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For those who thought the TSX was Acura’s price leader, meet the ILX.

Acura’s seemingly trying extra hard these days to cater to every automotive taste and/or budget. Within the last decade, its flagship SUV, the MDX, paved the way for the smaller RDX, and from the TL came the TSX and now, ILX.

Acura’s 2013 ILX, an all-new model for the Honda-based brand, is an entry-level, midsize car. Naturally front-wheel drive (what else?), Acura offers the more petite TSX with several four-cylinder engine choices–including a 2.0L I-4 automatic (150 hp), a sporty 2.4L manual with paddle shift (201 horses), and a fuel-sippin’, 111 hp-hybrid that employs a 23 hp electric motor and 91 hp, 1.5L I-4 engine. The latter is the same one used on the Civic hybrid.

Fuel economy was obviously of great importance to the ILX’s engineers given the fact that all of the engines offered net over 30 mpg on the highway. The 2.0 earns an average fuel economy of 28 mpg in combined city/highway driving, the 2.4L getting 25. The hybrid ILX trumps both of those in spades, delivering a combined average of 38 mpg.

The ISX boasts three trim levels: Standard, Premium, and Technology. Customers can opt for the ILX Hybrid in base (Standard) or Technology form, while the 2.4L customers are limited to the Premium level. The latter isn’t a bad proposition by far, though: It includes goodies like HID headlights, fog lights, 17″ alloys, a backup cam, and leather upholstery.

Apparently, there’s an ILX for everyone wanting a roughly $30k sedan: A 2.0L that’s basically a super nice Honda Civic, and a 1.5L Hybrid that shares the Civic Hybrid’s powerplant. And although the 2.4L ILX is the least fuel-conscious of the bunch, it’s by far the best car for those with even slightly sporty driving tendencies, with its closer gear ratios, higher-revving motor, and grippier tires.

2013 Acura ILX | AutoLust
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