2015 ILX New Car Test Drive
Introduced as a 2013 model, the Acura ILX is a premium compact sedan. For 2014, Acura ILX got more standard features, including upgraded 17-inch alloy wheels, new leather seating surfaces and leatherette door liners. An eight-way power driver's seat became standard, along with heated front seats and a Multi-Angle rear-view camera. Active Noise Cancellation was another new standard feature, promising a quieter cabin.
Apart from one new body-color choice, nothing changed for the 2015 model year. The hybrid gasoline/electric version of the ILX has been discontinued, after a short run in the marketplace, leaving only two powertrain choices. ILX will be further revised for the 2016 model year.
The Acura ILX is reasonably roomy by compact car standards. Two average-size adults can ride comfortably in the rear, with only minimal cooperation from front-seat occupants. Like almost all sedans in this premium compact class, the ILX is rated for five passengers, but that center rear position is only suitable for someone of diminutive stature, or someone you don't like.
Acura ILX shares its basic structure and powertrains with the Honda Civic, though there are as many hardware distinctions as there are similarities: Both the styling and the exterior dimensions are different. No sheetmetal is shared between the Honda and the Acura. The Acura ILX also gets more powerful engines and a more advanced front suspension. So, they are hardly the same.
Inside, the Acura ILX cabin is furnished with high-grade premium materials, with no sign of the interior cost-cutting that diminishes the latest Civics. In addition, the ILX benefits from more sound-deadening measures. Acura also claims higher rigidity for the ILX's unibody, which results in a smoother ride and better handling.
The Acura ILX rides a shorter wheelbase (105.1 inches versus 106.3), and is longer, lower, and wider than the Civic sedan: The ILX measures 179.1 inches overall, 70.6 inches wide, and 55.6 inches tall. Also, the ILX is distinguished by its more sophisticated double-wishbone front suspension.
The entry-level Acura ILX comes with a 150-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, driving a 5-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift and Grade Logic Control. Stepping up a notch, the Acura ILX 2.4L is motivated by a 201-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, paired with a close-ratio 6-speed manual gearbox (no automatic option with the 2.4-liter).
Fuel economy is significantly better with the smaller engine, though both demand Premium gasoline. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the 2015 Acura ILX 2.0-liter at 24/35 mpg City/Highway. With the 2.4-liter engine, EPA-estimated mileage drops to 22/31 mpg City/Highway for the ILX.
Acura ILX competes against the Audi A3, Buick Verano, and Volkswagen CC.
The 2015 Acura ILX lineup offers a choice of two powertrains.
The base ILX ($27,050) comes with a 150-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and 5-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include leather seating surfaces and leatherette door liners, as well as dual-zone automatic climate control and a 160-watt audio system with six speakers and a subwoofer, AM/FM/CD with RDS readout and MP3 and WMA compatibility. Also standard are a USB interface for iPod, auxiliary input jack, Pandora internet radio interface, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, and SMS text messaging. The Keyless Access System includes smart entry and pushbutton start. Each ILX also has a tilt/telescope steering column, 8-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, rear-view camera, Active Noise Cancellation, power moonroof, and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels.
ILX with Premium Package ($29,350) upgrades with a premium 360-watt stereo system that includes SiriusXM satelllite radio, Pandora and Bluetooth connectivity, and SMS text messaging, as well as speed-sensitive volume control. High-intensity discharge (HID) headlights and foglights are included. ILX with Technology Package ($31,750) upgrades with a 360-watt Acura/ELS Surround Sound audio system that includes a Note function music reminder, along with an AcuraLink Satellite Communication System, Acura navigation system with voice recognition, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with traffic rerouting, AcuraLink Real-Time Weather with radar image maps and HomeLink garage door opener. The navigation system makes use of a hard disk drive (HDD) with 60 gigabytes of storage capacity, including 15 gigabytes that can be specifically allocated for music storage.
The ILX 2.4L ($29,350) comes with a 201-hp 2.4-liter engine and 6-speed manual transmission. The 2.5-liter model includes the Premium Package, with all the other features listed above. (All prices are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices, which do not include $895 destination charge and may change at any time without notice.)
Safety features on all models include driver- and front-passenger dual-stage front airbags, front side-impact airbags, active head restraints, three-point seatbelts for five passengers, front seatbelts with automatic tensioning and load limiters, LATCH Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control System, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, rearview camera, tire-pressure monitor.