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$25,900 - 31,650 MSRP

2020 Acura ILX Review

The 2020 Acura ILX places near the bottom of our luxury small car rankings. It has an attractive price and a long list of standard features, but its subpar cabin materials and lackluster performance don’t meet the standards of the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Many standard safety features
  • Low base price
  • Some low-end cabin materials
  • Not as engaging as rivals

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Acura ILX's #14 ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Small Cars category. Currently the Acura ILX has a score of 6.6 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 62 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 6.0
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 5.0
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

 Is the Acura ILX a Good Car?

No, the 2020 Acura ILX is not a good car. It has moderately composed handling, and its ride is comfortable enough, but most shoppers expect a more engaging ride and a stronger engine from a car in this class. The ILX comes with lots of features, but its cabin’s dated styling and plastic materials make it feel more like a slightly dolled-up nonluxury sedan. 

Should I Buy the Acura ILX?

Unless you’re looking to get into an entry-level luxury small car for as little money as possible, the ILX probably shouldn’t be on your shopping list. The ILX’s long list of standard safety features give it value appeal, but some rivals have richer cabins and superior driving dynamics that justify their higher price tags. The BMW 2 Series and Kia Stinger are both affordable alternatives with stronger engines and more space than the ILX.

Compare the ILX, 2 Series, and Stinger »

Should I Buy a New or Used Acura ILX?

The 2020 ILX is part of a generation that debuted for the 2013 model year, and there have been a few noteworthy updates over the years. Acura made no major changes to the sedan for 2020, so we recommend the similar 2019 ILX, which likely costs less. For 2019, Acura added a host of standard driver assistance features, restyled the interior and exterior, and updated the infotainment system, making Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available. There were no major changes for the 2018 and 2017 ILX.

If you’re looking to save money by purchasing an older used model, start with the refreshed 2016 ILX. Acura updated the powertrain and the exterior styling and added more available safety features.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2016 ILX, 2018 ILX, and 2019 ILX reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 ILX »

We Did the Research for You: 62 Reviews Analyzed

To give you a comprehensive overview of the 2020 ILX – and make your car-buying experience simpler – we analyzed 62 Acura ILX reviews, in addition to fuel economy estimates, performance specs, and more.

This 2020 ILX review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2013.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Acura ILX Cost?

The 2020 Acura ILX has a base MSRP of $25,900, which is one of the lowest starting prices in the luxury small car class. A fully loaded ILX will cost you about $37,700, which is still below the segment’s average starting price of $40,000.

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 Honda Civic?

The Honda Civic is the ILX’s nonluxury corporate cousin. On the road, the ILX is a little more comfortable, while the Civic’s performance will please those looking for engaging handling. The Civic has a couple of powerful engine options, and it comes in hatchback, coupe, and sedan body styles. It also gets great fuel economy. While it’s not a luxury vehicle, the Honda features a quality interior with a generous amount of passenger space. Unless you must have a car from a luxury brand, the Civic is the better vehicle overall.

Which Is Better: Acura ILX or Acura TLX?

The Acura TLX, a luxury midsize car, shares many of the ILX’s attributes. The TLX offers numerous standard features and an affordable price, but it also has dull handling and an uninspiring base engine. Still, it has a couple of advantages over the ILX, including about 4 additional cubic feet of passenger space and a tad more cargo room. The TLX also has two engine options, including a powerful V6. Pick the TLX if you like the ILX but need more space and a stronger engine.

Compare the ILX, Civic, and TLX »

ILX Interior

How Many People Does the ILX Seat?

The ILX seats up to five. Synthetic leather upholstery, heated front sport seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are standard. Genuine leather-trimmed seats and a four-way power-adjustable passenger seat are available.

The front seats are spacious and supportive, but taller folks may feel cramped in the second row. This Acura also makes quite a bit of noise at highway speeds.

ILX and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the ILX’s rear outboard seats, as well as an upper tether anchor for the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. The IIHS says the lower anchors are set too deep in the seats.

ILX Interior Quality

The cabin features some hard plastics that don’t meet the expectations of a luxury-class sedan. Most rivals’ cabins feature sleeker styling and richer materials.

ILX Cargo Space

The ILX has 12.4 cubic feet of trunk space, which is about average for the luxury small car segment.

ILX Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include an infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen, a six-speaker stereo, a USB port, Bluetooth, and Siri Eyes Free. A 7-inch touch screen, 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 responsive and easy to operate, but rivals’ systems feel more up to date, with some featuring a larger base touch screen and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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

Read more about interior »

ILX Performance

ILX Engine: One Decent Engine

While most rivals are available with at least a couple of engine options, the 2020 ILX has just one: a 201-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder. It has enough power for most driving situations, though acceleration can be a bit lackluster from a stop. The engine feels stronger at higher revs, and the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission delivers smooth, quick shifts.

ILX Gas Mileage: Fine Fuel Economy

The ILX gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, which are above average for the luxury small car class.

ILX Ride and Handling: Meets Modest Needs

The ILX’s mostly composed handling and cushioned ride should satisfy most drivers. However, those seeking engaging driving dynamics may be disappointed by the ILX’s light steering and firm suspension, and some reviewers claim the handling isn’t very sharp compared to rivals.

Read more about performance »

ILX Reliability

Is the Acura ILX Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2020 Acura ILX a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Acura ILX Warranty

Acura covers the ILX with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure an Acura ILX?

The cost of insuring an Acura ILX will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

ILX Safety

ILX Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the ILX the highest score of Good in all five crash tests performed. The ILX also earned a top rating of Superior for the effectiveness of its standard front crash prevention system, but it received the lowest rating of Poor for how well its headlights illuminate the road ahead. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 ILX an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. It earned five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover evaluations.

ILX Safety Features

Standard safety equipment in the ILX includes 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 surround-view parking camera system. Available features include blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.

Read more about safety »

ILX Dimensions and Weight

The ILX is 15.2 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,095 to 3,148 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Acura ILX Built?

Acura builds the 2020 ILX in Ohio.

Which Acura ILX Model Is Right for Me?

The 2020 Acura ILX is available in only one trim, and it carries a starting price of $25,900. It comes with a 201-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Its impressive standard features list includes enough driver assistance technologies to count on two hands (see full list above), as well as dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, a moonroof, a 5-inch touch screen, a USB port, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, and a six-speaker stereo.

Unlike some competitors that feature individual options, Acura offers the ILX with just three packages: Premium, Technology, and A-Spec.

We recommend the Premium package. It starts at $1,850, and it includes genuine leather-trimmed seats, a four-way power-adjustable passenger seat with lumbar support, 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.

If you want the Technology or A-Spec packages, you’ll have to purchase the Premium package first. The $1,900 Technology package adds a 10-speaker premium audio system, navigation, and the AcuraLink telematics system. The A-Spec package costs $2,000 and includes sporty enhancements like a rear spoiler, larger wheels, and suede seat inserts.

See 2020 Acura ILX specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Acura ILX offers a lot for a little. It has loads of standard safety features, good fuel economy estimates, and a low base price. However, it offers only entry-level luxury. If you want engaging handling, stronger engine options, and premium cabin materials, you should consider luxury small car rivals such as the BMW 2 Series and Kia Stinger.

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

  • The ILX sedan is essentially a gussied-up version of the already excellent Honda Civic. However, the Acura interpretation lacks the performance that its namesake promotes and the excitement that certain Civic models provide. Its dutiful powertrain and poised chassis are appreciated but we expect more driving engagement in this segment. Although a slew of desirable and high-tech features are standard, some aspects of it are showing their age despite a recent redesign. Still, the 2020 Acura ILX is a well-built and nicely priced alternative to more expensive subcompact rivals." -- Car and Driver
  • "According to all the data, the ILX is a very easy car to live with. It has lower-than-average maintenance costs and a very good track record when it comes to reliability and longevity. Owners rave about the ILX’s sharp handling, good fuel economy and comfortable seating." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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." -- Autotrader 
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