In his January 2005 essay "Grow Up? Not So Fast," author and Time senior writer Lev Grossman popularized the term "twixter" -- a young adult loitering in the transition stage between post adolescence and full-fledged adulthood. "There was a time when young people looked forward to taking on the mantle of adulthood. That time is past. Now our culture trains young people to fear it," Grossman wrote.
The Buick Verano and Acura ILX are automotive twixters, caught betwixt and between the adolescent, mainstream models they're born from and the adult luxury models they emulate. They're positioned as entry luxury sedans tasked primarily with snaring the up-and-coming consumers of Generation Y (many human twixters can be found in this age group).
Your average Motor Trend reader knows the ILX and Verano share platforms, wheelbases, and more with the Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cruze, respectively. They start in the mid-$20Ks with basic engines. We found the $30K performance iterations more to our liking, namely the2013 Acura ILX with the 201-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder and idyllic six-speed manual from the Civic Si (but not its helical limited-slip differential), and the 2013 Buick Verano Turbo (its trunk badge reads simply T), powered by General Motors' 2.0-liter turbo-four with 250 hp and an eye-catching 260 lb-ft of torque, also matched to six forward, driver-selected gears.
There's a classic showdown between normal aspiration and forced induction here. Both engines and shifters proved entertaining to unwind; the ILX for its unmistakable, Honda-revving-happiness, and the Verano for its short boost time, gratifying midrange torque, and predictable power delivery. Whereas the Acura continues the ritual of precise gear slots and easily modulated clutches, the Buick calls for more dramatic clamping force on the third pedal (not unusual for a turbo engine) and slightly longer throws through its F40-MYJ transmission (the transmission's lone appearance in GM's U.S. lineup).
Read more: 2013 Buick Verano Turbo vs. 2013 Acura ILX 2.4 - Motor Trend