Is the Acura ILX a Luxury Car?

The 2022 ILX is an Acura. It looks like an Acura and wears premium materials. It also comes a cross as a bargain with its low starting price. But look closer, and you’ll see this luxury car is a dressed-up previous-generation Honda Civic.

Maybe the dated platform doesn’t bother you if you’re looking for an inexpensive car wearing a premium badge. But park the Acura ILX next to an Audi A3, BMW 2 Series, or Mercedes-Benz A Class, and the ILX’s MSRP isn’t quite the bargain you’d expect.

A white Acura ILX luxury car driving down a curvy road.
Acura ILX | Acura

However, rather than compare or debate the merits of the ILX, we’ve come to ask one question: Is the Acura ILX actually a luxury car?    

How does the Acura ILX compare to other small luxury cars?

U.S. News ranked the 2022 Acura ILX #12 out of the 12 cars it evaluated in the luxury small car category. There’s no way to sugarcoat it – the ILX finished dead last. It wasn’t even close to its nearest competitor, the Infiniti Q50, which finished 11th on the list. According to U.S. News, the ILX has been around since 2018 and is relatively unchanged. Its infotainment system dates to 2019, making it practically ancient. 

The only car the 2022 Acura ILX matches up well against is the 2021 model… or the 2020 and 2019 models… or even the previous generation Honda Civic. 

Is the Acura ILX based on the Honda Civic? 

The Acura ILX is based on the Honda Civic… the last generation Honda Civic that debuted in 2015. It retains most of the previous Civic’s crisp driving dynamics and offers brisk acceleration and good fuel economy. But it feels out of step compared to other cars in the compact luxury segment.   

The 2022 Acura ILX specs and features

The 2023 Acura Integra replaces the 2022 ILX and starts at $26,500. According to Car & Driver, the has the following specs:  

Dimensions: 

  • Wheelbase: 105.1 in
  • Length: 182.2 in
  • Width: 70.6 in
  • Height: 55.6 in

Engine/Drivetrain Specs: 

  • 2.4-liter inline-4
  • Horsepower: 201 hp
  • Torque: 180 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Fuel Economy: 28/33 MPG

Is the Acura ILX worth buying? 

In a word, no. As Car & Driver said in their review, “not only is the ILX upstaged by rivals in its segment, it’s also outclassed by its own corporate cousin, the 2022 Honda Civic.” 

The review from U.S. News says pretty much the same thing summing up the Acura ILX by saying it’s “not a good luxury small car. That’s not to say it’s bad. It has a gentle ride and good fuel economy. Its engine, while no workhorse, does its job without much trouble.” It’s also less expensive than most other vehicles in the small luxury car class, but you’re making tradeoffs in the form of an outdated car.  

It comes down to a choice, if you want to impress your neighbors, there are plenty of other cars in the ILX’s class that are comparably priced but newer and more distinctive. If you want to save money, the new Honda Civic offers everything the ILX has in a newer, modern package. And if you really want a small Acura luxury sedan, you don’t have to settle for the ILX. This year Acura resurrected the long-dormant Integra nameplate for a compact luxury car based on the new Honda Civic – and it’s an upgrade over the previous ILX model.   

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