By on October 26, 2013

2014 Acura ILX 2.4 Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

The Acura ILX has been derided as being nothing more than a gussied-up Honda Civic, an analogy that I too applied to the compact Acura when it first arrived. But then our own Brendan McAleer caused me to question my dismissal of the ILX. How many shoppers out there are willing to option-up a base model by 50% and don’t think twice about the fact their “limited” model looks just like the base model? All of a sudden the ILX, especially the 2.4L model we tested made sense to me. What was the revelation? Click through the jump to find out.

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 Exterior

I know that we have a segment of readers that believe all modern cars look-alike, but I’m going to say it any way. The best thing about the ILX is that it doesn’t look like a Civic. Don’t believe me? Park a Civic and an ILX next to one another and you might even think the two cars are totally unrelated. How is this possible?  First off, no sheetmetal or glass are shared between the two and Acura decided to tweak just about every hard point other than the wheelbase for Acura duty. If you look at the picture below (which highlights how poor my Photoshop skills are) I have overlayed the ILX on the Civic for reference.

In addition to a blunter nose, lower roof and a more aggressive character line, Acura modified the structure of the car by moving the pillars around. The A pillar moves 8 inches rearward vs the Civic giving the ILX a hood that is several inches longer and a windshield that is more deeply curved. The C pillar has also been tweaked giving the ILX a more graceful silhouette and a smaller trunk lid. While they were at it they swapped in an aluminum hood for some moderate weight savings.

2013 Honda Civic EX-L SedanThe result of Acura’s nip/tuck is an attractive, albeit sedate, premium look. I think that Buick’s Verano is more exciting and the not-yet-on-sale 2015 Audi A3 looks more luxurious, but the ILX plays right to the conservative heart of the target Acura shopper. In keeping with the premium image, 17-inch wheels are standard on all ILX models except the hybrid where things drop to eco-minded 16-inch rims. The most demure Acura “beak” integrated into the front grille and hidden exhaust tips complete the design of the smallest Acura.

2014 Acura ILX 2.4 Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes
Interior

The ILX’s interior represents more of an upgrade over the Civic than I had expected. Soft injection molded plastics span the dashboard and very few parts are shared with the Honda . By my estimation. the interior parts sharing is limited to a traction control button, air vent open/close dials and the door handles. Anyone worried that the Civic’s funky two-tier dash is along for the ride will be pleased, the interior style of the ILX is very mainstream from the double-bump dashboard to the four-dial gauge cluster.

In typical Acura fashion the ILX comes well equipped in base form and options are bundled into packages helping to keep dealer inventory manageable. All ILX models get zone climate control, keyless ignition, push button start and a steering wheel wrapped in soft leather. Base hybrid models get manual cloth seats but all other ILX models get heated leather thrones coated in perforated leather with a driver’s side only 8-way power mechanism.

2014 Acura ILX 2.4 Interior-012Front seat comfort is substantially similar to the Honda Civic thanks to shared seat frames and adjustment mechanisms. The ILX’s front seats get more generous seat back bolstering in keeping with its more premium and sporting image while the seat bottoms remain as flat as Kansas. Thanks to the platform changes that make the ILX more attractive on the outside, interior room is compromised slightly with headroom and legroom figures falling when you compare it to the Civic.  Compared to the Buick Verano the numbers are right in line.

The ILX’s rear seats are slightly less comfortable than the Verano, but a step above the mainstream compact segment with more thigh support for adults. Opting for the hybrid ILX forces the removal of the folding rear seat backs (the batteries have to go somewhere), while the ILX 2.0 and 2.4 sport the same 100% folding mechanism as the Civic. This means it’s not possible to carry long cargo and three or four passengers like you can in the Verano. This deficiency is made more of a problem by the ILX’s small 12.3 cubic foot trunk, notably smaller than the Verano, Lexus CT, or even the Mazda3.

2014 Acura ILX 2.4 Interior, Infotainment, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Infotainment

Nestled in the “double bump” instrument cluster is a standard 5-inch color LCD that does double-duty as a trip computer and infotainment display. This base system runs the same software as the Honda Civic but places the screen in a more “normal” location and uses a button bank that should be familiar to current Acura owners. The base system features standard iDevice/USB integration, Bluetooth speakerphone/streaming and Pandora smartphone app integration. The 200-watt amplifier and 7 speaker sound system are well-balanced but volume isn’t this system’s forte.

ILX 2.0 and Hybrid models with the “technology package” link the climate control system to a sun sensor and the GPS system for improved comfort and bumps the sound system up to a 10-speaker surround sound system with a 410-watt amp. Also along for the ride is the same 8-inch navigation system found in the Acura TSX and TL. The system doesn’t sport the improved high res interface in the MDX and RLX but is among the easier to use on the market as long as you don’t try to use Acura’s voice commands for browsing your iPod. Seriously, just don’t even try. Sadly 2014 hasn’t brought any major changes to the options lineup meaning that the more powerful engine and the more powerful sound system are mutually exclusive. The choice to saddle the 2.4L model we tested with the same 5-inch display and software as the Civic is the biggest flaw with the ILX so far.

2014 Acura ILX 2.4 Engine, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Drivetrain

Under the ILX’s long hood you’ll find an “interesting” assortment of engines. Why interesting? Let’s start at the beginning. First off, Acura uses three different engines in the various ILX models. Rumors that Acura planned to kill off the base 2.0L four-cylinder appear to be unfounded as the 2014 ILX can still be had with the 150 horsepower mill. This is the same engine found in European market Accords and other world Honda models but appears to be exclusive to the ILX in America.  Honda’s old 5-speed automatic was tapped to send the 140 lb-ft to the ground. The ILX Hybrid gets the Civic’s 111 horsepower, 127 lb-ft hybrid system without modification. While the 1.5L engine seemed adequate in the Civic, I found the small engine and traditional belt/pulley CVT vexing in a near-luxury sedan.

On to what we’re here to talk about: the 2.4L Civic Si engine. Yes, Acura decided ILX shoppers should get a little sport-love and snatched the Si’s 201 horsepower engine for premium duty. In typical Honda fashion, the 2.4L engine screams like a banshee on its way to its 7,000 RPM redline and matching 7,000 RPM power peak. 170 lb-ft come into play at 4,400 RPM and the engine is mated exclusively to a 6-speed manual. Yes, you heard that right, Acura is trying to get a larger share of the premium compact market with a high-revving engine four-cylinder and a slick shifting stick. Although the manual-only policy is an obvious impediment to sales success, if you have outgrown your Civic Si, or if you think the Honda looks a little too “boy racer”, you can get a classier, leather coated version at the Acura dealer.

2014 Acura ILX 2.4 Interior, Shifter, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Drive

Once out on the road the ILX’s powertrain deficiencies become obvious. The base 2.0L engine may be smoother and more refined than the 1.8 in the Civic, but compared to Buick’s modern 2.4L direct injection mill, it is rough around the edges and anemic. How about the 111 horsepower ILX hybrid? It is quite possibly the only car that can make Lexus’s underpowered CT 200h seem quick. But we’re not here to talk about those ILX models, this is TTAC and we’re interested in MOAR POWARR.

The 2.4L four-cylinder is an entirely different animal. With 33% more power than the base model our 0-60 run clocked in at a respectable 7.29 seconds. That slots the ILX between the regular Verano and the Verano Turbo that accomplished the same task in 6.5 (Verano Turbo with the 6-speed manual). The time was closer than I thought it would be considering the 90 lb-ft of torque that separate the two but the driving experience couldn’t be more different. The Verano’s turbo engine provides an extremely broad torque curve which negates the need for frequent downshifting on winging mountain roads while the ILX’s engine needs to scream like a leaf blower to deliver the maximum thrust. While I found the Verano’s power delivery more liveable, the ILX at 7,000 RPM made me giggle. (Yes, I said that out loud.) As you would expect from the “luxury Civic Si,” the ILX’s shifter action is precise, clutch engagement is nearly perfect and the shifts are short. In contrast, the Verano’s clutch is rubbery, vague and the shift throw is lengthy.

2014 Acura ILX 2.4 Exterior-006

Instead of lifting the Civic Si’s suspension as is, Acura decided to tweak the design with dual-valve damper technology lifted from the RLX and MDX. The two valves allow the damping to be firm and body roll to be well controlled under most conditions while soaking up large road imperfections like a sedan with a softer suspension. The system retains most of the Civic Si’s road holding ability while delivering a ride that more composed than the Verano. Similarly the lightly revised steering setup is a little less direct than the Si but yields better feel than the baby Buick. Despite incorporating laminated glass and an active noise cancellation system, the ILX manages to be several decibels louder than the eerily quiet cabin of the Verano.

At $29,200, our ILX was about $6,500 more than a Civic Si. When you factor in the additional equipment you find in the ILX and the expanded warranty coverage, the difference between the Honda and the Acura drops to about $2,000. When you look at the ILX in this light, the sales proposition makes perfect sense. While the Civic Si is a great compact car, it looks just like a regular Civic. The ILX on the other hand nets you a better brand name, longer warranty, an improved ride and car that won’t make your boss question your maturity. Like the Integra of yesteryear, this is the sort of “gateway” product Acura needs.

2014 Acura ILX 2.4 Exterior-009

There are just a few problems however. The ILX’s option list and spec sheet is a mess. Despite getting better fuel economy than the Verano in every trim, Acura needs to drop their 6-speed tranny into their base model for spec-sheet-shoppers to give it a second look. Likewise the 2.4L engine needs a 6-speed auto and some infotainment love, the 2.0L engine needs more grunt and the hybrid needs to be euthanized. Without changes like these the Acura ILX will remain a sensible Civic upgrade but as a competitor to Buick’s new-found mojo, Acura has some catching up to do. The ILX’s driving dynamics may be superior, but taken as a package the only reason to avoid buying the Verano is if you still associate Buicks with the blue-haired set.

 

Acura provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.55 Seconds

0-60: 7.29 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 15.6 Seconds @ 89.9 MPG

Interior sound level: 74db @ 50 MPH

Average observed fuel economy: 26 MPG over 345 miles

 

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128 Comments on “Review: 2014 Acura ILX 2.4 (With Video)...”


  • avatar
    Sammy B

    The 2.4 is probably going to be a fairly desirable used car in 3-4 years. Once you can get one with 40K miles for low $20Ks, I think they’ll be more appealing.

    I can’t remember where on the internet I read this, but somebody suggested that the reason the 2.4 is 6MT only is that Honda simply doesn’t have an auto that would fit with that engine. The Si is 6MT only, so they never had to worry about that space problem before. Pure speculation, but it would make more sense than if they decided to offer a sports sedan only trim for enthusiasts. They know what kind of take rate the manual has among Acura products. Not dismal, but likely not strong enough to warrant a special model like this that’s manual only.

    • 0 avatar

      I think I read somewhere that Acura didn’t want to include a 6AT with the ILX 2.4 because that would steal sales from the TSX 2.4 6AT. Although now that I think about it, an automatic with the upgraded engine seems perfect for a luxury brand, if for no other reason than that anyone shopping for a Civic Si and asks about an automatic transmission option could be politely directed to their local Acura dealership.

      • 0 avatar
        tced2

        The auto for the TSX is 5-speed. For some reason the 4-cylinder engines are getting second class treatment. The most advanced tranny for 4-cylinders is the CVT unit used in the Accord. In fact the ILX would be a whole lot more appealing with the Accord drivetrain. I expect Acura to have the finest engineering in the Honda world but for some reason that is not happening (especially with 4-cylinder engines).

        The interior accommodations are satisfactory. But I don’t understand the inability to get the best infotainment equipment with the manual shift.

        Acura needs to work on the noise/isolation. The Verano is apparently very good in this regard. The Verano is 300 pounds heavier but is that really due to 300 pounds of sound insulation?

        I have read that the elimination of the double-wishbone front suspension is part of Acura/Honda effort to lower noise. Apparently it is easier to control noise with the MacPherson strut suspension.

        I enjoy my 1G TSX with the 6-speed manual and noise level is the main issue for me.

        • 0 avatar
          donatolla

          The auto in the tsx is a 6 speed… Not 5. (Had a 2008 with auto for two years)

          • 0 avatar
            donatolla

            I’m getting old…really? 5 speed? I could swear it was a 6… But it has been a few months…

          • 0 avatar
            newdetroit

            1st Gen TSX:
            5 Auto
            6 Manual

            2nd Gen TSX:
            5 Auto
            6 Manual

            The biggest decision factor in me picking a used 2008 TSX over a used 2009 TSX was the fact that the car grew in size but the the drive-train had been seemingly unchanged since 2004.

            The 1st gen seemed much more balanced in my opinion. Ditto on the noise issue.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            @newdetroit

            I’ve also read the 1st Gen TSX is the better driver’s car than the 2nd Gen. Part of it is Gen 1 had V-TEC on both input and output. Gen 2 only had it on input. Gen 2 had a little less HP, but a broader torque range, which is more fitting for a luxury vehicle.

            Gen 2 introduced the rather large shield grill, which made it perfect for appearances in the Avengers movie. :)

            The TSX Wagon introduced the first down-sized shield grill, and it worked wonders, making the Wagon, in my opinion, the best looking Acura vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          threeer

          No…the Verano is spooky-good when it comes to being quiet out on the open road. When my mother was looking to replace her 2003 Corolla, we looked at quite a few $30k-ish vehicles. The Verano won her over. Quickly. And that it’s her first American-nameplated vehicle since 1976 speaks volumes (pun intended). I actually also enjoy driving it, and have been wanting to test a Verano Turbo mit Schaltgetrieb. The ILX came off as being a bit rough around the edges for her, while the Verano (to her opinion, anyway) in Mocha metallic with leather seemed more upscale without being what has been associated in the past as a “snooze-fest” retirement vehicle as has been typical from Buick.

      • 0 avatar
        Jacob

        Actually, the real reason why the 2.4L ILX does not have an automatic transmission is quite banal. Remember that the car is based on the Civic SI platform which was not designed originally for 2.4L with automatic combo. It turned out that the auto transmission simply would not fit into the Civic SI engine bay with the 2.4L engine without a major redesign.

        No matter what others say, ILX is simply souped up Civic. The only truly nice thing about ILX is that it does not have the ugly econo-wedge-box look of the 2012-2013 Civic. The Civic is borderline ugly, and it has nothing to do with Civic being an econo car. Civic looks like it was designed to appeal to the tastes of those who grew up driving “cars” on xbox and play station. It looks like a car straight out of a computer game. The ILX exterior somewhat reminds me a more refined version of the original Mazda3. ILX seems like a nice little car, but not at its MSRP. The MSRP, being just some 2-3 grand below the base BMW 1-series (2012) and 2-series (new 2014), is just horrendous. Being an auto-geek, I can’t imagine swallowing the idea of a $30K souped up Civic when cheaper cars like Focus Titanium or GTI exist. However, I suspect that dealers will end up cutting some deals to customers to get the ILX sales moving.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      I can think of several other 3-4 year old cars I would much rather spend low 20’s on than this unforgettable blandmobile with yesteryear tech!

  • avatar
    itanibro

    I just bought a 2013 Civic Si sedan and paid around $23,000. If I understood Alex, the comparable ILX with the same engine and transmission is about $6,000 more. Granted, the Civic does not have leather – but there are many who do not prefer leather seating (me included). Based on the review, it seems like there is not enough to justify the difference between the Civic Si and the ILX other than the brand name, and the identification with “boy racers” in the Si, and some sheet metal. I can attest to the Si’s refinement and driving dynamics – its a hell of a car for the price.

    That’s it. I’m a big Honda/Acura fan… just doesn’t seem like this car is worth the cash. I’d really like to see a comparison of the Civic Si and the ILX with the 2.4!

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I’m not seeing the “$2000 adjusted” price difference, especially considering what you CAN’T get with an ILX, most notably the Tech Package… or a coupe body style.

      If it were my money, I’d get the Si with nav. $5000 difference. I could get leather seat covers and still keep a LOT of money in my pocket. And actually have the ability to upgrade the radio in a few years without buying a new car.

      No value proposition here whatsoever.

      • 0 avatar
        ihatetrees

        The ILX’s difference can justified.

        I like sedans vs coupes. And tech packages mainly have toys that my smartphone can easily supplant.

        The ILX’s has superior seats and a better driving position. The clincher: the functional, classy ILX’s dash vs the Si’s nasea-inducing video game.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          And that irritates me even more. It just shows they can do a normal IP for the Civic, they just choose not to.

          I really like the ILX….and I’m seeing $3-4000 off msrp in the Houston area…

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          @ihatetrees — The Si is available as a sedan and without Nav or tech package too. And I don’t think the seats are better in the Acura, just leather. Si seats are really good. And any dealer will install leather in your Si for about a grand.

          Can’t fix the Civic dash design though LOL. I don’t mind it, actually kind of like it. But if you hate it then I guess it’s good the ILX is available!

          • 0 avatar
            kvndoom

            Good point! Because guess what… an Si sedan with no Nav is now $6500 cheaper than an ILX, as compared to $5000 with nav.

            Must be Rich Corinthian Leather in that ILX, let me tell ya.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    “While the Civic Si is a great compact car, it looks just like a regular Civic. The ILX on the other hand nets you a better brand name, longer warranty, an improved ride and car that won’t make your boss question your maturity.”

    If the Civic SI looks like a regular Civic then wouldn’t it stand to reason that anyone driving a Civic might have they’re maturity questioned? I don’t agree with the oft used meme that SI equals or even looks boy racer but that’s just me.

    I checked the sales figures over at GoodCarBadCar and the Verano is selling more than twice ILX numbers. Who woulda thunk it?

    Hopefully the TLX will reverse Acura’s sedan slide but after the RLX and ILX I’m doubtful.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      >> I don’t agree with the oft used meme that SI equals or even looks boy racer but that’s just me.

      The Civic Si has the “V-TEC” decal and a pretty large exhaust tip, along with stylish wheels. If someone who worked for me drove a Civic Si, I *might* question his or her maturity, but then I’d say “let’s go for a ride!”

      As for sales numbers, I thought maybe the ILX and TSX sales should be lumped together. But I checked the site, and the Verano still comes out ahead.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So here’s a question. Ever reviewer I’ve read complains about the long throws and notchy feel of GMs 6-speed FWD manual, does anyone make an aftermarket shifter for it?

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Not quite every review. Here’s Alex’s own review of the Verano Turbo: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/review-2013-buick-verano-turbo-video/

      The relevant quote: ” Buick’s row-it-yourself transaxle is not the same notchy unit found in the Regal, instead this has been lifted from GM’s European lineup and the change is welcome with shift quality equaling the Audi A3 and Acura TSX. (Bold statement I know.) Third pedal effort is fairly similar to the TSX although I actually preferred the predictable and linear engagement of the Buick.”

      So early the Verano Turbo is on par with the A3 and TSX, with a better clutch. Now the Verano’s clutch is rubbery and vague and the shifter throws too long?

      Does the TSX use a different transmission than the ILX? If the Verano’s clutch is rubbery and vague and the throws too long compared to the ILX, does that mean the A3 and TSX are complete disasters?

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      It might not take an entire short-shift kit; a slightly shorter, weighted shift knob might be enough.

      The BMWs I have owned have long,slightly vague throws in stock form. Replaced the shift knob with the one they used on the E46 performance package, and it worked miracles on both cars. Lost any ambition on installing a SSK. The weighted knob was enough of an improvement.

      There must be a weighted shift knob that will work on GM’s manual.

  • avatar
    Boff

    Yeah I have the same product-planning quibbles as Alex, and I would also add that the excellent LSD from the Si is AWOL on the ILX 2.4. Plus I am surprised that this car is not quicker. My first car was a ’92 Integra, and this car is the closest Acura has come to the Integra ideal since. For $6000, the normal gauges would be almost enough to sway me on their own…if the tech package and LSD were included…

  • avatar
    Syke

    Very nice ad for the Verano. You’ve just answered a couple of initial questions regarding my planned 2014 new car shopping.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      You’d better still drive them both. Until this advertorial, the Daewoo’s 2.4 naturally aspirated 4 was universally panned. It is hard to believe he drove any of the cars mentioned from reading this.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Here’s one question nobody asked: If you’re the type to keep your car beyond the end of the warranty, which one would you rather bet your money on: a Civic or a Daewoo?

      That said, though, I personally find the ILX pretty inexcusable. It essentially replaces the dead-car-walking TSX (aka a fully loaded Euro-market Accord) with a fully loaded Civic at nearly the same price. This is not a good deal for the consumer, especially when you can’t even get a serviceable engine with an automatic transmission.

      This car seems to be part of the same post-2008 recession-era Honda product planning as the ill-starred RLX. Honda apparently bet that the economy would stay in the tank, with the result that customers couldn’t afford real luxury cars and Honda couldn’t afford to develop them. The result is two products that have, in retrospect, turned out to be basically a ripoff. Given the excellence of the more recent new Accord, I hold out hope for the TL replacement to break the losing streak, but that streak is getting to be a long one.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m a registered Daewoo hater but the Verano uses the much better NA 2.4L which I believe was used in the earlier [good] Malibu along with other semi-premium models, it also uses better materials than the Daewoorolets. Civic has never impressed me like it does some its a cheap car built to a price spec, but in fairness I never drank the ricer kool-aide, so if you’re thinking I can drop ten grand into this and make it 700hp with staged turbo Civic/ILX might be the better choice for you.

        If I’m looking for semi-premium quiet car I want an automatic and I want a little torque, Verano beat the ILX in this category in my experience. If I want to spend 30K on a new car and want to play boy racer with SI vs GM Turbo, it might be a different story.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          I thought the Verano was base don the Vauxhall/Opel Astra sedan. I am not seeing much Daewoo in that.

          So another TTAC reviewer CJ doesn`t like just because they don`t have the same level of Honda/Acura love that CJ has.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m not even sure whats based on what anymore I just know for what it was I liked the Verano.

          • 0 avatar
            geozinger

            Delta II is Opel engineered. So are the Ecotec motors in this line of cars. I think the automatic tranny may be Korean.

            But in reality, who cares? A large segment of US buyers have embraced Korean cars wholesale. Look at the meteoric rise of Hyundai (and Kia) cars in the last 10-15 years as an example. If they were as much crap as many claim, they would not have made such huge gains in this market.

            Some folks on this board can moan “It’s a Daewoooooo” all they want; but there’s virtually no Daewoo in any contemporary GM car small car. They’ve been long assimilated into the GM production system. They may as well complain that new Audis are NSUUUUU’s underneath or Nissans are Princes underneath. It’s a lame attempt at an insult.

            All I see on this post are a bunch of butt-hurt Honda fans. Sometimes your favorite car company will put up a string of stinkers. It happens.

  • avatar
    Boff

    Hey I just checked the Canadian Acura site, and the “Dynamic” model which is the 2.4/6MT does come with nav and the 10-speaker stereo. So Acura Canada was listening. But MSRP is $36K!

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Saw one on my commute yesterday and it is quite handsome. Didn’t know about the choice of engines, stick shift, I just assumed there was only one engine offered with an automatic. I don’t think people shopping Acura really have any interest in a manual, in fact, I’d wager that if Acura offed this only as a 2.4L automatic with AWD they’d have a bona-fide hit on their hands, but this is Acura after all, they don’t seem to be able to really commit to something.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Beating a dead horse here…This should be called the Integra, the new RLX should be the Legend, etc. Hate these nonsensical alpha/numeric naming systems. Just no rhyme or reason to them. The brand builds on the strength of the individual models, not the other way around. Lincoln, Cadillac to name two, are just as guilty.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    …giggling…

    Nice review and continued great work.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    My ’06 RSX Type S’s 8,000 RPM redline, 201 horse peak at 7,800 RPM , mid 6 second 0-60 and 1/4 mile in the “high 14’s to low 15’s” scoffs at both the ILX and Verano!

  • avatar
    spyked

    So much BS. The 2.4 engine IS already in the TSX (for 10 years now) with a 5 speed automatic. Why Honda won’t give shoppers the big engine with an automatic (the 5 speed is truly fine in the real world) is beyond my comprehension.

    Does anyone else notice that the Verano, especially from the rear, looks waaaaaay more Asian than the Asian branded car (ILX)? I guess it’s Buick’s Chinese influence. The world has indeed changed.

    I happen to think the ILX is the best looking Acura (a nice looking sedan, period). And I like that it’s basic – no DI or turbo problems down the road. But the packaging errors are ridiculous.

    • 0 avatar
      gasser

      +1 on the best looking Acura. Until they make the 2.4 available with the automatic, I won’t consider the ILX. And by automatic, I mean a modern 6 speed, not an ” it’s almost good enough ancient 5 speed” first seen on my 2003 Accord.
      Is everyone at Acura deaf to what we, the consumer, wants?????

      • 0 avatar
        Jacob

        Honda rushed the ILX to the market and didn’t have time to rework the engine bay of the Civic SI. The issue is that 2.4+ the available auto transmission won’t fit in there.

    • 0 avatar
      J.Emerson

      I agree it’s the best-looking Acura… because it has the smallest beak of any Acura product.

      Honda just needs to get away from that design meme, period. They’ve put out plenty of cleanly-styled cars in the past- there’s no reason to think they can’t do it again.

  • avatar
    08Suzuki

    The overlay graphic doesn’t exactly convince me that it’s truly different sheetmetal from the Civic.

  • avatar
    golfslave

    From some angles, looks like an Avenger.

    • 0 avatar
      stuntmonkey

      It only looks liek that when you look at it from the low vantange point that car mags shoot at. From a normal standing position, it looks nothing like an Avenger. In person, the rear 3/4 view is a bit Audi-esq, “slippery bar of austere soap.”

  • avatar
    Viceroy_Fizzlebottom

    I sat in this car at the Chicago auto show this past year. The visibility was atrocious. Rear visibility was non-existant, and the rake of the front windshield is probably the worst I’ve ever seen.

  • avatar
    Dan

    So the revelation is that a $30,000 Civic SI is a less terrible value than a $30,000 regular Civic, even though it’s still a more terrible value than a $30,000 Cruze.

    That’s awfully faint praise to me. And this ILX sucks less edition barely exists in the real world because four door buyers don’t buy sticks period. Cars.com lists just 300 new ILX SIs in stock the entire US (against 4,600 automatics). This in a car where every automatic comes with 10 wheezing reasons to 60 why you should buy the stick, or better yet another car.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      I think the ILX with stick could sell better if it was priced lower or had more features for the price. People who buy sticks tend to be a lot more educated about their car purchasing decisions. A 5 minute web search shows that this car is a souped up SI. For a lot less money, the lovers of sticks can get the SI with navi, summer tires, and LSD. 4-6K price difference in this economy is the money that could be saved or used to repay debt.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Dan, don’t tell Alex thats.

        I write this an what I believe is an objective observation, and not as an insult; it’s a rare event where Alex’s overall assessment of any vehicle he reviews is remotely negative or critical.

        Or Maybe I am way off base and there’s nary a bad vehicle produced today.

  • avatar
    donatolla

    Nice review…and I actually really appreciated the photoshopped overlay. Up until then, I would have thought that the ILX was closer in size to my old 2008 TSX…and larger than the civic. Either the civic is bigger than I thought (didn’t feel like it when I sat in one) or my spacial awareness has taken a hit.

    I really hoped that the ILX would be the spiritual successor to the first gen TSX…which was fantastic (even with the auto). But Acura made it the successor to the CSX instead. I know…European accord…civic…blah. Honda made a great car in that first TSX and killed it with the second.

    So when I replaced the TSX this year, it was with the only car I found that is as excellent: the 2014 mazda6.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Alex’s usual excellent review makes me want to buy one…a Buick Verano that is.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The Verano has been the choice over the ILX in almost every comparison. Even MotorTrend went back on long term drives of both cars and picked the Verano again. The turbo with a Trifeta tune is just icing on the cake as it will roll past any Japanese V6 this side of a GT-R.

      Plus the Verano outsells the ILX 2-to-1 and has over 40% of the segemt class….Buick outsells Acura…you heard it all before.

      • 0 avatar
        darkwing

        Until the warranty runs out and the GM starts shedding parts on the freeway.

        Or, take your money and buy an *actual* premium small car, instead of these one-notch-above-top-trim poseurs.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          There is little reason to believe that would happen as the turbo engine has proven quite stout and reliable in older applications and Buick’s give a longer 4/50 bumper to bumper warranty and a 5/100 power train so there is apparent confidence here.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Alex’s usual excellent review of the ILX makes me want to buy one…a Buick Verano that is.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    When I see these entry compact luxury/sport sedans ILX, Verano, A3 etc.in the 30k range, I wonder if Infiniti will get in the game with a new G20 aka Nissan Primera since the prior one was discontinued for the US market back in the late 90’s. Apparently the brand thought the model was a bit too entry level and focused on its more upscale and larger G,I, M ,and Q models. I still see plenty on the road. Some are tuned since the Sentra SER are quite similar.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      Infiniti ran a G25 here recently for a year or two. Nobody bought it and it died quietly. The smaller, weaker engine got almost identical MPG to the 3.7 liter, while missing well over 100 horses. F. A. I. L.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        Yes, the G25 was the “value leader” of the G35/37. It did not even offer a manual with those 100 fewer hp. Lame! But the G20 which was around until the early 2000’s was an entry level sport sedan along the lines of an Integra 4 dr.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    This car is way too thirsty for me.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    The biggest problem is that throughout the model’s history the Integra was one of the coolest cars you could buy, and it is never ever confused with a Civic or anything else. This is indistinguishable from any other Acura, and will just blend in with the rest of the blandness.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      >> the Integra was one of the coolest cars you could buy, and it is never ever confused with a Civic

      The irony is that the the doors of the first gen Integra (86/87) were interchangeable with the Civic! And even with that, there was no confusion. The Integra had a nicer interior, and with a DOHC (vs SOHC), it had the superior engine. Also, the Integra had disc brakes all around while the Civic had drums in the rear.

      Sure, the ILX has different sheet metal than today’s Civic. And to most, the ILX is nicer inside. I happen to like the Civic’s 2 tier dash. And I prefer cloth to leather, pedestrian ruffian that I am. But when it comes to the engine, drive train, and suspension, I expect the Acura to be a little better, but that’s not really clear. ILX has dual dampeners but the Civic Si comes with a limited slip.

      And as others have mentioned, there are other good choices for a car between $25k and $35k. I am keen on the Mazda3 and Mazda6. Mazda seems to have captured the excitement and innovation of the Honda of old.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I would have NEVER thought I would read of a Buick being favorably compared to an Acura, especially a compact Buick.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      How the mighty have fallen.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        >>How the mighty have fallen.<<

        CR de-recommends the Audi A4 and Toyota Camry, Prius V, and RAV4.

        btw, the Verano is the lowest ranked car in its class besides the Lexus IS250, according to CR. They basically found it to be an expensive Cruze, with “chintzy”ness.

        According to CR, the ILX ranks mid-class but also above the ATS.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I’d love to openly ask questions like a reporter of the folks who wrote and edited the review you mentioned Thornmark. The ILX I drove was a direct Civic copy with a chintzy white dash and better grill/facia. Not saying the Verano isn’t a reworked Cruze because of course it is, but call a spade a spade media. I’m also surprised to hear a Lexus anything scored poorly, I guess ILX was better than that too CR?

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          thornmark. Admiting you have an online subscription to Consumer Reports on a car forum/blog….priceless.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            Heh, count me in as another CR subscriber. And look what I just learned from them:

            Acura ILX is offering incentive pricing:

            MSRP: $27,795
            Invoice Price: $26,273
            Expiration: 11/4/2013
            Potential savings below MSRP: 10%+

            Knowledge is indeed, priceless.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            When I looked in March (I suppose for MY13? I can’t recall) they explained there were I believe three packages, the base which is 150hp/5psd auto, cloth/no heated seats, cheaper sound system, no nav, and something else missing but everything else for 26 and change at the time. Then leather/heated seats and something else put you at 29K (technology package maybe?) and the top trim was a hair over I believe 31K and was manual only (the 200hp SI trim). For a Civic. With 150hp and struggled to climb the hills of Pittsburgh as I drove it. I mean if you’re a Civic fan go for it because the car is better styled and alloys/moonroofs are on base Integra and you only are missing out on like four things with the base model. (I literally just threw out the sales literature from March on Saturday, wish I had it to explain better). I imagine in a year or so you’d be able to rip leather seats out of a wrecked one and install them if you want to go the CPO route. Bear in mind though the auction block sees right through these things, the depreciation really surprised me I expected better from a “Japanese luxury car”. Civic EX-Ls were within 1500 when I checked the reports in March, but the Civic EX-L msrps for what 23-24? These things do 30 with leather and still were doing 24/1yo/<15K otc at the time when similar Civics were doing 22 and change. Caveat Emptor.

            Additional: If Acura was going to share the platform, the smart move would have been to do coupe only or some sort or three door coupe config just to differentiate these from Civics. The market isn’t buying your scheme and this is going to translate into unexpected losses for your new car customers when they go to trade and get Civic book value for their “Acura”.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I think this car represents the “if we make it, someone will buy it” mindset. It is true to some degree, think about how smart the average american is, then realize half of them are stupider than that.

    However, a quick autotrader search reveals one can by a brand new Toyota Avalon for less than the price of this. Why wouldn’t one? The Avalon is everything that this aspires to be.

    On an unrelated note, -1 for the choice in music.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    Honestly.
    1. There is no point in purchasing this car in a world where the Accord Sport and Hybrid exist. That goes for a great many of the cars positioned in the $25-$35 range. The Camry and Altima can be bought new for under $25 well optioned.

    2. The ILX styling is perfect. Really. Just spend the time to actually absorb it. Now, imagine if they had applied this design DNA to the RLX. It would be one of the best looking full size cars on the market.
    The styling of the rear lights and arc across the rear trunk lid really looks nice. I just think the ILX as a large car would look simply amazing.

    3. The Accord Hybrid is the real game changer. Not the Fusion as Derek wrote about.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Agreed. If the ILX 2.4 had the Si’s LSD, I’d be tempted, but it doesn’t. This is a price point where one should get the most Accord they can afford. I’d buy an Accord EX-L with a 4 cylinder and a 6-speed manual in a heartbeat. Since that doesn’t exist, I’d buy a Civic Si sedan for performance, an Accord Sport for refinement and economy, or an Accord Touring for an automatic transmission and everything that comes with it. the Buick has an IQ cap. Suggesting that the Civic’s SOHC engines are rough around the edges is like suggesting that the Earth isn’t round or that the Buick is a better long term proposition. I’ve driven BMW V12s that could learn about being smooth from a Honda 1.8 liter 4 cylinder, which isn’t to say they couldn’t have more torque. They pretty much define refinement though.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Agreed, the Accord is the standout in that price range. The hybrid at $30K and close to Prius mpg levels makes most things redundant (including the Prius).

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Nailed it.

          Here is a partial list of far better, safer, more premium feeling vehicles that can be had, all for less (as much as $8,000 less) – some with a manual tranny for those of us who still enjoy driving! – than this Acura RTARD-X (aka 30k Honda Civic):

          1. Ford Fusion
          2. Mazda 6
          3. Honda Accord
          4. Nissan Altima
          5. Volkswagen Passat
          6. Chrysler 300 (I know b/c I’ve been pricing them out this week & getting a LIMITED near 30k is totally doable)

          Acura, the badge of & for retards.

      • 0 avatar
        Jacob

        EX-L does not exist with the manual. Only EX and Sport. Not a big deal. I for one don’t care much for leather seats.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I have absolutely no use for a car as big as an Accord, therefor it would not be on my radar if they were giving lifetime free lap dances to every buyer. Not everyone buys cars by the pound.

      • 0 avatar
        Prado

        I can understand someones preference for not wanting a large car, but when the Accord is better, and with more features in just about every regard… for thousands less … AND is faster AND more fuel efficient , the ILX does not make a lot of sense. For a small upscale sedan both a loaded Mazda3 and Kia Forte are better cars than the ILX, and both cost thousands less.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          How is the Accord “better”? They are both Hondas, so presumably of similar build quality. To my eye, the ILX is far better looking, and it is a more useful size for me. It likely has a nicer interior, though I have not sat in one in person. In 2.4 + manual trim it is quite rapid. You get to buy it and have it serviced at the much nicer Acura store.

          A Chrysler minivan is thousands less than either one, has way more space, and is just as fast – does that make it the end all and be all of cars?

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Krhodes – I have sympathy for your argument that size isn`t everything.
            But on the other hand if for $25K or so you want a sedan then there is a lot to be said for the Accord Sport (or EX depending on the exact spec you want). Compared to the ILX you save at least $2K, have a faster car (compared to base ILX), with better fuel economy and more space. They have the same reliability, so the extra warranty period shouldn`t matter. You mention badge, and some people are badge snobs, but usually those badges give you something tangible (RWD for example). In this case the Acura badge is not giving you anything extra since Acura is not a topline premium brand.

            But thankfully people have different priorities and the manufacturers allow for that so the ILX is available.

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            I drove the CVT version of the Accord sport. It has good visibility, so I thought the size was surprisingly manageable. I generally agree about not buying cars by the pound, and preferring to avoid large cars. In the Accord’s case though, it is a compromise I might be willing to make.

            That said, as near perfect as the Accord is on paper, there was something intangible about it that made it a complete snooze. I drove it when I was considering alternatives to my aging 540. I decided to keep visiting the mechanic rather than take on a car loan for the Accord. I’m sure the 6MT would have helped a little, but I doubt it would make it a different car.

          • 0 avatar
            Prado

            Ignoring the size difference, I am not seeing better quality materials in the ILX. So why does it cost more with less features and an old inferior drivetrain?
            ILX Premium $30,095
            Acccord EXL 29,060
            150hp 2.0/5AT (new for 2006) vs 185hp 2.4 / CVT (new for 2013)
            24/35 MPG vs 27/36 MPG
            8 way power drivers seat vs 10 way power drivers seat (accord has power lumbar)
            No memory seat vs 2 position memory
            Manual passenger seat vs power passenger seat
            5″ color display vs 8-Inch High-Resolution WVGA display + Additional touch screen for Audio
            No rear HVAC vents vs Rear Passenger HVAC vents
            Rear camera vs Rear Camera + Blind spot camera

            HID headlignts vs No HID
            4yr warrenty vs 3 year warrenty

            equal in other areas such as (17″ wheels, sunroof, push button start, leather, sound system, etc).

            If they add in all the features of the Accord and the new Accord driveline, then I think they would have a nice small car. Until then it is way underpowered and overpriced for what you get.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      >>The Accord Hybrid is the real game changer. Not the Fusion as Derek wrote about.<<

      Agreed, the Accord Hybrid is a better machine vs. the Fusion Hybrid.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    The problem with all of the internet is that folks just say “IT SUCKS!” No facts, no comparisons and worse who are they. I’ll trust someone like Mr Dykes, but until I go for a test drive I’m keeping my opinions to myself.

  • avatar
    Hipster Hate

    IT SUCKS! There! But still, I would test drive it for a $100. I need the money to support my marijuana habit which BTW I will smoke while test driving the dealer’s Acura ILX. Please pray for me that I don’t crash or nothing, and that the dealership won’t get mad at me for stinking up their car.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I really don’t understand why people prefer the Verano to the Regal. I’ve driven some examples of both and I thought the Regal whipped it.

    Worth the price premium, IMO. Especially now for ’14 with the Regal getting the turbo standard.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The Verano is a little softer and of course costs less than the big brother the Regal GS. ATS is also in the hunt with better balance with RWD. They all fall in order for $ to performance too if you compare MotorTrend’s figure-8 test of each.. The Regal GS is some 400 lbs heavier than the Verano Turbo. Plenty of coilover shock/spring setups and rear sway bars from the Delta ll platform to tweak your Verano as Buick did all the difficult stuff in testing where best to put the sound deadening.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I haven’t driven the Regal but have been in them and while they are pleasing to the eye from a proportion standpoint it seems like you get the same type of car for more money. The existence of the model alongside Verano mystifies me other than reuse of an Opel model.

      Can’t fit golf bag in width wise in trunk: Check.
      Limited rear passenger room: Check.
      Four pot with optional turbo and stick: Check.

      Why am I buying this over Verano?

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    The Mazda3 GT that we were all complaining about being overpriced suddenly looks like a good deal.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Acura I’ll give you props for making this look slightly less like a Civic with leather I test drove in March, but I see you’re still shoving the weak 2.0 150hp/5spd auto Civic engine in it as opposed to the 200hp SI motor which should just be standard, that’s a fail of ridiculous proportions. So you’ve basically got the car sort of where it should have been at launch, congratulations. GM has showed you up guys, G fricking M, you know the folks who failed? Go back to Japan and come up with some real models before you show your face on our shores again.

  • avatar
    spyked

    The ILX is far from perfect. But I just can’t with the Verano. Those squinty taillights with the silver eyeliner. And the SUV grill and tall hood. Spend an extra few hundred and buy a Regal if you have to have a Buick.

    I wonder if the Verano and ILX are cross-shopped anyway. Buick fans are Buick fans. Honda fans are Honda fans. I doubt either company can convince the other side to convert.

    Both cars are for shiz when you think that you can have a Jetta GLI for the same money. Or a MB CLA250.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      If you buy and expect to keep for 5+ years, the other brands are dogs vs Acura.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      We (my mother) actually did. In her opinion, the Verano won out. And she was most definitely NOT a Buick fan (in the last 30 years, she’s owned 3 Toyotas…the last “American” brand was a 1976 Mercury Montego). She toyed with a one or two-year old C-Class, but prefers the idea of buying new, being the only owner, and keeping the car around. The CLA wasn’t even around when she bought the Verano last year. She’s tickled with it, so there ya go.

  • avatar
    ant

    It should be noted that the stick requires premium gas. I have this drive train in my TSX, and get about 28mpg with it.

    The 2.4 with auto transmission just didn’t fit in this car.

    I think that with an auto, the Verano is a nicer car, and with a stick, the TSX is better.

    Overall, I think this is a pretty lame attempt by Honda.

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    Good review, Alex. My problem: I drove my son’s original Acura Integra, and frankly, there is no modern equivalent currently in the Acura line up. As for the Honda Si: most folks see a Honda, any Honda, and think “middle class”. The only cars which really scream “hooligan” are the Subaru WRX-Si or the Mitsubishi Evo, especially when equipped with rear spoilers.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      This, this, this. The ILX is no Integra and most of the posters here were just climbing out of cribs watching Scooby-Doo reruns when an Acura Integra RS was untouchable in its class and didn’t resemble a Honda counterpart in anyway. The TSX was a step backwards – the ILX/TSX have no business being in the same showroom. Pick one, kill the other – but neither come close to the heritage they are trying to capture.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The MSRP on a Hyundai Sonata Turbo is about $26k. It’s cheaper and quicker than this ILX dog, and better-looking and roomier, too. And the Hyundai has a better warranty.

    Acura needs to put an automatic behind that 2.4, and drop both the 2.0 and the hybrid.

    • 0 avatar
      spyked

      Not everyone wants a huge car. A Sonata says “I should have bought a minivan.”

      And the Hyundai has DI. And a turbo. And it’s a Hyundai without proven reliability or durability. For those that buy Hondas, Toyotas, and VWs for the long haul, the ILX promises to be bomb-proof. Who knows with a Korean turbo with DI.

      But I agree – the Hyundai is a VERY enticing package for the short term buyer. And I agree – get out of the hybrid business. Honda hybrids are a joke (except they aren’t funny).

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        Hyundai is addressing long term concerns with a warranty that beats all:
        – 5 year limited
        – 7 year corrosion and emissions
        – 8 year catalytic converter, ecm, and obd II
        – 10 year on power train
        – Lifetime on hybrid battery

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          Don’t get too excited. By federal mandate, all cars have an 8 year/80k mile warranty for emissions equipment. Hyundai is nothing special there.

          Internet complaining suggests Hyundai is pretty tight with their warranty coverage as well. They allegedly will find any reason not to repair under warranty.

        • 0 avatar
          fredtal

          A longer warranty does not mean better reliability.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            >> A longer warranty does not mean better reliability.

            The Honda / Acura name also does not mean better reliability (anymore),

            I’m just saying that Hyundai is being smart in trying to woo buyers from other brands. That is, offer them a warranty that would take some of the worry out of long term ownership.

            Hopefully, Hyundai stands behind their car and warranty. Their market penetration suggests that they do.

            Edit: Didn’t mean to sound too harsh about Honda / Acura. I still think their cars are well made, but perhaps not as bullet proof as they once were.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Hyundai has offered their 10/100 warranty since about 2000, and they continue to print money.

        I don’t know how much of a track record you want to see for a mfr to be ‘proven’. With the rapid model changes these days, it’s hard to say that much of anything is proven. In my case, I’ve been driving an unproven electric car with no problems for over a year.

        My 05 Odyssey won me a lemon lawsuit, and a friend’s Verano with DI turbo has been very troublesome. I wouldn’t trust Honda or Buick just because they’re ‘proven’ badges.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    “car that won’t make your boss question your maturity”

    Is the “how will this car look make me look in the office parking lot” seriously a concern for people? In my working world you’re judged on the merit of your work; not the car you drive.

    Actually, peer-wise, the bigger the POS the better, or the co-workers think you’re making more than they are. When I got our new car I started to hear all the comments, the drivers coming through “oh you make all the money here I see”, that kind of BS. It helps out a lot when your wife works and you don’t have kids….

  • avatar
    carguy

    Even though it is sufficiently different in shape from the Civic, I fail to see the value equation in the ILX lineup. To appeal to younger buyers it would help if the power train wasn’t more than 10 years old and that the top spec model missed out on essential tech features for the target demographic. Lack of lumbar support, below average mileage also don’t help the cause but the real killer is the competition:

    If you want a tech savvy, sporty, fuel efficient and good looking car – buy the 2014 Mazda3 GT

    If you want entry level luxury with a great ride and available features then buy a Buick Verano.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Actually, in Canada, the 2.4 ILX makes an interesting case against the bargain basement BMW 320i. (Yes, there are people who buy those…) Assuming that buyers in this niche can’t afford the full-package BMW experience, you’re getting a somewhat comparable vehicle… more power vs FWD, real (albeit mass market) leather vs leatherette, standard Navi (CDN version) vs all of the packages that BMW holds out on you. The everything-in-one price ILX comes out to $34k CDN, the 320i is $39 without add-ons.

    It’s an admittedly slim niche… near-luxury manual drivers… but I think it illustrates the frustrating aspect of the ILX…some more deft touches, mostly drivetrain and noise suppression, and it would make a stronger case for “smart luxury.”

  • avatar
    AlternateReality

    At considerable risk of being labeled a “retard” by the esteemed and learned likes of DeadWeight, I will admit that I recently, and quite willingly, handed over some of my hard-earned cash in exchange for a 2013 ILX Tech. Not even the 2.4L/6-speed version, even.

    Oh, the humanity!

    Here’s the funny thing: given the Civic’s popularity and the complete lack of same for the Acura, in the end I bought my loaded ILX for just a bit more than MSRP on a loaded Civic EX-L. For the extra money I got a pretty spiffy sedan without any damnable black triangles stuck to the A-pillars, and an overall look and feel that I greatly prefer to the Civic, inside and out.

    I’ve even come to terms with the Avengeresque C-pillars, which are at least rendered in metal and without stuck-on plastic filler panels.

    What about the Verano? Seems to be a decent-enough GM product, but only that and little more. Not even remotely a consideration, for many reasons.

    And while I like Mazda as a brand and the new 3 in particular, I don’t have a lot of faith in their longevity in the long term; at least Honda will still be around if Acura folds. As for the Accord, the CVT instantly turns me off; give me an “old” 5-speed auto any day, and that underwhelming 150-hp engine still moves the car smartly enough, returns a thoroughly realistic 34-35 mpg highway, and is Honda smoooooooth to boot over most of its operating range.

    The only things I’d change would be the addition of adjustable lumbar support – though I found the seats were decent enough recently over a pair of 8-hour drives – and better suppression of road and tire noise. The latter is a common HondAcura malady, and one I can happily cope with by turning up the stereo a bit.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Acura made attractive, reliable, sporty-ish cars that were of a’value and quality proposition once upon a time.

      That time has long since passed.

      Even if one concedes that this is the most attractively styled Acura – exterior wise – in a sea of Acura fugliness – that is textbook damming with faint praise.

      If you absolutely had to have an Acura, TSX are the 3 initials you should have reached for, and a used one in pristine shape with low miles for 1/2 to 1/3 the MSRP of the Acura IdrooLX.

      • 0 avatar
        AlternateReality

        I am truly ashamed that you don’t think well of my purchase decision.

        You actually make some semi-cogent points with regards to the TSX, except for the simple fact that a) I seldom buy used, and b) I really don’t care much for the larger car’s style. Too derivative. For better and worse, the ILX looks distinctive to my eye.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          It’s your money, so the only thing that matters is that you are satisified with your purchase decision and the ILX serves your needs well & reliably (obvious speak).

          Despite this, I sense an inclination that you at least partly agree with my strongly held opinion that Acuras of yore were superior to Acuras of now.

          • 0 avatar
            AlternateReality

            In some respects, absolutely. I’ll be the first to admit the ILX is an unworthy successor to the Integra (or even the RSX) when it comes to tossable handling and sheer driving fun. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be where the market is anymore.

            While I happen to think all Acuras are at least competent vehicles, the fact that I genuinely find the ILX one of the brand’s most attractive offerings (I’d forgotten about the TSX wagon, thanks WheelMcCoy) speaks volumes about Acura’s overall decline. At least it’s still a Honda at heart, which is a positive in my book but certainly not enough for the brand to succeed long-term.

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        Glad you reminded us of the TSX. Actually, the TSX Wagon is probably the best looking vehicle in Acura’s stable. It’s certainly the most interesting. Deep inside, you’ll find distant echos of Acura’s greater past.

        • 0 avatar
          Jacob

          Maybe it’s because the TSX itself is so outdated, relatively speaking (5 speed auto, no direct injection). It’s been discontinued already (as Accord) in UK and probably in other European countries. There is no replacement for TSX/Euro-Accord. It’s a matter of time it’s discontinued in the US market as well. If you want a taste of Honda’s past, then look at the TSX. If you want the taste of future, then look at 2013- Accord Sport. The new direct injected 2.4L engine is as powerful as the TSX engine, without requiring premium fuel. Accord’s CVT and 6MT transmissions are best in class.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            Totally agree on the Accord. I was helping a friend shop for a car and was designated as rear passenger tester. But the salesman was savvy enough to notice that I had a little influence and insisted I test drive too.

            I wasn’t expecting much from a CVT but when I got on the paddles, it was responsive and did a convincing job acting like at traditional AT. Visibility was good, almost in the tradition of the old honda green houses. But no split folding rear seat!

            I’ve only read awesome things about the Accord Coupe V6 with manual. Although FWD, the V6 has a hint of the DNA from the original NSX.

            So yes, Honda is trying. Acura has to try harder. But I am glad Honda isn’t being handicapped to make Acura look good.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Verano-shmerano. What-e-ver! Any car that costs $29K is better than ILX. Malibu, Camry SE, Fiat Abarth, I mean ANY CAR.

    ILX is a cold-hearted dressing up of a Civic with the usual Acura swtiches and trim. That’s what you need to compare to, not the Civic crap. The 2l engine is fine, but it is 150 hp!!! That’s pathetic. 2.4l is 201hp and 170 torque. That’s pathetic! Remember when Integra had 1.8l engine with 190 hp? That WAS something. I drove the ILX loaner. I had to spin the engine like mad to get to 80 mph on a flat highway.

    It flat out did not recognize my iphone. The iphone connection in my TSX is useless. You can jump to the next song. Sometimes. Unless you by mistake the oversized phone button on the steering wheel – then you are on your own in the synthesized voice of a moron hell.

    You say 2.4l is a beauty. Yeah, it is impressive how easy it spins at 5500 rpms. It’s also annoying that it either has no torque or they chose the gear ratios that make it feel limp. Try accelerating in 3rd gear – right between 3500 and 4000 rpm it has a death zone that makes you think the engine is ready to shut down. This engine really needs a six gear tranny to get it pathetic torque to some decent level so that a Volvo 240 does not pass you.

    Suspension? Did you try to hit a bump? Did that feel good to hear the rear end almost explode?

    Overall, ILX is small and crappy and it’s a Civic with Acura switches. You can buy many other cars for the same money and none of them have to be Buick Verano. That’s the TRUTH about this car. Everything else in the article is hogwash.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      IMO, a part of the fun of driving the Hondas is that you can drive the engine “hard”, rev it up to 7000 RPM before each upshift, and feel like a race car driver but without getting too many tickets. It’s not for everyone of course. Having said that, there is little progress in the drive train department indeed. A 15 year old Integra Type S was probably a faster, better driver’s car. The “new” 2.4L engine that was borrowed from TSX has the red line at 7000rpm unlike 8K of the previous 2.0 engine and has no direct injection. My guess is that Honda does not want to dwell on improving the current generation Civics. We’ll have to wait until the next generation to see what they bring.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    Meh, I would rather have a Civic Si than this. The Si has the value proposition going for it. Its relatively affordable, pretty fun to drive, looks better than a regular Civic, gets decent gas mileage and holds insanely good resale value. Adding $6k to the Si price ruins the value. Its no longer affordable, at $29k you have better choices out there, and it doesn’t even look special. The Si isn’t the most mature choice but it’s like a GTI, when you drive one people know you like to drive. I would be more impressed with an employee driving an Si over an ILX… smart shopping there.

    What’s going to move the ILX is leases. Last time I checked the ILX was leasing at near Civic prices, and you can’t even get a good deal on an Si lease. And that is it’s own value proposition, if you can get the badge and the fancier interior for a very small premium monthly then it makes more sense.

  • avatar
    swilliams41

    Again, what is it about QUIET that Honda corp does not get. They use active noise cancellation, what about insulation. I know they have the tech, maybe they think it is just is not that important. Forget about Buick, their brethren over at Toyota could teach them about QUIET. Oh well…shhhhhhhhh.


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