2013 Acura ILX Performance

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Performance
With three different powertrains available in the 2013 Acura ILX, it spans a wide range of performance characteristics, though underlying each is a balanced, relatively light chassis that makes the most of the desired tuning, be it comfort or sport.

The base model of the ILX is the 2.0L, powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 150 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. It's paired by default with a five-speed automatic transmission with paddle-shifters mounted on the steering wheel. While the paddles add an element of fun, and even control in a passing situation, the overall demeanor of the 2.0L is relaxed and comfy--it doesn't encourage pushing the limits or exploring the capabilities of the road, much less the drivetrain. That said, it's powerful enough for daily duty, while returning a respectable 24 mpg city and 35 mpg highway.

The ILX 2.4L is the sportiest variant, with the Civic Si's 2.4-liter, 201-horsepower four-cylinder engine under the hood. There's no automatic transmission option available with the 2.4L--it's a six-speed manual only. Like the new Civic Si, the ILX 2.4L's power is available over a relatively broad range, but it lacks much in the way of character, and even more in the way of low-end or mid-range punch, and consequently feels a bit out of place in the otherwise laid-back ILX's form factor. The suspension is the same in the 2.4L as the rest of the ILX lineup, and it's not as sharp as we'd like in spirited driving with this engine. That said, it does iron out the bumps in a broken road quite nicely, while returning 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

Though the 2013 ILX is none-too-peppy in Hybrid and 2.0L trims, the 2.4L adds a dose of fun--but lacks the suspension to back it up.

Finally, there's the ILX Hybrid, which gets a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an integrated hybrid electric system routed through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Gas mileage ratings, per the EPA, are just 39 mpg city and 38 mpg highway, placing it firmly mid-pack amongst alternatives. The combined power output of 111 horsepower, however, leaves the ILX Hybrid feeling flat, and can occasionally be too little for comfort, as when merging with fast-flowing traffic. It's comfortable, but it's not much fun to drive, especially with the ultra-conservative Eco mode engaged.

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