Acura brings the ILX Hybrid to the market for the 2013 model year with a price tag sneaking in just below $30,000 and with a hint of luxury car that warrants a second look. So is it more than a sweetened up version of the Honda Civic Hybrid? You will have to be the judge, but this hybrid comes in at about the same size as the Prius and Focus Hybrid, but definitely sports some different lines. Unlike the afore-mentioned vehicles, this Acura offers a more traditional silhouette. But for all its classic lines, this is luxury with a small, not a capital, L. While the interior sports some leather, there is also plenty of molded plastic which detracts somewhat from an overall luxury car feel usually associated with this automaker.
Overall, this Acura Hybrid offers superb handling and a style that is both pleasing to the eye and cuts a different look in a world of hatchbacks and sporty exteriors. The Acura ILX Hybrid is powered by a 1.5 liter 4 cylinder engine together with an Integrated Motor Assist system.
Under the Hood
Acura's ILX Hybrid is powered by the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA)System. This system, which is new to Acura but has been proven through real-world use and developed over a decade, was built on the concept familiar to hybrid enthusiasts: that much of an engine’s power gets used only during acceleration or on steep upward driving. Making use of this reality, the system incorporates a 1.5-liter, 8-valve, i-VTEC 4-cylinder gasoline engine partnered with an electric motor. Of course, the small, efficient gas engine operates on its own when at cruising speed, while the electric motor provides a needed boost when additional power is necessary.
In combination, the two deliver 110 hp at 5500 rpm while torque is 127 at 1000-3500, according to Acura. Connected exclusively to the continuously variable transmission, the 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid has an EPA estimated fuel economy of 39 miles per gallon in the city, 38 on the highway and 38 combined.
The electric motor alone can propel the car up to 45 mph under certain conditions. As with other hybrids, the actions of deceleration and braking provide an opportunity for the battery to recharge and supply power to the electric motor.
The Full View
Looking for some cool gizmo quality to your hybrid? Both the Acura ILX's premium and technology package models come equipped with a multi-view rear camera that automatically provide the options of three different views and show what’s behind you when the vehicle is put into reverse. The wide angle view provides a 170-degree perspective behind the vehicle, plenty of space for spotting pedestrians or other vehicles. This safety feature has popped up in a number of mid-level and luxury cars the past couple of years. The viewing difference in the two are that premium models offer a full-color 5-inch display atop the center controls. This option's views can be changed via an audio selector. By contrast, the technology package models make use of the existing 8” navigation screen and views are adjusted by pressing the navigation system's "enter" control.
As though avoiding collisions weren't a cool enough feature, add to it that the top-down view can be used for parallel parking, a feature I could certainly use. Yellow guidelines help guide you and aid in judging distances.
Inside, the plush, ergonomically designed seats provide more than enough comfort and support, even on long trips. If you opt for the premium or technology package models, you'll also get leather trip and both the front and rear seat surfaces will feature perforated leather for breathable surface comfort. If you live in areas where winter weather brings a chill to your bones, the leather-equipped models provided the added bonus of dual-level heaters. If you live in a northern climate where cold has a whole new definition and have ever had heated seats, it is hard to do without them.
Premium and Technology Package models also feature an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat.
The Acura ILX Hybrid is a solid car with a quiet, comfortable ride, solid handling and the touch of luxury and reliability expected of the automaker.MSRP: $28,900
Fuel Economy: 39 city/38 hwy/38 combined