2020 Acura ILX
MSRP range: $25,900 - $31,650
2020 Acura ILX Review
- Plenty of features for the money
- High fuel economy
- Lightweight, plasticky interior trim
- Overly stiff ride quality
- Many technology features are outdated
- Leisurely acceleration, especially for the class
- The ILX returns unchanged for 2020
- Part of the first ILX generation introduced for 2013
The Acura ILX received a handful of updates last year, including new front-end styling, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, more safety features and, in a rare twist, a lower price. The changes advanced the ILX's mission of offering a luxury badge with lots of standard equipment at a bargain price.
Nothing changes for the 2020 model. That's not necessarily a bad thing — the ILX still represents a good value. But it also means another year of rival automakers introducing more compelling entry-level luxury sedans. In general, the new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and Mercedes-Benz A-Class are better cars in almost every aspect.
The Acura ILX feels like a car stuck in time. It looks fairly stylish and in line with Acura's other products, but the interior, powertrain and technology features are dated and not up to the standard set by the segment leaders. That said, the ILX is significantly less expensive than rivals such as the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
How does the ILX drive?
Overall, the ILX is underwhelming to drive. Acceleration is sluggish, and you really have to dip into the gas before it picks up. Passing on the highway and accelerating on an on-ramp are fine, but just a step or two behind what you experience in the class leaders. Performance from the brakes and steering are equally lackluster. Emergency braking distances are longer than average.
The ILX improves when experienced at a higher pace, with relatively agile handling. There's a moderate amount of body roll, but the ILX works with it and feels mostly composed. Better tires could go a long way since the standard all-season rubber doesn't match what the ILX feels like it could deliver. The dual-clutch transmission is a high point, with quick, smooth shifts and none of the low-speed lurching you'll find in less refined transmissions.
How comfortable is the ILX?
The ILX doesn't meet our standards for how comfortable a luxury car should be. The driver's seat is comfortable enough, with decent bolstering and soft cushions, but it lacks the same level of adjustment you'll find in competitors. The cushions only go so far to smooth out the ILX's less-than-stellar ride. It feels a bit too firm all the time. While that quality helps the car feel sporty and nimble, it also means the ILX crashes over bumps.
The cabin is just too loud too. The idle is rough, and the buzzy engine's exhaust note never goes away. There's also a good bit of wind and road noise, especially at highway speeds. You just don't get the same level of isolation as you do in other cars in this class.
How’s the interior?
Acura's two-screen infotainment system is disappointing. It's unclear what information gets sent to which display without pulling out the menu, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay appear on the top non-touchscreen display. The menus aren't intuitive to navigate, and overall it's several steps behind the class leaders. Controls not linked to the infotainment system are much better. They're easy to read and reach, and most major systems have dedicated buttons.
The relatively roomy interior is let down by a driver's seat that won't go down far enough. On more than one occasion, one of our test drivers hit his head on the roof when driving over large bumps. Otherwise, there is ample legroom and shoulder room, and backseat passengers won't feel confined or compressed. The view out of the ILX is also fine, with large windows and relatively thin windshield pillars.
How’s the tech?
The ILX is way behind the times in terms of tech. The infotainment system is the same one you found in Honda and Acura products five or so years ago and hasn't been updated since. The two-screen setup is frustrating to use. The audio quality is fine for audiobooks and podcasts but lacks pop when playing music.
Likewise, the ILX's driver aids feel a generation behind the leaders. The system is cautious and unrefined, sending up false readings on multiple occasions. The adaptive cruise control leaves large gaps and doesn't work below 20 mph, a major knock since that's when these systems are often most useful.
How’s the storage?
The ILX's storage is a mixed bag. Most modern small sedans have places to hold a phone and door pockets large enough to store a bottle of water or two. The ILX does not. The center console is a decent size, but the bin in front of the shifter is small and the front door pockets are narrow. The rear lacks pockets altogether. The 12.4-cubic-foot trunk is a nice size and roomier than the trunks of cars such as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, but the trunk hinge design cuts into overall storage.
Things are a bit more sunny when it comes to installing child safety seats. The rear doors open relatively wide, and there's a decent amount of space. Larger rear-facing seats might be tight fit, but it's no worse than others in the class. The outboard rear seats both have car seat anchors that are relatively easy to access.
How economical is the ILX?
The EPA estimates the Acura ILX gets 28 mpg in combined city/highway driving. We managed an impressive 33.3 mpg on our evaluation route. That's as good as or better than just about every other entry-level luxury sedan.
Is the ILX a good value?
The ILX is priced significantly less than its rivals. It's not lacking features either. There's also a decent suite of standard driver aids such as adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist. In interior quality, it isn't quite as premium as other luxury sedans, but it's a step up from what you'll find in most cars at this price point.
The warranty and ownership experience is typical. Acura offers a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. You also get four years/50,000 miles of roadside assistance, though there's no included maintenance as you'll find with some rivals.
The ILX looks sharp. The design is handsome without feeling overdone, and there are obvious connections to Acura's other models, including the NSX. The interior too looks pretty good, though it's not quite as good-looking as the exterior.
Unfortunately, it's not quite as good to drive as it looks. The ILX shares some mechanical bits with the old Honda Civic Si, including the 201-horsepower 2.4-liter engine. The issue is that the power is all at the top end, so you really have to work to get peak performance. And while the chassis feels pretty nimble, the lifeless steering dampens much of the fun.
Which ILX does Edmunds recommend?
The ILX with the Premium package combines a low price with all the features you'll need. You won't get the navigation system included with the more expensive Technology package, but Apple and Android smartphone integration lets you use your favorite nav app anyway.
See the best deals on the ILXBased on quotes shared by shoppers like you
Acura ILX models
The Acura ILX starts with a reasonably well-equipped base trim level and offers three major upgrade packages. All trim levels use a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (201 horsepower, 180 lb-ft of torque) paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The ILX is front-wheel-drive only.
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Trending topics in reviews
- reliability & manufacturing quality
- maintenance & parts
- handling & steering
- sound system
- road noise
- electrical system
- fuel efficiency
- wheels & tires
- infotainment system
- driving experience
Most helpful consumer reviews
5/5 stars, 2020 ILX an Incredible Vehicle
Technology and A-SPEC Packages 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
Before purchasing this car, I did a TON of reading both professional and consumer reviews as well as watching YouTube review videos. Some professional reviewers get behind the wheel, floor the gas pedal, and then say it's noisy and not fast enough. But the truth is most drivers don't floor the gas in everyday driving. For a driver like myself going to work every day in a normal commute I found the car to be very quick and it also gives a quiet ride! The transmission and engine work very well together for an incredibly smooth driving experience, and both have proven long term reliability. The styling is great, and the fit and finish is quality. It's a very solid feeling car and mine has absolutely no squeaks or rattles. The ELS stereo system with surround sound blows me away and it's the best sound system I've ever heard in a car. The lower touch screen is solely dedicated to the sound system with integrated pandora capability as well as XM radio. The upper screen is dedicated to navigation as well as apple car play and android auto. Reviewers like to complain about the dual screen set up, but I think it's great! My one and only complaint about this car is that the navigation is very dated looking, but hey it works well anyway. The best part about this car is no doubt the value for the money. Compare it to other premium brands and you will pay thousands more, and you really cannot compared it to a non premium model such as a civic because it's truly a cut above in fit and finish. In a way it's in a class all by itself. Also great is that the cost of repair and normal maintenance is nowhere near what you will pay for other premium brands. So all in all I know I made a great decision in buying the ILX and look forward to driving this fun car for many years to come.
5/5 stars, The Best Car I've Ever Owned
Premium Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
I first saw the ILX at the auto show near me in February and was immediately drawn in by its styling, logical controls, and price. My daily driver was a 2011 Civic at the time, which had been consistently reliable and had a nice character to it. (It's now my second/backup car; why get rid of a perfectly good vehicle?) Honda's reputation for quality and reliability was the first factor in my decision to look further into this car. When I started researching it, I was shocked to see so many negative reviews. Then I realized what they were comparing the car to. This isn't one of those cars that young people drag down the freeway. It's also not an Audi or Mercedes in terms of price (I even cross-shopped the Mercedes-Benz A220 along with the Honda Accord). What this car truly represents is a step between mainstream vehicles (Accord, Camry, etc) and full-blown luxury (BMW 3 Series, Audi A4). It's a spot which, at one time, belonged to the Oldsmobile Cutlass. You bought a Cutlass to step up from Chevy and after you had your performance car phase with Pontiac. It wasn't a Cadillac, but you didn't need a Cadillac--just something that was a little nicer than your Malibu. Oldsmobile (and Mercury, for that matter) are long gone, so many people have trouble placing a "step up" model these days. What the ILX gives you is a car that is fun to drive, is very comfortable, and is easy to use. Controls are often difficult to figure out on new cars; even something as simple as shifting into drive can be a challenge for someone who hasn't bought a new car in a while. The ILX uses traditional controls and was very easy to learn, even coming from a low-tech model like a 2011 Civic. It's also nice to see a car with a non-turbo engine and a regular automatic transmission rather than a CVT. You even get a CD player. Some of us appreciate the old-school touches like that, especially knowing what long term reliability and proven performance look like! I have no problems with the interior materials, and I even sat in the A220 and rented an Evoque last year! The leather is high grade and the plastic, in no way, feels cheap. The steering wheel has a very nice feel to it as well. The dual screen setup, to me, is a huge perk. I worked with a similar system on an older Accord a few years back and I'm shocked Honda seems to want to phase it out. It was easy to learn and works very well. Again, it's a proven winner. Regarding comparisons to Civics--I have a Civic and have driven the current model. These are two entirely different vehicles in character and refinement. The Civic may have more performance options in the Si trim, but if you're buying the ILX, you're probably looking more for refinement, not to win a drag race. That's what this car gives you--a lot of luxury in a small package. Just because it's derived from the Civic doesn't make it a Civic. Remember, the CR-V was also derived from the Civic platform and is an entirely different vehicle. As a longtime Civic owner, I can also tell you that being related to the Civic is a good thing. Aside from age-related maintenance like a muffler and brakes, my Civic has never let me down, 145K miles later. I drove an Accord as well and it's a similar car in terms of feel, but smaller. In fact, the ILX feels more like a small Accord with a few refinements. A comparably-equipped Accord is bigger, but $5000 more. If you don't consistently haul around passengers but want the luxury, go for the ILX. The Accord is a little bit quieter in terms of road noise if that matters to you, but also has a steeper learning curve with some controls. To sum this up: test-drive the ILX and see for yourself what a wonderful car it really is. I've enjoyed every minute behind the wheel of mine since purchasing it and am looking forward to having it as my daily driver for a long time.
5/5 stars, Sporty GoGetter on California Freeways
Premium and A-SPEC Packages 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
I LOVE this Sporty Car! It handles amazing, rides amazing, my clients and friends Compliment it as Better than their BMWs and Mercedes, - especially considering the Great Gas Mileage and Price. Great Bang for Your Buck if you Live in Your Car like I do. This Car Zips around traffic, and gleefully Cruises at 80mph for Hours without a Hiccup. The Sport Mode is Terrific in the California Mountain highways, and is Awesome if you want to Race up a Freeway against a German Rival. Get the Premium ASpec Package. Worth Every Penny. -- This is my 3rd Acura. My 2004 TSX is Still on Road at 375K Miles and my last 2016 ILX is on the Road with a new owner over 100K. Acuras are Great Buys and Last Forever without the Expensive Repair bills of BMW and Mercedes.
5/5 stars, Very satisfied
Premium Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
I purchased a 2020 ILX Premium. Not my first Acura. This car is everything it is designed for. Easy to drive, stylish, comfortable for four, power when you need it, smooth on the highway, smooth in town traffic. Fit and finish, very satisfied. Price is great. It is not a Civic, it is not a BMW. If I wanted one of those I would have bought one.
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 24 City / 34 Hwy / 28 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.2 gal. capacity
- 5 seats
- Type: front wheel drive
- Transmission: 8-speed automated manual
- Inline 4 cylinder
- Horsepower: 201 hp @ 6800 rpm
- Torque: 180 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 4 yr./ 50000 mi.
- Length: 182.2 in. / Height: 55.6 in.
- Overall Width with Mirrors: N/A
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 70.6 in.
- Curb Weight: 3095 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 12.4 cu.ft.
Our experts’ favorite ILX safety features:
- Collision Mitigation Braking System
- Warns if a front 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.
Acura ILX vs. the competition
2020 Acura ILX
2020 Mazda 3
Acura ILX vs. Mazda 3
Until this year when the Mazda 3 was redesigned, this might not have been an apt comparison. But this year's 3 is one part mainstream compact car and one part entry-luxury sedan. It boasts a nicer interior than the ILX and plenty of convenience features. The ILX still has an edge with engine power, but that doesn't mean the Mazda is slower. The 3 is also available with all-wheel drive, something the ILX doesn't offer.
Acura ILX vs. Audi A3
The price difference between a base ILX and a base Audi A3 is substantial. But load up the ILX with all the options, similar to what you get in the base A3, and the gap shrinks by half. We'd argue it's worth the stretch to the A3. You get sharper and more modern interior tech, better cabin materials, and a more engaging car to drive because of the A3's increased power and more nimble handling. It's definitely the better luxury sedan of the two.
Acura ILX vs. Honda Civic
The ILX is based on the last-generation Civic. The current Honda Civic is light-years ahead of the old car in drivability, technology and quality. It's an excellent choice for a small car, and it offers more backseat room than the ILX. The Civic's optional turbo engine is also much punchier around town and more fuel-efficient to boot. Unless you really want the Acura brand name, we'd recommend the current Civic over the ILX. And if you do really want the Acura brand, we'd suggest simply sizing up to the better, and not much more expensive, Acura TLX.
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Is the Acura ILX a good car?
The Edmunds experts tested the 2020 ILX both on the road and at the track, giving it a 6.6 out of 10. You probably care about Acura ILX fuel economy, so it's important to know that the ILX gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the ILX has 12.4 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Acura ILX. Learn more
What's new in the 2020 Acura ILX?
According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Acura ILX:
- The ILX returns unchanged for 2020
- Part of the first ILX generation introduced for 2013
Is the Acura ILX reliable?
To determine whether the Acura ILX is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the ILX. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the ILX's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
Is the 2020 Acura ILX a good car?
There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2020 Acura ILX is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2020 ILX and gave it a 6.6 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2020 ILX is a good car for you. Learn more
How much should I pay for a 2020 Acura ILX?
The least-expensive 2020 Acura ILX is the 2020 Acura ILX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $25,900.
Other versions include:
- Premium Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) which starts at $27,750
- Premium and A-SPEC Packages 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) which starts at $29,750
- 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) which starts at $25,900
- Technology Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) which starts at $29,650
- Technology and A-SPEC Packages 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) which starts at $31,650
What are the different models of Acura ILX?
If you're interested in the Acura ILX, the next question is, which ILX model is right for you? ILX variants include Premium Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), Premium and A-SPEC Packages 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), and Technology Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM). For a full list of ILX models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more