2014 Acura ILX Review

Pros & Cons

  • Generous number of standard features
  • balanced approach to ride quality and handling ability.
  • Lackluster base engine
  • smallish trunk
  • no automatic transmission or top-end features for sport-oriented 2.4-liter model.
Other years
List Price
$12,461

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2014 Acura ILX models

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.

2014 Highlights

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

Performance & mpg

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 22/31/25.

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2014 Acura ILX.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Great performance and great value
stevenrose,10/29/2013
4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5A)
Hi-I still love my Acura ILX, the highlight of the car is the responsive engine and transmission. I also think the care is very attractive and I love the way the steering wheel leather feels. I also think the steering is also very responsive, even thought it is light. The only downfall to the car is road noise , however I changed the tires and it made a huge difference. I did research on Tire rack and purchased tires with the highest rating and I am very impressed. I am not sure why Acura puts the Michelin Pilot mmx4 on the car when they are not rated well for noise. I have to say my new ILX is a great car. The engine is really responsive and the shifting is really smooth. The interior is finished very well and the leather wrapped steering wheel feels great on the hands. Handling is excellent, the car goes exactly where you point it. After the car is broken in, the car is really sporty to drive. I think the car is underrated. Consumer Reports does a great job recommending the ILX, other reviewers complain that the ILX is underpowered, but I would give it a test drive. I drove the new Accord and the Subaru Legacy and I liked the ILX a lot better. I like how compact and zippy it feels. I am an Acura Fan and in love with the ILX
I absolutely love this car!!! Best car purchase I have made.
aeroj101,06/23/2014
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.
Great Alternative to Boring Commuter Cars!
david_d82,07/16/2014
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
Second hand ILX 2.4L 6MT
ryhi,12/08/2016
Premium Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6M)
I was looking for a good commuter with a manual transmission I could hold on to of the next 15 years. I have owned 3 other Hondas so I have seen, first hand, how their powertrains hold up as I maintain them myself. I was interested in either the '16 Civic LX 6MT or the '16 Accord Sport 6MT. I, personally, like the new civic but, at the time, only the LX had the 6MT available. I didn't want to spend ~$19 grand on the base model, base 4 speaker stereo and wheel covers. I have been spoiled with the features I've come to enjoy in my 2007 Accord EX-L Sdn V6 6MT, I know I was being too harsh on the LX. I began to seriously consider the Accord Sport, it is a gorgeous car on the outside, but I found I would have to give up many features: quality stereo, sunroof and (at the time) leather on the inside. I have always loved the powertrain of the Civic Si, excellent engine and transmission but personally, I didn't want the Si and wasn't too fond of the interior. To every man his taste. I then noticed the ILX. I would never consider buying one brand new for $30k+, but a clean white one at ~$21k @ 10,000 miles and in immaculate shape it became an excellent choice! The new Accord Sport is pushing ~$27k but I got so many more features with the used ILX. I have throughly enjoyed this car and even with the 6MT coming available in the EX-T Civic I find I'm still enjoying my choice without regrets. (I would really be sad if a Leather/Manual/Turbo civic option had popped up), even with the turbo manual option the Apple Car play is great but it still lacks a bit of a list of features ILX has. Some features I have really enjoyed are the sound system, there is a Sub in the back and the higher wattage is very noticable, much better sound and intensity than my fully loaded 2007 Accord EX-L. The HIDs are excellent, I purchased the car in OR and drove it to CA during a rain storm at night to outrun a snow storm. Those headlights were impressive for that drive, I could see both sides of the road (worried about deer) and much further I have ever been able to see with my other Hondas, the handling is also very light and precise through the mountains. What I wanted in a commuter was good powertrain, this car always puts a smile on my face driving home, this is the best manual transmission I have driven and that engine note never gets old. This thing is quick. Even on starting the engine it reminds you of its capabilities with that aggressive engine note. I've also been pleasantly surprised with the fuel economy. I commonly get ~40 mpg on my 40 mile commute one way, which includes hills and plenty of stop and go, I usually average 31MPG overall with lively city driving. On a longer drive to UT I saw an overall 34.5 MPG on the computer. I've only put premium in it and honestly don't mind the extra dollar or two at each fill up. Even with the newer choices of the Civic Turbo manual and even the excellent Mazda 3 I still went with and couldn't be happier with my choice in the ILX. My only gripe, echoing the many, was no Navigation. Fortunately I have it in my Accord. Honestly, It's a pleasant convenience in it but wasn't a deal breaker in the ILX for me. The screen in the ILX is honestly rather poor, but the sound system quality is what I was looking for. Another gripe is the fact that it revs a little too high for my taste on the freeway, but I like the shorter gear ratio than those longer gears found the Mazda 3 6MT. The keyless entry and push button start has also an excellent feature I've come to truly enjoy. If you're looking for a good option, the ILX is a solid choice if you can find a good one off lease. This car is a tidy package for the long run. Also the fact that someone designed it so the oil filter is conveniently on the bottom of the engine directly behind the oil drain plug (rather than spilling all over the back of the engine like on the Honda F series engine or spilling all over the subframe on the J series) is brilliant.

Features & Specs

MPG
24 city / 35 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
150 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
24 city / 35 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
150 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
24 city / 35 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
150 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
22 city / 31 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
201 hp @ 7000 rpm
See all Used 2014 Acura ILX features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.7%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2014 Acura ILX

Used 2014 Acura ILX Overview

The Used 2014 Acura ILX is offered in the following submodels: ILX Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5A), Technology Package 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5A), Premium Package 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5A), and Premium Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2014 Acura ILX?

Price comparisons for Used 2014 Acura ILX trim styles:

  • The Used 2014 Acura ILX Base is priced between $12,461 and$12,461 with odometer readings between 88968 and88968 miles.

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Which used 2014 Acura ILXES are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2014 Acura ILX for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2014 ILXES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $12,461 and mileage as low as 88968 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2014 Acura ILX.

Can't find a used 2014 Acura ILXs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Acura ILX for sale - 12 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $25,634.

Find a used Acura for sale - 10 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $16,843.

Find a used certified pre-owned Acura ILX for sale - 12 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $22,187.

Find a used certified pre-owned Acura for sale - 4 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $8,859.

Should I lease or buy a 2014 Acura ILX?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Acura lease specials
Check out Acura ILX lease specials