2013 Acura ILX at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show

  • Competes with: Buick Verano, Volvo C30, Audi A3
  • Looks like: A Civic-based Acura with some luxury touches
  • Drivetrain: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 1.5-liter hybrid powertrain
  • Hits Dealerships: This spring

On the heels of its concept debut in Detroit last month, the production Acura ILX was unveiled at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. The compact sedan will go on sale this spring.

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Although the 2013 ILX shares a platform with the Civic from parent company Honda, the styling differs considerably with sleeker lines and overall sportier look.

The ILX will be Acura’s first hybrid; the powertrains are also borrowed from the Civic.

Three trim levels and engines are available. The base ILX gets power from a 150-horsepower, 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder engine and five-speed automatic transmission. The ILX 2.4 uses a 201-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder and six-speed manual transmission. The ILX hybrid will use a 111-hp, 1.5-liter four-cylinder and a continuously variable automatic transmission and is expected to get EPA ratings of 35/38 mpg city/highway. A lithium-ion battery pack, regenerative braking and automatic start/stop functionality combine to help save gas.

Standard features include keyless entry and push-button start, Pandora internet radio interface and SMS text message functionality. The available Premium Package adds heated leather seats, an upgraded stereo, a multiview rearview camera and Active Sound Cancellation system. The Technology Package adds features such as ELS surround sound audio, AcuraLink multimedia functionality with voice recognition and a navigation system with a 60-gigabyte hard drive.

The 2013 ILX will be manufactured at Honda’s Greensburg, Ind., plant. With the ILX, Acura looks to attract first-time luxury buyers to the brand, and it seems like the car will be priced appropriately. Acura says the compact will be priced “well below $30,000” and will not replace the TSX, which currently starts just south of $30,000.

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