ Tony: I was thinking the rear looks more like the Lexus IS...look at the photos from when it was still a concept unveiled at the Detroit Autoshow and u'll see it looks very similar to the IS (only much roomier and not as overpriced) I also have to mention, they have done a MUCH better job with the 2013 RDX..the current one just looks too hideous.

Bill

This is an upscale Civic Si and will have Honda's superb ergonomics (and a much better better instrument cluster) but it suffers from the same problem that the TSX did: the top model is too light on power. It should really have 10-15% more hp and about 20% more torque (but no V-6) to "run away" from the competition.

If you're going to require premium fuel you need to deliver premium performance.

Mike

I would buy one if it were $25k. Seems sporty and simple. It's a step up from Civic, Corolla etc, but below the Lexus IS and G35. I think it fills a good niche as long as it's not overpriced.

liweih21

As I recall (having leased) the 2nd gen TSX 2.4l auto 0-60 was about 8.6seconds (slowest compare to G25 or IS250) and the 9th gen Civic EX 1.8 AT 0-60 about 9 almost 10 seconds. The ILX 2.0 AT is going to be a SLOW car!

ED

I think needs a few more HP and at least a 6 speed trans. Acura DNA = Stylish Goodlooks, Performance and reasonable MPG. I drive a TL, daughter looking at ILX.

@ Tony: I think it is more like a lexus is... Look at these photos from when it is still a concept in Detroit auto show launched, you will see it looks very similar to (only more capacious, rather like the high price) I have mentioned, they have to do a better job and 2013 RDX.. The current one looks terrible.

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