Used 2014 Acura ILX Sedan Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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Used 2014 Acura ILX Sedan Review

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2014 Acura ILX Sedan

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Edmunds Summary Review of the 2014 Acura ILX Sedan

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • Attractive and well-equipped, the 2014 Acura ILX is a respectable choice for a compact luxury sedan. Still, there are a number of worthy alternatives that savvy shoppers should consider.

  • Pros

    Generous number of standard features; balanced approach to ride quality and handling ability.

  • Cons

    Lackluster base engine; smallish trunk; no automatic transmission or top-end features for sport-oriented 2.4-liter model.

  • What's New for 2014

    For 2014, the Acura ILX gets more standard equipment, which includes 17-inch wheels, leather upholstery, a power driver seat and heated front seats.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2014 Acura ILX Sedan

What's New for 2014

For 2014, the Acura ILX gets more standard equipment, which includes 17-inch wheels, leather upholstery, a power driver seat and heated front seats.

Introduction

An entry in the growing, entry-level compact luxury sport sedan segment, the 2014 Acura ILX offers consumers something a cut above mainstream small sedans. Smaller and less expensive than more established German and Japanese stalwarts, the ILX is related to the Honda Civic. But this is not just a simple "badge job" of designers applying some Acura emblems and calling it a day. The ILX is longer and wider, with completely different styling, a more powerful base engine and many more standard features than the small Honda.

Available solely as a four-door sedan, the ILX offers two powertrain options (plus the ILX Hybrid, which is reviewed separately). The base version is fitted with a rather pedestrian but thrifty 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Driving enthusiasts will lean toward the ILX 2.4 model, which has a considerably more powerful 2.4-liter four that comes only with a six-speed manual transmission. The base 2.0-liter version does represent an affordable entry point into premium-brand car ownership. But its performance isn't in the same league as the entry-level versions of its rivals. With its sport sedan leanings, the 2.4 model is enticing, but the lack of an automatic transmission limits its appeal.

If you're shopping for a compact luxury sedan, there are other choices to consider. The Buick Verano is less expensive to start and offers a potent 250-horsepower engine upgrade as well as a nicer interior. And although the new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class has a smaller backseat and is likely to cost you a bit more, it comes with a considerably stronger base engine, a richer interior and, yes, the Mercedes name.

Potential buyers should also know that for the same money as a loaded ILX you could get a loaded version of a roomier midsize sedan such as a Ford Fusion, Kia Optima or Nissan Altima. Still, if you're looking for a relatively affordable small sedan that's good on gas and gives off a premium vibe, the 2014 Acura ILX is a good choice.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Acura ILX entry-level luxury sedan comes in four trim levels: 2.0, 2.0 with Premium package, 2.0 with Technology package and 2.4 with Premium package. There is also the ILX Hybrid, which is covered in a separate review.

Standard equipment for the base 2.0 and 2.4 includes 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, full power accessories, keyless ignition/entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats, active noise cancellation, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 5-inch information display screen, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, SMS text message functionality, and a seven-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB/iPod audio interface, satellite radio and Pandora radio smartphone app integration.

Moving up to the 2.0 Premium or 2.4 Premium gets you xenon headlamps, foglamps, a rearview camera and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The Technology trim (not available on the 2.4) includes all of the features of the Premium package along with a navigation system with a slightly larger display, voice commands and a 10-speaker ELS surround-sound audio system with digital music storage.

Powertrains and Performance

Powering the base 2014 ILX is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 150 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. The only transmission offered is a five-speed automatic that sends its power to the front wheels. In Edmunds performance testing, this powertrain brought the ILX from zero to 60 mph in 9 seconds. That's average for a compact economy car but slow for a compact sedan wearing a premium badge. Fuel economy is respectable at 24 mpg city/35 mpg highway and

Safety

The 2014 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 optional.

In government crash tests, the Acura ILX earned a top five-star rating for overall protection in crash tests, with four stars total for frontal impact safety and five stars for side-impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the ILX a top score of "Good" for the car's performance in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. Its head restraint/seats design also earned a "Good" rating for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

In Edmunds brake testing, the ILX 2.0 Premium came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, which is a little better than average. Curiously, the supposedly sportier ILX 2.4 stopped in 130 feet, which is longer than average.

Interior Design and Special Features

The ILX's interior is well constructed, but the materials used aren't really a step up from top non-luxury sedans. Similarly, the design features Acura's typical high-tech vibe, but it's nowhere near as luxurious in here as in the classy TSX.

Nevertheless, if you're looking for high-tech features, the ILX definitely delivers. There is a 5-inch display screen topping the center stack for the myriad infotainment functions, and smartly placed buttons and knobs to control them. A 6-inch screen comes with the navigation system, as do voice command functionality (navigation and audio) and a nice-sounding ELS audio system.

Special care was used in designing the seats to be supportive, yet not give the impression of confinement or hardness. The ILX is also pretty spacious for a compact car, with a decent amount of backseat room. Still, headroom can be snug for 6-footers, due to the car's standard sunroof.

Trunk space, at 12.4 cubic feet, is average, and the opening is a little narrow. 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.

Driving Impressions

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. The standard 2.0-liter engine is quite smooth, so wringing the most from it is not an annoying task. 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 the 2.4 with an automatic transmission limits this model's appeal for commuters.

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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 11 reviews) Write a Review


Reliable and luxurious

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Acura ILX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5A)

My family has had a few acuras. We have always loved them. From an Mdx with 200k+ miles to brand new RL's. Great ride, sleek look, great gas, inexpensive to maintain compared to other cars in this class.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Love it

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Acura ILX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5A)

The more I drive this car, the more I love it. Like many others, I was a little worried I would miss having a turbo but loved the combination of economy, luxury,reliability and good looks that this car offered, at a price I could feel good about. Feels sporty, smooth, and responsive. I can honestly say I haven't missed the horsepower. I can't believe it doesn't get better reviews. I have the Tech package, and love the bluetooth, the navigation, and the sound. I rarely get less than 30 mpg and that with considerable city driving. When you give it gas, it has a healthy rev, and cruises very comfortably at 70-80mph. Passing is never a problem.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

What you expect from the driver's seat isn't what this $31k civic delivers.

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Acura ILX Premium Package 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5A)

Disappointing with time. This vehicle doesn't feel like a comprehensive 'package' - It's an economy car, that's it. Acura has taken a Civic (which is perfectly good as is) added a great dash, and some engine and suspension tuning and called it a day, and these mechanical touches don't really seem to add anything to the Civic package nor compete with the Civic Si(as if engineers just threw "good parts" at the car without testing). In many ways, the result here is an underpowered, loud, econobox with disturbing views from the drivers seat (funhouse drivers mirror, subpar plastic on the lower doors, blindspots for days) with a stereo that doesn't deliver premium sound leave you expecting more




Fun little car

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Acura ILX Premium Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6M)

When I started looking at this car, I found it to be mediocre on paper. Acceleration, handling, mpg, etc all seemed acceptable, but it didn't stand out. However, I ended up taking a test drive because manual transmission cars have become hard to find, and they were giving big discounts. After a test drive though, I realized that this car was something special, and the more I drive it the more I like it. I'm happy to say that this car has a much higher fun factor than I originally expected. The clutch and transmission are just a pure joy to use. It's definitely the nicest manual transmission I've ever had, including multiple VWs, a Saab, and multiple Subarus. The engine also loves to rev and has a wonderful sound for a 4 cyl. It's no track monster, but for real road driving, I can't think of a car that was more fun (even more than my WRX) to drive around without doing illegal speeds. Lastly, I find that the EPA gas mileage is easily exceeded without trying. If I had to knock it on anything, it's the road noise. For a 'premium' badge, I would have expected to be more quiet. However, if you are OK with the normal noise levels found in Hondas, this is a great choice for a little sporty car!



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Great alternative to boring commuter cars!

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Vehicle: 2014 Acura ILX Premium Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6M)

I bought my 2014 ILX 2.4 a little over a month ago, and it's been a great purchase. I did a LOT of research before purchasing this car, and I am very happy that I was not scared off by some of the reviews from the automotive journalism industry. First, this car is not a rebadged Civic Si. different dimensions, different suspension setup and hardware. Also no garish wing or ugly red interior inserts like the Si. Yay! Great manual transmission, too. clutch pickup is spot-on, and shifts are super smooth. nice enough features for the price, but infotainment screen is kinda chintzy, and rear seat passengers really need HVAC vents! Reminds me a lot of my 2006 TSX with a manual only better



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

I absolutely love this car!!! best car purchase i have made.

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Acura ILX Premium Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6M)

I bought the manual 2.4 version about a month ago, and I am completely in love with this car. First, I think I am probably the target consumer (young professional at a corporate job). I wouldn't want a Civic Si, but I definitely wanted a manual transmission (and the MT option is the ONE main reason I chose the ILX over a Lexus IS; I don't care if the IS is faster, I wanted an MT). The sound isolation is good, road comfort is great (I'm not trying to experience all the bumps on the road), and I personally love hearing the tune of engine revving up (it's beautiful, and it's a manual, and that's part of the fun). I am committed to only owning MT cars, and am glad Acura makes a few.



Talk About The 2014 ILX

2014 Acura ILX Discussions See all Started By

Karen_CM
Karen_CM
01-30-2014
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Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
05-14-2013
2014 Acura ILX Gets $1,000 Price Increase...


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Edmunds.com
11-24-2014
2014 Los Angeles Auto Show: 2016 Acura ILX (FAQ) | Edmunds.com...



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