Thread of the Day: Acura ILX or Buick Verano?
Like the Chevrolet-Cruze based 2012 Buick Verano, Acura’s new compact front-drive ILX sedan shares its chassis with a mainstream sedan—in this case, the 2012 Honda Civic. Even so, both automakers give their entry-level luxury sedans higher-quality interiors, distinct styling, and larger engines than their mainstream siblings. In case you haven’t already seen it, check out our 2013 Acura ILX First Drive right here.
Buick’s waterfall grille, teardrop headlights, and venti-ports distance the Verano from the Cruze. The Verano features unique side glass with chrome window trim plus more curvaceous surfacing than the Cruze. Inside the Verano’s interior features quality cloth seats or optional leather. Heated rear seats are available as is classy ambient lighting.
A toned-down version of Acura’s beak-like grille finds its way to the front of the ILX. The ILX’s profile and rear styling are more refined than the Civic’s while the taillights help distinguish the car as an Acura. Inside, the 2013 Acura ILX shares little with the Civic, again styled more like the larger TSX with silver trim and richer-looking seats.
The Buick Verano replaces the Chevy Cruze’s 138-hp turbo 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a larger 180-hp 2.4-liter inline four mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.The Verano is rated 21/32 mpg city/highway. The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder from the Regal may make its way under the Verano’s hood later, but for now, there’s only one Verano powertrain offered.
Unlike the Verano, the 2013 Acura ILX will offer three distinct powertrains including the hybrid system from the Honda Civic Hybrid, which should be good for 39/38 mpg. The mainstream engine will be a 150-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to a five-speed auto (EPA estimated at 24/35 mpg). Acura will also offer the 201-hp 2.4-liter four-banger and six-speed manual combo from the Honda Civic Si. The top engine should return 22/31 mpg.
During testing, we found the Buick Verano was solid, but not designed for drivers who enjoy attacking winding roads: “The chassis, like the engine, isn’t tuned for the enthusiast. The suspension, featuring the Z-link rear, is well-controlled and capable of making crisp mountain road moves while maintaining the supple ride over bad roads and washboards you’d expect from this brand.”
Our initial drive impressions of the Acura ILX found that cars equipped with the smooth-revving and sounding 2.4-liter I-4 and six-speed manual were the most impressive. Unfortunately, the electric power steering was overboosted and numb at all speeds. The new 150-hp 2.0-liter four makes the most of its 140 lb-ft of torque thanks to automatic transmission’s paddle shifters. The Hybrid engine paired with the CVT was the least fun to drive of the bunch, but compensated with the highest fuel efficiency.
Which compact, front-drive near-luxury sedan would you choose: the Chevy Cruze-based Buick Verano or Honda Civic-based Acura ILX? Sound off in the comment section below.
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