For many, the thought of a hybrid vehicle still brings some unflattering or boring images to mind. Honda would like to change that with the hybrid model of their 2013 Acura ILX line. It's an entry-level hybrid with luxury car appeal.
Building on former success and engineering refinements, the 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid is based on the current Civic platform, including the Integrated Motor Assist hybrid powertrain. This powertrain consists of a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine and a 23-hp electric motor, providing a combined power output of 111 hp at 6000 rpm and 127 lb-ft of torque at 4500 rpm.
There are a variety of ways to implement hybrid technology into vehicles. In the case of the ILX Hybrid, the electric motor does not fully power the car. The engine is used instead to assist during acceleration, and provide gas-engine restarting through the stop-start system. This latter feature allows the gas engine to shut down when the car is not moving, such as in stop-and-go traffic.
The EPA has given it a combined city/highway fuel economy rating of 39 mpg, which is 6.03 L/100km. The comparatively priced, but not necessarily as appointed, Honda Prius has a current rating of 50 mpg, or 4.70 L/100km.
Once moving, the improved build quality shines, greatly increasing the pleasure factor. The interior space design provides comfort for driver and passengers with generous leg and head space. A list of features including heated cloth/leather seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, shifter and emergency brake, dual-zone automatic climate control, power moon roof and push-button start make for a subtle luxury feel.
Construction quality reduces cabin noise and allows the lines to be clean and tight. The suspension provides a very comfortable ride, adjusting automatically to support bumpy roads and tight cornering. The ten cubic-foot (283 litre) trunk is quite reasonable for a hybrid that places the battery pack behind the rear seats.
In Canada, the 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid comes in only one configuration, and includes all the features of their Technology Package available on the gas-only models. This includes an enhanced 415-Watt, 10-speaker stereo system, power seat controls, navigation system, and rear camera for parking assistance. This model is priced at $34,990. As an entry-level compact luxury sedan, the appointments and smooth ride make this an attractive option for those who are looking for inexpensive luxury that boasts the "hybrid" logo.