The 2018 Acura ILX is an acceptable entry-level luxury car, but a loaded-up mainstream model like the Honda Civic delivers more features and refinements for less money.
The 2018 Acura ILX is one of the least expensive ways to step up to a luxury brand, but it’s easy to see why it’s priced at under $30,000.
The 2018 ILX is based on the last generation of Honda’s Civic sedan. While it’s fundamentally a perfectly fine car with some pleasantly upscale features and a good warranty, its outdated econo-car bones show through a little too much compared to rivals. We’ve rated it at 5.8 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The ILX is available in one trim level with Special Edition, Premium, and Tech Plus packages for a total of seven configurations. The ILX Special Edition package is new this year and, for $800 over the base ILX, it adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, and a special body kit. The ILX’s styling is convincingly Acura and not dressed-up Honda, but that’s not necessarily an asset. Last year, the ILX gained standard LED headlights, but it still sprouts something of a beak-like front fascia that most of the Acura lineup has moved away from.
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Underneath every ILX sits a 201-horsepower 2.4-liter inline-4 paired to an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard. The ILX’s 4-cylinder engine delivers good acceleration and it’s well-matched to the sporty transmission. We’ve found the ILX to ride pleasantly and it benefits from considerable sound deadening compared to the old Civic on which it’s based, but this four-door is tuned more for comfort than for corner carving.
That theme is echoed inside with a smattering of soft-touch materials and convincing synthetic leather upholstery on base and Special Edition packages. Real leather hides are included as you work your way up through the hierarchy. The ILX’s front seats are comfortable, but the standard power moonroof’s housing cuts into head room for taller passengers. It’s the same story in the second row with good leg room but limited head room.
Most versions of the ILX can be fitted with the brand’s AcuraWatch suite of collision-avoidance tech, which includes automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings, active lane control, and adaptive cruise control.