Colin Sato Acura Discussion Acura News Our new 2013ILX

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Acura ILX Electric Cars


Our new 2013 ILX

Monday, September 10, 2012 at 2:35PM

In an unfortunate turn of events, I have a new car. It wasn’t supposed to work out this way, I had planned to keep my RSX much longer. But, I momentary lapse in concentration had me rear ending a Toyota Camry on the freeway. So, just like that, my Acura was totaled.

When you looked at the damage, it didn’t seem that bad. However, once the airbag(s) had deployed, it was pretty much game over for that car.

And so the search was on for a replacement. Since the 2013 ILX had arrived, it was on my short list of possible cars. Other alternatives would have been a Honda Fit, or Civic coupe.

As many of you know, I am a strong advocate of the manual transmission, in 30+ years of driving I have never owned an automatic. However, times are changing and for the first time ever, I was seriously considering an automatic if a suitable selection could be found. Heading the list of possible automatic transmission candidates were the 2013 ILX Hybrid, and the 2012 Honda Insight. I figured if I was going to give up my beloved manual, I might as well do it for something other than a run of the mill automatic transmission. However, in the end, the timing simply didn’t work out.

Being on the cusp of the 2012 model year and 2013 model year proved to be an insurmountable obstacle. There simply wasn’t enough selection available.

If this sounds like a backhanded compliment for the car I ultimately chose, it shouldn’t be construed that way. In the end, I was predisposed towards a manual transmission in the first place, and the other distractions were just that. Distractions. Once the decision was made to stay with a manual there was no doubt in my mind that it was going to be an ILX.

The combination of brilliant sheet-metal, tidy dimensions and familiar K24 engine were too good to resist.

When I say this engine is familiar it is because it’s a descendent of the 2.4 L engine that was in my 2008 TSX In some respects, the earlier engine was more advanced, but while the new engine has traded some technical advantages, it’s gained in real world drivability. So, although this DOHC engine does not have exhaust side VTEC, it’s still a Honda which means smooth and effortless power from idle to redline.

One push of the start button and the engine jumps to life with a throaty growl. It really sounds nice, which is ironic because Acura has gone out of their way to hide the exhaust tips behind the rear bumper. A couple of seconds after the engine starts, the electronics come to life.

My iPhone pairs with the car and Bluetooth Audio starts playing my music right where it left off. Without plugging it in or touching my phone I’ve got music. When you move the short throw gear shift into reverse, the backup camera comes on and presents you a choice of three different views.

Acura ILX Electric Cars

Normal, wide-angle, and a very handy top down view are selectable using the multifunction control knob.

Once under way, all the controls feel very light and effortless. The gearshift feels exactly like all good Acura six speed manuals do, with short throws and minimal effort. The clutch pedal is very light and easy to use. Given a choice, I would prefer that the engagement point be a little closer to the floor versus towards the end of its travel. However, it’s something you get accustomed to.

The electric power steering (EPS) system feels very light, although it firms up as vehicle speed increases. I’ve seen many reviews commenting on the lack of feel in the system but I have no difficulties with it. Our old S2000 also had a highly assisted EPS and once you developed the sensitivity to it, you could feel what was happening just fine.

It is possible that some of the people complaining about it are not accustomed to an Uber fast 15.1 to 1 steering ratio? Whereas I’ve been driving cars such as the S2000 with similar steering ratios for some time now (for the record, an Acura NSX had a slower 18 to 1 steering ratio).

One of the things I’ve really been impressed with in my first few days with the car is how quiet it is. Other than the wonderful exhaust note, it’s a much quieter car then the old RSX was (In all honesty, that’s not hard) but I also think it’s quieter than the ’08 TSX was. I know that the car has active sound control but I’m not certain how much of a role this is playing but I’m sure it’s contributing something.

The ride quality is also pretty impressive for a car with a relatively short wheelbase. It exhibits none of the choppiness that the RSX had and it feels more connected than the old TSX. As with all recent Hondas (including the CRZ) it feels like the car could use a little more rebound dampening in the shock absorbers, but given the cars mission in life, the ride versus handling compromise has been successfully achieved.

The slogan for the new ILX suggest you can move up without settling down and the product seems to back this up. My ILX is extremely well equipped, nicely finished, and full of high tech goodies all wrapped up in a compact, easy to maneuver size. The manual transmission and 201 hp engine provide a connection to the more hard-core sporting models of our past, but the overall package feels more like a grand tourer. Which is to say up to 8/10s, it corners with very little body roll, turns in quickly, and stops with authority.

The gearshift, clutch, and steering all work well up to a certain point. However, it’s important to remember that you’re never going to reach the limits of this car on public roads without breaking some law somewhere. With the current level of traffic enforcement here in Honolulu, I’m perfectly happy to drive this car at 7/10s.

Acura ILX Electric Cars
Acura ILX Electric Cars
Acura ILX Electric Cars
Acura ILX Electric Cars
Acura ILX Electric Cars
Acura ILX Electric Cars
Acura ILX Electric Cars

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