2021 Acura ILX

Review, Pricing, and Specs

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2021 acura ilx front


If the thought of parking a Honda Civic in your driveway is just too low-brow for you, consider its country club-raised cousin—the ILX—which wears the Acura badge on its trapezoidal grille. Under the hood of every ILX is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that drives the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. While the ILX won't keep pace with turbocharged rivals such as the Audi A3 and the BMW 2-series Gran Coupe on a twisty road, it delivers a smooth and agreeable ride for those looking more for luxury than sportiness. The ILX's downfall is its out-of-date tech, starting with an infotainment system that is laughably obsolete, especially since the base model doesn't even come with a touchscreen display—even the Civic offers that standard. The ILX received a styling refresh for the 2019 model year, but in order to remain competitive it is in need of a thorough overhaul.

What's New for 2021?

The ILX rolls through to 2021 without any significant changes or updates.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

The 2021 ILX is one of the best deals among subcompact luxury sedans. We think that value is optimized with the optional Premium and Technology packages. While both bring a host of luxurious upgrades, their highlights include leather upholstery, upgraded infotainment features, more driver assists, and the full-zoot ELS audio system. The A-Spec package may give the illusion of enhanced performance, but the kit only supplies superficial improvements that aren't worth the dough.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The sole powertrain is a 201-hp four-cylinder with front-wheel drive mated to a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine revs easily and although the ILX isn't the quickest car in its class, its character makes us pine for the VTEC-powered Honda and Acura sedans from years gone by. Handling is poised and confident, but not particularly memorable; road and wind noise permeate the cabin here more than in rivals such as the Audi A3 or the Mercedes-Benz A-class, especially at highway speeds. Still, the smallest Acura sedan has excellent brake-pedal feedback.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The ILX earns fuel economy ratings of 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, which are competitive to non-all-wheel-drive versions of the A3 and A-class. Over our 200-mile highway fuel-economy route, the ILX delivered exactly what its window sticker said it would: 34 mpg.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

As with other cars in this segment, the Acura ILX's cabin is roomy for the driver and the front-seat passenger but cramped for those in the rear. Standard equipment is plentiful and includes a sunroof, heated sport seats with power adjustments for the driver, and dual-zone automatic climate control. However, the dashboard design looks outdated compared with the slick-looking screens that adorn the dash of the A-class. While its interior cubby storage is nowhere near as useful as inside the Civic, the ILX has a large trunk that is begets the sedan's subcompact classification.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Surprisingly, a touchscreen infotainment system isn't standard on the base model, but Premium, Technology, and A-Spec models all come with an 8.0-inch unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. While Acura's dual-screen setup can be operated via physical knobs and buttons, the system's outdated graphic and lack of intuitive menus make it obsolete compared with more contemporary rivals.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The ILX earned a five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but it was not named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The ILX also has a host of standard driver-assistance technology such as adaptive cruise control and more. Key safety features include:

  • Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
  • Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
  • Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert

    Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

    Acura covers the ILX with an excellent limited and powertrain warranty, but the luxury automaker doesn't provide the complimentary scheduled maintenance that some rivals do.

    • Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
    • Powertrain warranty covers 6 years or 70,000 miles
    • No complimentary scheduled maintenance



      2019 Acura ILX A-Spec

      VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

      BASE PRICE: $30,645

      ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection

      Displacement: 144 cu in, 2356 cc
      Power: 201 hp @ 6800 rpm
      Torque: 180 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm

      TRANSMISSION: 8-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shifting mode

      Wheelbase: 105.1 in
      Length: 182.2 in
      Width: 70.6 in
      Height: 55.6 in
      Passenger volume: 90 cu ft
      Trunk volume: 12 cu ft
      Curb weight (C/D est): 3100 lb

      Zero to 60 mph: 6.6 sec
      Zero to 100 mph: 17.2 sec
      Standing ¼-mile: 15.2 sec
      Top speed: 130 mph

      Combined/city/highway: 28/24/34 mpg

      More Features and Specs

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