Gallery: TEST DRIVE: Inhabitat Gets 44 MPG in Acura’s First Hybrid, the...

 
Navigation systems can be tricky when you head off-map. The ILX system only abandoned us when we literally drove into Lake Huron at the Port Sanilac Marina a half-hour north of Port Huron and the Blue Water Bridge, though, which is pretty impressive. This is not a major port or anywhere near a major city, but the nav system tracked us all the way to the docks.

 

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.

+ Acura

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