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Honda's hybrid follies continue

It looks as though another Honda hybrid vehicle is being put to rest. The company’s luxury Acura division announced today that the ILX Hybrid, which was introduced for the ’13 model year is being discontinued.
 
New of the discontinuation first came with a press release for the ’15 model year changes for the ILX. Only the base 2.0-liter model -- which is rated for up to 24/35/38 (city/highway combined) -- and the 2.4-liter model were detailed in the company’s press release.
 
Autoblog inquired about the lack of ILX Hybrid details and was greeted with the following statement from Acura:
 
The 2015 ILX remains a standout choice in the entry premium segment with its combination of performance, luxury, refinement and value and is the top-selling luxury vehicle to younger buyers. Based on the stronger appeal of the ILX 2.0 and 2.4 models, we are streamlining the ILX lineup to better align with customer demand, Acura will no longer offer the ILX Hybrid starting with the 2015 model year.
 
In other words, customers didn’t see the additional benefit in ponying up extra money for superior fuel economy. The ILX Hybrid is rated at 39/38/38 (city/highway/combined).


Acura ILX Hybrid
 
Perhaps the biggest problem came down to pricing. When optioned with the Technology Package (as most Acura buyers do), the ILX 2.0 rings in at $31,600 while the ILX Hybrid is $3,000 more expensive at $34,600.
 
When all was said and done, Acura only managed to sell 972 ILX Hybrids for all of 2012 and 1,461 for all of 2013. For comparison, Lexus sold 17,673 CT 200h hybrids in 2012 and 15,071 in 2013.
 
The ILX Hybrid’s failure in the marketplace is the latest in Honda’s hybrid misfortunes. The company’s original Accord Hybrid bombed due to minimal fuel economy gains over its more traditional siblings, and the second generation Insight is being discontinued later this year after failing to put up a credible fight against the Toyota Prius. Even the first generation Civic Hybrid was seen as a failure by Honda.
 
More recently, Consumer Reports called out the current generation Accord Hybrid for failing to meet its EPA-rated fuel economy numbers.

Sources: Autoblog, Acura, Lexus Enthusiast





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