Comparo: 2013 Buick Verano Turbo vs. 2013 Acura ILX 2.4 (Autoblog)

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Thread: Comparo: 2013 Buick Verano Turbo vs. 2013 Acura ILX 2.4 (Autoblog)

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    Comparo: 2013 Buick Verano Turbo vs. 2013 Acura ILX 2.4 (Autoblog)

    Answering The $30,000 Entry-Level Luxury Question



    Twenty years ago, a comparison between an entry-level Buick and Acura would have matched a Skylark against an Integra.

    Twenty years ago, a comparison between an entry-level Buick and its Acura equivalent would have matched a Skylark against an Integra. The unfair battle would have resulted in the compact American's defeat in nearly every measurable category, as the Japanese competitor was arguably at the height of its powers.

    Yet the automotive industry has flipped, twisted and merged itself through more than just a recession over the past two decades – it's morphed into a whole different ballgame. Pitting a Buick against an Acura makes perfect sense today, as both automakers are peddling new entry-level models designed to scoop up buyers seeking premium features, luxury appointments and fuel efficiency in a reasonably priced compact sedan package.

    Today's battle is between the Verano and the ILX. Instead of wringing out the base models and setting ourselves up for a day-long yawnfest, we chose the most powerful and dynamic variants of each, configuring them with six-speed manual transmissions to liven the pace. This unquestionably made our behind-the-wheel excursion more interesting, but we soon realized that our enthusiast-oriented decision would introduce a whole new set of headaches.



    The Buick Verano was launched at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show as a new-for-2012 model. Although it shares Delta II platforms with the Chevrolet Cruze and Opel Astra, General Motors has gone the extra mile, giving the more premium Verano its own unique styling inside and out, and it's fitted the four-door sedan with laminated glass, triple door seals and a long list of other sound-deadening upgrades to separate it from its lesser sibling. Buick calls the cabin "library quiet," and its interior features an appointment level on par with its larger LaCrosse sibling.

    Both the Buick and Acura are built in the United States.

    The Acura ILX was launched at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show as a new-for-2013 model. The four-door sedan shares platforms with the Honda Civic, but the automaker resculpted its panels to change its proportions and imbued it with a more befitting interior complete with upscale switchgear. Signature Acura touches such as the dual arched instrument panel and a red push-button starter to the right of the steering wheel complete the transformation.

    Both the Buick and Acura are built in the United States (the Verano in Orion Township, Michigan, and the ILX in Greenburg, Indiana), and each is offered in several trims with a choice of engines. While the base models of each start in the mid-$20,000 range, we chose to compare the range-topping trims, as they are similarly equipped and very closely matched in overall performance.



    Our 2013 ILX, a six-speed manual with the Premium package trim, arrived painted in Silver Moon over ebony leather carrying an as-tested price of $30,095. The only addendum to its $29,200 MSRP was the mandatory destination fee of $895. Standard equipment includes full power accessories, an eight-way power-operated driver's seat, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth and a 350-watt premium audio system. Navigation, conspicuously missing from our ILX, is not offered on this particular model (yet).

    Navigation, conspicuously missing from our ILX, is not offered on this particular model.

    Under the Acura's hood lies a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 201 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 170 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. The transverse-mounted engine, basically shared with the Honda Civic Si and Acura TSX, sends its power through a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox to the front wheels and earns an EPA fuel economy rating of 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. The suspension is an independent MacPherson strut design up front with a multi-link setup in the rear. There are disc brakes at all corners and its 17-inch alloys are wrapped in 215/45R17 Michelin HX MXM4 all-season grand touring rubber.

    Our 2013 Verano, a six-speed manual in Premium trim, was painted in Luxo Blue Metallic over Choccachino (honest) premium leather and carried an as-tested price of $31,695. The base price ($29,105) was bumped up with the addition of a power sunroof ($900), satellite radio with navigation ($795) and a mandatory destination fee ($895). Standard equipment includes full power accessories, six-way power-operated driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, Bose premium audio and navigation bundled with Buick Intellilink connectivity.



    Nestled under the hood of the Buick is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 250 horsepower at 5,300 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm. The transverse-mounted engine, shared with the Buick Regal GS, sends its power through a six-speed manual gearbox to the front wheels to earn an EPA fuel economy rating of 20 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. The suspension is independent with MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam augmented by a Watts Z-link in the rear. There are disc brakes at all corners and its 18-inch alloy wheels are wrapped in 235/45R18 Continental ContiProContact all-season grand touring rubber.

    Both are within an inch of each other in wheelbase, but the Verano is about four inches longer.

    Parked side-by-side, the Buick Verano is wider, taller and longer than the Acura, but only marginally. A tape measure reveals that both are within an inch of each other in wheelbase (105.7 inches to 105.1), but the Verano is about four inches longer overall (183.9 inches vs. 179.1). Place each on a scale, and the Buick is the heavier of the pair with a curb weight of 3,300 pounds (compared to the ILX curb weight of 2,978 pounds), That said, both carry about 61 percent of their weight over the front wheels – typical for a front-drive car.

    To compare the Verano against the ILX, I teamed up with Translogic contributor Kyle Thibaut and Autoblog photographer extraordinaire Drew Phillips and headed out on a nice day trip that would bring our near-lux sedans from sea level up to Southern California's snow line (about 5,000 feet elevation this time of year) and back down. The route offered plenty of urban driving, wide-open mountain canyon roads and mundane freeway travel. After loading the center consoles with Red Bull, Swedish Fish and beef jerky, we filled each tank with fuel and began our comparison.

    Read the rest of the comparison at
    http://www.autoblog.com/2013/03/12/2...arison-review/
    Last edited by ILXfan; 03-12-2013 at 04:38 PM.

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    Senior Member cfrp's Avatar
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    Reviewer had nothing but bad things to say about the Veranos manual transmission.

    So if you are looking for a manual transmission the ILX seems to be the better choice.

    There is alot of back and forth in the review because both cars have their pros and cons. Neither is the better car. But this line here is why I'd pick an ILX

    After the first stop, halfway up the mountain, everyone fought over the keys to the Acura. It didn't seem to have the power or even the lateral grip of the Buick, but it was much more communicative in terms of steering, chassis and throttle response. "The ILX is undoubtedly the better car to throw around on a canyon road," said Phillips matter-of-factly. "Not that many buyers will purchase it for this type of mission, but the car is certainly capable of an entertaining Sunday drive." The steering on the Buick felt artificial and vague, and its superior cabin isolation was discomforting when pushed hard, as the drive felt disconnected from the pavement. Said Thibaut succinctly: "I can't communicate with the road in the Verano."

    A similar lack of engagement was found with the Buick's manual gearbox, as it seemed out of place. The Verano's clutch pedal felt disconnected, and its shifter sloppy. Some of us complained about missing shifts. The Acura, on the other hand, was nearly perfect with a smooth clutch and tactile lever action. "The ILX's shifter is its saving grace, allowing for gear changes that are both accurate and lightning fast with a flick of the wrist," said Drew. Everybody agreed.
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    Super Moderator Trentimus's Avatar
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    I can't take a reviewer seriously when he says the ILX reminds him in everyway to the Civic but the Buick is NOTHING like the Cruze.. I lol'd pretty hard. It's not a fan boy thing, it's a snobby reviewer thing. The Cruze is an inferior car to the Civic (IMO) the ILX is BASED on the Civic, the Verano is BASED on the Cruze.. how can they say the ILX reminds them of a Civic inside and out when it's further altered from the Civic than the Verano is from the Cruze.. just look at a Cruze, they BARELY changed the exterior.. the interior? PLEASE! It's a most definitely a Cruze "with lipstick".. I am so sick of all these bandwagon reviewers. You're a car critic professionally, stop being bias.

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    It's the echo chamber. They read each other's car reviews, which influences their own reviews. That's why you got to make you decisions and take other peoples especially professional critics with a grain of salt.

    They all rehash from one another.

    I think ILX is great car, and I don't see it is an insult when they say it's like a Civic, because the Civic is still a great car too.
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    Senior Member cfrp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trentimus View Post
    I can't take a reviewer seriously when he says the ILX reminds him in everyway to the Civic but the Buick is NOTHING like the Cruze.. I lol'd pretty hard. It's not a fan boy thing, it's a snobby reviewer thing. The Cruze is an inferior car to the Civic (IMO) the ILX is BASED on the Civic, the Verano is BASED on the Cruze.. how can they say the ILX reminds them of a Civic inside and out when it's further altered from the Civic than the Verano is from the Cruze.. just look at a Cruze, they BARELY changed the exterior.. the interior? PLEASE! It's a most definitely a Cruze "with lipstick".. I am so sick of all these bandwagon reviewers. You're a car critic professionally, stop being bias.
    I agree. It seems like people forget the Verano is a dressed up Cruze. More so than a ILX is a dressed up Civic.

    Most people I've met who have seen the ILX actually don't even know that it is based off the Civic.

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    These reviewers wouldn't be that harsh on it.. Honda thought telling them "we took one of the most successful economy cars of all time and spun-off an affordable luxury car from it" was a good thing.. Instead reviewers are stuck on the SNOB in them that says "I can't like this car, it's a Civic" ... What is the Verano? What is the CTS? What is the TL? What is the A3? What is the G37? These cars are all based off of standard brand car.. Why is this one so harshly critiqued for it?

    It's old to me.. sorry for the rant but so many reviewers keep regurgitating this trash.

    Also, the fact this Verano has SO MUCH more Power/Torque and still Traps at almost the same 1/4 speed and indentical Edmunds times is kinda funny.. Imagine what a F/I ILX would do to the poor Verano, speed wise.
    Last edited by Trentimus; 03-13-2013 at 09:14 PM.

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    Senior Member Saildog4534's Avatar
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    The ILX gives up 50 H.P. without the Verano's turbo and still runs a faster 0-60. Give me a better
    engine and trans and I'll live with a little more cabin noise.
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    Senior Member ilxluv's Avatar
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    A well tuned turbo should do at least 50hp per liter ontop of the natural hp.
    ...just sayin




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    Senior Member cfrp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trentimus View Post
    These reviewers wouldn't be that harsh on it.. Honda thought telling them "we took one of the most successful economy cars of all time and spun-off an affordable luxury car from it" was a good thing.. Instead reviewers are stuck on the SNOB in them that says "I can't like this car, it's a Civic" ... What is the Verano? What is the CTS? What is the TL? What is the A3? What is the G37? These cars are all based off of standard brand car.. Why is this one so harshly critiqued for it?

    It's old to me.. sorry for the rant but so many reviewers keep regurgitating this trash.

    Also, the fact this Verano has SO MUCH more Power/Torque and still Traps at almost the same 1/4 speed and indentical Edmunds times is kinda funny.. Imagine what a F/I ILX would do to the poor Verano, speed wise.
    words from the wise.

    People just like to bash on the civic. It's popular - good selling.

    So people bash on it by name "IT'S JUST A CIVIC"

    So it is natural for people to bash on the ILX

    I have no problem with owning one of the most reliable platforms and well supported platforms in the world.

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  12. #10
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    End of the day, if someone is looking for a 30k luxury car. You have two options: the ILX and the Verano. The ILX is the better choice.

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