An all-new model for Acura, the ILX sedan is the brand's new entry-level model. The slightly larger TSX will remain in the lineup, priced at just under $30,000 before the destination charge. Unpriced as of this writing, the ILX will be more affordable still.
Based on the Honda Civic, the ILX recalls the Acura RSX, sold from 2002 to 2006, though that car was a two-door with more of a sport emphasis. The ILX will offer three drivetrains, including Acura's first-ever hybrid. The ILX competes with the likes of the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series, Buick Regal and Lexus CT 200h.
The ILX simultaneously plays down the silver grille that has drawn criticism in other Acura models and spices up other aspects of the car's design. The front bumper is more intricate, and hood creases and side character lines are more pronounced than you'll find on the TSX. Small exterior differences accompany the three drivetrain choices.
The base ILX interior has cloth upholstery with imitation leather side bolsters on the front seats. Typical of Acura, higher trim levels come in the form of two option packages. The Premium and Technology packages add leather, heated front seats, a stereo upgrade and a backup camera. The Technology option adds a top-level stereo with digital music storage, a navigation system, an information system and a multiview backup camera.
Standard features include keyless access with push-button start and a modest degree of smartphone integration.
Even without the navigation system, the ILX provides a color display similar to Honda's simple, streamlined i-MID system. The center control panel is clean and easily navigated, anchored by Acura's multifunction controller knob, which has improved greatly in recent years.
Under the Hood
The ILX's base engine is a 150-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder. It teams with a five-speed automatic transmission with a selectable manual mode. Honda's early mileage estimate is 24/32 mpg city/highway.
A second all-gas engine is a 201-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder that comes only with a six-speed-manual transmission and an estimated 20/29 mpg.
Acura's first hybrid, which combines a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor and high-voltage lithium-ion battery, generates 111 hp and is expected to achieve 35/38 mpg. The only transmission is a continuously variable automatic.
Standard safety features include front, side and side curtain airbags as well as antilock brakes and an electronic stability system with traction control.