The 2019 Acura ILX traces its ancestry to the Honda Civic of the recent past, but this year it receives a round of updates that give it a more contemporary feel.
The 2019 ILX now comes with new active safety and driver-assistance technology, including automatic emergency braking, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and lane-departure warnings. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is standard on all but the base model. With a resigned front end, the ILX now looks more like its Acura siblings, too.
Acura offers the ILX in a single trim level, but it can be fitted with one or two of the three available option groups: Premium, A-Spec, and Technology.
New features have been added to the sportier-looking A-Spec edition including Ebony or Red leather sport seats, 18-inch wheels, darkened headlights and taillights, and a gloss black decklid spoiler.
Every ILX has front-wheel drive and the same powertrain: a 201-horsepower 4-cylinder engine that produces 180 pound-feet of torque, coupled to an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Paddle shifters are standard.
The NHTSA gave the 2019 ILX a five-star rating overall. The IHHS rated the 2019 ILX â€œGoodâ€ in each of its instrumented crash-tests, but its headlights held it back from earning a Top Safety Pick award.
Prices do not include $995 destination charge.
The base ILX Sedan ($25,900) comes with a moonroof, 10-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, synthetic leather upholstery, USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, LED headlights and taillights, dual-zone climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, paddle shifters, and keyless ignition.
ILX with Premium Package ($27,650) adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment, leather seat trim, sport seats, power passenger seat, blind-spot monitors, and satellite and HD radio.
ILX with Premium and A-Spec Packages ($29,650) adds 18-inch wheels, aluminum pedals, side spoilers, a decklid spoiler, LED foglights, and leather-trimmed seats with ultrasuede inserts.
ILX with Technology Package ($29,550) includes navigation, a 10-speaker ELS audio system, real-time traffic, and a multi-view rearview camera.
ILX with Technology and A-Spec Packages ($31,550) combines contents of the Technology and A-Spec option groups.
The ILX has a revamped look that works well with its basic shapeâ€”and with Acura’s other sedans and crossovers.
Seven-element LED headlights lead the way, flanking a large, angular grille, leading into a more sharply sculpted hood. Echoing front-end appearance, LED taillights are mounted at the decklid. New wheel designs have emerged, too.
The cabin is finished well, though it falls short of opulence. The front and rear seats have been reshaped, and can be fitted with high-contrast stitching. Drivers now have two-way power lumbar support.
On the dashboard, which sits relatively low, base models get a standard audio system with many buttons. Premium models get an 8.0-inch touchscreen.
Fitted with a standard moonroof, the low roofline trims some headroom, especially in the back seat. Front seats are comfortable otherwise, with eight-way power adjustment for the driver. Synthetic leather upholstery is standard in lower trim levels. Legroom is fine in the rear, for a compact sedan.
Acura has installed a new dual-screen infotainment system, finally making Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility optional or standard.
Cargo volume is 12.4 cubic feet â€“ sufficient for a large suitcase.
Acura’s compact sedan is a willing performer, if not up to the high bar of some of its European rivals. The powertrain issues some pleasing sounds, and a hint of sportiness emerges when the ILX is pushed.
With its soft ride, the ILX makes a fine commuter car. With the 18-inch wheels included in the A-Spec package, the ILX grows more firm and insistent, thanks to a taut suspension and low-profile tires.
The ILX engine is feisty especially as it’s mated to its 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. With 201 horsepower on tap, the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder revs happily toward a high (6,800-rpm) redline. Under most conditions, it yields spirited acceleration. Whether controlled by paddle shifters or left on its own, the transmission is a delightful companion.
Fuel economy also is reasonably good, though premium gasoline is needed. The ILX is EPA-rated at 24/34 mpg City/Highway, or 28 mpg Combined.
Acura’s ILX provides reasonably inexpensive luxury. Safety technology is abundant on all but the base version. For $1,750, the Premium package turns the ILX from what is basically an economy car into a modest-budget luxury automobile.
Driving impressions by Andrew Ganz, TheCarConnection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.