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2019 Acura ILX Review: Specs, Prices, MPG, Performance and Rivals

Aaron Smith's image

Aaron Smith

Automotive Journalist May 24, 2020 at 09:58 PM
The Acura ILX rivals the likes of Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Based on the underpinnings of a 2012 Honda Civic platform, it is a smart-sized package aimed at buyers who well-equipped luxury sedan that isn't another cliché German machinery.

  

Acura ILX received a major redesign in 2019

The Acura ILX is a subcompact luxury sedan, that comes with almost no significant changes for the year 2020 as it has already received a major redesign in 2019. It shares its underpinnings with the previous generation Honda Civic.

What is it?

The last model in the Acura lineup to foster the brand's modern design language, the 2019 ILX gets a smatter of tech, interior, and visual updates. 2019 reinforces its status, Acura made a whopping $2200 price cut, which should attract a lot of buyers in the division, especially regarding the fast price creep that torments the German marks.

Pros

  • 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Precise handling
  • Standard features are plenty
  • Very potent and reliable Engine

Cons

  • Plasticky interior
  • No optional AWD
  • Lack of headroom in the second-row
  • Acceleration is lethargic

Trims and Features

The Acura ILX comes in three trims which are: Base, Premium, Technology. It starts around $25,900 and goes all the way up to $31,550 with the Technology and A-spec package. When you choose the Technology Package, the features of the Premium package automatically adds up. 

Your basic ILX is oblivion without the Premium package, it succeeds to hold the cost low and at the same time add all features you require. But, you will miss out on the advantage of the navigation.

Trim

Base

Premium

Premium and A-Spec

Technology

Technology and A-spec

MSRP

$25,900

$27,650

$29,550

$29,650

$31,550

Key Features

17-inch alloy wheels

Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert

Unique Interior colors

Navigation with real-time traffic

Unique Interior colors

 

Automatic headlight

Perforated leather upholstery

Faux-suede seat inserts

AcuraLink services integration

Faux-suede seat inserts

 

Heated mirrors

Four-way power-adjustable passenger seat

18-inch alloy wheels with slightly wider tires

Dynamic guidelines for the rearview camera display

18-inch alloy wheels with slightly wider tires

 

LED head- and taillights

Auto-dimming rearview mirror

 

A premium 10-speaker stereo

Navigation with real-time traffic

 

Proximity entry and push-button start

A second touchscreen

   

AcuraLink services integration

 

Power sunroof

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration

     
 

Dual-zone climate control

Subwoofer

     
 

Leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel

       
 

Eight-way power-adjustableDriver's seat

       
 

Heated front seats and faux leather upholstery

       
 

Single-screen infotainment system with Bluetooth audio streaming and a six-speaker stereo system

       

The A-Spec package brings no added power, but they do attach sporty aptitude. You get larger 18-inch wheels and unique exterior(fog lights, rear spoiler) and interior(sport seats with suede insertions, a black headliner, and aluminum pedals) aesthetics.

We Recommend

We recommend you to confidently go for the Technology A-Spec package trim which treats you with a host of features. It includes creature comfort features as well as much needed safety and assistance features at a reasonable price of $32,650.

Engine and Performnace

The 2019 Acura took a different path and stayed with the naturally aspirated 2.4-liter inline-four producing 201 hp and comes mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The I-VTEC the engine lacks power low in the rev range, so you'll want to keep it above 4,000 rpm for best responsiveness. Fortunately, the transmission is swift and steady, and it reacts quickly to inputs.

2019 Acura ILX 2.4 liter powertrain puts out 201 hp and comes mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

While many of its rivals use a turbocharged powertrain which has better torque at lower rpm’s, you tend to fell flat-footed in stop and go traffic with the ILX. However, the 8-speed A/T stands out from rivals such as the Mazda 3 and Kia Optima, which still use a 6-speed automatic transmission. Also, wheel-mounted paddles can make driving more pleasant.

Models

Acura ILX

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Honda Civic LX Sedan

Mazda 3 Sport Sedan

Subaru WRX sedan

MSRP

$25,900

$22,900

$22,840

$20,250

$20,240

$28,080

Engine

2.4L Inline-4

2.4L I-4

2.5L I-4

2.0 L inline-four

2.0 L inline-four

2.0L flat 4

Transmission

8-speed DCT

6-speed automatic

6-Speed Automatic

CVT

6-speed Auto

6 Speed manual

Horsepower

201 @6800

185@ 6000

175 @ 6000

158hp @ 6500 rpm

155hp @ 6000 rpm

268 hp@ 5600 rpm

Torque

180 @3600

178 @ 4000

175 @ 4500

138 lb.-ft @ 4200 rpm

150 lb.-ft. @4000 rpm

258 ft-lbs@ \xa02000rpm

The Acura 2020 ILX is only offered in front-wheel-drive as standard. The engine seems more impressive at higher revs and with 201 horsepower, the ILX hints a bit more oomph than a group of other small cars. Still, the absence of a turbocharger makes the ILX sluggish at lower rpm's when matched to the other competitors. 

Acceleration

It's undoubtedly not a spacecraft, but power builds happily up to the 6,900-rpm redline, and the growl of the engine is a pleasure while driving the ILX. The 8-speed dual-clutch automatic is a delight, and you can change the gears manually through steering wheel-mounted paddles. Its 2.4-liter powertrain is skilled in launching the small sedan from a halt to 60 mph in a little over 6 seconds and rises to electronically restricted at 130 mph under 20 seconds.

Models

Acura ILX

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Honda Civic LX Sedan

Mazda 3 Sport Sedan

Subaru WRX sedan

0-60 MPH(sec)

6.4

6.8

8.5

8.2

8.0

6.2 

Quarter mile(sec)

15

15.2

16.3

16.3

16.2

14.5

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

N/A

6.1

7.1

8.4

11.2

 

Curb Weight (lb..)

N/A

3411

3431

2742

2899

N/A

Unlike some dual-clutch transmissions, the ILX propels evenly in first gear and doesn't stagger under downshifting at low speeds. In terms of hurrying, the ILX is leading than the rest of its rivals. Credit also goes to its comparatively shorter proportions and a light-weight body.

Braking

The brakes are sensitive without feeling grabby, with an intuitive pedal answer. The ILX tracks plumb during frenzy stops. The front brakes on the ILX are rated are 12.3 inches and 11.1 inches respectively. The brakes are pretty brisk with a sensitive pedal. , it is quite flexible when it comes to controlling.

Models

Acura ILX

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Honda Civic LX Sedan

Mazda 3 Sport Sedan

Subaru WRX sedan

Brake Front (in.)

12.3

12

11.8

10.2

10.7

12.4

Brake Rear (in.)

11.1

11.2

11.9

9.8

9.5

11.3

70-0 MPH (ft.)

 

124(60-0)

122(60-0)

180

179

112

The Mazda 3 sedan takes the second spot after the ILX while the Ford Fusion and Kia Optima take the third and fourth spots respectively. 

Ride and Handling 

Unlike its rivals, the ILX has plunged out of the turbo trend and endures to be powered by a somewhat bigger naturally aspirated motor. The ILX lacks the latest Civic's expert handling and steady ride. Instead, the Acura's light steering filters out the road and stiffens gradually at a higher speed. Acura has planted hints of sportiness all over the ILX's driving mechanism. 

2019 Acura ILX Sedan

The ride is docile without feeling floaty, tuned further for solace than handling performance. Most drivers will acknowledge the quieter calibration. However, road and tire sound is interfering at freeway speeds, and there's not as much insulation from external sounds as in other luxury cars. 

The A-Spec’s bigger wheels don’t help much in this respect, primarily in terms of comfort. You will hear road noise inside the cabin, particularly when traversing uneven roads that don't add up to premium experience

Fuel Economy

Being an entry-level luxury Acura, don’t expect much of the ILX. In the city, Acura musters 24 mpg mileage while on the highway it stretches the number to 34 mpg. The combined fuel economy is rated at 28 mpg.

Amidst a small 13.2-gallon gas tank, various fuel fill-ups while long trips pose a difficulty. Acura could have supplied few more gallons to the tank which would have labeled it as a fine tourer as well.

Models

Acura ILX

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Honda Civic LX Sedan

Mazda 3 Sport Sedan

Subaru WRX sedan

MPG (city)

24

24

21

32

27

21

MPG (highway)

34

33

32

42

36

27

MPG (combined)

28

27

25

36

30

23

Fuel Tank Capacity(Gal.)

13.2

18.5

16.5

12.39

13.2

-

 

Acura's 2.4-liter engine isn't the most impressive performer and demands premium fuel. Although, it presents an acceptable fuel economy.

Interior

While some interior panels have a nice soft-touch feeling to it, the size of the ILX's interior seems dull and cheap — impoverished remains from the ILX's last-gen Civic origins. The buttons are easy and obvious to find, but contrarily, the center console feels less premium than those of competitors.

The ILX’s 5-passenger cabin is most remarkable for its cost. The brownie points include comfortable and well-bolstered front seats, an excellent driving position, and fashionable color choices for the interior.  The interior design proffers evidence that it has got the foundations of a Honda Civic. The outward visibility is excellent and all the buttons are easy to reach.

Seating and Comfort

The fronts are comfortable and very spacious for the front passengers, but the rear chairs are restricted, although motorists more than six feet high may become habitual to having their hair involuntarily styled by the headliner. The interior of the cabin looks a bit clustered and feels cheap when compared with the rivals like the Audi A3 and the Mercedes A-Class.

Also, the base version just comes without a digital instrument cluster, so upgrading to the Premium package at least is advisable.

2019 Acura ILX Interior

The Acura ILX is not very liberal when it comes to cargo space, it gives 12.4 cubic-feet of cargo area which is below average for this segment. You can also fold down the rear seats which will make scope for longer items. The trunk can fit in two large suitcases at once and might have little space to squeeze a smaller bag as well. There are some pockets and hooks provided in the boot, for added functionality.

Models

Acura ILX

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Honda Civic LX Sedan

Mazda 3 Sport Sedan

Subaru WRX sedan

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.0/55.6/42.3

39.8/58.1/45.5

39.2/57.8/44.3

39.3/57.0/37.1

38.3/54.8/42.3

39.8/55.6/43.3

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

35.9/53.6/34

37.8/56.4/35.6

37.8/56.9/38.3

37.1/55.0/37.4

37.6/54.4/35.8

Kia Optima simply takes the edge here with its remarkable interior space. Mazda 3 and Acura ILX have a comparable arrangement of rows with the Mazda possessing a bit added second-row space.

Interior Features

  • Sport Seats with Leatherette upholstery
  • 8-Way Power Driver Seat with Power Lumbar Support
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Rear center armrest with cupholders
  • Foldable Rear Seats
  • Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control
  • Start/Stop Button
  • Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • Steering Wheel-mounted Controls

Infotainment System

The ILX comes with a 5-inch touchscreen infotainment display for the base model and the others use an 8-inch touchscreen system. The ILX sadly doesn't come with an intuitive infotainment system, other than the fact that it looks of an older generation as well. Though it's not a touch screen you need to manage every feature through a rotary knob which is not that accurate. Working on two screens makes it even more detrimental. Though you still have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on the ILX.

2019 Acura ILX infotainment system

Infotainment Features

  • ELS Studio Premium Audio System
  • 10-Speakers
  • SiriusXM COmpatibility
  • Bluetooth and USB Audio Interface
  • Pandora Compatible
  • Auxiliary Input Jack
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Compatible

The ILX comes with either a six or ten-speaker audio system depending upon the variant of your choice. The Technology Package comes with a 10 speaker ELS Studio Premium Audio system, which gives a nice sound output.

Exterior

As an update for 2019, the ILX gets the Diamond Pentagon grille, becoming the newest member of the Acura family to get the prescription. More than just the front sash, the ILX’s hood gets a bulge, and the A-pillars are moved little forward.

2020 Acura ILX Exteior Design

The rear of this compact-premium sedan also gets revised, with the license-plate holder departing from the center sliding to the bumper to give the whole setup a more profound, sportier character. The A-spec package brings some unique interior and exterior bits liked backed out chrome grille and headlights, a lip spoiler, and a chrome-tipped exhaust.

Models

Acura ILX

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Honda Civic LX Sedan

Mazda 3 Sport Sedan

Chevrolet Cruze Sedan L

Subaru WRX sedan

Curb weight (lb..)

3095

3219

3411

2724

2899

2870

3294

Length(in)

182.2

191.1

191.7

182.3

180.3

183.7

180.9

Width(in)

70.6

73.2

75.6

70.8

70.7

70.5

70.7

Height(in)

55.6

57.7

58.1

55.7

57.3

57.4

58.1

Ground clearance (in)

5.3

5.3

 

6.3

6.1

6.4

4.9

Wheelbase (in)

105.1

110.4

112.1

106.3

106.3

106.3

104.3

Track Width

59.4/60.2

         

60.2/60.6

The update keeps the ILX comparatively fresh. The new Jewel-Eye LED headlights may have been a worthless attempt as the IIHS rated their light yield as “Poor.” Acura makes for a decent executive car but it's not that sizeable than other cars in the lot.

Exterior Features

  • Power Moonroof
  • Remote Operate Windows
  • LED Headlights with Auto On/Off Function
  • LED Fog Lamps
  • Heated Side Mirrors
  • Decklid Spoiler
  • Acoustic Glass Windshield
  • Chrome Exhaust Tips 
  • Rear Diffuser

Safety and Reliability

Acura, like Honda, focuses a lot on the safety of their cars and it can be easily seen looking at the standard safety features and driver assistance features. The essential safety features like anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD), traction control, tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), Passenger and Driver Airbags, Side curtain airbags, and so on are made standard on all the trims available with the ILX.

Some standard features available on the Acura ILX includes :

  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Traction control
  • Ventilated front and rear disc brakes
  • Road departure warning
  • Front fog lights
  • Front and Side airbags
  • LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)
  • Rear cross-traffic monitor
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Multi-view rear camera
  • Adaptive Cruise Control

Final Verdict

Acura is high on reliability along with a great sense of practicality and is also efficient. The 2019 model of the ILX has focused more on the technology and equipment list thus now making it more appealing to the customer. Though staged as a luxury manufacturer, Acura still shares a lot of the parts from the car it is based on, the Honda Civic which affects its luxury appeal a tad bit sometimes.

2019 Acura ILX Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I get the 2019 Acura ILX with all-wheel drive?

Acura ILX offers front-wheel-drive as standard and there is no option of all-wheel drive.

Is the Acura RLX reliable?

The Acura is a sister company of Honda, so you can rest assured about the reliability factor.

Does Acura ILX have a manual transmission?

The 2020 Acura ILX comes with 2.4-liter inline-four dishing out 201 hp and comes mated to an 8 -speed automatic as standard. There is no option for manual transmission.

How many miles does Acura ILX last?

It can last over 300,000 miles with proper maintenance. 

Also, Read

2021 Acura ILX Review: Expected Release Date, Redesign, Prices and Specs

2020 Acura ILX Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

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