2018 Acura ILX Review

Pros & Cons

  • Strong feature content for the price
  • Precise steering feel
  • Good crash test scores
  • Unrefined ride quality
  • Interior accommodations fall short of expectations
  • Below average performance
  • Technology interface can be clumsy
Other years
List Price Range
$15,700 - $22,190

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Which ILX does Edmunds recommend?

Acura's collision alerts tend to be overly sensitive and annoying, so we suggest skipping the AcuraWatch package in favor of the Premium package that delivers more useful features. We also caution against the A-Spec package's 18-inch wheels that can hurt ride quality without any appreciable gains in performance.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

6.9 / 10
In regards to price and feature content, the 2018 Acura ILX undercuts other entry-level luxury sedans by a considerable margin. That alone should get shoppers' attention. Unfortunately, the notion of value begins to fade when you realize that the ILX falls well short of the standards set by its more expensive rivals. The ride quality is overly stiff, the interior lacks refinement, the engine is comparably weak and the infotainment system leaves much to be desired. For these reasons, we don't consider it worthy of competing against Audi, Mercedes or BMW. Instead, we think of the ILX as a slightly nicer Honda Civic.

2018 Acura ILX models

The 2018 Acura ILX is an entry-level luxury sedan that is available in seven different trims: base, a new Special Edition, AcuraWatch Plus, Premium, Premium A-Spec, Tech Plus and Tech Plus A-Spec. All trims are powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (201 horsepower, 180 pound-feet of torque) that sends power to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The base ILX comes with 17-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver sport seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a folding rear seatback, a rearview camera, limited text messaging functions, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, and a six-speaker stereo with active noise cancellation, streaming internet radio and USB/auxiliary input.

The Special Edition trim adds 18-inch wheels, extended side sills and the rear spoiler from the A-Spec package. The AcuraWatch Plus trim starts with the base trim's features and adds adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning and mitigation system, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation and an updated driver information screen.

The Tech Plus includes all of the AcuraWatch Plus items along with a multiview rear camera and a 10-speaker premium audio system. The Premium reverts back to the base trim features and adds an iPhone-based navigation system and a seven-speaker audio system. Both the Tech Plus and Premium trim levels also include leather upholstery, a four-way power front passenger seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Siri Eyes Free phone control, a universal garage door opener, a touchscreen display, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, satellite and HD radio, and additional internet music apps.

The A-Spec is added to either the Tech Plus or Premium models and includes the Special Edition content as well as foglights, suede seat inserts with contrasting stitching, a dark headliner and metal sport pedals.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Acura ILX Technology Plus Package (2.4L inline-4 | 8-speed dual-clutch automatic | FWD).

Driving

7.0
The ILX is available with only one powertrain, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 201 horsepower mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. It's about midpack acceleration-wise. Handling is decent, but at-the-limit responses should be better for a sport sedan.

Acceleration

6.5
With a 0-60 mph time of 6.9 seconds, the ILX is slower than the Audi A3 and Mercedes CLA 250. Power feels soft at low rpm, and the automatic upshifts early, keeping revs low. The engine sounds great at high rpm, though.

Braking

7.5
It stopped in a straight and controlled manner during our 60-0 mph panic test with some minor pedal fade on later stops. The brakes felt strong enough around town. The pedal is a bit soft, but the action isn't the least bit touchy.

Steering

8.0
Steering is direct if lacking the precise feedback enthusiastic drivers crave. It goes where it's pointed with an intuitively quick turn-in when driven below its rather modest grip limits. The thick-rimmed steering wheel feels good in your hands.

Handling

7.5
It feels sporty up to a certain point. It turns into corners with some eagerness and stays planted and secure. The suspension copes well with minor bumps. Near its grip limits, it becomes considerably less responsive to driver inputs.

Drivability

6.5
The transmission can get confused at low speeds, and there were some midthrottle hiccups leaving a stop. We needed two downshifts to maintain 70 mph on a grade. The cruise control overshoots by up to 7 mph.

Comfort

6.5
Although the ILX's front seats are comfortable and should fit a wide variety of bodies, they're completely lacking in lateral support, which is odd for a luxury or sport sedan aimed at enthusiastic drivers. Ride quality can be surprisingly bad over bumpy surfaces.

Seat comfort

7.5
The front seats are comfortable; the cushions are firm but not overly so. The seats are wide and flat with near-zero lateral support. The door armrests are hard and positioned too low. The rear seats have soft cushions with decent contouring.

Ride comfort

5.0
It seems hard to believe Acura could get the ride-to-handling compromise so wrong, but it did. The ILX is stiff-legged in general, and big highway bumps will literally bounce you out of your seat. Tall folks will hit their head on the ceiling.

Noise & vibration

6.0
Either the tires are really noisy or there's minimal sound deadening because there's considerable noise in the cabin. The engine can be heard often, and the transmission causes vibrations at lower speeds. The engine is never thrashy and sounds great above 4,500 rpm.

Interior

6.5
Honda/Acura keeps clinging to its central dual-screen infotainment setup. And we keep disliking having to look at two different screens. Headroom is lacking front and rear, partly because the ILX comes with a sunroof. Outward visibility is excellent for the segment.

Ease of use

6.0
The gauges are clear and legible, and the climate control knobs and buttons are well marked and placed for easy operation. The secondary controls on the steering wheel and center stack take some getting used to.

Getting in/getting out

7.0
The front doors are large and open wide. You have to duck your head a bit, but overall it's a decent entryway for the class. The rear doors don't open as wide; you really have to duck your head to miss the roof.

Roominess

5.5
Headroom is tight front and rear for anyone near average height. The standard sunroof doesn't help matters. Rear legroom is reasonable, and footroom under the front seats is excellent.

Visibility

8.5
The windshield pillars partially obstruct through corners due to the high driving position. Otherwise pillars are narrow all around. The rear three-quarter view is excellent, and the side views are good despite the short windows. Wide-angle backup camera.

Quality

6.0
The interior doesn't give off same quality vibe as Audi, BMW, Mercedes. There's a fair amount of hard plastic trim, though most controls have reasonably good action. Soft-touch dash. We heard a couple of creaks from some trim pieces.

Utility

The door pockets, which are placed well forward, are too small. The front bin is tiny but has a security door. The center armrest bin is large. The cupholders make an attempt at anti-tip function. The trunk is competitive at 12.3 cubic feet, but the pass-through opening is tiny.

Technology

We don't love the stacked dual-screen infotainment setup. The top one is far away, though it's well-shrouded to prevent issues with glare. The bottom screen has low-rent graphics but the buttons react well.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall6.9 / 10
Driving7.0
Comfort6.5
Interior6.5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2018 Acura ILX.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Very good car for the money
Fred,09/20/2018
4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
I always admired this car when I saw it driving or parked. So I went to the dealer to test drive it. I was impressed with acceleration, steering feel, handling and overall ride. The interior is not luxurious but it has a sporty upscale aura to it. The exterior lines and design also look quite sporty . I ended up leasing it for much less than the competition (Audi A3, BMW 3 series, Mercedes Benz CLA, Lexus IS, Infiniti Q50 among others) .Overall it's a fun car to drive and I feel like it offers a great value in the crowded and very competitive entry level compact sedan category. The base offers everything I wanted- A peppy 2.4 /201 HP engine (more than some of the more expensive competitors), moon roof, heated leatherette seats , power drivers seats, heated mirrors , rain sensing wipers, steering wheel controls for Bluetooth, audio , cruise and more...... If you want more options like navigation, safety features and various other upgrades the payment rises accordingly , but still less than every other competitor. I also test drove mainstream compact sedans such as the Honda Civic , Nissan Sentra and Mazda 3 all drove terrific as well but the prices were too close to the more powerful Acura ILX.
Love/Hate
Graham,05/02/2019
Premium and A-SPEC Packages 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
Last June 2019 I sold my ILX lease to Carvana and pretty much broke even financially. The reason for that is I got my hands on a 2014 Acura TSX Tech package with 29k miles, black/black. The car had one owner, clean CarFax, certified, and Acura dealer maintained. I would say finding a 5-year-old car with all that is a rare find. I love having another TSX and the reliability, handling, and quality puts the ILX to shame. Having said all that the ILX was a fantastic car, and I do miss certain things, such as the push start, and peppy engine. I would still highly recommend it to anyone in the market.
smaller is better
john,08/31/2018
Premium Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
I had been driving an Acura TL and then TLX's for the past 13 years and I enjoyed most of the features across the board. Despite the average ratings for the ILX I took it for a test drive and I liked everything about it, so I bought it. I am very pleased with the overall performance, handling, style, etc. The UBS port is very awkward to access, the bluetooth voice is poor, and the screen graphics are not so good. Also, if you are over six feet tall you will have to lower your seat otherwise your head will be hitting the roof.
Acura ILX 2018 MAJOR ISSUES
Nicole,12/04/2018
4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
This is my third ILX because I LOVE this car, everything about it including the price was on point. However, I recently leased a 2018 and since day one I have had problems. Second day I had it, the car stalled in the middle of end of day traffic. Come to find out that there are problems with the fuel gauge and electrical panel on the 2018 ILX that I was unaware of. Currently, I have to fill my tank every 200 miles until the part comes in. It's been over a month and a half, and I am still waiting for the part to come in to fix this issue. My car has stalled 3-4 times, hasn't started on several occasions, and frankly I am not happy. Maybe its the way I am being pushed to the side, and Acura dealership hasn't even offered a loaner or to replace the car, but this is BS.

Safety

Our experts like the ILX models:

Collision Mitigation Braking System
Warns if a frontal collision is imminent and will apply the brakes if the driver doesn't respond in time.
Lane Keeping Assist System
Warns if you are drifting out of your lane without signaling and will nudge the car back if no action is taken.
Blind Spot Information System
Indicates if a car is lurking in your blind spot and will beep if you signal for a lane change in that direction.

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
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2018 Acura ILX

Used 2018 Acura ILX Overview

The Used 2018 Acura ILX is offered in the following submodels: ILX Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), Special Edition 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), Premium Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), Technology Plus and A-SPEC Packages 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), Premium and A-SPEC Packages 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), Technology Plus Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), and AcuraWatch Plus Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Acura ILX?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Acura ILX trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Acura ILX Base is priced between $15,745 and$22,190 with odometer readings between 16551 and57685 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Acura ILX Premium Package is priced between $15,700 and$20,490 with odometer readings between 10046 and49581 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Acura ILX Special Edition is priced between $17,690 and$20,995 with odometer readings between 23181 and43062 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Acura ILX Technology Plus Package is priced between $17,450 and$20,995 with odometer readings between 9355 and35747 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Acura ILX Technology Plus and A-SPEC Packages is priced between $20,819 and$20,819 with odometer readings between 33185 and33185 miles.

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Which used 2018 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) 2018 Acura ILX for sale near. There are currently 42 used and CPO 2018 ILXES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $15,700 and mileage as low as 9355 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 2018 Acura ILX.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Acura ILX for sale - 1 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $9,037.

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Should I lease or buy a 2018 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.

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