Acura ILX

Acura ILX

The Acura ILX is an entry-level sedan that was first introduced for the 2013 model year.

Acura ILX Overview

The class for compact entry-level luxury models has been growing in the past few years with Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz entering the fray. One of the first models to join this class was the Acura ILX. The ILX is the successor to the RSX coupe – which was last produced for the 2006 model year.

Acura first showed the ILX as a concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, with the production model coming to Chicago Auto Show a month later. Acura used the Honda Civic as a base and built up the sedan from there with a design that expressed sharp lines and a unique rear end.

You can choose from three different engine options on the 2013 ILX. The base engine is 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 150 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque, which is paired with a five-speed automatic. Next is a more powerful 2.4-liter four-cylinder from the Civic Si pumping out 201 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard with this engine. Finally there is the ILX Hybrid, which boasts a gas engine and an electric motor that punch out 111 horsepower, as well as a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

All 2013 ILX models come standard with either 16- or 17-inch aluminum wheels, speed-sensing windshield wipers, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cloth seats (ILX 2.4 models get standard leather), dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, keyless entry and start, a sunroof and a six-speaker audio system with USB and auxiliary inputs.

Standalone options are not available on the ILX. Instead, Acura bundles up a number of features and create new trim levels. For example, the Premium package (standard on the 2.4 model) comes with heated leather seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, a backup camera, and a premium sound system. Go for the Technology package and you'll also get Acura's navigation system with real-time traffic and weather. You can get this on the 2013 ILX 2.0 and Hybrid, but not the 2.4. This caused confusion for customers and likely played a role into the slow sales of the model.

2014 saw Acura increase the amount of standard equipment on the ILX. Leather seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, a backup camera and keyless entry and start come standard across the range. Acura also announced that the ILX Hybrid would not be returning for the 2015 model year due to poor sales.

Acura introduced a revised 2016 ILX at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. The 2016 ILX boasts a new look up front with a new grille and the automaker's jewel-eye headlights. Acura dropped the 2.0-liter engine for the 2016 model, making a 2.4-liter engine with 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque standard. This time, the engine is hooked up to a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The center stack also sees some changes with the addition of an upper 8-inch screen and a lower 7-inch touch screen to control various aspects of the infotainment system.

Acura introduced a new A-Spec package for the 2016 ILX with a trunk spoiler, side sills, and a set of 18-inch wheels for the exterior. Inside, the A-Spec features black leather, suede seat inserts, red illumination for the instrument cluster and aluminum pedals.

Also new for the 2016 model is AcuraWatch, a suite of advanced driver-assistance and safety technologies that includes adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and a collision mitigation braking system.

Competitors to the Acura ILX include the Audi A3, Buick Verano, and Mercedes-Benz CLA.