Initially launched in 2012, the ILX isn’t any spring rooster. At its core, Acura’s entry-level sedan remains to be a barely extra premium model of the Honda Civic — the last-generation Honda Civic. The ILX was final up to date for the 2016 mannequin yr and is present process yet one more refresh for 2019. In different phrases, the 2019 ILX is a reheat of an already reheated mannequin that offered a paltry 930 items in September.
To its credit score, the ILX’s second makeover is definitely is somewhat substantial. The automotive will get a a lot brisker look, to not point out improved expertise and extra security tools, ensuing within the automotive being a greater general worth. Besides, is that sufficient?
The outgoing ILX was removed from riveting by way of design, however the 2019 mannequin’s brisker face goes a good distance towards giving it a bit extra on-road presence. Every thing from the A pillar ahead has been revamped, and the ILX now wears the model’s sharp company face, first seen on the Acura Precision Idea. The “Diamond Pentagon” grille sits entrance and heart, flanked by “Jewel Eye” headlights and extra aggressively creased physique panels.
Large adjustments are obvious out again, too, with a redesigned trunk lid and LED taillights. The license plate strikes down from the trunk to a brand new bumper with a distinguished diffuser, serving to to offer the rear a cleaner and sportier look. From the rear three-quarter view, the ILX is actually enticing.
The 2019 ILX will get an optionally available A-Spec styling package deal that features a matte graphite grille, darkened mild housings, aspect sill extensions, piano black bumper accents, deck spoiler and redesigned rear diffuser. The package deal additionally matches a singular set of 18-inch, grey, multi-spoke wheels, wrapped with Continental ContiProContact all-season tires. The A-Spec will also be ordered with a model-exclusive Apex Blue Pearl paint job, which is among the ILX’s 5 new coloration choices.
All ILX fashions get extra supportive, redesigned entrance seats, and A-Spec vehicles can have their chairs outfitted in pink leather-based with suede inserts. The package deal additionally provides chrome steel pedals, pink gauges, a black headliner and particular scuff plates. Sadly, exterior the seats and small coloration and trim alterations, the ILX’s cabin format is unchanged, with a blocky sprint and huge swaths of low-cost, arduous plastic on the middle stack.
The brand new entrance finish for 2019 lastly provides the ILX some fashion.
You will not discover Acura’s new True Touchpad infotainment system within the 2019 ILX. As a substitute, the older, two-screen format stays. Out there on mid-grade Premium and range-topping Expertise trims, the system’s graphics are sharper, and Acura says there is a 30-percent enchancment in response occasions. On my ILX Expertise A-Spec tester, I discover it tremendous simple to make use of the navigation system, and fortunately, Acura’s interface bundles each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, in addition to a 10-speaker ELS audio system. In fact, in the event you go for the bottom ILX, you aren’t getting any of this. As a substitute, you are left with a single-screen interface that lacks any smartphone mirroring tech, and a six-speaker sound system. No matter trim, the ILX has solely a single USB port together with a 12-volt outlet within the heart armrest compartment, which can possible have passengers jockeying to juice up dying telephones.
The one main tech enchancment is the addition of the AcuraWatch security suite, which is customary on each ILX, and bundles adaptive cruise management, computerized emergency braking and lane-departure warning with lane-keeping help. Transferring as much as the Premium or Expertise trims will get you blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
The general format is identical, however the ILX’s infotainment and expertise tech has been up to date.
A surprisingly succesful performer
Each ILX is powered by the identical 2.Four-liter inline four-cylinder engine because the previous mannequin, with 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed dual-clutch computerized is on the one transmission accessible driving the entrance wheels. In response to the EPA, this drivetrain ought to return 24 miles per gallon within the metropolis and 34 mpg on the freeway.
Should you’re a fan of old-school Honda and Acura fashions, you will love this high-revving, naturally aspirated inline-four. It is actually no rocket ship off the road, however energy builds progressively as much as the 6,900-rpm redline. Sport mode retains the engine spinning excessive in every gear, the transmission firing off fast upshifts and clean, rev-matched downshifts. Acura’s dual-clutch computerized is not fairly pretty much as good as Audi’s S-tronic gearbox, but it surely’s shut.
The ILX’s suspension will get an actual exercise on the twisty, nation roads exterior Columbus, Ohio. I just like the crisp turn-in, respectable grip of the Continental rubber and properly managed physique roll. Positive, the entrance finish will wash out in the event you dive-bomb a good flip, however all instructed, the ILX is a very pleasing automotive to drive spiritedly. The one actual dynamic disappointment is the steering, which is just too mild for my tastes.
A punchy drivetrain and well-sorted suspension make the ILX a enjoyable driver.
Slowing down, the ILX shuffles by way of cities with respectable poise. Not like some dual-clutch transmissions, the ILX launches easily in first gear and would not lurch below downshifting at low speeds. Taut because the suspension is, it strikes a cheerful medium, with sufficient damping to make the ILX comfy in on a regular basis driving conditions. My solely in-town criticism is that the ILX lets quite a lot of tire and wind noise into the cabin.
Extra bang in your buck
With a $26,895 base value, together with $995 for vacation spot, the 2019 Acura ILX’s price ticket is definitely $2,200 lower than its predecessor. Stepping as much as the Premium mannequin with the higher infotainment setup for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto bumps the worth tag to $28,645, whereas the top-of-the line Expertise trim begins at $30,545. The A-Spec package deal provides an extra $2,000 to the underside line of both Premium or Expertise vehicles.
Contemplating its improved look and longer record of ordinary security options, the ILX is a significantly better worth than ever earlier than — among the best in its class, in reality. However with previous bones and previous tech, I am unsure if it is sufficient to actually transfer the gross sales needle for this usually ignored compact luxurious sedan.
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