By Asian Journal Auto Editor
Based on the excellent Honda Civic, the Acura ILX sedan is a performance driven car with bevy of high-tech features as standard. The ILX has been with us for a while and for 2020 comes off a revamp in 2019, so not too many changes. We tested the tooled-up performance A – Spec version; of which there are two trim lines; the Premium and the A spec Tech. Exterior wise, there are cool looking darkened versions of Acura’s Jewel Eye™ LED headlights offset by a black chrome accented grille with a matte graphite insert. A front and side aero side skits flank nice looking 18″ alloy wheels. A piano-black diffuser and a deck lid spoiler finish off the back. It’s a very handsome looking car for sure. The Premium A – Spec and Tech An offer Ultrasuede leather trimmed seats with contrasts stitching and seat piping. There is also a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. An A spec badge is affixed to the steering wheel, so you don’t forget what you are driving! All ILX models are powered by one engine choice: a 2.4-liter engine producing 201 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. There is no 6-speed manual transmission which is shame, but there is a nice shifting 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Pricing for the ILX range starts at: base ILX $34,490, Premium, $32,990, Premium A – Spec $34,490, Tech A Spec, $35,890.
The ILX A-Spec package can be added to either the Technology or the Premium ILX models, and brings 18-in alloy wheels, sport seats with ILX Suede inserts, a black headliner, fog lights, a rear spoiler, aluminum sport pedals and other goodies.
The ILX Premium package also adds a 7-speaker, 360-watt premium sound system, rear cross-traffic assist, a blind spot monitoring system, a 7-in multiuse touchscreen, HD and Aha Radio, Siri Eyes Free, Apple CarPlay Opens in New Window and Android Auto, a power passenger seat and a 2-position driver’s-seat memory feature.
The ILX Technology package includes the Premium package plus an 8-in display, a multi-view rearview camera and a Acura hard-drive-based navigation system that offers 15 gigabytes of music storage and a 10-speaker ELS audio system, plus Voice Recognition™* and Homelink remote system and rain sensing wipers and AcuraLink™* Subscription Services.
The standard bi-directional key fob allows you to send requests to your ILX, including lock, unlock, and engine start. Interior wise, there are slinky looking sports sets – a fiery red is an extrovert’s choice! There is a roomy cabin up front for the driver and the front-seat passenger. Standard equipment is plentiful and includes a sunroof, heated and power adjustment seat for the driver, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Outback, the ILX has plenty of room, as is it should, based on the popular Honda Civic. The ILX has a fairly large trunk.
Safety is courtesy of ACURAWATCH™, an array of driver safety and assistive technologies, Key safety features include, as standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist and Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
On the road, the ILX’s sole powertrain, a 201-hp four-cylinder with front-wheel drive mated to a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission does an admirable job of motivation .201 does not sound like a lot, but the four banger is Honda’s excellent i-VTEC® engine with its impressive power-to-weight ratio. The result is eager, acceleration and lots of usable torque. It is a pleasant, carefree car to drive with nimble handling and quick reflexes thank to solid engineering. The Sport-tuned steering is precise, responsive with good lock and return to center action. Meanwhile, the ILX also offers Amplitude Reactive Dampers which provide a consistent, composed, ride, working in harmony with the performance steering. Fuel economy is rated at city/highway/combined9.9/7.0/8.6 L/100km.
To sum up, the ILX A-spec shines because of its willing 2.4-liter engine, a premium interior, the excellent Standard AcuraWatch and value for money. We miss a manual transmission option that would make the car an exciting choice for stick lovers. Still the auto box is no slouch and the ILX won’t leave you beaten up after a long ride thanks to its Civic origins. It is really worth paying a little more for the Premium and Technology packages, while the A Spec package is really the one to reward yourself, with its various upgrades. Let’s not forget Acura’s no worry reliability and high resale if you ever decide to trade in or up later. The ILX is up there with any entry level premium sedan and will charm anyone who steps in behind the wheel. Highly recommended.
2020 Acura ILX: Priced from: $30,490- $35,890. More info at www.acura.ca