After selling my Civic Si to pay for my last year of grad school and scooting around in a Fiesta for a few years, I decided to treat myself to my first luxury car. As a Honda fanboy ("the GTI is bette...
After selling my Civic Si to pay for my last year of grad school and scooting around in a Fiesta for a few years, I decided to treat myself to my first luxury car. As a Honda fanboy ("the GTI is better than the Si" are fighting words, as far as I was concerned), I naturally looked to Acura and the ILX. The ILX seemed to be designed for my demographic, afterall. After a test drive, it reminded me of my Si, and it just felt right to be back in a Honda. So it was an easy decision to make the ILX my first luxury car purchase.
But it's not a "luxury" car. To be fair, I can't state a definite definition of what a luxury car is. But I am fairly certain that if $20 Wal-Mart seat covers are a vast improvement to the comfort, look, feel, and overall quality of the interior, it's not a luxury car. And I'm equally certain that luxury car's don't use pleather (even if they call it "premium leatherette").
The driver's seat is the most painful seat I've ever sat in. It's like they measured where the pressure points were, then wrapped a cord around the seats at those points to cut into your back. After about 30 minutes in the car the seams in the pleather leave welt marks across my back. Then there's the seat belt which pokes into my hip. And the complete lack of headroom eliminates some of the seat configurations that might help alleviate these problems.
The stereo is garbage too. There's no base or high end, the USB input rarely works, and when it does it's controls are cumbersome. So I'm using CD's again, like I did in my '98 Civic DX--which came with a stereo that was only slightly inferior to the ILX, but was easily replaced.
And there's not much else to speak of regarding the interior beyond the painful pleather seats and garbage stereo. Sure, the seats are heated, which is nice if you live in North Dakota, I guess. And there's a back-up camera--the same one that's standard in the cheapest Honda you can buy--which will come in handy if the seat ruins my back and I can't turn my neck anymore.
The engine and transmission aren't bad, too be honest. The transmission is very good, in fact; as good as an automatic can be (though I'd trade it for a 5 speed manual from a 20 year old Honda in a heartbeat). And it feels plenty quick and powerful, more than what is needed for regular driving.
But it's not fun. Even in Sport mode, it just feels dull and disconnected. It may be objectively faster and perform better than my old Si, but, for whatever reason, it has none of the fun. Part of that is the steering, which is vague, light, provides no feedback, and gives you no confidence to push it on a windy mountain road.
Unfortunately, it still has all the road noise of the Si and then some. My Fiesta was even quieter at highway speeds than this "luxury" car. The Fiesta also had a nicer interior, better ride, handling/steering, transmission (because manual), stereo, infotainment system, better dealer experience...pretty much everything but acceleration. If I could serve out the rest of my sentence (lease) in my Fiesta, even paying the same and turning it over at the end, I'd have to think long and hard about it--the only thing stopping me would be the thought of flushing $15 grand down the toilet for the joy of driving an ILX for 6 months, and knowing that it'd be a windfall for Acura...if I kept the ILX, it'd be out of spite.
The ILX is, by any reasonable objective or subjective standard, the worst car in its price range. No wonder Acura wants to compare it cars in the higher price range so it can seem like a good value, because it can't hold a candle to the likes of the WRX, GTI, Verano, or even the new Civic, all of which costs less than this poorly conceived disaster. Don't be fooled. Stay away. I know I will. When I can finally dump this car and go looking for my first luxury car for the second time, I won't consider Acura. I'll never buy another Honda product again, not even a lawnmower, and I freaking hate Craftsman.