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2020 Acura ILX Review

Fresh from a major makeover last year, the 2020 Acura ILX returns with the same look and feature set that makes it the value leader in the compact luxury car segment. Impressive sales numbers last year prove Acura has the right formula for the ILX, offering buyers all the performance and luxury of most competitors but at a drastically lower price. For those who favor a low cost of ownership and bulletproof reliability over performance and pedigree, the ILX may still have a garage to call home.

If you pay close attention, you can feel the previous-generation Honda Civic‘s presence in the ILX’s soul. Power is derived from a 2.4-liter engine offering up 201 horsepower but only 180 lb-ft of torque. Sadly, there’s no 6-speed manual but in its place is an excellent 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Considering the ILX’s enticing starting price of around $27,000, it may not have the commanding power and presence of some premium sedans but it’s a good fit for anyone looking to get Acura luxury at a Honda Accord price.

What’s New for 2020?

The 2020 Acura ILX carries over with no major changes. See the 2020 Acura ILX models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Full feature set
  • Engaging 2.4-liter engine
  • Pleasantly premium interior
  • Strong reliability and resale ratings
  • Standard AcuraWatch

What We Don’t

  • No manual transmission option
  • Modest trunk space
  • Missing some high-tech features like a digital dash
  • No all-wheel drive option

How Much?

$26,995-$32,6459 (including $995 destination charge)

Fuel Economy

The ILX is powered by a 2.4-liter engine good for 201 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission is an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic with a manual-shift mode. Fuel economy is a respectable 24 miles per gallon in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg in combined driving.

Standard Features & Options

The 2020 Acura ILX comes in one model with four possible options for packages.

Standard on the ILX ($26,995) are 17-in alloy wheels, a sunroof, keyless entry with push-button start, automatic climate control, automatic LED headlights, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, an 8-way power driver’s seat, leatherette seating surfaces, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, Bluetooth with streaming audio capability, a 5-in color display that controls many accessory functions (including a read-aloud SMS text feature), a rearview camera, a 6-speaker 160-watt sound system with iPod/USB connectivity, Pandora Internet Radio and active sound cancellation. The AcuraWatch package adds adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, collision-mitigation braking and forward-collision warning.

The ILX Premium package ($26,745) adds a 7-speaker, 360-watt premium sound system, leather seating, rear cross-traffic assist, a blind spot monitoring system, a 7-in multiuse touchscreen, HD and Aha Radio, Siri Eyes Free, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a power passenger seat and a 2-position driver’s-seat memory feature.

The ILX Technology package ($30,645) includes the Premium package plus an 8-in display, a multi-view rearview camera and a hard-drive-based navigation system that offers 15 gigabytes of music storage and a 10-speaker ELS audio system.

The ILX A-SPEC package can be added to either the Technology ($32,645) or the Premium ($30,745) package and brings 18-in alloy wheels, sport seats with Lux Suede inserts, a black headliner, fog lights, a rear spoiler and aluminum sport pedals.

In back, the ILX has plenty of room for a couple of adults, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Civic has been similarly roomy for quite a few years so although this is a compact sedan, your rear passengers won’t necessarily feel the pinch.

You will, however, notice space limitations in the trunk, where maximum cargo capacity is a modest 12.3 cu ft.


The ILX comes with 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, electronic traction and stability control and a full roster of airbags. Also standard is the AcuraWatch suite (see standard equipment). The Independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the ILX Good ratings across the board in crash tests, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a top 5-star overall crash-test rating, including four stars for front impacts and five for side impacts.

Behind the Wheel

The ILX is softer than the old Civic it’s based on and that’s a good thing. It has a ride quality we’re comfortable calling premium, even if you still feel more impact than you might be used to in an Acura. Thankfully, road noise is also reduced. With the 2.4-liter under the hood, the story gets more exciting. Smooth and engaging, this is the little motor that could — and with good reason. It’s plucked from the last generation Honda Civic Si sport sedan, even though the handy limited-slip differential (for better cornering traction) didn’t make the transition. Overall, we’d say razor-sharp handling isn’t a real highlight of the 2020 ILX but its handling is certainly secure.

Other Cars to Consider

2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI — The Jetta GLI is more powerful than the ILX and it has a more engaging ride, better in-cabin technology and better sport seats. Its interior is equally refined and it has a lower base price but the VW name doesn’t hold the same cachet as Acura.

2020 Audi A3 — The 2020 Audi A3 costs more than the ILX but it offers more luxury features and more personality, plus the option of AWD. There’s also the high-powered S3 to consider.

2020 Mercedes-Benz A 220 — The A-Class sedan is more expensive yet smaller than the ILX and also less powerful. However, it does offer the option of AWD and has a much more sophisticated dash and interior design.

Used Audi A4 — A 2014-2017 Audi A4 provides more power, a larger cabin and trunk, the option of AWD and better-quality materials inside the cabin.

Autotrader’s Advice

We think the ILX with the Technology package brings all the high-tech luxury, audio and safety features expected of this class at a price that undercuts similar cars from Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Those seeking a sportier ride should add the A-SPEC package to the mix. Find an Acura ILX for sale

Our editors are here to make car buying easier. We’ve driven, reviewed and compared thousands of cars. We’ve bought and sold more than our fair share, too. And as part of the sprawling Cox Automotive group of companies, we have exclusive access to a range of valuable data and insights. Whether you’re looking for the best car, the best deal or the best buying advice, you can trust... Read More about Autotrader

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