In an exhibition of remarkably good timing, Acura has a pair of new fuel efficient vehicles waiting in the wings — a compact luxury sedan and an updated small crossover. Here's a look at each.
2013 Acura ILX
These days, small is big in the luxury segment. Acura wants in on the action.
To get there expeditiously, Honda's luxury brand has taken the new 2012 Civic platform and morphed it into a classy 2013 sport compact dubbed ILX. It's a car aimed at 20- and 30-somethings who want to make an "I have arrived" statement, even if, in reality, they're really still in transit.
As such, ILX will have a starting price "well below $30,000," a spokesman told me, while boasting a long list of standards. Buyers who have a few extra bucks can tart it up more with a pair of exotic packages: Premium (leather, heated seats, upgraded 360-watt audio, rear-view camera and Active Sound Cancellation for a quieter cabin) and Technology (surround-sound audio, AcuraLink communications, navigation with voice recognition, real-time traffic and weather and a hard drive with 60 gigs of storage, including 15 for music).
Three drivetrains will be offered: a base 2.0-liter I-4, making 150 hp and 140 lb.-ft. of torque through a five-speed automatic (24 city/35 hwy); a livelier 2.4-liter, 201-hp four, borrowed from the sporty Civic Si, that makes 170 lb.-ft. of torque exclusively through a six-speed manual (22/31); and a 111-hp hybrid — a first for Acura — cribbed, with slight modifications, from the Civic hybrid (39/38). It has a CVT automatic.
ILX styling appears less polarizing than that for which Acura cars have become known, while still distancing this car a country mile from its Civic source material.
The Greensburg, Indiana-built ILX arrives this spring.
2013 Acura RDX
The RDX small crossover is proving itself something of a rebel.
In this era of 4-buck gas, everyone else seems to be downsizing from six-cylinder power to turbocharged fours. Not RDX. It's doing exactly the opposite.
For 2013, the redesigned RDX jettisons its 2.3-liter turbo I-4 in favor of a naturally aspirated V-6 that makes 273 hp — 33 more than the blown four it replaces. That standard engine's power is managed by a new six-speed automatic transmission.
Thanks in part to that transmission, which boasts one more cog than the five-speed it replaces, this 2013 V-6 RDX gets an EPA rating of 20 city/28 hwy for front drivers and 19/27 for all-wheel drive models. That beats, respectively, the outgoing four-cylinder's 19/24 and 17/22.
Also new to Acura is RDX's available all-wheel drive system, borrowed, as it is, from the Honda CR-V. It is, however, modified for the luxury needs of an Acura.
Boasting a more formal look, RDX will offer a host of exotic technologies, including Active Sound Control, which uses audio waves to reduce cabin noise; Pandora internet radio, SMS text messaging, keyless access, three-view rear camera and an available Technology Package that includes surround-sound audio, AcuraLink communication, navigation with voice recognition, real-time weather and traffic and a 60-gig hard drive with 15 gigs for music storage.
Here's the pricing chart, including destination:
RDX $35,205.
RDX with Tech Pkg. $38,905.
RDX AWD $36,605.
RDX AWD Tech Pkg. $40,305.
Look for the all-new, East Liberty, Ohio-built RDX to arrive early this spring.


Read more: 2013 Acura ILX, RDX: All-new small sedan and redesigned compact crossover set to debut soon