Acura ILX Performance
Reviewers think the Acura ILX is an adequate daily driver with a comfortable ride and decent overall performance. However, they also have mixed opinions about the ILX’s steering, the base engine’s power and the limited transmission options.
- "Nobody is going to mistake the 2014 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)
- "The ILX sedan is stylish and delivers a luxurious, comfortable ride." -- Autoweek (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 Acura ILX comes with a 150-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. A 201-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is available, which is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. The EPA reports that the 2014 ILX gets up to 24/35 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class.
Some critics say the ILX has a difficult time driving up steep hills and accelerating from a stop, but others say it has adequate power for driving around town. Additionally, one reviewer thinks a transmission with more gears would help the ILX deliver better performance. A six-speed automatic transmission is available on many of the ILX’s competitors, such as the BMW 1-Series and Buick Verano. Test drivers say that ILX models with the 2.4-liter engine offer strong acceleration, and that the six-speed manual transmission shifts precisely and is fun to use. Still, one critic questions why Acura doesn’t offer the more powerful engine with an automatic transmission.
- "We had the chance to sample all three powertrains the ILX has to offer and came away impressed with all them, each in its own way. The base 2.0-liter engine has plenty of power for the everyday drive, although getting up steep hills proved a little challenging. A BMW 3 Series, this is not." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "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
- "Equipped with the 2.4-liter engine, the ILX is a different animal, as its sporting exhaust note and greater horsepower translate to quicker acceleration. 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 it with an automatic transmission limits the 2.4 model's appeal for commuters." -- Edmunds
- "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
Test drivers write that the Acura ILX exhibits some body lean in corners, and that if you want a sporty small car, the ILX may fall short of your expectations. One critic says that the ILX’s steering feels numb, while another notes that better suspension tuning could make the ILX more fun to drive. Still, test drivers say that the ILX has a comfortable ride and strong brakes.
- "Ride quality is a strength for all versions of the 2014 Acura ILX. This car offers a nearly ideal compromise between control and comfort, and it's quiet on the highway. Driving enthusiasts might be disappointed that the ILX 2.4 doesn't come with a sportier suspension tune, but the car is sure-footed around turns and generally enjoyable to pilot." -- Edmunds
- "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
- "Body roll is present, but not excessive, and road noise is minimal." -- Motor Trend (2013)
- "Despite the special provisions, the steering feel is lacking. Torque steer is under control, though it seems to come with a stiffening of the steering wheel, which is perhaps a countermeasure enacted through the electric power steering." -- Cars.com (2013 2.4-liter model)