The 2 Worst Acura ILX Model Years You Should Never Buy

Since its debut in 2013, the Acura ILX has been a compelling choice for consumers looking for a compact sports sedan with a touch of luxury. In its first iteration, its stylish body, comfortable interior, and commendable fuel economy were all positives for the car. But as the years passed, it became clear Acura didn’t make some ILX model years reliably. 

The 2013 Acura ILX is 1 of the worst model years

A silver 2013 Acura ILX compact sports sedan at the 2012 North American International Auto Show
2013 Acura ILX | GEOFF ROBINS/AFP via Getty Images

When Consumer Reports tested a brand-new 2013 Acura ILX, its reviewers gave the car decent marks in all areas. The vehicle received a 4 out of 5 in most performance metrics, such as transmission and braking. And it earned at least a 3 out of 5 in comfort and convenience.

The reviewers also gave the 2013 ILX high scores for safety and simple controls that made driving a breeze.

But the noisy interior and cheap materials disappointed CR’s testers, especially given the MSRP, but the 2013 Acura ILX seemed like an overall decent choice. This was true until the owner satisfaction scores came pouring in.

Consumer Reports asks current owners to gauge their satisfaction with their vehicles throughout the years. And the 2013 Acura ILX didn’t fare well. Many owners complained about a rough ride, poor value, and noise. 

Then there are the technical issues. The 2013 ILX has suffered from suspension problems, electrical issues, and transmission failure, CarComplaints.com reports. Although these issues are common in old cars with high mileage, several problems occurred early on in the car’s life. 

But the 2013 model isn’t the only one with red flags.

The 2018 Acura ILX might be even worse

Like the 2013 model, the 2018 Acura ILX received decent ratings from Consumer Reports. It garnered 3s and 4s out of 5 in most road test categories. Notably, ride and noise received a 2 out of 5 — bad for any car but damning for a luxury vehicle.

While the 2013 ILX was praised for its simple controls, the 2018 model suffered from unintuitive controls and a bumpy transmission. 

Overall, the reviewers were not impressed with this vehicle. “Trying to make a premium model out of the previous generation Honda Civic is a fool’s errand, as proven by the Acura ILX,” Consumer Reports said. “Adding projector headlights and slapping the Acura badge on the car shouldn’t deceive anyone … Charging $30,000 for the ILX amounts to total chutzpah on Honda’s part.”

CR doesn’t yet have enough data to produce reliability or owner satisfaction scores for this model.

CarComplaints.com reports two major issues with the 2018 ILX so far: drivetrain and exhaust problems. Owners also made complaints to NHTSA about fuel system problems and electrical issues, CR says. Once again, these issues occurred much sooner than they should have, and time will make the 2018 ILX’s problems even more pronounced. 

What about the new 2022 model?

Car and Driver recently released its rating for the 2022 Acura ILX, and the consensus is that this car is decent. The exterior and interior look refined and stylish, and the front seat is roomy enough to feel higher-end than the price suggests.

The 2022 ILX starts at $27,535, a bargain in the luxury class. But “luxury” may not be the right word to describe this vehicle. 

Once again, the Acura ILX is basically a Honda Civic with different badges and a bigger price tag. C/D’s reviewers actually recommend that consumers choose the 2022 Civic over the ILX, but some might think the exterior styling and interior feel are worth the extra spend. 

Still, the 2022 ILX has a decent engine, impressive fuel economy, and high safety ratings. So it might be worth consideration after all.

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