By on May 6, 2013

ilxg20

A few weeks ago, I posted an article entitled “Cars That Look Good But Aren’t.” I thought this was a particularly brilliant piece of writing, primarily because virtually every word was spelled correctly. After finishing it, I patted myself on the back and said “Good job, Doug.” Then I got in my Nissan Cube and shielded my face from passersby.

But it wasn’t long before the hate mail started coming in.

The first hate mail came from my mother, as per usual, who wrote: “Does this mean you still don’t have a real job? Also, why are you making fun of the Infiniti G20?” Mom wasn’t alone in her criticism. Minutes later, responses started pouring in from the Best and Brightest, who – once known for their love of the Panther platform – have apparently felt the effects of rising gas prices and decided to instead stand behind the similarly outdated Infiniti G20.

g20

The first responses were fairly mild: “I get the point you’re making on the G20, but let’s keep in mind the SR20DE engine from the SE-R … I would perhaps agree if you’re only talking about the second-generation G20,” wrote Sammy B. I defended myself, only to be dismissed by what I assume must be every single G20 owner in history. This is a sampling of some of G20 love from commenters:

- “Count me among those who disagree that the P10 G20 should be on this list. I worked for the local Infiniti dealership from 1991-93 when these were new. I loved everything about them.” -davew833

- “It was the best handling 4-door back then and the engine and shifter are super sweet. Plus has a ton of room inside for its small size.” -walker42

- “I’d have to disagree on the G20. For it’s time the G20 was at the top of its class in handling and performance.” -Scoutdude

And that’s just the commenters. Things soon got worse. Not long after the post went up, I started getting threatening Facebook messages. A user named “Infiniti G20” invited me to connect on LinkedIn with a message that said only: “Soon.” And for six nights in a row, I answered my ringing cell phone around 3am only to hear the revving of an underpowered four-cylinder on the other end.

OK, some of that didn’t happen. But I was surprised at the Infiniti G20’s support network, which was roughly the same size as the coalition that defended Kuwait in the Gulf War. This got me thinking: if you people like the G20 so much, why don’t you buy the current model?

Today’s G20

I am talking, of course, about the Acura ILX, which is the first-generation Infiniti G20, only 20 years later. I know what you’re thinking: How dare DeMuro desecrate the memory of the holy Infiniti G20 by comparing it with some crappy Acura! But I’ve actually prepared some intelligent thoughts on the topic, which is rare, so please bear with me.

Let’s start with platform. The Infiniti G20 was based on the Nissan Sentra of its day, which was generally agreed to be a fairly modest compact car with a reasonably well-respected performance version. Guess what? The ILX is based on the Honda Civic, which is also a fairly modest compact car with a well-respected performance version.

ilx

How about engines? The G20 used a 140-horsepower four-cylinder borrowed from the Sentra SE-R, which is the aforementioned well-respected performance version. That meant it reached 60 in around nine seconds, or – in the minds of TTAC commenters replying to the “Cars That Look Good But Aren’t” post – slightly quicker than an Ariel Atom.

Well, it turns out the ILX also borrows its four-cylinder from the well-respected performance version, which – in this case – is the Honda Civic Si. Yes, there’s a base-level ILX with a 150-horsepower 2.0-liter engine from the standard Civic. But there’s also an ILX with the very same 201-horsepower four-cylinder as the Civic Si. You can probably see where I’m going with this.

Of course, it’s also important to compare pricing. Back in 1991, the G20 started at $17,500, which – adjusted for inflation – comes to $29,055, according to a rather dodgy inflation calculator I discovered using Google. And how does the ILX compare? It’s so spot-on that you have to wonder if Acura found the very same inflation calculator: the ILX with the Civic Si engine starts at exactly $29,200.

Clearly, I have conclusively proven that Acura successfully replicated the vaunted G20 in its ILX. But here’s the problem: no one is buying the ILX. Of course, that isn’t strictly true. My neighbor has an MDX, and whenever it goes in for service, she gets an ILX as a service loaner. Technically, that means it’s “sold.”

But actual humans aren’t lining up out the door to buy the ILX, despite its brilliant G20 heritage. So, G20 defenders, explain it: why is this? Really: I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Just as long as they’re in the form of a TTAC comment, and not a 3am wake-up call.

Doug DeMuro operates PlaysWithCars.com. He’s owned an E63 AMG wagon, road-tripped across the US in a Lotus without air conditioning, and posted a six-minute lap time on the Circuit de Monaco in a rented Ford Fiesta. One year after becoming Porsche Cars North America’s youngest manager, he quit to become a writer. His parents are very disappointed.

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95 Comments on “The Acura ILX Is The Modern Day Infiniti G20...”


  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I’m with you Doug! If I was in the market for the full-zoot Civic, I’d go the premium for the ILX. Better looking, sportier handling, and more luxurious…

  • avatar
    cheapthrills

    No one bought the G20 when it was on sale. For the same reasons, no one is buying the ILX: Most people view them as optioned-up Sentras/Civics for too much money.

    Also note that these are built on the Primera platform, not the Sentra.

    Read Jack’s article:
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/10/capsule-review-1994-infiniti-g20-and-the-nervous-professor/

    • 0 avatar

      The problem is, the new stable of writers are not familiar with TTAC heritage. It was not a part of the selection process.

      • 0 avatar

        We are crappy and new: just like the Acura ILX.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Coming soon from Doug:

          “Ford Panthers: The worst vehicles of all time?”

          “The story of how I financed my new Volt for 90 months with zero down- and how you can too!”

          “DIY work is a waste of time”

          “Wagon? more like Station WRONG-on”

          • 0 avatar

            “Who buys cars from AUCTIONS?”

            “Editorial: Junkyards should be destroyed”

            “Really, GM has done mostly good things”

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “The Left Lane is for Cruising”

            “The top 10 texts I’ve sent while driving”

            “Why Driver’s Education is too strict in the US”

            “Beltlines need to be higher”

          • 0 avatar

            Hahaha – those are classic. And also great ideas. I have to go write now, on my cell phone, as I cruise in the left lane.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            “Diesels smell bad and are slow”

            “Silver…It’s the new Brown”

            “The GM Bailout: A great use of taxpayer dollars”

            “Toyota Deathwatch”

  • avatar
    thornmark

    But is the ILX doing as poorly as the G20 did? I doubt that. I also think the G20 wasn’t at all good-looking, it just kinda blended into the wallpaper. The ILX is handsome.

    As for good looking cars that aren’t, I believe the VW CC is great looking but gets mediocre, at best, reviews.

  • avatar
    tced2

    The ILX is selling in similar numbers to the TSX (about 1700 a month). The best selling Acura is the RDX which is selling at about 4000 a month.
    Perhaps, the G20 is like the 1st-gen TSX (a JDM Accord).

    • 0 avatar
      chrishs2000

      I don’t get this comment. The point of the article is that the G20 was a flop and so is the ILX. Those are both true. The first gen TSX was very highly regarded as an all around fantastic car by the press and automags. We own one, and even preferred it over a brand new 2nd gen TSX without even considering the price difference.

      30k sales a year for the 1st gen TSX was much more than Honda anticipated: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acura_TSX

      • 0 avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        As far as being better than the US market seemed to want, the G20 qualifies alongside the original TSX. The difference, as Chris said, is that the TSX actually sold…

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      You’re missing half of the truth. TSX sales are down 50% from last year. ILX sales are almost exactly equal to TSX sales.

      Hence, the ILX is stealing half of the TSX’ sales, and nothing else. The car’s conquest sales are coming from its own brand! I suppose if Honda discontinues the TSX, then ILX sales will “double” for next year. :-

  • avatar
    BTEFan

    “The Infiniti G20 was based on the Nissan Sentra of its day, which was generally agreed to be a fairly modest compact car with a reasonably well-respected performance version”

    Umm – I do believe they share some componentry, like the SR20DE engine, but the G20 and Sentra aren’t the same platform or car. It has a front multilink suspension that doesn’t exist on the Sentra, and the G20/Primera competes in a class up from the Sentra/Sunny. The Primera was developed to take on the European midsize cars of the time (Sierra/Vectra/Peugeot 405/Passat) whereas the Sunny was meant to take on the Escort class vehicle.

    • 0 avatar

      You are correct. The ONE TIME I prepare intelligent thoughts on a topic! Oh well: I will devote my next article to my favorite platform-mates, the Lexus IS and Toyota Corolla.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Yep, the G20 was a rebadged Nissan Primera which was sold not only in Japan, but in certain parts of Europe – so the G20 is very much like the Acura TSX being the Euro/JDM Accord, as well as the ILX.

      It was the Canadian market Acura CLX (also sold as a JDM Civic) that was basically no different from the USDM Civic (just had slightly different headights/grill).

      Kind of funny how so many are all aghast over the G20 and ILX, but more readily accept the same thing one size segment up with the TL, ES and MKZ.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “Kind of funny how so many are all aghast over the G20 and ILX, but more readily accept the same thing one size segment up with the TL, ES and MKZ.”

        You can’t be serious. People say this stuff about the ES and the MKZ all the time, and the latter is the focus of some of the editors here.

        If you don’t think tons of commenters here call the MKZ the equivalent of a Titantium Ford Fusion, you don’t read TTAC enough. The TL is also criticized for the same reason, but it isn’t always named specifically because every Acura is basically a gussied up Honda these days.

  • avatar
    geeber

    The problems with the ILX are the quality of the interior materials and level of refinement. I like the exterior styling, but the interior says “uplevel Civic.” Reviewers have noted that the interior noise level is very high at highway speeds.

    People won’t tolerate those “sins” at the prices Acura is charging for the ILX.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Agreed and neither is the market paying for it. I was told at the dealership ILX came out (at least to them) in December. There are loaded ILX’s at the auction doing 23,900ish (or less) with 5,000 or less miles… these are six month or seven month old cars who have already lost 6K+ off msrp (I’ll wager the 13s start doing 20-21 by the end of the year, which is almost a 1/3rd of value, generally unheard of for a “Japanese” car). I didn’t discuss buying terms with the dealer, but unless Acura is allowing them to be haggled down I can’t see how this is a good proposition (150hp/5spd auto on all trims, oddly only the manual comes with 201hp/6spd).

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “these are six month or seven month old cars who have already lost 6K+ off msrp”

        Acura is offering $2000 in marketing support plus 0.9% financing and you can likely get it for invoice. So, that’s probably +$4500 MSRP all in.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          There actually is a base model with a cheaper radio, deleted leather/heated seats, deleted nav, and something else inconsequential removed for 26 and change with destination, but I was told by the dealer they didn’t even stock it (Acura recently had a $260/month lease offer on the base trim, which is how I know this).

          I would venture to guess the 2 grand off and cheaper financing are only available on the 30K+ models, and 2gs is just about enough to cover your tax… so you’re still around 30K out-the-door with 0.9% for a 150hp better-styled Civic -that’s worth about 25- with leather, moonroof, and doodads galore (I have to admit, if you’re into doodads and buttons, this is a good car for you). Now if you like this, and can haggle them down to 25K, it becomes a more attractive proposition. TSX could be had for almost the same money and I’m sure would hold it value better.

          Interestingly in the fine print of Acura’s ILX lease offer, they set the lease buyout price at 16 something, which when I was still investigating this came out to be 61% of the $26795 msrp I was quoted. This seems to be based on the Civic’s resale, as 2010 Civic EX-Ls do about 61% at auction with reasonable miles.

          I really wanted to like it, but the numbers just didn’t add up (not to mention the iffy rear visibility and barely adequate power, at least up steep hills)

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            “I would venture to guess the 2 grand off and cheaper financing are only available on the 30K+ models”

            According to Edmunds 0.9% and $800 are available on the base model which has an invoice price of 24,500. So, you could walk about the door with it for $23,700.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m not sure who was inaccurate then, either Acura or Edmunds, but this was the the price I was quoted (26 and change) when I inquired about the lease.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            28,

            I assume the price they quoted was the “jumping off point for negotiations” MSRP.

            According to Edmunds, Acura isn’t offering any subsidised lease deals. So, maybe that’s why the quoted price was so high.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Looks like GM did it right the first time with the Buick Verano off the Cruze platform. The ILX gets beat by the Verano in all three comparisons I’ve seen. That is very bad for Acura when it doesn’t even compete well in the segment.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Not Consumer Reports. They say the ILX is somewhat noisy and Buick quiet except when the road gets rough. THey also say the Buick’s veneer of quality is only skin deep and that it gets lousy mileage.

        They rated the ILX above the Buick. And said this about the Buick:
        “We expect reliability to be much worse than average, according to our latest subscriber survey.” The Acura is above average.

        I expect the Verano will depreciate far faster than the Acura.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          The same Consumer Reports that thinks the ILX is one of the least fun cars to drive?

          http://autos.yahoo.com/news/cars-that-are-the-most-and-least-fun-to-drive-235804567.html

          (no idea why it’s called a Sports Sedan)

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      One could say the same thing, but one level up, with the Lexus ES.

      Arguably, the new Avalon has the more inviting interior and it actually has the better ride.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Are they really not selling? I see ILXs all the time in La Jolla and Pacific Beach. The only reason I’d consider one is because the 2013 Civic Si sedan is running a bit too much wing for this circuit, but somebody is buying ILXs.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Acura have said it is running behind their targets in the link below :

      http://www.autonews.com/article/20130416/BLOG06/130419930/the-story-behind-low-acura-ilx-production-numbers#axzz2SWz1PG1M

      Also it has a high inventory rate, which should at least partially correct as they switch to making more Civics. It is also selling at half the rate of its chief rival the Verano.
      Your area of Southern California is not necessarily representative of the whole country.

      • 0 avatar

        Indeed. I actually see ILXs fairly often too, but Acura isn’t happy with the volume. I think their initial press release after the first month or two was hilarious. They said the car is “settling into the market” or some other PR-speak.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Maybe the car sells well in southern California, but mike978 is correct – the car has been a disappointment to Acura. I’ve seen a grand total of ONE on the road around here in southcentral Pennsylvania. Residents of this region are not adverse to buying Hondas and Acuras. But they are avoiding this particular one.

    • 0 avatar
      Rental Man

      @CJinSD, If you skip the Si for the Wing don’t leave the dealership before you check out the 2013 Accord Sport 6 Speed Stick. Lot’s of car and good looks for the $24 Sticker.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The Sport is pretty amazing. I’ll give the DI a few years to prove itself on California’s almost gasoline though. Honda waited to release DI here until they found solutions to the EGR/PCV carbon issues that plague other brands, but Ford claimed that too. I saw dyno test results of the new Accords. They’re getting 179 whp from a car rated between 185 and 189 at the crank. No wonder it is so quick. Car and Driver is averaging 29 mpg with their long term Sport, which is better than they’re getting from their 1.4 liter/6-speed manual Dodge Dart, a car that is 1.4 seconds slower to 60 and much smaller.

        • 0 avatar
          DC Bruce

          Only 10 hp driveline loss is amazing . . . unless the engine is underrated a bit. The Honda 4 strikes again!

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            One thing you’ll never hear the wrong wheel drive folks talk about is that FWD cars have lower drivetrain losses than front engined, rear wheel drive cars or AWD cars. Transverse engined, manual FWD cars have less parasitic loss than anything other than transverse, mid-engined cars with manuals. Are there any of those left? Lotus or Tesla maybe?

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            “We have driven the new 2013 Honda Accord, and it is magnificent. Two weeks ago, most of the staff abandoned the office for a unique, bracketed, head-to-head test of eight mid-size cars, arguably the finest group of family sedans ever on the market at one time. Go to automobilemag.com or download our May iPad issue to read the report. I will tell you one thing: the 2013 Honda Accord blew everyone away. It’s been a long time coming.”

            http://www.automobilemag.com/features/columns/1305_vile_gossip_is_honda_coming_back_to_us/#ixzz2SYcnHdDW

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        “And it is the 2013 Honda Accord Sport that prevails.”
        http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1303_midsize_madness_day_five/#ixzz2SYbn9aZ0http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1303_midsize_madness_day_five/

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Yes it just beat the Mazda 6 – both are good cars.

          • 0 avatar
            wmba

            Drove the Accord Sport 6MT Friday, the Mazda6 GS 6 speed manual today.

            The Accord is indeed much more powerful feeling, but has an abnormally LOUD engine when you goose it – the intake is next to the firewall, unlike previous Accords. Don’t believe me? Get out and drive one.

            The Accord has a constant bobbing ride as well, even on relatively smooth pavement, and obvious understeer. Three demerits for me. But, great shifter and power and neat screen and little thoughtful touches. Obviously well made. Not bad.

            Mazda6 has soft engine, smaller nav screen, not quite so slick shifter, better driving position, nicer interior, great ride, and it actually corners more linearly with 17 versus 18 inch wheels. Don’t believe me? Go drive one.

            I’m fed up with people lobbing internet test drive URLs at each other as if that makes one car better than another, and pretty fed up with the state of car reviews, both printed and online.

            There’s not much doubt, unless there is some other agenda at work, that the Mazda is a nicer car for drivers whose minds are actually engaged in the act of driving. But, Car and Driver failed completely in their acceleration tests – they have the Mazda6 auto a second quicker to 60 than the manual. FAIL.

            The Accord is far more powerful and costs 3 grand less than the Mazda in Canada. 6% import duty Mazda from Japan, 0% duty from the US for the Accord. Makes for a tough choice as that huge price difference evens things out for me.

          • 0 avatar
            Rental Man

            @WMBA In the US only base Mazda 6 Sport with Stick. No Nav. No nice options. Not even Bluetooth
            The Accord Sport is a nice looking car with a few nice standard featurs like the advanced BT enabled apps, Hugh back up camera, Power Seat and 18″ wheels that make the vehicles stance amazing. I am aware that up North you get those 18″ wheels on the Touring.

            FWIW No Nav Avail in the Accord Sport. Or Leather, Sunroof or the additional side view camera. I can live with that.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “The Infiniti G20 was based on the Nissan Sentra of its day.”

    The Nissan Primera and the Nissan Sentra were not the same car.

    The G20′s contemporaries are stuff like the Regal, X-type, C30, and TSX. It was a European platform sold under a luxury brand in the US.

    The ILX follows more of the Lexus ES or Cadillac Escalade formula.

    • 0 avatar
      walker42

      You gotta love the new media. No pesky editors and the writers don’t know the difference between a P10 and P11 or a Sentra and G20. But they are good at pretending they do and if they get caught… more comments! FYI Car and Driver (google it) got a 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds for the original SE-R.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Read some of the comparison tests vs. rivals. Even compared to Buick, the Acura is Honda noisy and Honda cheap. The G20 wasn’t based on a Nissan you could buy in the US at the time. The ILX on the other hand is, and as far as badge engineering goes, it’s a lot more Infiniti I30 than G20.

    By many accounts the recent emergency refresh Civic is NICER inside than the ILX. That’s a problem.

    • 0 avatar
      chrishs2000

      I agree, the new Civic is nicer than the ILX. The Civic has basically a cheaply designed interior with nice materials – the ISX has an expensive looking interior with crap materials. It just reeks of mediocrity.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    In its six years of existence, the first-gen G20 failed to break 18,000 sales, with a high of 17,248 in 1994. In seven months of 2012, Acura sold 12,251 ILXs, and is on pace for 22,500 sales in 2013, or a healthy 15% chunk of Acura’s line. Not outstanding, but not abysmal either.

    Certainly, there’s a happy rhetorical gray between “no one is buying the ILX” black and “lining up out the door to buy the ILX” white.

    Where both sales and Raison d’être are concerned, Acura lives in that gray zone. Ignore it at your peril.

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    I won’t defend the ILX or the G20. However, the little Infiniti arguably had an easier market in which to succeed as there were only the Integra and 3 series as competition – the American market for small sedans with good driving dynamics was pretty small. Today’s little Acura has as it’s most direct competition the Buick Verano (!) and then loses. That’s because today’s small sedan market is so much more complex, using electronic nannies, infotainment, luxury appointments and quiet interiors to reduce the importance of the actual driving experience. On that basis, the ILX is a pretty big ‘miss’ for Honda’s premium division – more so than the G20 back in its day. (And the Verano is reducing the age of Buick owners to among the lowest in the industry.) Perhaps all the G20 defenders are simply longing for those halcyon days when picking a good car was so much easier: Japanese, better; premium Japanese, best.

  • avatar
    TheOtherGoose

    I drove the ILX when I was shopping for a new sedan and wasn’t impressed. As geeber pointed out, I thought the road noise was too high for a car that had luxury aspirations. I drew the same conclusions: nice looking exterior, cheapish interior. Add the near luxury price and the ILX fails. Although this will be considered an unforgivable offense, I also ruled out the Si-engined version due to its manual-only availability. I assume that most, if not all, of the target market for the ILX wants an auto. If it hasn’t happened already I’m sure Honda will pair an auto with the bigger engine in the future.

    I wound up buying a loaded ’13 Sentra, so I may be considered an ignorant lout anyways…

    • 0 avatar

      You ignorant lout! Actually you probably made the right decision. How is the new Sentra? I’ve read Jack’s impressions…

      • 0 avatar
        TheOtherGoose

        Jack’s review echoes most of what I’ve read about the Sentra. I don’t understand why the Sentra is so reviled by reviewers – does Nissan antagonize auto journalists? While I’ll never call the the Sentra “a great drive” (forget handling or neck-snapping power), it’s a very nice car for the money. The new Sentra is roomy, quiet, comfortable, pretty luxurious and gets great mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      chrishs2000

      Did you try anything used or CPO? IMO the first gen TSX is a much better vehicle than the ILX at (now) half the price.

      I’m a pretty big Honda fanboy, but I can’t imagine why anyone would possibly buy an ILX when the competition is so strong…I also would have picked a Sentra over it.

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    What’s wrong with the ILX? Its everything Acura service departments demand in a temporary loaner vehicle…

  • avatar
    carguy

    I think the G20 and the ILX suffered sales wise for different reasons:

    When the G20 came to market there wasn’t much of a market for compact luxury cars. Even Edmunds called it “the answer to a question nobody asked”. It wasn’t a bad car, the market just wasn’t there yet. Now everyone is doing it from MINI to Buick.

    The ILX is selling poorly because of the engine/transmission/infotainment mix. The 2.4 should be available with the automatic and navigation. With this combo, the car makes sense. Whoever thought the top model should be manual only and couldn’t be paired with the navigation system should be fired.

    • 0 avatar

      Why ISN’T the 2.4 available with an automatic? I get that it’s supposed to be the “sporty” version, but surely no one who wants an ILX is concerned about that.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Salesman told me they have sold a handfuls of sticks of the 30 or 40 they (he maybe?) have sold since the launch. Not offering the premium engine in your so called premium car in the automatic model 95% of them will sell in, is Old GM level stupidity. I hope they take a bath on this venture.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      “When the G20 came to market there wasn’t much of a market for compact luxury cars.”

      Bingo! My sister (the doctor) had one when it first came out, loved it, and I really enjoyed driving the car every chance I could get. To the point that, at trade in time, she offered me the car for what the dealer offered. Unfortunately, it was an automatic, so I passed.

      Then again, my tastes in the market aren’t anything near the American average. I’m the kind of guy who was begging for a Focus Titanium with manual twenty years ago.

  • avatar
    tced2

    The ILX has ordinary (Civic) engine transmission choices. The top Honda corporate 4-cylinder engine and transmission choice should be available. That means EarthDreams engine and 6-speed automatic – or maybe the well-liked CVT of the Accord.

    Noise in the cabin has been a Honda weakness for some time. It is starting to be addressed but the Acura should feature the quieter cabin first. But development/production cycles are probably causing some of these improvements to appear in the Honda first.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Engine choice, along with less than stellar options list to separate it from the lower Civic, and similar complaints of high road noise are not selling the Acura brand. At least GM upped the 1.4T to 2.0T in the Cruze and Verano, respectively. The Verano Turbo has only has left to offer is Nav and a roof.

  • avatar
    Wiedowerz

    Sorry but the ILX is no where near as good today as the G20 was in its day. The G20 handles superbly especially compared to cars of its era, the ILX is just average at best. The G20 is also known for being rock solid in reliability…the SR20 is a butter smooth engine that seems to last forever.

  • avatar
    tienbac2005

    ILX is too closely priced to the base TSX (sometimes TSX SE’s can be found for $28.5k new at the right time, sales, end of year clearances, etc)

  • avatar
    klossfam

    The ILX suffers from the MASSIVE amount of BETTER/OTHER choices at the $30k mark. Just think of what else you can buy? VW GLI (or GTI), Subaru WRX, stripper Audi A3, 2012-2013 Lexus IS 250, etc. Even the G20 didn’t face this type of competition in it’s day…

  • avatar
    mor2bz

    the ILX must be AWFUL noisy to compare it to the G20.
    There is something about the old Infiniti; I am on my third one.
    Easy to work on and cheap.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    I’m famous!!

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    woo hoo! famous!

    The G20 made an excellent pre-owned car. Once you could pick up a nice one for (adjusted) low 20s, it made a hell of a lot more sense. New G20 vs Integra was harder to justify. As G20 became more of a bargain and Integra held its resale, G20 becomes more attractive!

    I look at the ILX the same way. At $30K new, too much. But if I could get one w/ under 30K for $20-23K, I’m a lot more interested.

    I’d be curious how the G20 & ILX do marketshare-wise rather than just in raw sales #. As long as the TSX is out there, I think ILX will suffer. When it’s just ILX & TL from Acura, might be more buyers?

    As for 6MT only on 2.4L, it’s anecdotal from the internet, but it was posted somewhere that they simply couldn’t squeeze in an automatic w/ that engine. And since the Si is only 6MT, they haven’t had to figure this sizing issue out previously. Seems logical at least.

    • 0 avatar

      Seems logical to me, too, and frankly virtually any other answer seems illogical – so I have to assume that’s it.

      TSX could definitely be stealing sales. From Acura’s perspective, that’s probably OK, since the more expensive TSX probably has more profit in it. Then again, since the ILX is just a reskinned Civic, maybe there’s more margin there than I realize.

      • 0 avatar
        tced2

        The TSX is produced in Japan and currency exchange affects the profit. The ILX is produced in the US and exchange rates do not directly affect the pricing/profit. You can’t just simply raise the price when the exchange rate goes wrong – these are supposed to be “affordable” near-luxury cars.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    In 2-3 years I’ll be actively shopping for a replacement for my A3. The ILX is on my list. A test drive may remove it from said list but until then I’m keeping an open mind and ignore all those “it’s just a fancy Civic” trolls.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I think the only way to know if the ILX is a success is if Acura stops making them for 2 years and then brings them back with such minor changes that most people think it’s the same car and that Acura went cheap to try to make money on the car that had a 12 year old platform.
    At least, that’s how I determine success.
    That, and removing independent rear suspension in favor of a beam rear end.

  • avatar
    quiksilver180

    There’s something about the ILX (besides the name doesn’t flow) that I just don’t feel love for. It looks like a small, older person’s car. Maybe the design is too conservative, but it blends in with the scenery.

    As for the G20… I’ve always had a small soft spot for it. The looks are tame, but not too bland, and a decent ride. I’ve only been a passenger in one, with the girl driving in high heels AND it was a manual, but the car drove very well. I keep forgetting it’s an older car, but the looks have aged nicely.

  • avatar
    JimR

    The G20 and first TSX were brothers by a different father. The Nissan Primera and Euro Accord were both likeable, agile “just right” sedans made for worldly tastes, but they were brought to America in stopgap roles in a luxury branding mission. I fear hidden gems like these will disappear in the global car/common platform building game. The ILX hasn’t reviewed with the same enthusiasts’ edge as the formers.

    I thoroughly enjoyed my G20 manual as a daily. I wished the TSX was in my budget when it was time to move on, but I got a used manual first-gen Mazda6 instead. The Mazda was accused of being a little too worldly against the more powerful and floppier Amero-centric Camcords, so I knew I found the best next thing for my appliance sport sedan needs.

  • avatar

    TL;DR version of story & comments: The 200 HP/6-speed manual version is gonna make a GREAT used car.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Ya know, West…was thinking the same thing. Not that I’d be interested in one, as my needs wouldn’t be served well by it…but for the right person, a three year old ILX will make somebody a mighty fine runner.

  • avatar
    sr20guy

    Haha..the g20 was not a sentra. It was a Nissan primera. Not a sentra. A Nissan PRIMERA.

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    Good question, excellent comments! I offer four big reasons that ILX doesn’t sell as well as it could:

    It has one of the worst names ever.

    Acura lost it’s brand reputation with the snout fiasco.

    They got the packages wrong. Acura used to be One Solid Package. Now it’s Options Galore.

    Acura used to be value-compared-to-Lexus. Now it’s Lexus-is-worth-the-premium.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    The Honda Civic SI is a much better car than ILX 2.4 6mt. ILX 2.4 6MT stickers $5,000-7,000 over Civic SI. Surely, the price delta must be explained by the refinement of the ILX car. Apparently, the “refinement” of ILX includes the inability to order the car with a navigation system or limited slip differential (for 2.4L version), even though those are included in the sub-25,000 SI. Strangely, I have already seen one ILX at a university parking lot.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    ^

    The ILX also looks pretty anonymous from far away. When I saw one first, I had this thought: “What is this, the first generation Mazda3?” Only up close I saw the Acura logo.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Our local Acura dealer has been running TV ads imploring people to please come in and buy something, anything, cheap! This is ostensibly because of the complete renovation of his dealership and lot and the lack of space while backhoes, cranes, granite wall-builders and landscapers rush around looking busy. Drove past today, and they’re still at it after months.

    Yup, a $4 million refurbishment (my guess) to sell one of Canada’s best-selling line of cars. Ahem. Dealer principal must be a gambler. For some reason there is only one Acura dealer in all Nova Scotia, so he’s got the market cornered anyway. Aha, market domination! Yessss!

  • avatar
    Power6

    The G20 love is rosy hindsight. It was much heavier than the Sentra SE-R and had none of the aggressive suspension. Just a soft little under-powered sedan. Only the euro-fanbois drool over it. No actual Europeans were going nuts over Primeras back in the day.

    Give me an NX2000 all day long and twice on Sunday over a G20.

  • avatar
    davew833

    In ’91-’93, when I worked for the local Infiniti dealer, we had no fewer than NINE first-generation G20s as service loaners, so there’s another similarity with the ILX. While service loaners were uncommon in the car business at the time, It seemed particularly odd for a comparatively-small dealership to have that many, and there were usually two or three extras sitting around. They were frequently borrowed by employees for “official business” (wink!) I even used them as “parts trucks” on occasion, since our parts dept. didn’t have a dedicated vehicle for parts delivery at the time. That all ended when production of the P10 G20 stopped in 1996 and I30′s became the default loaners at Infiniti.


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