The 2015 Acura ILX sedan offers up roomy seating for its front two passengers, both of whom will find the clean layout of the dash and simple-to-use entertainment system refreshing. Last year, the ILX added much-needed active noise cancellation, helping to calm an otherwise obnoxious level of road noise. Comfort and convenience items like keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, and a power tilt/slide moonroof are standard, as are an iPhone-compatible USB port, text messaging and Pandora radio. Rear-seat passengers aren't quite as coddled as the front, but there's still room for three should the need arise.
The exterior styling on the 2015 ILX is what we'd call "subtly elegant." In fact, Acura's design language is evolving into much more comfortable territory, putting an emphasis on timeless class than shock value. The controversial "power plenum" grille treatment is still there, but toned down and integrated much better. Compare it to the overly plain Buick Verano sedan or the restyled Lexus CT 200h and its outrageous grille, and the ILX looks better and better.
Notable Standard Equipment
What the 2015 Acura ILX includes as standard equipment would once have been considered "loaded." The list is long, and includes a power sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition and entry, Bluetooth and audio connectivity, and a 6-speaker audio system with a USB/iPod interface, and Pandora integration. Also standard are leather seating, an 8-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, and 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
Notable Optional Equipment
If the plentiful standard equipment isn't enough, the 2015 ILX is available with two option packages. The Premium Package adds a multi-view rear camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, HID low-beam headlights and fog lights. The Technology Package includes navigation, Real-Time Traffic and Weather, a 10-speaker Surround Sound audio system, 15GB Media Storage and Song By Voice, voice recognition, and GPS-linked solar-sensing temperature control. However, the Technology Package isn't available with the 2.4-liter engine, an odd omission in our opinion.
Under the Hood
Two distinctly different engines are available for the 2015 Acura ILX. The first is a 150-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. An enlarged version of the powerplant available in the Honda Civic, this engine sends its power through a smooth-shifting 5-speed automatic transmission. That's fine, except that virtually every sedan the ILX competes with has a 6-speed or better. If you're the kind of person who always asks for the Tapatio, you might be more interested in the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder. With 201 horsepower, this engine gives the ILX some extra kick. Be forewarned though: You'll have to shift for yourself, as the only available transmission is a 6-speed manual. However, using it is no chore, as it's one of the slickest manual transmissions you'll find anywhere.
150 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
140 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/35 mpg
201 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
170 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 mpg
The base ILX starts at about $28,000, including destination. Adding the Premium Package sounds like a $30,000 ILX, but it requires adding the Technology Package, so you'll really pay about $32,500. The more powerful ILX sedan will set you back about $31,200, but there's a catch: It's not available with the Technology Package. That means no factory navigation, high-end audio, or other niceties with the powerful engine. Unless you're mad with power, stick with the regular ILX and load up on the luxury. It's still a decent value. The Buick Verano starts about $2,000 less, but tops out at about the same price, while the Lexus CT 200h and the Audi A3 start closer to $30,000. Check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what other buyers are paying. Expect the Acura to hold its value better than the Buick, and on par with the Audi and Lexus.
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