Compact car; Built in
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $14,300 – $23,500*


2014 Acura ILX


2014 Acura ILX


2014 Acura ILX


2014 Acura ILX

Pros:
  • Acceleration (2.4)
  • Ride
Cons:
  • Acceleration (2.0, Hybrid)
  • Noise

The Acura ILX is positioned between regular compact cars and the majority of premium compacts. Except in the manual-transmission-only 2.4 model, acceleration is leisurely–particularly in the Hybrid. Ride quality, handling, and interior appearance are pretty good, but this small Acura is largely unexceptional. Brand loyalists will find enough to like, but we would encourage ILX intenders to check out the superior Buick Verano.

Overview

Acura’s newest addition to its automotive line slots below the TSX as the manufacturer’s entry-level vehicle–what the company refers to as “the gateway to the brand.” ILX is a 4-door front-wheel-drive sedan that’s slightly smaller than the TSX sedan and somewhat less expensive. It comes only with 4-cylinder engines (the TSX is available with a V6) and is noteworthy for offering the company’s first hybrid.

The ILX is built in the U.S. and in 2013, was about $3,900 less than its TSX sibling. At that price point, it competes not only against other premium compact cars, but also against higher-end versions of regular compact cars. Its most direct competitor is the Buick Verano, which likewise straddles the price/prestige line between regular and premium compacts.

The ILX is built on the same platform as the Honda Civic Sedan, though with many substantially upgraded components and unique styling. (Acura is the luxury division of Honda.) The ILX’s base 2.0-liter engine is not currently used elsewhere in the Honda or Acura lines, but the uplevel 2.4 is found in the sporty Honda Civic Si and as the base engine in the Acura TSX. The ILX Hybrid’s powertrain is the same as used in the Honda Civic Hybrid.

All ILX models come with a high level of standard equipment, including many popular infotainment features. Options come in one of two packages, each priced as separate models. The Premium Package includes rearview camera, and xenon headlights; it’s standard on the 2.4 model. The Technology Package, offered only on the 2.0 and Hybrid, adds to that an uplevel audio system, AcuraLink assistance system, and a navigation system.

Yearly Updates

2013 ILX
Some trim levels of the ILX received more standard equipment. Base 2.0- and 2.4-liter models gained leather upholstery, 8-way power-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, and 17-inch alloy wheels which had previously been part of the Premium Pkg. The 2.0- and 2.4-liter models with either the Premium Package or Technology Package got a multi-view rearview camera.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

A pair of engines and a hybrid were available in ILX. 2.0L used a 150-hp 2.0-liter 4 cylinder.2.4L had a 201-hp four. The Hybrid blended a 1.5-liter gasoline engine with a battery-powered electric motor, for a total output of 111 horsepower. The 2.0-liter engine was teamed with a 5-speed automatic transmission, while the 2.4-liter was available only with a 6-speed manual. The Hybrid had a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

ohc I4/electric
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.5/91
Engine HP 111
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 127
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
CVT automatic

39/38

ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/122
Engine HP 150
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 140
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

24/35

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/144
Engine HP 201
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 170
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual

22/31

Road Test

With its 2.0-liter engine and automatic transmission full-throttle acceleration is leisurely from a stop, but there is adequate power for normal urban driving. Lots of throttle input is required to summon decent mid-range passing punch though. For this combination, Acura estimates 0-60-mph in 9.6 seconds, which seems believable. The 2.4-liter and 6-speed manual combination is more muscular; Acura says it will go 0-60 in 6.9 seconds. The clutch and shifter both work nicely, and the car is fun and easy to drive. Like the 2.0, the 1.5-liter Hybrid is adequate in normal driving, but even with aggressive throttle application the car is lethargic from a stop. Once it’s moving we appreciate this engine’s quick throttle response, which helps the Hybrid feel a bit quicker overall than Acura’s 11.2-second 0-60 estimate would imply. Hybrids include an idle-stop feature that shuts the engine off when the car is stationary to save gas. Unfortunately, the system doesn’t always restart the engine as quickly as the driver can move their foot from the brake pedal to the accelerator.

In Consumer Guide testing, a 2.0-liter ILX returned 28.4 mpg in mixed driving and 2.4-liter models have averaged 27.0-28.3 mpg. We saw a disappointing 30.3 mpg in a Hybrid during a test that was nearly all city driving. Premium-grade gasoline is recommended for all three of ILX’s engines.

All ILX variants have the same suspension tuning, but they all don’t use the same tires. We’ve noted little difference among the various versions though. All have a firm ride, but there’s enough compliance that it’s quite comfortable.

All ILX variants have the same suspension tuning, but they all don’t use the same tires. We’ve noted little difference among the various versions though. All have a firm ride, but there’s enough compliance that it’s quite comfortable.

Quietness is not an ILX strength. Wind noise is reasonably low at highway speeds, but tire noise is a constant companion on most surfaces. The quietest engine on offer is the 2.0-liter, but even it never completely fades into the background. The 2.4-liter and Hybrid engines can be quite loud, much more so than expected in a premium-brand car.

Most controls are within easy reach, but there are a lot of buttons to study. In addition, some testers think the climate controls are mounted too low on the dash. Most of the cars we’ve tested were equipped with the Technology Package, which includes a navigation system. It doesn’t absorb basic audio controls which a point in the ILX’s favor, but some testers complain that its on-screen graphics look dated.

The interior has nice materials, padded surfaces, and handsome two-tone color combinations that work together to create an attractive, but not particularly fancy, ambiance.

There’s enough legroom up front for most adults, but really tall folk may wish there was more headroom. The seats are comfortable and supportive, but some testers felt they were set too low making entry and exit a chore. Outward visibility isn’t great, particularly to the rear. The sun visors are too short to completely cover the side windows.

Headroom for rear passengers under the sunroof housing is skimpy, especially for people taller than 5’10”. Legroom is no better than adequate, and gets even tighter if the front seats are set far back. At least under-seat foot space is good. Narrow door openings can make for challenging entry and exit.

The trunk is wide, but the lid’s sickle-style hinges dip into the cargo area. We’re disappointed that the fold-down rear seat back is one piece, rather than split as on most cars. The back releases from the trunk and folds nearly horizontal, but at a level about 3 inches above the trunk’s floor. The pass-through is pretty narrow at the bottom too, limiting cargo versatility. Hybrids lose some trunk space to the battery pack, and have to make do without the folding seat. Interior storage is pretty average. There is a glovebox, small console box with 12-volt power and audio plugs, 2 cupholders on the console, a covered bin in front of the shifter, and small map pockets with bottle holders on the front doors.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2.0 w/Technology Pkg.

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 4
40%
Fuel Economy - 8
80%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 7
70%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
40%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 6
60%

Total: 56

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
105.1 179.1 70.6 55.6
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
12.4 13.2 5.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.9 35.9 42.3 34.0
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2013 ILX 4-door sedan 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Battery
Description: Description: Some 2013 ILXs were fitted with faulty batteries.
Check-engine light
Description: Problem with powertrain sensors can trigger warning lights.

Recall History

2013
Description: If the manual or power door lock is activated while an interior front door handle is being operated by an occupant, the cable connecting the interior door handle to the door latch mechanism may become loose and move out of position. There is a possibility that the cable can move far enough out of position to prevent the door from properly latching.
2013-14
Description: Excessive heat temperatures around the headlight bulb and reflector unit may diminish the output of the headlight and cause smoke, melting, and fire.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.