The Acura ILX is an entry-level compact luxury sedan designed to entice Generation Y buyers looking to move up to a premium brand. Though based on the Honda Civic, the ILX distances itself from its plebeian roots with distinct styling, additional tech and convenience features and a more coddling cabin.
Acura has overhauled the ILX for the latest model year. While the underpinnings are essentially the same, the trim levels, powertrain offerings and option packages are new from the ground up.
The ILX's front end is unmistakably an Acura design, though the controversial "beak" grille is more gracefully incorporated than in some of the brand's other vehicles. The flanks feature a pair of eye-catching character lines: one runs relatively straight from the front headlight to the back of the rear window, while the other starts aft of the front wheel and sweeps up to create a "hip" above the rear wheel were the two meet. Around back, the taillights are reminiscent of the units on the brand's crossover vehicles.
The ILX is now exclusively powered by Acura's 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed, dual-clutch gearbox. The engine makes 201 horsepower at 6,800 RPM and 180 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 RPM. The combination is good for 25/36/29 mpg city/hwy/combined.
The suspension and steering have been retuned to improve responsiveness and linearity. Acura's goal was to deliver a more athletic, confident and balanced driving experience.
The exterior features LED headlights, a revised grille, an aggressive front fascia, rear LED combination lights and new, 17" wheels. A-SPEC cars receive a trunk spoiler, side sill trim and 10-spoke wheels.
The ILX's interior shows off new, more upscale materials and finishes. The wheel, shift knob and parking brake handle feature contrast-stitched leather. The A-SPEC package adds headliner upgrades, Lux Suede seat inserts, red instrument illumination and exclusive stitching.
Standard and Optional Features
The ILX offers a full suite of standard and optional luxury and technology features, including heated front seats, Bluetooth, Smart Entry/Push-Button Start keyless access system, one-touch turn signals, GPS-linked automatic climate control and LED accent lighting. A 7-inch touch screen (Premium and Tech Plus grades), located on the instrument-panel center stack, controls everything.
AcuraWatch, Acura's suite of advanced safety tech, includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist System, a Multi-View Rear Camera with Dynamic Guidelines, as well as Road Departure Mitigation and a Collision Mitigation Braking System (including Forward Collision Warning) with sensor fusion technology that enables new capabilities, including pedestrian sensing. It is standard on the Tech Plus Package and optional on the standard ILX. Premium and Tech Plus grades also get Acura's blind spot information and Cross Traffic Monitor feature.
The ILX is available in six total trim configurations: ILX, ILX with AcuraWatch Plus, ILX with Premium, ILX with Premium & A-SPEC, ILX with Tech Plus and ILX with Tech Plus & A-SPEC.
The Premium package adds blind spot monitoring, cross traffic monitoring, the 7" display, HD Radio with Aha, Siri Eyes Free, a two-position driver memory seat, a four-way power passenger seat and Homelink. Smartphone-enabled navigation is available.
The Tech Plus package adds AcuraLink and AcuraWatch.
The A-SPEC package is Acura's sporty bundle. It includes 18" wheels, sport seats with Lux Suede inserts and contrast stitching, a black headliner, fog lamps, body-colored sills, a rear spoiler and aluminum pedals.
All ILX models come standard with dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems and electronic brakeforce distribution. AcuraWatch adds several additional safety features and can be had on any trim level.
As the entry-level offering from Acura, the ILX competes with the Buick Verano and the Audi A3 sedan.