2013 Acura ILX Hybrid
Acura’s slogan, “Advance”, is taking them into new territory with the 2013 ILX Hybrid sedan. It’s Acura first hybrid, based on big brother Honda’s Civic Hybrid. Now we’ve already given the standard ILX a thorough test. So what’s unique about the Hybrid? Outside, they are hard to tell apart. Hybrid badging and a rear deck lid spoiler are the only giveaways. Inside, a gauge indicates whether you’re charging up or using up the 20kW Lithium-ion battery. And an ECON button lets you switch to a more battery-assisted driving mode. Once on the road, the ILX Hybrid is just as comfortable and entertaining to drive as the other ILX models, though the Hybrid-only CVT feels anything but sporty. But then, the ILX Hybrid’s 1.5-liter inline four is rated at a meager 111-horsepower, 25% less than the ILX’s standard engine. And in ECON mode, reaching highway speed takes patience.
But the tradeoff paid off, as we saw close to the Government Combined Fuel Economy rating of 38 MPG. Its main rival, the Lexus CT 200h hatchback rates 10% better but is less enjoyable to drive. Frankly, we don’t think anyone has figured out how to differentiate a small luxury hybrid from a mass market model. But, at least cars like the Acura ILX Hybrid are advancing in the right direction. At under $30,000, it’s in showrooms now.
Engine: 1.5-liter inline
Price: Under $30,000