Introduced all the way in 2012, as a replacement for RSX, it received a mid-life refresh in 2016. The 2017 Acura ILX is that smallest model in the lineup of a luxury brand, and it is living in the bustling premium compact segment, with big, established names. The question that we are going to try to find out is this enough to keep this scaled-up Civic in pace with competition?
Refresh brought tweaked-up looks with new front and rear, including “Jewel Eye” headlights so that it can shout its affiliation to the brand.
Acura made enough effort to differentiate it from Civic, on which it is based on, this is a must since ILX is supposed to seat in premium surroundings. Overall it looks good, and despite being compact size, the nice silhouette of sedan shape is preserved.
Redesign brought some minor changes to the cabin, but one thing was improved substantially, and that is quietness. It is similar to bigger brother TLX and its leading in the segment.
Materials are of nice quality, which should be excepted, though with some hard plastic parts just to remind you that it is still Honda’s offspring. Seats are comfortable enough, and various controls are ergonomically and logically positioned.
It can be occupied with only one option, 2.4-litter I4 with 208 hp and 180lb-ft. And that is enough. It propels ILX from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.4 seconds and all the way to 138 mph, which is more than the decent result for a compact sedan, and also any car anyway.The real jewel of the car is the gearbox as it is 8-speed automatic dual-clutch shifter, meaning it’s designed as a computer operated manual transmission, but Acura also added a torque converter in the system for better power delivery and a more familiar feel.
Changes are smooth, super fast and are just making engine use all of its potentials. Everything that has been already mentioned is complemented with a sporty and capable ride, so we can guarantee that ILX will bring a smile on drivers face, and 29 mpg of fuel efficiency rating is here to make that smile last.
Standard equipment is going to be generous as always with Acura, so count on rearview camera with multiple views, automatic headlights, dual-zone climate control, passive entry with push-button start, an 8-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, and active noise cancellation.
There are plenty of options that comes with Premium model, such as leather seats, blind spot warning with a cross-traffic monitor, the iPhone navigation connectivity, Siri Eyes Free which allows access to the iPhone’s digital assistant with the push of a button on the steering wheel. Further up the range, the top of the line Technology Plus model adds AcuraWatch as standard which includes adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, lane keeping assist and some other safety features.
Now we come to the specialty of the Acura. Base price is under $29,000, Premium ups the tag to $31,000 and Technology Plus asks for $34,000. If you care about safety (who don’t?), think about paying additional $1,300 for AcuraWatch plus package, or if you care about looks open up for extra $2,000 for A-Spec package with 18-inch wheels and sporty trim all around. Overall it is much cheaper than any of the Germans, while more expensive than Buick Verano which brings less equipment.
ILX is far from the year of introduction, although redesign changes kept it in a fresh state. Great performance, sporty ride, superb gearbox and sublime quietness, could make you forget about Honda origins and make you go for this well-priced package before more expensive rivals or instead of waiting for next generation model.