New Car Reviews

2013 Acura ILX – Not as Perfect as its Powertrain

Miles to Date: 24,687

Long-Term Update: Fall 2013 Array Miles to date: 24,687

The hero of our Acura ILX 2.4’s yearlong story is its powertrain. Its punchy inline-four engine and its six-speed manual gearbox with the best shift linkage this side of the Audi R8’s metal-gated six-speed manual deserve all of the credit for making our ILX as fun as it is.
Just about every comment in the ILX’s logbook starts off with someone trying out a creative way to describe the car’s powertrain. Web editor Jake Holmes, for one, recently called the six-speed manual “supple,” and the 2.4-liter engine “responsive and throaty.”

“I really appreciate the way they work in harmony,” continued Holmes. “I always want to wind out the engine and hear it snarl all the way to redline, and I love the snick-snick closeness of the six-speed manual.” Another commenter agreed that the engine is “a hoot to rev” and the shifter is a “joy to row.” One staffer went so far as to say that if the Subaru BRZ or Scion FR-S had an engine and gearbox this enjoyable, they’d be near-perfect cars.
Copy editor Rusty Blackwell put it best when he said that he “wouldn’t like driving an ILX if it didn’t have this absolutely wonderful engine and gearbox.” And he’s right. If we’d opted for a base model, with its 150-hp, 2.0-liter four, or hybrid version, we probably wouldn’t. The 2.4-liter engine and its six-speed manual transmission make this the best ILX you can buy.
That’s not to say, though, that this powertain makes the ILX the best luxury compact car you can buy. Remember that a Honda Civic Si sedan, a far less expensive car with the same engine and transmission, trounced our ILX in a head-to-head comparison we conducted this past May. A powertrain, however nice it is, is only one part of a car. So, after one year, what’s the sum of our 2.4-liter Acura ILX’s parts, of which the powertrain is only one (or two)?


  • Body style 4-door sedan
  • Accommodation 5-passenger
  • Construction Steel unibody


  • Engine 16-valve DOHC I-4
  • Displacement 2.4 liters (144 cu in)
  • Power 201 hp @ 7000 rpm
  • Torque 170 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
  • Transmission 6-speed manual
  • Drive Front-wheel
  • EPA Fuel Economy 22/31/25 (city/hwy/combined)


  • Steering Electrically assisted
  • Lock-to-lock 2.8
  • Turning circle 36.1 ft
  • Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
  • Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
  • Brakes F/R Vented discs/discs
  • Wheels 17-inch aluminum
  • Tires Michelin Pilot HX MXM4
  • Tire size 215/45VR-17


  • Headroom F/R 37.9/35.9 in
  • Legroom F/R 42.3/34.0 in
  • Shoulder room F/R 55.6/53.5 in
  • Wheelbase 105.1 in
  • Track F/R 59.4/60.3 in
  • L x W x H 179.1 x 70.6 x 55.6 in
  • Passenger capacity 89.3 cu ft
  • Cargo capacity 12.3 cu ft
  • Weight 2978 lb
  • Weight dist. F/R 61/39%
  • Fuel capacity 13.2 gal
  • Est. fuel range 330 miles
  • Fuel grade 91 octane (premium unleaded)


  • standard equipment

    • Power sunroof
    • Heated exterior mirrors
    • Leather-trimmed sport seats
    • Acura premium audio system w/7 speakers
    • SiriusXM satellite radio w/trial subscription
    • Heated front seats
    • Power 8-way adjustable driver’s seat
    • Rearview camera
    • Xenon HID headlights
    • Fog lights
    • 6-speed manual transmission
    • MP3/auxiliary audio jack
    • Push-button ignition
    • Bluetooth
    • Automatic dual-zone climate control
    • USB port
    • Hill start assist
    • Brake assist


  • None