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2013 Acura ILX Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid was new.


Performance: 6.2

Though reviewers say the 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid is underpowered and has difficulty accelerating, they think its powertrain delivers decent power for city driving and are pleased with its fuel economy ratings. Critics who complain address the ILX Hybrid’s unrefined idle-stop system and artificial electric power steering.

  • "Still, the ILX is quiet and refined, with good road manners." -- Popular Mechanics 
  • "The ILX Hybrid is slower still, but obviously benefits from dramatically improved fuel economy. It can't accelerate using electricity alone, however, and the hybrid system isn't as sophisticated or seamless as that of a Lexus." -- Edmunds 

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid has a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. Combined, they produce 111 horsepower. The ILX Hybrid has a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Averaging 39/38 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA, the ILX Hybrid’s fuel economy ratings are good.

Test drivers are not impressed with the ILX Hybrid’s powertrain, but it’s important to keep in mind that as a hybrid, the ILX is about using less gas, not turning in great 0 to 60 times. Reviewers say the ILX Hybrid’s engine and electric motor deliver an adequate amount of power for city driving, but are quick to note that its lack of power is immediately evident during passing maneuvers and highway driving. Some reviewers also complain about the engine’s idle-stop feature, which shuts down the engine in traffic or at stoplights. They’re annoyed that it turns on and off abruptly. Critics don’t say much about the CVT, but one says that while the CVT is fuel-efficient, it’s "clumsy."

  • "Paired with the ILX's additional heft (all those luxury amenities don't make for lighter curb weight) and the efficient-yet-clumsy CVT transmission, it isn't terribly fun to drive, but it is the most efficient ILX, with fuel economy estimated at 39 mpg city and 38 mpg highway." -- Motor Trend
  • "Even though Acura reprogrammed the throttle map to provide quicker throttle tip-in than its Civic sibling, the driveline quickly runs out of steam as speeds increase." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Slapping the shifter into Sport mode helps a little, but there's just no way the combined torque of 127 lb-ft from 1,000 to 3,000 RPM will get the vehicle moving in a hurry. It's not horrible when meandering away in urban settings, but that's the most praise we can offer its ability to get the show on the road. ..." -- Autoblog
  • "The aforementioned idle-stop feature shut off the engine whenever I held my foot down on the brake, at either a stoplight or in slow traffic. Releasing the brake caused the engine to crank up again, with the abruptness of a waking giant." -- CNET

Handling and Braking

The ILX Hybrid’s handling and ride quality receive mixed reviews. Though there is some disappointment with the artificial feel of the steering, reviewers say that body roll isn't too noticeable, the ride is comfortable and the brakes are strong.

  • "On all models, we liked the responsive brake feel and the four-wheel independent double-wishbone front suspension, which made for a smooth ride." -- AutoWeek
  • "Body roll is present, but not excessive, and road noise is minimal." -- Motor Trend
  • "The ride is firm but impressively absorbent over smaller pavement imperfections, though our Phoenix-area test route was devoid of the potholes and expansion joints found near our Chicago offices." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Sadly, as with many such systems, the electronic power steering provides only a vague sense of what the front wheels are doing and it takes time to get used to the artificial feel provided by the tiller's e-brain." -- Autoblog

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