By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.0
The 2014 Acura ILX entry-level luxury sedan is aimed at a spot that's just below the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 in size, price, performance and, admittedly, prestige, and represents an affordable path into the more luxurious end of the car market. There are two 4-cylinder engine choices, an automatic or manual transmission, and a hybrid version. The 2014 ILX offers a sleek, upbeat look, snappy performance, crisp handling, a stylish interior and levels of technology, convenience and safety commensurate with buyers' expectations.
For those looking to perhaps make their first step into a luxury sedan with the levels of image, style, features and fit-and-finish not necessarily found in more common offerings, the 2014 Acura ILX could be the choice.
If your idea of a luxury sedan is something with lots of stretch-out space, road-burning performance, at least a 6-cylinder engine and the ability to impress fancy-restaurant parking valets, Acura's 2014 ILX is not your choice. You'll have to move up in size and, certainly, price.
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Among the new available features (some standard depending upon the package) for the 2014 ILX are standard 17-inch alloy wheels, leather seating surfaces (except on the Hybrid), an 8-way power driver's seat, leatherette door liners, heated front seats, a multi-view rear camera, a new audio-system subwoofer and Active Noise Cancellation.
Driving Impressions It would be easy to say that the ILX drives just like a Civic, but truth be told, it doesn't. Although the ILX is small and light like a Civic,...... its interior layout looks far more sophisticated and the cabin is beefed up to drown out the outside noise, which makes for an overall more pleasant driving experience. The steering effort is light and the ride varies from comfortable to firm depending upon the model. We had the chance to sample all three powertrains the ILX has to offer and came away impressed with all them, each in its own way. The base 2.0-liter engine has plenty of power for the everyday drive, although getting up steep hills proved a little challenging. A BMW 3 Series, this is not. The ILX Hybrid powertrain, while slower than the 2.0, easily netted us a constant 38 mpg in mixed driving conditions. The high-revving 2.4-liter puts a legit sporting face on the ILX.
2.4-LITER, i-VTEC ENGINE
Taken straight out of the Honda Civic Si, the high-revving 2.4-liter engine offered in the ILX adds a wild side to the car and is enough to awaken anyone's inner boy racer.
Consumer surveys historically show that few things indicate luxury in a car more than leather seating, and the inclusion of leather in the 2014 ILX definitely lifts it higher into the luxury category.
The 2014 ILX interior is roomy in front, claustrophobic in the rear, and well equipped throughout. Comfort and convenience items, including keyless entry, dual-zone climate control and a power tilt/slide moonroof are standard, as is the modern magic of Bluetooth capability, an iPhone-compatible USB port, text messaging and Pandora radio.Exterior
We define the Acura ILX's exterior as "subtly elegant." So much so that one could forgive the signature Acura shield-style grille that can be off-putting on other models. But, in comparison to other cars in the segment like the Buick Verano or the CT 200h, the ILX treats viewers to a contemporary look, forgoing an overly-staid or overtly-futuristic approach.
The 2014 Acura ILX comes with a healthy list of standard features. Some of the more notable ones include a 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. New for 2014 is leather seating, an 8-way power driver's seat, heated front seats and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The 2014 ILX is available with two packages. The Premium Package includes the 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.
The three distinct ILX personalities referred to earlier shake out thus:
ILX 2.0L – 150 horsepower with a smooth-shifting 5-speed automatic transmission.
ILX 2.4L – 201 horsepower pulling strong through a 6-speed manual transmission.
ILX 1.5L Hybrid – 39 miles per gallon in the city, 38 mpg on the highway.
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
1.5-liter inline-4 + electric motor
111 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
127 lb-ft of torque @ 1,000-3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 39/38 mpg
The 2014 Acura ILX has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) that starts at just under $27,000, while checking off the Technology or Premium Package boxes will push the price to as high as about $32,000. Both the 2.4-liter and the Hybrid trim levels have a price tag around $30,000. By comparison, a Buick Verano starts at around $2,000 less than a base ILX and tops out at around the same price, while the Lexus CT 200h and the Audi A3 both start closer to $30,000. Before heading off to the dealership, check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what other buyers are typically paying. We expect the Acura ILX will hold its value over time on par with the Audi and Lexus and better than the Buick Verano.