2013 Acura ILX 2.4L new car reviews

Meet Acura's replacement for the TSX, the ILX.
The ILX might be based on the Civic, but the Acura gets a more traditional gauge package.
This isn't the Si version, but this image shows how the ILX gets a more traditional silhouette.
The Civic has a more cab-forward layout.

Better than: Cadillac Cimarron
But not as good as: Acura Integra Type R
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 85.19

An Acura-ized version of the Honda Civic sedan might be new to the American market, but really it's nothing groundbreaking. Canadians could first buy an Acura EL some 15 years ago. Basically it was an upmarket Honda Civic--a light reskin, really, nothing nearly as radical as the Integra and RSX.

That concept is now available in the U.S. with the Acura ILX. Take a Civic sedan and give it a slight Acura makeover: more conventional sheet metal, traditional gauges and slightly softer suspension.

Three versions are available:

ILX 2.0L: a 2.0-liter four mated to a five-speed automatic (starts at $25,900).

ILX 1.5 Hybrid: hybrid propulsion with a CVT (starts at $28,900).

ILX 2.4L: 2.4-liter four plus a six-speed manual ($29,200)

Our test car had the 2.4-liter engine. For all intents and purposes, call it a reskinned Civic Si, including the six-speed manual transmission but not the limited-slip diff . The other big differences? The Acura has an 83-pound penalty, while the Civic's anti-roll bars favor a bit more oversteer. Oddly, though, you can't order navigation on the 2.4-liter Acura, just the Civic Si. However, the Acura does come with leather.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

While I'm not 100% in love with the looks, I really, really dig the latest Civic Si--yes, I'm still a fanboi of the marque. I also liked the original TSX. Could the ILX be the perfect car for me? It's pretty much a conventionally styled Civic Si sedan, one of my favorite new cars.

Yep, the ILX sheet metal looks good, and I prefer the interior. While I could probably get used to the Civic's gauge layout, the ILX makes sense from Day 1. Plus the leather seats are way nice.

The ILX still has just enough bark. To be honest, I'm surprised Honda let that much intake noise into the cabin. I'm not complaining at all, but realize that this is not a totally sanitized version of the Civic Si. Figure it's a Civic Si wearing a nice suit and a pair of Doc Martens.

Why isn't there an ILX in my garage? Price. While it's less than the outgoing TSX, the 2.4-liter ILX costs about $6500 more than a comparable Civic Si. That's a heck of a premium in my book, especially since the ILX doesn't even include navi. (If the ILX had navi, then the difference comes closer to $5000--not sure if that's any better.) The lack of the Civic Si's limited-slip also doesn't thrill me.

So, this one leaves me conflicted. I love it in concept, but the reality just pushes me closer to buying another Civic Si.

Alan Cesar FartSmeller69
SuperDork

This car was quick, comfortable, and the engine sounded great. Headroom was surprisingly lacking though, and then there's the price. That's a lot of money for a Civic.

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Comments
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Matt B
Matt B SuperDork
7/19/12 3:37 p.m.

I'd argue that if Acura had never produced the amazing bad "beaks" on the MDX, TL, & TSX, then you'd never notice the one on the ILX. Mainly, because it's really not bad. They finally toned it down.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UberDork
7/24/12 9:11 a.m.

i'd accept 22 city/31hwy if it included more performance. i'd settle for 201hp and 170lb/ft of torque if it was more efficient.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

An Acura-ized version of the Honda Civic sedan might be new to the American market, but really it's nothing groundbreaking. Canadians could first buy an Acura EL some 15 years ago. Basically it was an upmarket Honda Civic--a light reskin, really, nothing nearly as radical as the Integra and RSX.

That concept is now available in the U.S. with the Acura ILX. Take a Civic sedan and give it a slight Acura makeover: more conventional sheet metal, traditional gauges and slightly softer suspension.

Three versions are available:

ILX 2.0L: a 2.0-liter four mated to a five-speed automatic (starts at $25,900).

ILX 1.5 Hybrid: hybrid propulsion with a CVT (starts at $28,900).

ILX 2.4L: 2.4-liter four plus a six-speed manual ($29,200)

Our test car had the 2.4-liter engine. For all intents and purposes, call it a reskinned Civic Si, including the six-speed manual transmission but not the limited-slip diff . The other big differences? The Acura has an 83-pound penalty, while the Civic's anti-roll bars favor a bit more oversteer. Oddly, though, you can't order navigation on the 2.4-liter Acura, just the Civic Si. However, the Acura does come with leather.

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