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Impressive All Rounder: 2013 Acura ILX

Acura offers an optimum mix of safety, technology, luxury and performance in its cars and has a lot of loyal customers. Now it offers a car for those who crave the brand but might not want to shell out the big bucks. It is amazingly impressive, writes our automotive editor Sally Miller Wyatt.

(Above): Exterior view of the 2013 Acura ILX.

Who doesn’t have a dream car? Some crave a certain vehicular style, such as speedy sports cars or huge trucks; others just favor a certain manufacturer. Acura knows it has many who are loyal to the brand, but wanted to offer a “gateway” vehicle for those who may dream of owning an Acura, but don’t yet have the funds to tackle the higher-end models. Hence, the creation of the Acura ILX model, which is all-new for 2013.

This ILX model may be a smaller five-passenger sedan, but it is not short on the standard features and safety technology that you would expect to find in any Acura.

The ILX offers a choice of three powertrain options, as well as a hybrid model. The base price is $25,900, and trends up with the addition of Premium and Technology Packages. Buyers can choose from either the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a Sequential SportShift five-speed automatic transmission, or a gutsier 2.4-liter with a six-speed manual transmission. The Hybrid models have a 1.5-liter inline engine that is paired with an electric motor. The hybrid model receives an MPG rating of 39 for city driving and 38 for highway driving.

(Above): Exterior view of the 2013 Acura ILX.

The base model offers such high-end standard features as Keyless Access with pushbutton start, Pandora Internet radio interface, a power moonroof, aluminum wheels, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, and heated door mirrors.

Standard safety features start with Acura’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE body structure, and add side-impact door beams; front, side and side curtain air bags; anti-lock brakes; Electronic Brake Force Distribution; Hill Start Assist; and Vehicle Stability Assist.

The Premium Package, priced at $3,300, adds leather seats, heated front seats, a power driver’s seat, upgraded stereo system with XM radio, HID headlights, fog lights, and a multi-view rear view camera. That actually is a very nicely assembled package for the price.

(Above): Interior view of the 2013 Acura ILX.

To this can be added a Technology Package, for another $2,200. This includes an ELS Surround Sound audio system and AcuraLink Satellite Communications system and a navigation system with voice recognition. The navigation system uses a hard disk drive with 60 gigabytes of storage capacity. Our test car was equipped with both packages, and had a MSRP of $32,295.

The 2013 Acura ILX is a sporty-looking sedan with sweeping lines. Behind the wheel, you’ll find supportive seats and a cleanly designed dashboard. Visibility is very good to the front, sides, and even to the rear. Out on the road, I immediately noticed its smooth ride, easy handling and lack of road noise. Acura’s sound-dampening efforts are extremely effective.

The multi-view rear camera helps out a lot when backing out of parking spaces in crowded lots.

(Above): Exterior view of the 2013 Acura ILX.

The rear seat is comfortable for passengers in the outboard positions. Even the rear middle seat is made just that much more comfortable, thanks to a flat floorboard.

The trunk is good sized and easily accessed through a lid that lifts up and away.

The 2013 Acura ILX is a smartly designed, feature-packed sedan. It offers drivers a swift and comfortable driving experience and gets great gas mileage. Acura has done a nice job of packaging technology and safety features here, on what they have dubbed a “gateway” vehicle. Maybe for some, it may be just what they have been dreaming about.

Sally Miller Wyatt is a freelance writer who writes family-oriented auto reviews for newspapers, magazines and the Web.


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