2019 Acura ILX Gains New Tech, Visual Intrigue, Some Personality

2019 acura ilx gains new tech visual intrigue some personality

Acura treated the world to a surprise — and much-needed — refresh for the 2019 ILX this week. While it hasn’t abandoned the brand’s signature visuals, it finally made the model interesting enough to warrant a closer examination. Previous incarnations of the ILX — including the post-2016 facelift — have proven excruciatingly dull, resulting in the quick onset of a cripplingly severe mental malaise.

Based on the ninth-generation Honda Civic, all one could really say about the 2018 ILX was that it was a competent vehicle and perfect for someone seeking luxury on a budget. Then came the brow furrowing, a long sigh, and an extended speech about the superiority of Acura’s TSX.

Normal people also appear to have noticed something was missing, as ILX sales have followed a downward trajectory since 2015. However, Acura’s new styling attempts to remedy that by injecting the sedan with some personality.

It hasn’t yielded the Farrah Fawcett of cars (or whoever is professionally attractive in 2018) but the changes are transformative. Acura says the ILX is new “from the A-pillars forward,” borrowing aspects of its Precision Concept. That has resulted in the removal of the brand’s iconic metal beak and the installation of a new diamond pentagon grille — which is the single biggest improvement to the car’s exterior.

Other big changes include upsized center badging, a revised front fascia, updated headlamps, and new taillights. There’s also a simulated rear diffuser, helping the back end of the vehicle match the front’s new sporting looks. If you want more of that, you can wrangle yourself the ILX A-Spec and net a set of 18-inch alloys, some darker trim pieces, and LED fog lamps. There’s A-Spec badging, as well, but we’re not sure why you’d want to advertise this — the option doesn’t influence the powertrain one iota.

You’ll still have a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder with 201 horsepower and eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. Both of these are holdovers from the previous model year. But it’s still a peppier package than the base engine in the current Honda Civic and its ubiquitous CVT. Acura ILX buyers get a standard suite of active and passive safety systems, too — including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist.

The 2019 model also brings new seats with added support controls, fancier interior trim bits, and a two-screen infotainment system. Acura redesigned the layout to appear more modern, while new software is said to shorten the old digital response time by about 30 percent while making it easier to use. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity come standard now.

While we would have liked to see the A-Spec offering more than a unique color scheme and some visual baubles, the sedan seems to be steering itself in the right direction. Pricing hasn’t been announced. But all variants of the 2019 Acura ILX are expected to arrive on dealer lots in October, so we don’t anticipate a long wait.

[Images: Acura]

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  • IBx1 IBx1 on Sep 07, 2018

    Pretty sure this is based on the 8th gen Civic, not the 9th gen. If this is just a refresh, it's one of a few models that come to mind that received more than one refresh to scrape the mold off. The 2016 refresh had a great front end design, fast, cohesive, and sharp lines. This droopy abomination is just another nail in the coffin. Maybe it's just me, but the ILX would sell better if it weren't 12 years old underneath.

  • Lon888 Lon888 on Sep 10, 2018

    What's that I spot by the drivers seat? An actual, real mechanical parking brake. I'm so tired of those cursed electric parking brakes. Kudos to Honda for keeping some things simple.

  • SCE to AUX It's not really a total re-badge since some of the body parts are unique, and the interiors are quite different.As I mentioned the other day, the Tonale has a terrible name and a dim future.As for the Alfa team - guess what, this is how corporate ownership works. You are part of Stellantis partly because you're not viable as a standalone business, and then your overlords decide what's shared among the products.By the way: That Uconnect infotainment system found in Alfas was originally a Chrysler product... you're welcome.
  • Kurkosdr Someone should tell the Alfa Romeo people that they are a badge owned by a French company now.The main reason PSA bought FiatChrysler is that PSA has the technology to enter the luxury market but customers don't want a French luxury car for psychological/mindshare reasons. FiatChrysler has the opposite problem: they have lots of still-respected brands but not always the technology to make good cars. Not to say that if FCA has a good platform, it won't be used in a PSA car.In other words, if those Alfa Romeo buds think that they will remain a silo with their own bespoke platforms and exclusive sheet metal, they are in for a shock. This is just the start.
  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.