Since its inception in 2012, the Acura ILX has been the brand’s entry-level sedan offering that competes with the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Lexus IS. But how competitive is it? It’s a tough call, however, you would have to look at it from a value standpoint.
Sure, the Acura ILX is based on the ninth-generation Honda Civic platform and if you were to drive a Civic and an ILX back-to-back, you would probably notice a lot of similarities. But the Acura ILX does offer more of an understated luxurious feel, especially since it received an updated look and feature list for 2019. But we wonder, is the 2020 Acura ILX worth buying?
A new look
The Acura ILX was refreshed for the 2019 model year, complete with a new front fascia with the brand’s new “Diamond Pentagon” grille design along with Acura’s Jewel Eye LED headlights. Around back, the ILX received more angular taillights and the license plate mounting was moved to the bumper. It was a minor facelift, but a much-needed one.
New trim levels, more standard tech
The 2020 Acura ILX is available in four different trim levels: Standard, Premium, Technology, and A-Spec. One of the main highlights is that the ILX now comes standard with AcuraWatch, a suite of driver-assist features that include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, and a collision mitigation braking system, which applies brake pressure if detects a possible frontal collision. Otherwise, an ILX in Standard trim notably comes with a six-speaker Acura audio system with a 5-inch display, a leatherette interior, and a rearview camera.
If you want more of the essentials like blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert, Apple Carplay/Android Auto capability and a more premium audio system with navigation, not to mention a more premium leather interior, then the Premium and Technology trim levels would be a better choice. But if more style is what you seek, then the A-Spec trim level is the way to go. The A-Spec kicks the ILX’s styling up a notch by adding front, side, and rear underbody spoilers and dark chrome accents on the outside as well as an Ultrasuede interior with contrast red stitching. The A-Spec is also available with a red interior to appeal to any boy racers looking for a more mature approach.
Under the hood
The 2020 Acura ILX is powered by the same 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that’s been under its hood since 2016. It’s a potent powerplant, producing 201 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. If you’re wondering about performance, the ILX has clocked 0-60 times in the 6.8-second range, so we would have to point you to its competitors if speed is a hot button on your shopping list.
What’s the verdict?
The verdict is that the 2020 Acura ILX is a great car, it always has been and always will be. But is it worth it to buy? The price point starts at $25,900 for the base trim and tops out around $32,000 for the decked-out A-Spec trim. Comparably speaking, the Audi A4 will range around $40,000 – $50,000 range and the Lexus IS is priced around $38,000 to $42,000.
Considering they all come with the same features, the Acura ILX beats them by a large margin. Keeping in mind that the ILX is aimed at, according to Acura, “first-time millennial, and multicultural buyers,” we would say that they’re hitting the mark.