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2019 Acura ILX Review

The refreshed 2019 Acura ILX finishes near the very bottom of our luxury small car rankings. It has some low-grade cabin materials, a below-average predicted reliability rating, and lackluster handling compared to the competition.

Pros & Cons

  • Generous list of standard safety tech
  • Low starting price
  • Some low-grade interior materials
  • Most rivals are more engaging to drive
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating

New for 2019

  • Standard AcuraWatch safety features
  • Updated infotainment system
  • Available Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Refreshed exterior and interior

Rankings & Research

The 2019 Acura ILX ranked #17 in Luxury Small Cars. Currently the Acura ILX has a score of 6.3 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 63 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 5.9
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 4.8
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Acura ILX a Good Car?

There are better options in the luxury small car class than the 2019 Acura ILX. It isn't very engaging to drive, there's some road noise at high speeds and over rough pavement, and its interior has some hard plastics. It also has a below-average predicted reliability rating. On the plus side, this Acura has a good amount of engine power and a slew of standard safety features.

Should I Buy the Acura ILX?

Skip the ILX. No matter what you’re looking for in a new car, you’ll find plenty of alternatives that do it better. The Kia Stinger and Mercedes-Benz A-Class are among the more-affordable cars in this segment, and each offers better driving dynamics, richer interior quality, and easier-to-use tech features than the ILX. There are also some nonluxury compact cars that compare favorably to the ILX, including the Mazda3 and Honda Civic.

Compare the ILX, Stinger, and A-Class »

Should I Buy a New or Used Acura ILX?

The 2019 ILX is part of a generation that debuted for the 2013 model year. Acura added leather seats, heated seats, and a rearview parking camera to the base trim of the 2014 ILX. It discontinued the ILX Hybrid for the 2015 model year. The 2016 ILX received a mild refresh with a revised powertrain, updated exterior styling, and additional available safety features. For 2018, Acura added a Special Edition ILX trim.

As part of a refresh for 2019, Acura updated the interior and exterior design and added AcuraWatch to the base trim. This system includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, a collision mitigation braking system, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, a road departure mitigation system, adaptive cruise control, and a multi-view rearview parking camera. The infotainment system is also updated, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now available. The mechanics of the ILX are unchanged from previous years.

If you're not interested in the 2019 updates, consider an older model to save some money. If you are considering a used model, the 2016 ILX is a great option because it's fairly similar to the new ILX, but it will likely cost you thousands less. Read our overviews of the 2017 and 2018 ILX for more information on recent models, and check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 ILX »

We Did the Research for You: 63 Reviews Analyzed

To give you a complete overview of the 2019 ILX – and make your car-shopping experience easier – we analyzed 63 Acura ILX reviews alongside fuel economy estimates, performance specs, and more.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current ILX generation, which runs from 2013 to 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our crew has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we do not accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an external company manages the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Acura ILX Cost?

The 2019 Acura ILX starts at $25,900, which is one of the lowest base prices in the class. Instead of trim levels, Acura offers the ILX with packages that all cost around $2,000. Fully loading the ILX will cost you about $35,500, which is reasonable considering many competitors start at around that price.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Acura dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Acura deals page.

Acura ILX Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Acura ILX or Kia Stinger?

The Kia Stinger is better than the ILX in most every way. Both of the Stinger's engine options (a four-cylinder and a V6) are more potent than the ILX's sole four-cylinder engine. The Stinger's handling is more athletic than the ILX's, and it has a comfortable ride. The Kia also has a roomier cabin than the Acura, with nicer interior materials like standard leather upholstery, as well as more standard technology and comfort features like Apple CarPlay. The ILX has better fuel economy estimates, a lower base price, and more standard safety features, including forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. If you add these features to the Stinger, the price difference between these two can easily skyrocket to more than $10,000. Still, the Stinger is the definite winner here and well worth the investment.

Which Is Better: Acura ILX or Honda Civic?

The Honda Civic, the ILX's corporate cousin, is a fantastic sedan to consider if you can do without a luxury nameplate. The Civic has numerous engine options with far more horsepower than the ILX, as well as excellent fuel economy estimates and various body styles to choose from. The Civic offers a terrific blend of sportiness and comfort, with engaging handling through corners. The Honda also features a quality interior with a generous amount of space for passengers and their cargo. Since the Civic is less expensive than the ILX, shoppers interested in more luxurious amenities can opt for one of the Honda's upper trims without breaking their wallet. The Civic is a superior choice overall.

Which Is Better: Acura ILX or Acura TLX?

The luxury midsize Acura TLX is similar to the ILX but, as you'd expect, it's bigger, with 4 cubic feet of additional passenger space and 2 more cubic feet of cargo space. Additionally, Acura offers a V6 engine in the TLX, while a mediocre four-cylinder is all that's available for the ILX. Both models have plenty of standard safety tech, but both have lackluster interiors for luxury cars. Consider the TLX if you like the ILX but need some extra space and a more powerful engine.

Compare the ILX, Stinger, and Civic »

ILX Interior

How Many People Does the ILX Seat?

There's seating for five people in the ILX. The first row has a good amount of overall space for average-sized occupants, and rear-seat legroom is OK. The standard moonroof compromises headroom in both rows, and the sloped roofline further cuts into rear-seat headroom. A lot of tire and wind noise seeps into the cabin when the car is traveling over rocky surfaces and at high speeds. Leatherette-trimmed sport seats, heated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are standard. Leather-trimmed seats and a four-way power-adjustable passenger seat are available.

ILX and Car Seats

There are two sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the ILX's rear outboard seats, and there is an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. The lower anchors are set deep in the seat, but it's easy to maneuver your hands and attach the car-seat straps. 

ILX Interior Quality

While it features mostly quality materials, the ILX's cabin contains some hard plastics that you don't expect to find in luxury vehicles. It isn't as refined as most rivals' cabins.

ILX Cargo Space

You'll find 12.4 cubic feet of cargo space in the ILX, which is a respectable amount of room for the class.

ILX Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

An infotainment system with a 5-inch display, a six-speaker audio system, a USB port, Bluetooth, and Siri Eyes Free is standard. A 7-inch touch-screen multi-use display, an 8-inch information display, navigation, a seven- or 10-speaker premium audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay are available. The ILX's infotainment system is more straightforward to use than most rivals', and plenty of physical controls complement the touch screen.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

ILX Performance

ILX Engine: Suitable Power

The refreshed 2019 ILX comes with the same 2.4-liter 201-horsepower four-cylinder engine as the previous model year. This engine won't wow you with brute muscle, but it has plenty of power for moving the ILX along city streets and past cars on the highway. It's paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that delivers smooth, quick shifts.

ILX Gas Mileage: Still Good

The ILX delivers 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, which are good gas mileage estimates for the class.

ILX Ride and Handling: Mixed Reviews

Though it has poised handling and a generally comfortable ride, some reviewers bemoan the ILX's lack of driving engagement, numb steering, and dated chassis. These downsides may make it feel like you're driving a larger vehicle. This Acura also makes quite a bit of noise when it is pushed to go fast or travels over bumps.

Read more about performance »

ILX Reliability

Is the Acura ILX Reliable?

The 2019 Acura ILX earns a predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is below average. 

Acura ILX Warranty

The ILX has a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

ILX Safety

ILX Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 ILX an overall rating of five out of five stars, with four stars in frontal and rollover crash tests and five stars in side crash test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the ILX the highest score of Good in five individual crash tests. The car earned top marks for the effectiveness of its front crash prevention features, but it received the lowest rating of Poor for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead. 

ILX Safety Features

Acura added more standard active safety equipment to the ILX as part of the 2019 refresh. It now comes with AcuraWatch, which features lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, a collision mitigation braking system, a road departure mitigation system, adaptive cruise control, and a multi-view rearview parking camera. Available features include blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.

Read more about safety »

Which Acura ILX Model Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Acura ILX comes in only one trim and includes a decent number of features. There's plenty of safety features, including forward collision warning and a multi-view rearview parking camera, and a decent amount of technology and comfort features, such as a 5-inch display and heated front seats. There are three optional packages worth considering: Premium, Technology, and A-Spec. We recommend the Premium package, which adds a nice mix of comfort, safety, and technology features.

The Premium package starts at $1,750, and its amenities include leather-trimmed seats, a four-way power-adjustable passenger seat, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a seven-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, HD Radio, a 7-inch touch-screen, and an 8-inch information display.

Priced at $1,900, the Technology package requires the Premium package and adds a 10-speaker premium audio system, navigation, and the AcuraLink telematics system.

The A-Spec package runs for $2,000 and also requires the Premium package. It adds sporty enhancements like a rear spoiler, larger wheels, and suede car seat inserts.

See 2019 Acura ILX specs and trims »

The Final Call

Despite Acura's improvements to the ILX for 2019, it still can't compete with most other luxury small cars. You'll probably be happier with one of its competitors that offer a more enjoyable ride and a more upscale interior. The only real reasons to choose the ILX over the competition are its below-average starting price and long list of standard safety features.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • Pitted against competitors from Audi, Mercedes, and BMW, the ILX's strongest argument is value. To fortify its position, Acura made the aforementioned $2200 price cut, which should appeal to at least a portion of buyers in the segment, particularly considering the rapid price creep that afflicts the German brands. If the baby Acura can't quite deliver the snobbery factor—real or imagined—so valued by some consumers, ultimately it's the lack of distance from its Honda brethren that may pose the bigger problem." -- Car and Driver
  • The 2019 ILX carries its second refresh well, but it’s still wallpapering over an aging platform. With the automotive world jumping in leaps and bounds, the 6-year-old bones of the car feel old. However, the standardized driver assistance features manage to bridge the chasm and bring the ILX, at least technologically, up to date. Acura might have felt that the ILX was getting a little stale too, cutting the price accordingly." -- Autoweek
  • "Despite being billed as 'new,' the ILX needs to be redesigned on the current Civic platform as soon as possible, to remain competitive in its class — or even to remain competitive with the Civic itself." -- Autoblog
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