This model has been refreshed for the 2019 model year to help bring it up to date with the rest of the Acuras on sale in the US. Actually 99 % of Acuras sold in the US are built right here in the United States, and most of them are built in Ohio, where the ILX is built as well. In fact, the only Acura on sale in the United States that is not built in the US is the Acura RLX. So all of the other Acuras that you’re looking at they’re all built right here in Ohio, the ILX is acura, smallest and least expensive vehicle on sale in the United States and for 2019. Its pricing is still under 26,000 dollars. As we take a look around the ILX, that price point is very important to understand, because this is significantly less expensive in terms of overall base price than something like the new mercedes-benz, a 220, the older mercedes-benz, CLA or alternatives like an Audi a3 or BMW. 320I.
The other important thing to remember is that not every luxury manufacturer is targeting exactly the same shopper, because we do have a sedan ILX. Just like we have that sedan, mercedes-benz, a-class and CLA the Audi a3, but Lexus is targeting entry-level shoppers with the new UX. A crossover vehicle and Volvo is doing the same with the new XC 40 up front. We see the biggest change for 2019 and that is this new front end design.
This brings it in line with the rest of the Acura lineup, with this diamond shaped grille right here, these individual little elements in it. We have full LED headlamps. These are LED high beams and LED low beams. There are seven different modules there, and then we have the distinctive Acura daytime running lamps trip that runs inside.
We also have optional, LED fog lamps down at the bottom. Now you won’t find those until the very top and trims. The other big change for 2019 is the inclusion of a cure watch there. All encompassing active safety system.
Acura watch uses a combination of a camera system located right here behind the windscreen and a radar sensor up there in front of the car. This gives the driver in all trims, including the base model radar, adaptive cruise control, autonomous braking lane, keeping assistance with runoff Road mitigation and, of course, active high beams. Basically, the same active safety suite that we see in all Acura models, including the top-end trims of their most expensive vehicles when it comes to overall value that definitely helps keep the ILX competitive with the European entries. Because you won’t find that same level of standard feature.
Content in any of the European entries really you’ll only find it in the semi competitor to this, which is the all-new Lexus UX at 182 inches long. This is notably longer than something like an Audi a3. That is, of course, because the ILX started out its life. As a compact vehicle, not a subcompact vehicle and sort of technically in America, we call the a3 and the CLA subcompact vehicles, not compact vehicles like they do in Europe.
If you’re watching this in Europe you’re thinking to yourself, my goodness 182 inches long, is practically a midsize sedan, remember that category is in America are a little bit different. The model that we’re looking at today is the all-new a spectrum of the ILX, so we get unique wheels a spec badging right there on the front quarter panel, and then we get a small black spoiler right here at the back. The rear end design has also been changed for 2019. Again, we have that black spoiler on top because we are in the a spec large acura logo there in the middle restyled combination LED tail light modules and if you ever see, combination LED on a spec sheet for a car.
Here’s what it means. It means that not the entire module is LED, so we have LED brake lights, but we have incandescent turn signals, which is what you see flashing over there on the other side, black treatment again at the bottom, and then a single exhaust tip over there on the Passenger side under the hood, we find the same 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder engine that we find in the larger Acura TLX. It’s also made into the same 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. This engine puts out 201 horsepower and 180 pound feet of torque power, routed to the front wheels.
Only via that dual clutch transmission, you can’t get super handling, all-wheel drive in this generation of ILX when it comes to front seat comfort. The one key thing to keep in mind is that the moonroof is standard in all trims, and that means that Headroom is a little bit more limited than some of the competition sitting upright here at 6 feet tall with the seat comfortably adjusted. For me, my hair is actually brushing the ceiling, and I really have troubles fitting just my hand between the ceiling and my head. That means that I found myself driving a little bit seated inboard for most of the day, and it was a little bit less comfortable than I would like.
So if you’re a taller person, you may have troubles fitting up front in the ILX, we do still get a tilt, telescopic steering column with a decent range of motion, a power driver’s seat with a two-way adjustable power, lumbar support and a two-position seat memory. Although not standard, this model does have the optional power passenger seat, but it does not get a two-position lumbar over there hopping into the back seat. I find about an inch of legroom left sitting right here behind myself, but Headroom is definitely limited because of the overall profile here. If you want more Headroom in your inexpensive luxury vehicle, you are going to have to get one of the inexpensive crossovers like a mercedes-benz.
Gla or an Audi q3, rather than a sedan in this particular segment, moving over to the middle seat, we find a little bit more room than some of the very small entries as far as overall width, but definitely not a lot of headroom. As you can see right there, if I scoot all the way over to the right side of the car, this front seat was all the way back in its tracks. My knees are touching the seat, but I could sit here if I needed to the rear seat. Back does fold, but it folds as one complete unit rather than a 60/40 design, which does make this a little bit less practical.
As we look around the interior. Keep in mind that we are in the ILX, a spec which is essentially the top and trim of this model. All models get a standard moonroof, as I said before, we also find height adjustable shoulder belts for the driver and front passenger and two-way adjustable headrests. The seats have overall, a very similar design to other Acura models.
The model that we’re driving has these attractive red seats with an insert right there in the middle. There are a few more colors available for 2019 versus the previous 2018 model, and you can see that the bolstering is fairly minor for the seat back and seat bottom cushion as we move on over to the front doors we find just about as much soft touch Material as you’d expect in this entry-level segment so have a soft touch upper section, then a stitched middle section that matches the seat fabric, soft touch, armrest and then harder plastics down there towards the bottom of the door. The overall dashboard design has not changed for 2019, so we still find an injection-molded upper section. Two air vents right there on the passenger side, this sort of piano black trim.
If i zoom in on there, you can see this is not imitation wood or anything like that. It does have a chrome strip right there in the middle, and then we have a pretty large glove compartment for a vehicle in this category as easily able to fit a large tablet. Computer inside the overall dashboard shapes are basically the same as 2018, but we now have apple, carplay and android. Auto support in this two screen infotainment system.
In a nutshell, the upper screen is used for the smartphone interface, the factory Bluetooth interface, the factory navigation interface. The lower screen works in tandem with the upper screen. This is where you would actually change the source: apple, carplay, Android, auto, etc. Usb inputs you track forward and backward with these buttons adjust audio settings.
We have some redundant readouts for the climate control buttons below, and then we have a physical knob to interact with the upper screen. So that’s kind of an odd twist. If we hit the smartphone button right there, car play is not playing on this touchscreen, which it actually might be easier to interact with, actually is working on that upper screen, and then you would use this rotary knob right here to actually interact with apple carplay. We have a power button right over here for the engine and then the controls for the dual zone – climate control down there below that controller knob.
We also have a small storage cubby right there, the controls for the heated seats, a pretty standard, console, shifter drive back there, sport, one notch behind it, a pretty typical handbrake and then two medium-sized cupholders between the front seats. We find a padded armrest that opens to reveal the USB input for that infotainment system, auxilary input and a smallish storage cubby. The instrument cluster is a pretty typical, accurate instrument cluster. We have a physical, speedometer and tachometer and then a Kohler multifunction display right there in the middle of everything.
The steering wheel is one of Acuras older designs. We have sport, grips up top, it’s a three spoke design. We have the controls for the infotainment system over here on the left following up down channel up/down. This also works for track up/down, there’s some dedicated phone buttons, a voice command button.
On this side, we have some buttons that work with that multifunction LCD, a button to turn on and off the lane-keeping assistant system. This is the distance button for the standard radar adaptive cruise control. One of the first things you’ll notice about the ILX out on the road is the way that this dual clutch transmission feel because this has a torque converter like a traditional automatic. So it has a very different feel to it out on the road when you’re taking off from a stop.
So if I were to just stop out here on this country, road and then crawl very slowly, this feels like a traditional automatic transmission and then when we are more aggressive on the throttle, it feels perhaps a little bit more like a dual clutch transmission with those Very immediate and direct shifts in some ways you can think of this as the opposite. Bookend from what AMG is doing with their speed shift transmissions, because in those transmissions, they’ve taken an automatic transmission and then they have removed the torque converter and instead inserted a clutch pack. What Acura did with this transmission? Was they took a dual clutch transmission, which is an automated manual, and then they have added a torque converter to this design in order to help improve those low-speed crawl situations and actually help improve some shifts as well.
A traditional dual clutch transmission does not do terribly. Well, in stop-and-go traffic, they tend to be a little bit herky-jerky, that’s definitely something that we saw, for instance, in the Mercedes CLA, which you could definitely compare to this ILX. This is an awful lot smoother in highway, stop and go traffic, but the dual clutch transmission. Definitely has an impact when it comes to overall acceleration and the hilux has generally done well there in terms of overall acceleration, because nothing has changed under the hood.
I expect acceleration figures to remain the same, so I’m gon na go ahead and post our original acceleration figures right up there from the last time that we drove the ILX. I also expect overall braking distances to be basically the same in terms of overall handling. The ILX does fairly well for itself. Now some people have derided the ILX as being nothing more than a gussied up Civic, but even if that were the case, that’s actually not a bad place.
To start your compact entry-level luxury sedan, because the ILX handles relatively well just like the old Civic did remember that in this particular segment front wheel drive is the norm. So that’s not really a competitive disadvantage for the ILX, because whether you wanted to compare this to a CLA or a GLA, an Audi a3 or even something like an Audi q3. Those are all going to start out as front-wheel drive based vehicles, even something like a BMW, x1 or x2 is going front-wheel-drive. Although I suppose you could compare this to something like the BMW 320i, even though that is in the next size category up, the 320i really is going to be the only rear-wheel drive vehicle in this particular segment.
So when it comes to overall driving dynamics, that’s going to be the only one that has something different than what we see in the ILX when it comes to overall ride quality. The ILX also does fairly well keep in mind that we are driving the a spec version of the ILX, which does have a slightly firmer suspension tune than the other versions, but this actually still has a pretty good balance. Overall, I’d actually expected the 2019 LX to feel a little bit bolder a little bit out of sorts when compared to some of the more modern entries in the segment, but it really does hold its own dynamically compared to some of those other entries. It’s a little bit difficult to talk about cabin noise because we haven’t been driving this on our own home turf.
So obviously you will have to wait until we can get our hands on one for a full review in order to get that score. But this does appear to be a little bit louder in its cabin than some of its more modern competition. That’s simply to be expected. Did the overall age of the ILX in terms of overall fuel economy.
We have been averaging 25 miles per gallon and we have been driving this pretty hard, so this seems like it’s gon na stack up pretty well in this segment. Overall, of course, you are going to get better fuel economy in something like the ILX than some of those compact crossovers or subcompact crossovers, that some folks might be shopping as simply entry-level options into the brand. So if you’re looking at the least expensive Volvo, for instance, that’s going to be the XC 40 crossover and it’s price tag is going to be a little bit closer to this than the smallest crossover in the Acura lineup over. All the ILX is pretty much exactly what you’d expect out of the smallest and least expensive acura available in the u.s.
it drives and feels just like an acura. The only real downside for the ILX is that we don’t have the option of accuracy. Super handling, all-wheel drive system, which I do think is a little bit of a pity. The other thing I also think is a bit of a pity is that we didn’t find an engine change under the hood.
I had hoped that in this generation of the ILX, that Acura would have been able to swipe one of the turbocharged engines from the rest of the family and put it under the hood, but they decided not to do that. So we still get the same 2.4 liter, naturally aspirated. Now, on the flip side, if you’re looking for one of the more reliable engines in the segment, this is definitely going to be in the running. In addition to that, if you prefer the way that a naturally aspirated engine builds power, this is going to be really the only choice for you in this segment and now to the nitty-gritty.
How much is the ILX going to cost you? Well, it starts just under twenty six thousand dollars for 2019, twenty five thousand nine hundred, that is by far the lowest entry point for any of the premium brands in America. This is significantly less expensive than the mercedes-benz CLA or the Audi a3 or the Volvo XC. Forty or even the Lexus, u X, two hundred as we talk about trim levels, you’ll have to pardon my notes here.
I haven’t had too much time to write these down. The base model does get a great deal of standard equipment to help offset the fact that it’s not exactly as fresh as some of the competition. So we get those standard LED headlamps, 17-inch, alloy, wheels power, driver seat the power moonroof that I mentioned earlier. The standard, Acura watch safety system and two zone automatic climate control getting those same features on most of the competition – will cost you easily at least five to ten thousand dollars more than we find here in the Acura ILX.
If you get your eye LX completely loaded, as we have here this white model right in front of me, it ends up at thirty one thousand five hundred sixty dollars. That would be the a spec with the technology package. Now it is worth noting that if you want the leather interior, apple, carplay and android auto support, you will have to bump up the base cost to twenty seven thousand six hundred fifty for that particular trim. But it is still going to be significantly less expensive than the competition now, what exactly is the competition for the ILX?
That is a really tricky question because this really isn’t the same sort of thing as the new Mercedes-Benz, a 220 or the outgoing mercedes-benz CLA 250. It’s not really the same thing as a Lexus UX, but you could crash off them because they’re all entry points to a premium brand in America, the ILX does deliver excellent handling. It has a comfortable cabin as long as you’re, not quite as tall as I am. It does deliver all those active safety features that shoppers in this segment want.
It delivers a premium brand experience and it delivers all of that at a lower sticker price than the competition. But again, it’s not exactly as fresh as some of the other competitors, and I think that is a bit of a pity almost wish that a cure had waited an extra year or two and then brought us a brand new ILX a little bit sooner. You will, of course, have to wait until we can get our hands on one for our complete review, our full battery of performance and handling tests, etc. But at the moment I can easily say that, if you’re shopping for a premium entry, if you want to step out of something like a mainstream compact vehicle into something that has a better brand and a better interior, then definitely put the ILX on your shopping list.
It’s also worth noting that, if you’re looking for something that has that naturally aspirated engine feel this is going to be basically the only entry in this particular segment. It’s also worth noting that, if you’re looking for a luxury entry from Japan – and you don’t want a continuously variable transmission, this is going to be that model, because the UX does have a continuously variable transmission from Lexus, and this is actually going to be significantly faster than the UX, it’s also going to handle significantly better as well.