2015 Acura ILX Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
September 18, 2014

The 2015 Acura ILX is a well-rounded compact premium sedan for those who want features and comfort, but don't mind sacrificing performance.

The 2015 Acura ILX includes features and service you'd expect from a luxury brand and aims to attract hip retirees and up-and-coming young professionals. But with competition getting stiffer from Mercedes-Benz and Audi, among others, is that enough?

The ILX is barely a luxury car if you go by its sticker price—or its not-so-distant Honda Civic roots. And for that reason we don't hold it against the brand that they're not offering some of the higher-end items you'll find in slightly more expensive sedans, such as radar-adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and heads-up displays. Granted, the brand is making big steps to head up-market with its RLX flagship sedan and future NSX super car, but there's still room for the ILX, which no only offers the slow-selling Hybrid model for 2015. With that in mind, the ILX holds its own as a well-equipped, pleasant-driving, and comfortable compact sedan.

The ILX has a youthful look that balances fluid and smooth shapes with crisp and edgy lines. The compact sedan wears gently swollen fenders, taut character lines, and an airy greenhouse that arches over the passengers. We think it’s handsome, if not lust-inducing.

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Taller adults will fit in this compact sedan quite easily. Seating space is generous for its overall footprint, and the ILX has controls that have been laid out cleanly, with easy-to-identify markings. Fit and finish is an Acura strong suit even here at its entry-level; the ILX is composed in high-quality materials and feels uniformly solid and substantial. The ILX also is quiet, though not as hushed as true luxury cars, including Acura’s own RLX.  

For 2015 Acura has made Active Noise Cancellation standard on all models in this lineup. It can actively 'mop up' smaller but bothersome noises from the powertrain or road, using the sound system's speakers, a cabin microphone, and a sophisticated processing algorithm.

There are two versions of the ILX available, named for their drivetrains: the 2.0 and the 2.4L. The first of those models has, predictably, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. With 150 hp and 140  lb-ft of torque, it’s teamed to a 5-speed automatic that can be shifted via steering-wheel-mounted paddles. So equipped the ILX has EPA-estimated gas mileage ratings of 24 mpg city and 35 mpg highway.

For a little more engaging driving experience, the ILX 2.4L gins up more power from a four-cylinder on loan from the Honda Civic Si. Its 2.4-liter 4-cylinder nets out at 201 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque, passed through a 6-speed manual transmission only. No automatic is even offered as an option. The suspension, though, is the same as in the rest of the lineup, and it’s not up to the task delivering handling to beat its best rivals. Don’t get us wrong, the ILX is responsive enough, but it’s nothing like the outgoing Acura TSX sport sedan.

Active noise cancellation and leather carry over as standard ILX features. An eight-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, and a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera system have also all been added as standard.

From the base version, Acura fits two option packages. The Technology Package comes with premium audio with USB and Pandora integration, a rear-view camera system, a navigation system with voice recognition, and real-time traffic and weather info. Premium ILX sedans offer leather; two-way heated front seats; eight-way power adjustable driver seat; an auto-dimming rearview mirror; a multi-view rear camera; and a premium sound system with Bluetooth, USB, and Pandora functionality.

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