This Acura ILX video review includes information about fuel economy, price, interior space, technology, ride and handling, its available engine and how it stacks up to competitor compact luxury sedans.
The ILX is mechanically based on the Honda Civic, which is both a good and bad thing. On the plus side, you get the same sort of surprising interior space. Adults can quite comfortably fit in the back seat, which is not something you can say about the Audi A3 or Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class. The trunk is generous too, although the one-piece seatback isn't split 60/40.
Like the Civic, the ILX also offers a better ride than its competitors. Big bumps still tend to upset it, though, and really, having a better ride than a CLA isn't exactly something to hang your hat on. Handling is sharper than a Civic's, but there's a lot of understeer, not a lot of grip, and in general, you'd be happier behind the wheel of its compact luxury sedan competitors.
For 2016, every ILX comes with a 2.4-liter, 201-horsepower four-cylinder. That's better than the old standard 150-horsepower inline-4, but it's actually a bit less than the Civic Si's otherwise similar 2.4-liter and it provides considerably less torque than the turbocharged A3 and CLA. You can also only get an eight-speed automated manual transmission and front-wheel drive. There's no traditional manual or all-wheel-drive available.
So the improvements under the hood are a bit underwhelming and so is the new infotainment system. It's the same dual-screen set-up found in other Acuras that we've found to be confusing and irritating — especially for the audio system. Some things are controlled by the touchscreen, others by the control knob and top screen, others still can be done with either choice.
The interior's materials and ambiance also leave something to be desired compared. The surfaces really don't feel much better than what you'd find in a Honda Accord, which costs about the same as the ILX while offering more space, more power and a similar amount of equipment.
Actually, the Accord used to offer more, but that has been rectified for 2016 with the new AcuraWatch Plus package that includes blind-spot, cross-traffic, lane departure and forward collision warning systems. It also includes Adaptive Cruise Control.
Now, the ILX does provide a decent amount of value. There's Acura's sterling reliability reputation and its 29 mpg combined. And at around $28,000, it starts thousands less than the A3 and CLA that don't come with as much stuff. That gulf widens even further once you start loading on equipment.
So, it's a mixed bag for the ILX. You get a lot of luxury equipment while still maintaining a small car's footprint, fuel economy and lower price, but a luxury car of today should offer more compelling performance and upscale trappings.