Hollywood California – Metric Listening Event

Odometer (Legend):  514,210

Odometer (ILX):  2,423

Ten miles in ten days.  I think that’s the fewest miles my 1994 Legend has ever traveled during that length of time. I pulled the car out of hibernation on Wednesday night just to see how it felt to get behind the wheel of my tried and true wheels after spending a week in the new 2013 Acura ILX.

The Legend fired up eagerly on the first try after having sat for 7 days.  Pulling out of the neighborhood, I couldn’t get over how “loose” the car felt!  The steering had so much play, the shifter felt a little sloppy, the overall driver position felt so awkward!   A few minutes later I felt at home again behind the wheel, but that initial unfamiliarity convinced me just how easy it is to forget the feel and behavior of an car after spending just a few days away from it.

The Legend coupe is no dog – its 230 horsepower V6 in its time put it at the front of its class.  The car is heavy, though, tipping the scales at over 3,500 pounds.  During my drive, it felt a little “tired,” and justifiably so.  The ILX, by contrast has 201 hp and weighs just under 3,000 pounds.  Steering is precise, handling is tight, and the 2.4 liter 4 cylinder begs for any chance to rev past 4,000 RPM.

The time of day was right so I snapped these pictures.  Nice thing about having the Legend sit in the garage is that it stays clean!

Road trip #2 was a slam dunk and a jolly good time;  my new ILX just made the 900-mile round trip from Phoenix, Arizona to Hollywood, California yesterday.   Acura has partnered with music group Metric for some “listening events” across the country that bring music fans and cars together as part of the all-new 2013 model’s launch.  I was lucky enough to be on the guest list for last night’s event.  A similar event was held in New York.  I set out from work in Phoenix around noon for a trek across desolate Interstate 10 westbound toward Los Angeles.

Started off with a milestone.

One of my “standard” pit stops on this drive is at the AZ/CA state line at a one-stoplight town called Quartzsite.

I’ve jokingly shared before that I aspire someday to live in the “TYSON” RV Park in this town:

I fueled up and paused for a moment at an abandoned service station right on the main business loop through town.  The pumps here at “Camel Stop Auto Repair” have probably been dry for years.  Pretty amazing that they’re even still standing, and it might be the first time they’ve had a model year 2013 vehicle sitting next to them!

I’ve taken particular interest to old service stations and would love to restore one someday.  My grandfather Hansen owned the first station in his hometown in Logan, Utah nearly a century ago.  I’ve shared pictures of it before here.

One of the highlights of my drive was definitely digging out some old CD’s from my high school days in the late 90’s.  I uncovered my old CD storage cases in a closet a few days ago and decided to ditch the iPod and go ‘old school’ with my music for this trip.  I rocked out at max volume to Creed, Blink 182, and 311 — some of my favorite tunes from back in the day.  Interesting note, though.  The ILX does have a factory iPod integration system, and when plugged in displays the “A” caliper on the screen.

First time my car’s been to California, so I had to document the state line.  This makes 4 states the ILX has now visited including last week’s trip through Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.

Pasadena on I-210 westbound

Before heading to the concert venue in Hollywood at Avalon, I picked up my friend Tommy in Simi Valley who’s as crazy about Honda as I am.  I met Tommy many years ago through the Acura Legend forums.

It wouldn’t be LA if we hadn’t hit at least a LITTLE bit of traffic.  In this case, southbound Highland Rd in Hollywood was an absolute parking lot for about 30 minutes.

Finally, at Avalon after grabbing a bite to eat with our friends Lauren & Aniela.  Lauren (pictured) is going to be the proud owner soon of a 2013 Acura RDX in the same color as my ILX – “Silver Moon.”  I smell a photoshoot in the making.

The event at Avalon was a red carpet affair — something that Acura does well as I experienced in last year’s Drive to Five celebration.

I was able to meet & greet with some of the folks from Honda & Acura as well as the band members!  I spoke with guitarist Jimmy Shaw about the group’s upcoming concert in Berlin and other summer travel plans:

This wasn’t a concert, but more of a chance to just listen to some of Metric’s music being played and as get up close and personal with the ILX.  Two models were displayed, one with neons and projectioned “holograms” on the windows that displayed video scenes.

Pictured here with me and Tommy are Rick Tablan and his wife.

Rick is with Acura advertising and along with his team, developed the clever new split-screen Acura ILX commercials like this one:

Cars and music turned out to be a great combo for our evening and again I thank Acura for the invitation!

I was ambitious about pulling an all-night drive and returning all the way to Phoenix after the Metric event but only made it as far as Blythe, California (near the CA/AZ state line) before I needed to get a motel at 3 a.m. to keep from fighting off the sleep any longer.  Miraculously, I was able to wake up by 8 get to work this morning by 10:30 in Scottsdale.  Whether or not I was productive there is another matter entirely!

Driving impressions?   I’m getting more used to this car.  I’m learning how to push its buttons – literally.  I’m getting the perfect feel for how to maximize the engine’s power, how to row through the  gears smoothly, and how to predict the car’s behavior under most types of driving situations.  A few more observations:

  • This car is fun to launch to speed on a freeway onramp.  Still can’t get over the amount of grip it has around corners, too.  Body stays flat with little or no roll.
  • I like the leather steering wheel thickness
  • External thermometer is handy.  Never had one of these before.  I watched the temp go from 111 in PHX to 104 in Palm Springs to 85 in Riverside and 75 in LA as I got closer to the coast.
  • I took advantage of the cool temperatures last night to open the moonroof and was happy to note that even without a wind deflector like the one I have on my Legend, the cabin is relatively quiet at speed with the roof open.
  • HID projector headlights have a really nice crisp cutoff line
  • Observed average fuel economy over the car’s nearly 2,500 miles is 30.6 MPG which is great considering the car’s had a city/highway mix (though primarily highway).  The EPA ratings on the window sticker are 22/31.  I’ve used only 91 octane fuel, and I prefer Chevron.
  • Speaking of fuel, this thing could use a slightly bigger tank.  It holds 13.2 gallons.  My Legend had an 18 gallon tank and quite a bit longer range.  Today I was down to only 37 miles remaining range according to the information screen, yet when I fueled up it took only 10.3 gallons.  I thought I would’ve had 90 miles range left since my overall average MPGs are 30+, but I’ve never been the best at math!
  • I’ve yet to see another ILX on the road.  Exclusivity – yes!  Though I’m looking forward to seeing (and meeting) more fellow ILX owners soon.

A few have asked for interior pictures of my ILX so this is a good time to post those from last week after I first got the car home.  I selected the Ebony interior which has accent charcoal colored trim.

Love these sport pedals!  And after last weekend’s desert adventures, it’s now easy for me to see why the all-weather accessory floor mats are so handy, too.

Back-up camera

Accessory illuminated door sills

The ILX and Legend will both relax this weekend as I catch a redeye flight this evening to Philadelphia and then a rental car to Atlantic City, New Jersey.  For the next two days I’ll be attending the Orion Music & More festival, headlined by Metallica, with a couple of friends.  Thirty bands will be performing, a number of which are pretty heavy in nature.  I’m taking ear plugs just in case!

Tune in next week for a trip report and some more Acura good times.

13 Responses to “Hollywood California – Metric Listening Event”

  1. from coast to coast for a little music? Jet set life indeed! Getting back to the ILX’s handling department – is Acura still using michelins as their OEM tires?

    Rock on Tyson!

    • You know it, Dave. The things we’ll do just for some tunes! Interestingly enough, it’s been almost exactly a year since I did a cross country trip from CA to NJ too (for NALM in Morristown). Except, that time I was driving the Legend and this time I’ll be flying the friendly skies. Redeyes are killer, though. How do people actually sleep on airplanes?

      • Forgot to answer your tire question. The 17″ premium wheels have Michelins but the 16″ base model (and hybrid) wheels have Continentals.

  2. Penny~Lady6spd Says:

    Glad you’re enjoying your new ride! Do feel much difference in power between the Legend and the ILX? I would think going from a V6 to a V4 would be alot of difference but I guess it could be a large V4 that would make it feel about the same.

    Drive On!

    • Hey Penny, yes, enjoying it for sure! I actually spent this weekend on airplanes instead of in the driver’s seat so the ILX didn’t go too far, but it was good to get back to the PHX Sky Harbor airport and be reunited with the new ride waiting for me. Power wise, I really think it feels similar to the Legend (would be interesting to look at a power-to-weight comparison between the two). I will say that for low-end torque, Legend reigns supreme, but for driving excitement and high-revving fun, the ILX gets the advantage. Hope you had a great weekend!

  3. Hey Tyson. I found out about your website thru your posts in Acurazine. Great blog. I am an owner of a 2005 Acura TSX.
    I have several questions.

    1) Have you ever driven a first generation Acura TSX from the 2004-2008 era? Even if you haven’t, do you know how the suspension of the ILX compares to the one in the first generation TSX? My car has a five point multi link rear suspension. From day one, i have always loved how the car handles.

    2) You mention in your post that your Legend has an 18 gallon fuel tank. That is close to the one in the TSX which has a 17.2 gallon capacity. Do you remember the longest trip you took in the Legend without refueling? THe record for me in the TSX was 550 miles on one tank.

    • Hey Carlos, glad you were able to find the blog and thanks for following along. Glad you are enjoying your 2005 TSX – that is a great platform and one that I’ve had the chance to drive a number of times. I remember having a loaner car 2006 TSX a couple of times when I first moved to the PHX area. I don’t know offhand the specs on the ILX rear suspension but I will say that I feel like the car handles very comparably to what I experienced in that first generation TSX. The car has the right balance of dampening without making the driver feel isolated from the road and the overall driving experience.

      As for fuel economy – absolutely, my record was 500 miles on a tank. My fuel light was on but I later learned I still had a gallon or two to go. Pretty good range! I think my MPGs that tank were in the 31 range. Not bad for a V6 but I remember my driving patterns were almost 100% highway and in 6th gear between 55-65 on the highway using 91 octane. It pays to drive conservatively sometimes. 550 miles on a tank in your 05 TSX is really impressive! That’s got to be a record. Is yours a stick shift as well?

      • My car is an automatic. I was able to get 550 miles on one tank because i drove 99% of the time on the highway at speeds of between 55 and 60 mph. On the first generation TSX, I am almost sure that the automatic transmission gets higher mileage than the manual transmission. That is unusual since usually it is the other way around with manual transmission cars getting better mileage than automatic cars. I believe this is because of the very high gearing on the 5th automatic gear. The rpms of the car at 6omph are lower than that of the manual on sixth gear at the same speed.

  4. My son, Tyson, I am weary just reading of your travels. West coast, East coast, and in between. It’s a good thing you’re young and flexible! I am very anxious to see your ILX and am planning on giving it a spin. I love your choice of interior and exterior colors for the new ride. This begs the questions: How many times have you washed this car so far? How many washes do you predict in its lifetime?

    • It’s only been washed once! In fact, I still haven’t pulled “all” the plastic off the carpet on the interior. Truthfully I haven’t had time to do that yet. Look forward to seeing what you think of the new ride in a couple of weeks when it goes to Utah again.

  5. Nice!

    I was at El Rey but not at the Avalon. Was that mostly for Acura’s guests or Metric fans too?
    Do you know if Metric and Acura are doing any more events any time soon?

    • Hi Meg, I’m actually not sure where the guest list was pulled from for the Metric / Acura event but it seemed to be a combination of both types of people. I remember asking one guy in there, “How’d you get in here?” and he said, “I know the guy who puts this on.” I guess sometimes it’s just who you know! Was a great event, though. How was El Rey? I’m going to find out about upcoming Metric dates & locations and get back with you.

      • The El Rey was amazing because it was a small venue. They played a full set too so that was great. I wish I had known about the Avalon the night before..oh well, next time!
        Yes, Please let me know if you ever hear of anything 🙂 Thanks

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