Don’t Expect Any Changes for the 2021 Acura ILX

Sometimes an automaker realizes it’s time for a change when it comes to the design, style, and features of its vehicles. And nearly every critical review online will offer an overview of “what’s new” for each vehicle in question. Acura didn’t bring too much to the “what’s new” column this year for its sporty Acura ILX sedan. Actually, there aren’t any substantial changes to the car at all. But consumers might just be ok with a 2021 model that looks and feels much like last year’s model.

What’s new for the 2021 Acura ILX?

Not much has changed for the 2021 Acura ILX. It has the same Honda Civic-based platform and last year’s 2.4-liter naturally aspirated I-4 engine. You’ll harness the same 201 hp and enjoy seamless shifting from the eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. The infotainment platform looks similar to last year’s system, with the two-display arrangement. This premium sport compact sedan starts at $26,100, making it a pretty affordable luxury option, despite not adding too much to this year’s model.

A significant refresh in 2019 brought the good stuff

Acura spent some quality time with its ILX entry-level car for the 2019 model year. The Acura ILX got a makeover in its style and design that brought it in sync with other Acura vehicles, including the RDX, TLX, and MDX. Influenced by the Precision concept of 2016, the ILX looks more like its Acura cousins. Because of the significant effort to refresh the ILX in 2019, Acura didn’t feel it necessary to make any additional changes for 2021.

What the critics say about the Acura ILX

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MotorTrend weighed in with critiques of the 2021 Acura ILX and said no matter how refreshed Acura tries to make this car, it’s still old. The underpinnings are reflective of the ninth-generation Honda Civic and lack advantages that BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz leverage well. Despite their list of cons, MotorTrend does give the ILX props for being a nimble drive. The 2.4-liter I-4 still provides a zippy experience for around-town driving.

The Car Connection’s review of the 2021 Acura ILX offers similar sentiments. There are great points for this sedan, including a decent menu of safety tech and good power. But there are dislikes, as well. The Car Connection critics say the interior can feel cramped, and the standard phone tech is limited. They also point out that add-on options can be costly.

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it

Despite the critiques of the 2021 Acura ILX, it’s still a worthwhile drive. And it has done well since its 2019 refresh with others. The 2020 ILX earned a five-star overall safety score from the NHTSA. It also was awarded Kelley Blue Book’s Lowest 5-Year Cost to Own for the entry-level, luxury segment. 

Edmunds lists reviews of praise from consumers who loved the 2020 ILX and offered opinions like “incredibly smooth driving experience” and “proven long-term reliability.” The consumer review for the 2021 model points out how great this luxury and sporty sedan is for the price. Acura maybe didn’t feel the need to fix or change anything for 2021 because nothing was essentially wrong with the 2020 model.

The 2021 Acura ILX may not be a show-stopper, per se, but it certainly has earned to right to be in the mix of luxury, subcompact sedans. And while you shouldn’t expect to see any major changes or upgrades for this model year, it doesn’t mean the 2021 Acura ILX isn’t worth a look. You might decide it’s the perfect luxury buy for you.