2013 Acura ILX Hybrid

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$11,344–$17,784 Inventory Prices
(4.4) 8 reviews
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Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    38 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    90-hp, 1.5-liter I-4 (premium)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    2-speed CVT w/OD and auto-manual
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Mileage
  • Decent ride quality
  • Contemporary styling
  • Clean interior layout
  • Roomy backseat

The Bad

  • Braking feel
  • Modest acceleration
  • Some engine droning
  • Hybrid loses folding backseat
  • All options in one pricey package
  • Few active-safety features

Notable Features of the 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid

  • New compact hybrid sedan
  • Gas-only version also available
  • CVT automatic transmission
  • Backup camera standard
  • Relatively high mileage
  • Keyless access standard

2013 Acura ILX Hybrid Road Test

Joe Wiesenfelder

While the Acura ILX is a forgettable car, thin competition makes the Hybrid version worth a look for anyone who values mileage over performance and lushness.

I touched briefly on the ILX Hybrid in my review of the 2013 ILX (see the review), and our editors have since gotten more time in the hybrid, so I will share more impressions here.

The group of high-efficiency small cars of a luxury persuasion is a relatively small one. With EPA-estimated mileage of 39/38/38 mpg city/highway/combined, the ILX Hybrid compares to the Lexus CT 200h (43/40/42 mpg) and, arguably, to the clean-diesel Audi A3 TDI (30/42/34 mpg). If you're not swayed by brand name alone, a loaded Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid competes on both capability and price, and is rated 42/48/45 mpg. See the four models compared.

While the slightly larger Acura TSX sedan curiously overlaps with the gas-only ILX, it doesn't come in hybrid form.

How it Drives
More experience with the ILX hybrid didn't endear us to the driving experience. None of the quirks of hybrids are popular among critical drivers, but they pass under the radar of the average motorist. (Were this not the case, hybrids wouldn't sell in the numbers they have.) The ILX Hybrid's mushy brake pedal, however, could frustrate the masses.

During passing maneuvers, the ILX Hybrid's use of a continuously variable automatic transmission gives it the typical motorboat effect, where acceleration lags and then builds more slowly than in a normal ...

While the Acura ILX is a forgettable car, thin competition makes the Hybrid version worth a look for anyone who values mileage over performance and lushness.

I touched briefly on the ILX Hybrid in my review of the 2013 ILX (see the review), and our editors have since gotten more time in the hybrid, so I will share more impressions here.

The group of high-efficiency small cars of a luxury persuasion is a relatively small one. With EPA-estimated mileage of 39/38/38 mpg city/highway/combined, the ILX Hybrid compares to the Lexus CT 200h (43/40/42 mpg) and, arguably, to the clean-diesel Audi A3 TDI (30/42/34 mpg). If you're not swayed by brand name alone, a loaded Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid competes on both capability and price, and is rated 42/48/45 mpg. See the four models compared.

While the slightly larger Acura TSX sedan curiously overlaps with the gas-only ILX, it doesn't come in hybrid form.

How it Drives
More experience with the ILX hybrid didn't endear us to the driving experience. None of the quirks of hybrids are popular among critical drivers, but they pass under the radar of the average motorist. (Were this not the case, hybrids wouldn't sell in the numbers they have.) The ILX Hybrid's mushy brake pedal, however, could frustrate the masses.

During passing maneuvers, the ILX Hybrid's use of a continuously variable automatic transmission gives it the typical motorboat effect, where acceleration lags and then builds more slowly than in a normal car, but it's not the worst example I've experienced. Ditto for the sometimes droning engine noise. Some of this behavior, and the associated noise, is evident in the CT 200h as well. Diesels tend to feel more natural, but come with their own distinctive sounds.

The noise level isn't as high as it is in the Honda Civic Hybrid on which this model is based (loosely, Acura insists), thanks to additional soundproofing in the Acura. Unfortunately, the hybrid drivetrain hardware is the same, so the car isn't quicker. (Luxury models are typically quicker than more modest vehicles.) The hybrid system is tuned differently, so the accelerator feels more responsive, but the power rating is essentially unchanged, at 111 horsepower. Between the more aggressive calibration and the ILX Hybrid's additional weight (around 100 pounds), the Acura's mileage is 6 mpg combined lower than the Civic Hybrid's.

The gas-only ILX's engines provide 150 or 201 horsepower, but they're rated just 28 and 25 mpg combined, respectively. The base ILX does zero to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds, according to our friends at MotorWeek, so as you can imagine, the weaker Hybrid isn't exactly a rocket.

Though the ILX's ride quality isn't super soft, it's more comfortable than the Civic's, and the car shares the Honda's precise steering and able handling. The CT 200h is also considered sporty, though which of these two cars is sportier depends on whom you ask.

Interior
For a compact car, the ILX is reasonably accommodating. With 89 cubic feet of interior volume, it matches the A3, exceeds the CT 200h by 3 cubic feet and falls below the Jetta by 5 cubic feet. The Jetta has a good deal more legroom in the backseat, but the ILX makes good use of its available space, with enough backseat legroom for adults and a nearly flat floor that does wonders for the feeling of roominess.

For comparison, the TSX doesn't capitalize as much on its larger exterior as I'd expect. Mainly it gives wider hip and shoulder room. The two models' headroom and legroom measurements are mostly within a few tenths of an inch of each other.

Equipped with the Technology Package, our test car was optioned up with quality leather. Without this package you lose not just the leather, but also the heated front seats and driver's power adjustment. Rather than leatherette (imitation leather, which is standard on the CT 200h and Jetta Hybrid), the base ILX has cloth. You decide which you consider more valuable. The A3 TDI has leather standard.

The ILX improves markedly on the Civic's cabin in many ways, but the fairer comparison is against comparable luxury models. Here it does OK in some ways but less so in others. Many of the surfaces are in line with this price class, but I could do without the silvery plastic trim. The combination fuel-door and trunk-release lever on the floor isn't very classy. Typically when you pay this much for a car, you don't have to grab a dirt-covered handle to open the trunk from inside. All three of the other fuel misers mentioned above have power trunk and fuel-door releases.

I'm also down on the instrument panel, where the gauges are decent but not as classy as they could be, and the small display between them is too low-resolution for an upscale car. More-affordable cars have done away with the blocky pixels seen here, and the selectable screen with a green ball that grows, shrinks and changes hue to reflect how efficiently you're driving looks crude versus the Civic, where a similar light show is executed with more refinement and subtlety.

Ergonomics & Electronics
The ILX has a nice conventional gear selector, and everything that looks like a button is exactly that — a real, mechanical button rather than a touch-sensitive panel, the likes of which besmirch even more-expensive vehicles. Standard on all ILXs is a high-mounted 8-inch display that's controlled by a multifunction knob on the center control panel. The knob is within reach but not as comfortable to use as the type found farther back on a center console, where your arm naturally rests.

I was never a fan of Acura's knob-based control system, but now that I've seen how the company has executed its dual-screen approach in more recent models, I'm suddenly more approving of this one. I still think a touch-screen is the best way to go, but this knob setup is pretty easy to use once you figure it out.

The Hybrid model comes standard with a USB port, an analog auxiliary input, Bluetooth audio streaming, and compatibility with Pandora internet radio when paired to a compatible mobile device. Satellite radio, voice activation and navigation come in the Technology Package along with a premium stereo.

Cargo & Storage
Like most hybrid sedans, the ILX Hybrid sacrifices some trunk volume — more than 2 cubic feet — versus the gas-only version because of the hybrid battery pack. It also loses the folding backseat, which isn't uncommon among hybrid sedans, though the Jetta Hybrid sedan does retain a narrow pass-through. Even better, the CT 200h, being a hatchback, preserves the traditional folding-backseat functionality.

Safety
In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the ILX earned the top score of "good" in side, rear and roof-strength tests. It also scored "good" in the conventional moderate-overlap frontal test. The car hasn't been subjected to the stringent small-overlap test, in which few cars perform well. The Honda Civic is one of the exceptions, with a good small-overlap rating, but Acura says the ILX and current Civic are different enough under the skin that we can't assign the Honda's test score to the Acura.

The ILX earned a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The ILX has a standard backup camera but isn't long on active-safety features for when the car is in motion: It lacks blind spot, lane departure and frontal collision warning features. The CT 200h offers forward collision warning as an option.

Value in Its Class
The ILX Hybrid comes at a starting price of just under $30,000, including destination, and that's decent. The problem is that upgrading it at all requires a single option package of $5,700. The Lexus, by contrast, starts $3,165 higher but offers a healthy list of more affordable packages and stand-alone options.

The regular ILX hasn't set the sales charts on fire. Buick has sold almost two and a half times more Veranos so far this year. Perhaps the Verano has more momentum after a head start as a new 2012 model. Perhaps the ILX just doesn't compare or is too close to the TSX (whose sales have indeed plunged since the ILX came along). Though it isn't long on power, the ILX Hybrid might be the most attractive option in its niche, mainly because there aren't too many fuel-misers in the growing compact-luxury class.

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Latest 2013 ILX Hybrid Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(3.9)
Interior Design
(4.2)
Comfort
(4.1)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.1)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Super reliable

by Michael j from Ridge by on March 22, 2018

I loved it very much it drive so well it was a great ride the awd was incredible and it was extremely comfortable. The heated seats were a great feature for cokdnkrth eastern winter days. Read full review

(4.0)

40 miles to the gallon and somewhat sporty dynamic

by Michael from Danvers on June 11, 2017

It looks sporty than it is and at about 50mph it seems sporty. Car is not meant to be sporty but it's livelier to drive than other hybrids out there. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    72 months / 70,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / 50,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Acura

Program Benefits

24-hour roadside assistance, trip-interruption services, trip-planning services, emergency fuel delivery, emergency lockout service and Acura Concierge Service

  • Limited Warranty

    7 years / 100,000 miles

    1-year/12,000-mile non-powertrain warranty begins after expiration of original warranty (4 years/50,000 miles) or on date sold as certified (no deductible); 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty begins from the original in-service date (no deductible)
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 80,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 182 point inspection and reconditioning.

    See inspection details.

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All Model Years for the Acura ILX Hybrid

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The ILX Hybrid received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker