We at Inhabitat love the new testing requirements which require manufacturers to list the mpg of cars at the dealership, but sometimes we simply can’t break through those numbers to achieve better mileage than we hoped for. So imagine how tickled we were to discover that we got 44 miles per gallon—that’s 5 mpg over estimated averages—without even trying in the new ILX Hybrid from Acura! And the best part is, we did this without sacrificing any performance.
We got early access to the ILX Hybrid when it hit the Detroit test fleets, and decided we would celebrate by taking the car over Michigan’s Blue Water Bridge to Canada, between Lake Huron and the river that leads down to Detroit, Lake St. Clair, and Lake Eerie. That is a bit of a drive for us, so we packed a picnic and set off on Detroit’s highways. Traveling at an average of eighty miles per hour, plus mixed city driving, we were surprised to see our mileage creeping up. Acceleration was great, the engine sounded a lot less boring than you would expect from a Honda, and we made it in record time to the bridge with 44 mpg blazing on our instrument panel.
Wait, what? 44 mpg? The car’s sticker says 39/38! And this was with the econ button turned off, not paying any attention to careful acceleration or braking. Also, many hybrids are really designed for city driving only, so driving as fast as we did for as long as we did could have killed our mileage. Not so in the ILX. And everything else you would hope for from Acura was there, too: heated seats, navigation, satellite radio, even manumatic paddle shifters for manually shifting gears from the steering wheel. Plenty of trunk space. Check. Good rear seat foot room. Check. Sunroof, media connectivity, and a good ride. Check. Go figure. The ILX Hybrid starts at only $29,000, too. We’re thinking a hybrid that lives up to its promises and offers luxury and good performance for a bargain price won’t be a secret for long. If you’re in the market for a hybrid sedan, definitely check this one out.