Acura ILX

The 2018 Acura ILX is powered by a 2.4L 4-cylinder that makes a very healthy 201 horsepower. The engine is mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This all adds up to sprightly performance from the powerful drivetrain, as well as relaxed cruising on the highway, thanks to the extra gears.

Power is sent to the front wheels in the ILX making for decent traction. Suspension tuning strikes a nice balance between handling and ride. The ILX feels smooth and controlled on twisty roads, but the suspension is still soft enough to soak up all but the biggest bumps.

The ILX bills itself as a small luxury car, and its list of standard features backs up that assertion. Standard items on the basic ILX include a 6-speaker sound system with Bluetooth, USB, Pandora and iPod connectivity, an SMS text messaging assistant, a multi-view rear facing camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, powered and heated side mirrors and LED headlights.

Upgrading to the Premium Package will add leather seating surfaces, a 7-inch multifunction touch screen, an improved stereo with a subwoofer, HD radio, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a HomeLink garage door opener. The Premium Package also adds a couple of safety features, including blind spot information and cross traffic monitoring.

The top-of-the-line Tech Plus trim adds a 10-speaker stereo, SiriusXM satellite radio, a TFT multi-information display, and a navigation system that can be linked to the climate control system. The Tech Plus trim also comes with suite of safety and driver assistance technologies which Acura has named AcuraWatch. These features include an adaptive cruise control system, a lane departure warning system, a lane-keeping assist system and a road departure and collision mitigation braking system. Though AcuraWatch is standard on the Tech Plus trim, it is also available on the base and Premium Package trims as a $1,300 option.

For buyers who wish the ILX was a little sportier, an A-spec package includes 18-inch wheels, fog lamps and a spoiler as well as suede seat inserts and a few external badges.

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Editors' First Take

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Originally launched in 2012, the ILX is no spring chicken. At its core, Acura's entry-level sedan is still a slightly more premium version of the Honda Civic -- the last-generation Honda Civic. The ILX was last updated for the 2016 model year and is undergoing yet another refresh for 2019. In other words, the 2019 ILX is a reheat of an already reheated model that sold a paltry 930 units in September.

To its credit, the ILX's second makeover is actually is rather substantial. The car gets a much fresher look, not to mention improved technology and more safety equipment, resulting in the car being a better overall value. But even so, is that enough?

Family resemblance

The outgoing ILX was far from riveting in terms of design, but the 2019 model's fresher face goes a long way toward giving it a bit more on-road presence. Everything from the A pillar forward has been revamped, and the ILX now wears the brand's sharp corporate face, first seen on the Acura Precision Concept. The "Diamond Pentagon" grille sits front and center, flanked by "Jewel Eye" headlights and more aggressively creased body panels.

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