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#13

in Upscale Small Cars

MSRP: $27,050 - $31,750
Invoice: $25,517 - $29,867
MPG: 24 City / 35 Hwy
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Acura ILX Performance

Automotive critics find that the Acura ILX is a pleasant driver for everyday use. However, some report that for an upscale car, the base engine could use more power for passing on the highway. In addition, a few test drivers write that the ILX would offer quicker acceleration and better fuel economy if its transmission had more gears.

  • "Nobody is going to mistake the 2015 Acura ILX for a BMW 3 Series, but overall performance is more than adequate for everyday commuting duty." -- Edmunds
  • "Overall: The 2.4-liter is tons of fun; base 2-liter and the hybrid are unimpressive, at best." -- USA Today (2013)
  • "Fortunately, the 2.0-liter engine's 150 horsepower (at a high 6,500 RPM) and 140 pound-feet of torque (at 4,300 RPM) is satisfying enough around town and for daily commuting duties. The engine is smooth, quiet and generally unobtrusive, which we figure is exactly what many ILX buyers will be looking for." -- Autoblog (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Acura ILX has a standard 150-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. A 201-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that comes with a six-speed manual transmission is available. According to the EPA, the 2015 ILX gets up to 24/35 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. With the 2.4-liter engine, the ILX gets 22/31 mpg city/highway.

Some critics say that the 2.0-liter engine is smooth, with enough power for city driving. However, others write that the ILX could use more power off the line and for highway passing. The 2.4-liter engine, meanwhile, is powerful and has strong acceleration, according to reviewers. They also note its six-speed manual transmission is fun to shift and easy to use. However, the 2.4-liter engine isn’t offered with an automatic transmission, which critics think limits its demand.

  • "The first has a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder connected to a 5-speed automatic transmission. This version is fine around town, but don't expect to break speed records. The second ILX packs a more powerful 2.4-liter engine available only with a 6-speed manual transmission. This turns the ILX from an entry-level luxury sedan into one with the considerable performance street cred of a Honda Civic Si or, if you're old-school, an Acura RSX." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "We're also quite fond of the precision-machined action of the six-speed manual transmission, which is one of the easiest and most enjoyable to use in any car. Still, the fact that you can't get the 2.4 with an automatic transmission limits this model's appeal for commuters." -- Edmunds
  • "With its 2.0-liter engine and automatic transmission full-throttle acceleration is leisurely from a stop, but there is adequate power for normal urban driving. Lots of throttle input is required to summon decent mid-range passing punch though." -- Consumer Guide (2014)
  • "Again, we point an ET-sized finger at the aging five-speed automatic, if for no other reason than Acura could have eked additional performance and/or economy out of a unit with six or more speeds - a trick seemingly every other automaker has figured out." -- Autoblog (2013)

Handling and Braking

Critics agree that while the 2015 ILX isn’t the most athletic, it still offers controlled handling and a quiet, comfortable ride. They note that the ILX’s steering is light and precise, and that the brakes provide strong stopping power. 

  • "Overall, we'd say that razor-sharp handling isn't a real highlight of the 2015 ILX (get a Civic Si if that's a concern), but it's certainly secure." -- AutoTrader 
  • "Ride quality is a strength for all versions of the 2015 Acura ILX. This car offers a nearly ideal compromise between control and comfort, and it's quiet on the highway." -- Edmunds 
  • "The light steering effort and comfortably firm ride are also at odds with its Honda [Civic] cousin." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "ILX falls a bit short of truly sporty, but the car is responsive with accurate steering and sure, effective braking. Body lean is modest while cornering." -- Consumer Guide (2014)
  • "Body roll is present, but not excessive, and road noise is minimal." -- Motor Trend (2013)
Review Last Updated: 8/22/14

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