- Pros: fuel-efficient (especially the available hybrid), comfortable and well-appointed interior, low cost of ownership
- Cons: modest cargo space, underpowered base engine, lack of standard advanced safety features
As the entry point into Acura’s sedan lineup, the 2013 ILX fills a similar niche as the slightly larger TSX. This makes it an attractive choice for those looking to dip their toes into the luxury segment. The ILX boasts a well-crafted interior, comfortable seating, and commendable fuel efficiency, particularly with its available hybrid powertrain. If you’re looking for a premium compact car that’s easy on the wallet, this model has a lot to offer.
However, there are some trade-offs. The base four-cylinder engine feels underpowered, and the car doesn’t offer much cargo space — a point to consider if you often find yourself hauling more than just a few bags. Furthermore, while basic safety features such as antilock brakes and front-seat side airbags come standard, more advanced driver aids such as lane departure warning or blind-spot monitoring are not available in the 2013 ILX.
- 2013 is the inaugural year for the model
- Shares a platform with the Honda Civic
- Choice of gasoline and hybrid powertrains
The 2013 Acura ILX is the model’s debut year, marking Acura’s entry into the small luxury sedan market. The new model slots below the slightly larger TSX in the Japanese automaker’s lineup, and it shares a platform with the Honda Civic, giving it a solid foundation of reliability and engineering.
The 2013 ILX comes relatively well-equipped with standard features, including keyless entry, a sunroof, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The Premium package ups the ante with leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a rearview camera. The Technology package further adds a navigation system and premium audio. The Hybrid trim closely mirrors the base model but incorporates a hybrid powertrain for improved fuel efficiency.
Engine options include a 2.0-liter four-cylinder for the base model, a more powerful 2.4-liter four-cylinder available with the Premium package, and a 1.5-liter four-cylinder paired with an electric motor in the Hybrid. The 2.0-liter comes with a five-speed automatic transmission, while the 2.4-liter pairs exclusively with a six-speed manual, and the Hybrid employs a continuously variable automatic (CVT). All versions are front-wheel drive (only).
- Smooth and composed but not particularly sporty
- Base 2.0-liter engine feels underpowered, especially on highways
The 2013 Acura ILX provides a generally smooth and comfortable ride, aligning well with its entry-level luxury positioning. Handling is predictable, and the car’s compact dimensions make parking and navigating tight spaces relatively easy. However, it’s no canyon carver. The ILX leans more toward comfort and easy maneuverability rather than exhilarating performance.
The base 2.0-liter four-cylinder produces 150 horsepower, sufficient for most situations, but it can feel sluggish in more spirited driving. The optional 2.4-liter engine, available with the Premium package, is far more engaging with its 201 horsepower and six-speed manual transmission, but it falls short of sports sedan status. With its 1.5-liter engine and electric motor, the Hybrid prioritizes fuel efficiency over speed, delivering just 111 horsepower but doing so smoothly thanks to its well-integrated CVT.
- 24 mpg city / 34 mpg highway with the base 2.0-liter engine
- 22 mpg city / 31 mpg highway with optional 2.4-liter engine
- 38 mpg city /38 mpg highway with the hybrid powertrain
The 2013 Acura ILX delivers competitive fuel efficiency numbers for its class. According to the EPA, the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder achieves 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Opting for the sportier 2.4-liter drops those figures slightly to 22 and 31, respectively. These numbers are solid but not groundbreaking for the segment.
If you’re keen on maximizing fuel economy, the Hybrid variant offers the most impressive ratings at 38 mpg city and 38 mpg highway.
Real-world fuel economy reports from owners align closely with the EPA estimates, a testament to the ILX’s balanced engineering. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on driving habits and conditions.
Interior and Features
- Well-appointed cabin with quality materials
- Comfortable front seats, but rear space can be a bit cramped
- Navigation and premium audio are available, but not Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
The 2013 Acura ILX offers a well-designed interior that matches its luxury billing. While it doesn’t scream “luxury,” quality materials are used throughout, and the layout is straightforward and user-friendly. Soft-touch surfaces and well-placed controls add to the car’s overall appeal.
The front buckets offer good support and comfort; however, the rear bench can feel cramped, especially for longer-legged passengers. The ILX doesn’t provide a vast amount of cargo space, either. But the back seats can be folded down in a pinch to accommodate larger items.
The available Technology package is a plus, offering a navigation system and premium audio. It also boosts the display size from five to eight inches. While not particularly large by today’s standards, it’s nevertheless functional and relatively easy to navigate. The ILX comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity but not Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, unfortunately.
A somewhat rare offering in this segment is Acura’s Active Noise Control, which is included with the Premium and Technology packages (except for ILX Hybrid). It helps to keep occupants feeling relaxed and fresh by quelling unpleasant exhaust or road noise inside the cabin.
- Standard antilock brakes, front-seat side airbags, and side curtain airbags
- No advanced driver-assistance systems
- Rated highly by NHTSA and IIHS
The 2013 Acura ILX comes with essential safety equipment, such as antilock brakes, front-seat side airbags, and side curtain airbags. These are standard across all trims, adding a basic level of confidence for drivers. A multi-view rearview camera is also included with the Premium and Technology packages. However, if you’re expecting advanced driver-assistance systems such as lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, or adaptive cruise control, you won’t find them on the ILX, not even as optional extras.
Nevertheless, the ILX performed well in official safety tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave it a five-star overall rating, its highest score. Additionally, the car was named a 2013 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which scored it “Good” in all crashworthiness categories.
- Generally reliable with low ownership costs
- Some issues reported with air conditioning and electronics
- Six minor recalls
The 2013 Acura ILX is generally regarded as a reliable vehicle, particularly when it comes to engine and transmission longevity. Owners report racking up 200,000 miles and more with relative ease. It also tends to have a relatively low cost of ownership, making it an appealing choice for budget-conscious people who still want a touch of luxury. Thanks to its Honda underpinnings, regular maintenance costs are reasonable for the ILX, and it’s less likely to suffer from the expensive mechanical problems that can plague some older luxury vehicles.
However, there are some problem areas to look out for. Owners have reported minor issues with the air conditioning system and some electronic components, such as infotainment glitches. While these problems aren’t widespread, they are worth considering and inspecting before purchase.
The 2013 has received a total of six recalls over its lifetime. That’s well below average, and none is severe. Nevertheless, we advise checking the NHTSA website to ensure that the needed repair work has been carried out for any example you may be considering.
Which One to Buy
If you’re in the market for a used 2013 Acura ILX, we recommend the following configurations.
Best Overall: ILX with the Premium package
The ILX with the Premium package is a solid choice for buyers who want a mix of luxury and performance without breaking the bank. This configuration provides leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a rearview camera, upping the luxury quotient. Additionally, it offers the option of a more robust 2.4-liter engine that pairs with a six-speed manual transmission, making the drive more engaging.
Fuel-Efficiency Maven: ILX Hybrid
If maximizing fuel economy is your top priority, look no further than the ILX Hybrid. With its impressive 38 mpg in both city and highway driving, this model is ideal for those who have longer commutes or simply want to make fewer stops at the gas pump. It comes equipped with a solid set of features (closely mirroring the base model), ensuring you’re not sacrificing comfort for efficiency.
Budget-Friendly Luxury: ILX Base model
For those on a tighter budget but still interested in dipping their toes into the luxury sedan pool, the base ILX is worth a look. It’s more affordable on the used market and still comes with a fair amount of standard features, including keyless entry, a sunroof, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Its 2.0-liter engine may not be a powerhouse, but it’s sufficient for most daily driving needs.
Whether you’re seeking a well-rounded luxury experience, superior fuel efficiency, or just a taste of luxury on a budget, the 2013 Acura ILX has a configuration to match.
Photos courtesy of Honda and IIHS