New 2018 Acura ILX Sedan New 2018
Acura ILX Sedan

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

Sporty, luxurious and packed with technology, the new 2018 Acura ILX is the luxury brand’s smallest and most affordable sedan. With prices starting well under $30,000, the Acura also undercuts the prices of the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA. And its standard 201-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is strong for the class, offering more standard horsepower than the turbocharged Audi. Acura offers the ILX in seven trim levels, including the sporty A-Spec, the luxurious Premium and the top-of-the-line ILX Tech. Prices top out around $36,000. All models use an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Although the new Acura ILX is based on the previous-generation Honda Civic, you’d never know it, as the ILX feels like a premium automobile and drives with the vigor we expect from an Acura.

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You'll Like This Car If...

Acura’s unique combination of performance, luxury, technology and affordability is well represented in the ILX sedan. This is an aspirational sedan that offers a sporty driving experience and premium features. It has also been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and its reputation for reliability is solid.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for the all-weather traction of all-wheel drive in your small-luxury sedan, you won’t find it on the Acura ILX, but you will find it on its competitors. Audi offers all-wheel drive on the A3, along with a more powerful 220-horsepower engine, and it’s available on the Mercedes CLA 250.

What's New for 2018

For 2018, the AcuraWatch suite of active safety and driver aids is available on all ILX models. There’s also a new Special Edition trim, with a long list of standard equipment including LED headlights, an 8-way-power driver's seat, multi-view rearview camera, sunroof, Bluetooth, keyless entry, push-button start and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. It also includes the 18-inch wheels, side sills and a rear spoiler from the A-Spec package.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

Around town the 2018 Acura ILX strikes an appreciated balance between sport and luxury. It’s comfortable, with well-shaped seats and a proper seating position worthy of a sports sedan. The interior is also quieter than you might expect, especially if you've driven or ridden in the earlier versions of the ILX. It’s also fun to drive with good steering feel and an athletic well-tuned suspension, although some may find the ride overly firm. The sedan’s handling certainly is up to Acura’s reputation for performance, especially with the optional 18-inch wheels and tires, and the 201-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine provides plenty of go. Acura's 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is one of the best. Leave it in Drive and go to the grocery store, and you'll never notice a thing. Shift it into Sport and use the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and you'll find a sport transmission that's quick and crisp, but never jarring.

Favorite Features

ACTIVE SOUND CONTROL
Previous iterations of the Acura ILX were criticized for having noisy interiors, which just didn’t suit the vehicle’s premium image or the expectations of its buyers. That’s ancient history. The 2018 Acura ILX has an active noise-cancelation system that listens to ambient engine and wind noise, and produces an equal but reverse sound through the audio system. The two sounds cancel each other out for a much quieter ride.

COLLISION-MITIGATION BRAKING SYSTEM
This smart safety system is part of a suite of advanced driver aids available on every ILX trim level. This system detects objects in the sedan’s path and monitors the vehicle’s speed. If it determines an impact is possible, it will warn the driver. If you don’t react, it will then begin braking for you.

Vehicle Details

Interior

The new Acura ILX seats four adults comfortably and five in pinch. Interior materials are high-quality, with only a few hard plastic touches as reminders that you bought on a budget. Seating is comfortable, and the driving position is perfect. Most controls are easy to use, but the Acura’s dual-screen infotainment and navigation system takes a little getting used to. Don’t let it scare you; its functions are actually quite intuitive. Thanks to an active noise-cancelation system, the Acura’s interior is also much quieter than it was before. Trunk space is about average for the class at 12.3 cubic feet, and the ILX’s rear seat folds flat to expand the space.

Exterior

With a strong resemblance to Acura’s larger sedans, the TLX and the RLX, the design of 2018 ILX is simple, youthful and understated. Its most distinctive features are LED headlights with multiple lenses. Acura calls the treatment "Jewel Eye" and it gives the ILX just enough visual candy along with a separate bar of LED running lights. The character line that runs the length of the car kicks up dramatically around the rear door handles, and the brightwork around the Acura’s greenhouse is a premium touch. A-Spec models dial up the cool factor with larger uniquely styled 18-inch wheels, fog lights, side sill moldings and a small rear spoiler.

Notable Standard Equipment

All 2018 Acura ILX models come standard with the 2.4-liter engine and 8-speed automatic transmission. They also come fairly well loaded with other features, including a rearview camera with multiple views, automatic headlights, dual-zone GPS-linked climate control, passive entry with push-button start, and an 8-way-power driver's seat. Even base models get heated front seats, and part of the ILX's quiet is thanks to noise-abating wheels and active noise cancelation. The new Acura ILX also comes standard with Siri Eyes Free, which allows access to the iPhone's digital assistant with the push of a button on the steering wheel.

Notable Optional Equipment

AcuraWatch is a suite of safety systems that includes adaptive cruise control, collision-mitigation braking, lane-keeping assist, and other high-tech features. Elsewhere, ILX Premium models add leather seats, blind-spot warning with a cross-traffic monitor, the iPhone navigation connectivity mentioned earlier, and an audio upgrade. The top-line Technology Plus models get AcuraWatch standard, as well as an even better audio system and built-in navigation. The A-Spec package adds 18-inch wheels, fog lights, a rear spoiler, perforated suede upholstery with contrasting stitching, a black headliner, red-lighted gauges and aluminum pedals.

Under the Hood

The 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine in the new 2018 Acura ILX is ubiquitous across the board, and its 201 horsepower is more than adequate for a car this size. The 8-speed automatic is one of our favorite things about the car; smooth shifting in Drive and quick when using the paddle shifters. The 8-speed is a dual-clutch setup, meaning it's designed like a computer-operated manual transmission, but Acura also added a torque converter in the system for better power delivery and a more familiar feel. The high-tech engine uses advanced fuel injection that enhances power and fuel economy, but it also requires premium fuel. Luckily, you won't use a lot of it, thanks to 25-mpg city and 35-mpg highway EPA estimates. Every ILX is front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is not offered.

2.4-liter inline-4
201 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
180 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/35 mpg

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Pricing Notes

A base 2018 Acura ILX has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $29,000 when you include the $950 destination charge. Savvy buyers will move up to the ILX Special Edition for only $800 more. And for another $500 you can add the AcuraWatch Plus package. Do it. Premium Package models start around $31,000, and the Technology Plus model comes in around $34,000. The A-Spec package adds $2,000 to the price of a Premium or Technology Plus model. The ILX is priced higher than a Buick Verano, but it's also better equipped. It's also thousands less than the base-model Audi A3 or Mercedes-Benz CLA 250, especially when you start adding options to those other cars. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the new ILX. Projected resale value for the ILX is better than the Buick, but lags behind the Mercedes-Benz and Audi competition.

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