Acura ILX – Is It Enough to be Premium?

by Hubert Mckinney / Sedan

The Acura ILX is a compact premium car from Acura, which as you might know is a division of luxury Honda cars. In its segment, it has come to replace the previous Acura CSX. Just like it, the ILX sedan is closely interwoven with the previous generation of the Honda Civic (The 9th one). However, despite his connections with Civic, the car hasn’t acquired a fresh design. The release date of the Acura ILX was back to 2012 and its production continues to the present.

Unsurprisingly, if you do not know anything about the Acura ILX. Despite the good design and technical characteristics, this is a very “average” and unattractive model – something very niche. Will the new model of 2018 correct the situation?

Larger, Better and With LED

Despite the already existing concept, the production of the serial car has developed a modified bumper front and rear and a new design approach to the appearance of wheel disks. However, already at the motor show in Los Angeles in 2014, the world presentation received redesigned Acura ILX of 2016 model year of production, which acquired a fundamentally different component on technological issues and a modified appearance, as well as an improved interior.

On the outside, the new model is not so difficult to recognize by a slightly modified radiator grille, of the Jewel Eye optics with LEDs and corrected tail lights. Moreover, for the Japanese sedan began to produce a styling package A-SPEC, in the arsenal of which includes the presence of a spoiler, lining on thresholds, fog lamps and wheels of wheels with the original design, a diagonal of 18 inches. The whole car began to look more aggressive and sportive.

These changes added to the cost of almost 2 thousand dollars (along with a new interior decoration), and in principle it is justified – along with new, wider wheels, handling has improved.

Good-quality and boredom

Pre-restylied version of the Acura ILX sedan could boast a very high-quality upholstery in the interior and a good arsenal of basic equipment. Pandora Internet radio, a strong audio system with 10 speakers on board and an option for voice reading and typing of text messages were included in such a snap. After the release of the updated version of the ILX, a list of widely available variations in interior decoration and decoration has been significantly increased, and the engineers have worked hard on the noise insulation level, now it is very pleasing.

This was achieved by installing thicker windows on the doors of the car, increasing the number of materials for noise reduction and the presence of active noise reduction system. Among the features of the A-SPEC includes the finishing of seats with perforated suede, aluminum pedals, red illumination of the instrument panel and a black color scheme of the salon with a pleasant stitch made in gray.

Users have noticed that the main multimedia tool has acquired more than 50 upgrades, designed to improve its functionality. For example, the modification Tech Plus has a 3-screen, which is located on the instrument panel between the speed sensor and the engine speed sensor. Also, a couple of displays of the ODMD system found their places – the top one got eight inches, and a screen with a diagonal of 7 inches and support for touch input was a little lower.

In the standard version there is a front seat with an electric drive, moreover, the driver’s vision has the option of memorizing 2 positions, as well as three displays, one of which (7-inch) is a touch, and the 8-inch above it is used for the navigation system. The third and the smallest is installed on the dashboard between the tachometer and the speedometer and serves to inform the driver about the condition of the car. Moreover, there are AcuraWatch security systems with adaptive cruise control, a video camera for reversing.

Of the disadvantages – very “Honda” (means boring) front panel and extremely modest figures legroom for the second row. This is typical for many compact premium cars, but for the Acura sedan this is a serious omission.

The Choice Gone

Before serious uprgarde of the Acura ILX sedan in 2015, the company had installed a pair of petrol engines, 2.0-liter capacity with 150 horsepower and 2.4-liter with 210 horsepower. A weaker, two-liter synchronized with a five-speed automatic transmission, and a more powerful motor with a six-speed manual gearbox. A little later, the novelty was launched with a power plant, a hybrid type, which included a gasoline engine with 111 horses and a volume of 1.5 liters, and an electric motor and a CVT transmission.

In the 2018 model, most likely there will be only a modification with the upgraded 2.4 engine (as in the 2017 MY car), which is borrowed from the previous generation Civic Si. It develops 201 HP and 180 ft lb of torque. The transmission has also undergone changes – now it’s the newest 8-speed automatic with torque converter and dual clutches, which ensures the smoothness of the automatic transmission and the speed of switching of the robotic one.

Without any choice to powertrain, it could result to further sales decrease.


Good Performance for… Honda

We could start the review of Acura ILX with the performance. Acceleration to 60 miles per hour is carried out for a very decent 6.6 seconds, which is largely provided by a lightweight design.
In turns, the new ILX comes very fast, overall the handling is very balanced for the front-wheel drive car. All this is typical for the other models Acura, just in a compact body all this is felt sharper.

Yes, it’s not BMW, but given the relatively modest performance (and it’s not even about capacity, but in the amount and number of cylinders), ILX is perceived to be pretty vigorous… like Honda. Still, a close relationship with Civic Si makes itself felt.

The high rev essence of almost any Honda engine means that you need to put pedal to the metal every time you need a descent acceleration. Not a premium feeling at all.

Performance Comparison

Acura ILX A-Spec Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Lexus IS 200t
0-60 Acceleration 6.6 sec 6.3 sec 7.0 sec
Top Speed 133 MPH 133 MPH 143 MPH
Powertrain 2.4L I4 201 HP 2.0L I4 Turbo 208 HP 2.0L I4 Turbo 241 HP
Price $35,930 $35,325 $38,300


The renewed sedan, the premium Acura ILX, cannot be called a successful upgrade for the Acura lineup. Despite his appearance began to look more stylish and sporty, with the predominance of smooth lines on the body; headlights has a very original arrangement, and the unusual shape of the wheel rims only complement the restyled sedan; the interior has got two more new displays, one of which is touchscreen. The quality of interior decoration has improved noticeably. A little bit disappointed is the lack of a choice of power units for the needs of different drivers, because one unassigned motor is provided.

But the main disadvantage in another is the most faceless brand model of all of them presented at the moment. Competitors look and drive much better – for example, Mercedes CLA or Audi A3. They offer a much wider choice of engines, as well as optional all-wheel drive systems that are not available to ILX even for a surcharge.

All this suggests that the version of the 2018 model year may be the last, especially since the Acura ILX base, the new Civic, has long been on sale. If rumors is real, it’s for the best, we hope that Acura will do the appropriate work on the errors.