Why you should consider the Acura ILX before buying a Honda Civic?

Aaron Smith's image
Aaron Smith

Automotive Journalist

May 22, 2020 at 02:05 AM

The 2020 Acura ILX is based on the platform of the Honda Civic itself. Although the 2020 Acura ILX is one of the most powerful cars in its segment, it still in no way will suggest any sportiness. Honda Civic, on the other hand, has always been a favorite amongst the seniors and the youngsters alike.

Is the Acura ILX the same as the Honda Civic?

Although Acura is a part of the Japanese automotive giant's Honda, the cars made by the latter are miles apart. The same is the story with the Acura ILX and Honda Civic. Acura is a brand that focuses on providing a more comfort-oriented vehicle. Although the 2020 Acura ILX is one of the most powerful cars in its segment, it still in no way will suggest any sportiness. 

2020 Acura ILX

Honda Civic, on the other hand, has always been a favorite amongst the seniors and the youngsters alike. The Honda Civic is a car that serves all kinds of audiences. But how do two nearly similar vehicles can have such a big difference in their characteristics? Let'sLet's take a look now. 

Acura ILX VS Honda Civic: Engine & Performance

The 2020 Acura ILX is based on the platform of the Honda Civic itself. However, everything else has been changed. The ILX gets a 2.4L Inline 4 cylinder engine which packs 201 HP and 180 lb-ft of torques. All the power is then transmitted to the front wheels by an 8-Speed automatic gearbox. The Acura ILX provides high amounts of low-end torque, which gives you a good punch when driving on the motorways. 

2020 Honda Civic Si

The 2020 Honda Civic Si, on the other hand, is a more driver-oriented car and promotes sportiness even by its looks. Under the hood, the Civic gets a 1.5L Inline 4 cylinder engine, which is heavily tuned to generate a massive 205 ponies.

The power is again transferred to the front wheels by a 6-Speed manual transmission. The main difference between the two step-siblings is the way power is transferred to the tarmac. 


Acura ILX Base

Civic SI





2.4L Inline-4

1.5L Premium Inline-4





8-Speed Automated Manual

6-speed manual w/OD







Both the cars might look almost similar on papers; the way the power is routed to the wheels is very different. The 2020 Honda Civic Si feels way more agile and nimble through the corners. It feels sharp and gives you nerve-tingling performance. The Acura ILX, on the other hand, feels smooth, confident, and planted while on the move. The ILX absorbs the bumps on the road gives you a very comfortable ride.

Acura ILX VS Honda Civic: Acceleration

The Acura's naturally-aspirated engine comes to life in a higher rev range. Although the Acura ILX has a strong pull, it still feels a bit less at the start. However, the transmission of the ILX is very smooth and quick. The gear shifts are rapid and respond very quickly when urged.

2020 Acura ILX

The ILX also has got a firm suspension, which has been designed to be comfortable on the motorways and not stiff at all. All these factors make the ILX a big luxurious sedan, which, in specific ways, is perfect for an extended family weekend. 


Acura ILX Base

Civic SI

0-60 MPH

6.6 sec


Quarter Mile

15.2 sec


Top Speed

130 MPH

137 MPH


2.4L Inline-4

1.5L Premium Inline-4

The Honda Civic Si comes to life once you start pushing it. The 6-Speed stick shift keeps you engaged. The suspension gives you immense grip in the corners and gives you the confidence to throw the car at any speeds on any curves, and it will always have your back. The Civic is a lot of fun to drive and is truly a driver's machine. 

2020 Honda Civic Si Sedan

So in case you are looking for a car that can make you smile when you are behind the wheel, the 2020 Honda Civic Si is an excellent option for you. In case you like to take long hauls with the family over the weekend, the Acura ILX is worth the try. Now we know what it is like to drive the two cars; let's see how do they stand in terms of practicality. 

Which of the two has better interiors?

The interior of the 2020 Acura ILX resembles the 2019 Honda Civic. However, the quality of the materials used feel very cheap and plasticky. To provide you with the maximum value for money, this is a compromise that the Acura does have.

2020 Acura ILX Dashboard

You get a long list of features and driving aids, but the quality of the interiors is not good. Also, you get the least cargo capacity in the segment. The front seats get good legroom, but the rear seats do feel a bit cramped. 


Acura ILX Base

Civic SI

Seating Capacity



Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)



Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)



The Honda Civic Si, however, excels in terms of practicality. The Si is based on an already well-established name Civic. The Si model gets all the practical aspects of the standard car and then gets an additional power for a fun-filled drive. Inside, the 2020 Honda Civic has been refreshed with its simplistic design, looks more up to date as well. There are a lot of cubby holes for smaller items in the front and the back. 

Is Acura ILX bigger than Civic?

When it comes to the looks, the Acura ILX gets a more subtle look. The body tone is very neutral and does not promote any kind of sportiness. At the same time, the car looks sleek with its narrow design. A new diamond pentagon-shaped grille has been added to the front.

2020 Honda Civic Si

Moreover, the main feature changes from the previous generation are seen at the rear end. The tail lamps have been restyled; the rear bumper has got a new lip rear diffuser and a chrome-tipped single exhaust. This gives the ILX a bit more aggressive look and makes the design feel well-balanced. 

The 2020 Civic Si gets a much more aggressive design. The front of the Si model has been heavily reworked to give it a closer look like the Type R. A new, more advanced headlamps have been added to improve the night visibility and provide the Si with more severe character.

2020 Acura ILX

The 2020 model also gets new 18-inch blacked-out wheels that match the bold personality of the car. In the rear, a spoiler has been added to give the Si a very sporty and aggressive look.

In comparison, both the cars might have a similar platform under the skin, but in the looks, they look just the opposite. The 2020 Acura ILX gives you very subtle and user-friendly looks whereas, the Honda Civic Si has much more aggressive and track oriented character to it. 

Should I buy a Honda or Acura?

The ILX and the Civic both share the same platform under the skin. Both have almost similar dimensions. However, even by the looks, one can never also tell that both the cars have anything in common. The Civic Si has a sporty character to it, and the ILX has a decent and subtle style.

2020 Acura ILX

In driving, both the cars again have almost similar power yet a very different drive. The Civic Si has a more aggressive start off than the ILX. The ILX comes alive in the higher rev ranges.

2020 Honda Civic Si

But for a city ride, Acura is much smoother to drive and feels very easy in traffic. Therefore considering all the aspects, if you want a car in which you can take long comfortable drives with the family over the weekend, the 2020 Acura ILX is a genuinely worthy car to consider. Moreover, if you want more aggressive styling and panache in the looks and a more sporty drive, the 2020 Civic Si is the car for you, by all means. 

Also, Read

Acura ILX VS Kia Optima Vs Mazda 3: Comparison Review


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