Got the Aura XE 4-cyl last month to replace my ION. What a step up! This is the first in a long time I've returned to the same manufacturer (had two Acuras in a row in the early '90s). Went for the 4-cyl because of price & MPG (commter car). It has a lot of nice unexpected touches- -the auto-up driver's window, interior "mood lighting", telescoping steering wheel, cargo nets. Wasn't expecting any of that in this level Aura. Interior is very quiet. 6- speaker stereo is above average for a base system. Large trunk. Good power. I really like the styling, one of my top reasons for purchase. It looks more expensive than it is.
Exterior styling, quiet interior, decent base stereo. Unexpected features (cargo nets, "mood" lighting, telescoping wheel, auto-up window. 4- cylinder has good power. Tons of safety features.
Would have liked a 6-speed automatic. No "manual" mode for automatic. Electric power steering has play at highway speeds. Can't permanently disable DRLs (had to pull a relay to do this). No assist handle (likely due to the curtain airbags). Thick A-pillars take some getting used to.