Acura is still readying the ILX, which will fill the entry-level slot in the luxury brand’s lineup. (It is for now a concept, but per Acura/Honda practice, this is very close to the vehicle that will go on sale this spring.) As we mentioned last month when we first reported on the car, virtually every premium brand is busy preparing smaller models that appeal on efficiency and affordability as much as they do luxury.
Acura has a long and storied history of being an innovator since its creation in 1986. As the first luxury brand from Japan, the marque brought with it the first variable valve timing technology, the first drive by wire electronic throttle, the first in-dash navigation system and the first instance of torque vectoring all-wheel drive.
Laudable accomplishments, all of them, and Acura reaped rewards for the technological advancements it brought to the automotive realm. Venerable nameplates like Legend and Integra launched Acura into first place in the premium luxury car segment in 1987, the brand's first full year of sales.
With a dose of Acura luxury and civility, the Civic based ILX seems to be in a class by itself. The closest competitor at the moment might be Buick's Chevrolet Cruze-based Verano, at least until the Audi A3 sedan arrives in 2014. Interior appointments are upscale but not too dressy, with a dual cockpit layout that employs bright analog gauges and emphasizes driver command. The exterior styling seems sporty, but, from some angles, there is an odd sort of frumpiness. There's a hint of the bulbous Honda Accord Crosstour bustle in the rear and a shade too much overhang out front, but otherwise, it's stylish.
The 2013 Acura ILX lower crease that runs between the wheel wells is more pronounced, and the lower sills are more aggressive. Acura has ambitious plans for the 2013 Acura ILX, and hopes to sell some 40,000 units annually. The 2013 Acura ILX with most estimates putting its price tag below the $30,000 mark. Additionally, the 2013 Acura ILX will also be the most fuel efficient Acura, thanks to its hybrid option, which incidentally makes this the first Acura to feature a gasoline-electric drivetrain. Expect most 2013 Acura ILX buyers to stick with the basic engine and transmission, a 2.0-liter four cylinder mated to a conventional automatic transmission.