With 2019 Acura ILX, the starter luxury sedan finally gets sporty life it needed

September 5, 2018

The 2019 Acura ILX made its debut Wednesday, finally sporting the beak-less face, sporty A-Spec appearance package, and updated touchscreens it needs to woo back buyers. 

Although Acura didn't say how much the sedan would cost when it goes on sale in October, the ILX has been the most affordable car offered by the luxury automaker and among the most affordable ways to buy a luxury sedan, starting at less than $30,000.

DON'T MISS: Read our 2018 Acura ILX review

The ILX is new from the windshield forward, according to Acura. Although it still rides atop an aged structure borrowed from the Honda Civic, the ILX sedan sports a new nose and grille, complete with Acura's five-sided maw and redesigned LED headlights.

Under the hood, the ILX is powered by the same free-revving 2.4-liter inline-4 as last year, which makes 201 horsepower and returns nearly 30 mpg on the EPA's combined cycle. Power goes to the front wheels only, via an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

2019 Acura ILX

2019 Acura ILX

This year's addition to the lineup is a sporty A-Spec appearance package that adds bigger wheels, darker exterior elements, and interior accents—but no more power. Acura has so far applied the A-Spec appearance treatment to most of its other cars and SUVs, including the TLX, MDX, and RDX.

MUST READ: 2019 Acura RDX aces IIHS crash tests

All 2019 ILX models will come from the factory equipped with active safety features such as forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and adaptive cruise control. Last year, the IIHS gave the ILX top "Good" scores in every crash test and rated the suite of active safety features as "Superior" in mitigating crashes up to 25 mph, but not avoiding them completely. "Marginal" headlight performance prevented the ILX from earning a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick + award.

Acura also fits its dual-screen infotainment system into the ILX, similar to last year's setup, but with more responsive software and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

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