11.08.2014

Four Acura ILXs From Three Model Years In 20 Months: Same Verdict.

Front 3/4 view of 2015 Acura ILX 2.0 Tech
2015 Acura ILX 2.0L Tech.

I am, by nature, a fairly positive person.  An optimist at heart, I'm always looking for (and usually finding) the good in most situations, places, people and things. Regular TireKicker readers know that negative reviews happen here, but are, on balance, in the minority.  As my Dad's buddy, Jim Ellis, who owned Ford dealerships in the Eastern High Sierra of California where I grew up, told me during my hyper-critical teenage assessment of the new 1972 somethingorother, every car is the right one for someone (actually, Jim said "There's an ass for every seat", but the sentiment is the same).

That's why the Acura ILX frustrates me so.  Because in four go-rounds in just over a year and a half, in models from three different model years (2013, 2014 and 2015), I can't bring myself to recommend it to anyone.




Rear 3/4 view of 2015 Acura ILX 2.0L Tech
2015 Acura ILX 2.0L Tech.
As noted in the previous reviews (here, here and here), the ILX isn't a bad car...it's just too much money for what you get, which is a better (but only in some ways) Honda Civic.

This time around, we're back in the model we started with in 2013, the 2.0L Tech.  Base price $31,750. It comes with everything (leather, USB, push-button ignition, rear-view camera, power windows and locks, a moonroof, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated power door mirros, keyless entry, Xenon HID headlamps, fog lights, navigation, voice recognition, AcuraLink, dual-zone climate control and a surround-sound audio system).  But everything adds weight.  The ILX is 200 pounds heavier and only seven horsepower stronger than the Civic it's based on.

Interior view of 2015 Acura ILX 2.0L Tech
2015 Acura ILX 2.0L Tech interior.
The instrument panel is a huge improvement over the Civic's convoluted bi-level affair, and the materials are a significant upgrade from those found in the Civic, but that's back to my original complaint 20 months ago that this is silk purse from a sow's ear stuff....the modern equivalent of creating a Cadillac Cimarron from a Chevy Cavalier.  And in either car, the audio and nav systems look and feel more like 2005 than 2015.

Gas mileage is certainly a strong point....24 city/35 highway.  But then let's get down to the numbers that matter by loading up a Honda Civic EX-L Sedan with Navigation. Equipping it as closely as we can to the ILX, we get a bottom line with destination and handling charges of $26,668.  The ILX? $32,645.  And since we began this paragraph with the ILX's gas mileage, let's close it with the Civic's: 30 city/39 highway.

Bottom line: Choosing the Civic costs you some nice trim, and a more attractive dash. It saves you $6,023, six miles per gallon in the city and four miles per gallon on the highway. I'm sorry, Acura. If the ILX was two grand more than the Civic, then maybe.  But at six thousand dollars difference, the value equation simply isn't there.

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