The Acura ILX is an entry-level compact luxury car. Despite its diverse feature set and high-end badge, the ILX actually starts at under $28,000. Being smaller than traditional luxury cars means that the ILX is right at home in the city, where parallel parking a large vehicle might be problematic. Buyers who don't necessarily want or need a large car may find themselves in the enviable position of being able to get luxury appointments in a small urban-friendly package.
Smart styling; inexpensive price of entry; compact footprint; silky smooth transmission; powerful engine
The 2017 Acura ILX is powered by a 2.4L 4-cylinder that makes a very healthy 201 horsepower. The engine is mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This all adds up to sprightly performance from the powerful drivetrain, as well as relaxed cruising on the highway, thanks to the extra gears.
Power is sent to the front wheels in the ILX making for decent traction. Suspension tuning strikes a nice balance between handling and ride. The ILX feels smooth and controlled on twisty roads, but the suspension is still soft enough to soak up all but the biggest bumps.
The ILX bills itself as a small luxury car, and its list of standard features backs up that assertion. Standard items on the basic ILX include a 6-speaker sound system with Bluetooth, USB, Pandora and iPod connectivity, an SMS text messaging assistant, a multi-view rear facing camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, powered and heated side mirrors and LED headlights.
2017 Acura ILX Prices
|2017 Acura ILX sedan||$27,990|
|2017 Acura ILX w/AcuraWatch Plus Package||$29,290|
|2017 Acura ILX w/Premium Package||$29,990|
|2017 Acura ILX w/Premium/A-SPEC Package||$31,980|
|2017 Acura ILX w/Technology Plus Package||$32,990|
|2017 Acura ILX w/Technology Plus/A-SPEC Package||$34,980|
The top-of-the-line Tech Plus trim adds a 10-speaker stereo, SiriusXM satellite radio, a TFT multi-information display, and a navigation system that can be linked to the climate control system. The Tech Plus trim also comes with suite of safety and driver assistance technologies which Acura has named AcuraWatch. These features include an adaptive cruise control system, a lane departure warning system, a lane-keeping assist system and a road departure and collision mitigation braking system. Though AcuraWatch is standard on the Tech Plus trim, it is also available on the base and Premium Package trims as a $1,300 option.
2017 Acura ILX Parts and Accessories
For buyers who wish the ILX was a little sportier, an A-spec package includes 18-inch wheels, fog lamps and a spoiler as well as suede seat inserts and a few external badges.
Trim Levels & Features
The 2017 Acura ILX entry-level luxury sedan comes with six different equipment levels: base, AcuraWatch Plus package, Premium with and without A-Spec Package and Tech Plus with or without A-Spec Package.
Standard equipment for the base model includes 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, automatic LED headlights, heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats, a fold-down rear seatback, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 5-inch information display screen, a multi-view backup camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB/iPod audio interface and Pandora radio and Siri Eyes Free smartphone app integration.
Springing for the AcuraWatch Plus package adds adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system, automatic braking for frontal collision mitigation, a lane departure warning system, lane keeping assist and Road Departure Mitigation.
The Premium package builds on the base car's standard equipment as well, but it omits the AcuraWatch Plus equipment in lieu of blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, perforated leather front seats, a four-way power passenger seat, driver memory settings, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an 8-inch upper information display (in place of the 5-inch screen), an additional 7-inch touchscreen and a seven-speaker audio system with HD radio, an iPhone-based navigation app, satellite radio and Aha radio smartphone app integration.
Further up the ladder, the Technology Plus package adds the contents of the AcuraWatch Plus package and the Premium package as well as a 10-speaker premium audio system, voice commands (including audio), a navigation system and guidelines for the rearview camera.
You can add the A-Spec package to both the Premium and Technology Plus package equipment lines to get 18-inch wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, side sills and simulated-suede seat inserts with contrasting stitching.
Performance & MPG
Powering the 2017 ILX is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that's rated at 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is the only available transmission (it's technically an automated manual transmission but it functions like a conventional automatic). The EPA's estimated fuel economy stands at 29 mpg combined (25 mpg city/35 mpg highway).
In performance testing, a 2017 ILX accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. That's a little slower than average for the segment, but still quick enough to make merging onto a highway a stress-free maneuver.
While there are a few improvements to styling, the 2017 ILX's interior largely resembles the pre-2016 models. That means the materials don't surpass what you'll find in top mainstream sedans like the Accord, though everything seems to be screwed together well. In contrast, the Audi A3 feels a notch classier and more luxurious inside than the ILX.
You do get a fair number of features, though. The Premium and Tech Plus models' larger touchscreen on the center stack is clear and vivid. But even with the optional larger screen, the ILX's multimedia setup isn't our favorite. It splits audio and navigation functions into two screens, and the control knob in the middle of the dash is less intuitive to use than the console-mounted controllers in the ILX's German rivals.
Special care was used in designing the seats, which are supportive yet not overly firm or confining. The ILX is also pretty spacious for a compact car, with backseat room that feels more spacious than the numbers suggest. Still, headroom can be snug for 6-footers due to the car's standard sunroof.
Trunk space, at 12.3 cubic feet, is average, and the opening is on the narrow side. The rear seat folds down to facilitate carrying longer items, but the seatback is not split to permit a mix of long cargo and a passenger or two in the backseat.
The ILX's 2.4-liter engine delivers good punch once it's allowed to wind to the top of its rev range. Still, the 2017 ILX is hardly a speed demon, and the engine has to work harder and rev higher than most competitors to accelerate with authority. The eight-speed automatic transmission's steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and rev-matched downshifts liven up the driving experience, but we noted some low-speed hiccups in full automatic mode.
The 2017 Acura ILX's ride quality is also disappointing. The car reacts stiffly over rough surfaces, yet it's overly soft and wallowy when encountering big highway dips. Road noise is also higher than average for this segment. In both regards, the Audi A3 is more refined and pleasing to drive. Around turns, the ILX's precise steering helps the car feel sporty and direct, but its handling limits and fun-to-drive nature are ultimately modest for the segment.
The 2017 Acura ILX comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A rearview camera is also standard.
Optional equipment includes a frontal collision warning system, automatic braking for frontal collision mitigation, a lane departure warning system, lane keeping assist and Road Departure Mitigation (which detects the potential for veering into objects such as trees or parked cars and applies the lane keeping assist and collision mitigation systems).
The Acura ILX came to a stop from 60 mph in 118 feet, a few feet shorter than similar vehicles with all-season tires.
- Competitive pricing for a car with its level of equipment
- Precise steering lends a sense of sportiness
- Excellent crash test scores.
- Ride quality isn't always as refined as you might expect
- Cabin doesn't look or feel premium
- Less horsepower than other cars in the class
- Technology interface isn't as user-friendly as some rivals
- Limited headroom.