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2018 Acura ILX Review

The 2018 Acura ILX is one of the least expensive cars in the luxury small car class. It finishes toward the bottom of the segment, however, because it has a low predicted reliability rating and an abbreviated list of standard features.

Pros & Cons

  • Lower list prices than class rivals
  • Select projected ownership costs are below class average
  • Outstanding fuel economy
  • Subpar predicted reliability rating
  • Few standard features
  • Mediocre handling and ride quality




Critics' Rating: 7.3
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 7.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Acura ILX Overview

Is the 2018 Acura ILX a Good Used Car?

The Acura ILX is an OK car. You'll see lots of savings with this car compared to most other luxury small cars, but those savings come with substantial compromises.

The 2018 Acura ILX has a few good points:

  • List prices are among the lowest in the class
  • Expected maintenance, repair, and insurance costs are very low for this segment
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Decent acceleration from its four-cylinder engine

It also has some significant shortcomings:

  • Below-average predicted reliability rating
  • Short list of standard features for a luxury sedan
  • Low safety score for the class
  • So-so ride quality and handling
Why You Can Trust Us

Our Acura ILX review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from more than 54 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of our car reviews, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2018 Acura ILX?

Based on listings for the 2018 Acura ILX on our site, the average price is $23,100. Prices range from $19,800 to $27,600 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Acura ILX Cost to Own?

The 2018 ILX’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $24,600, or $4,920 per year. This estimate is one of the lowest in the luxury small car class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New ILX?

Acura refreshed the ILX for 2019, updating its styling, upgrading its infotainment system, and making Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available for the first time. The 2019 ILX starts at $25,900 and now comes standard with AcuraWatch Plus, a safety suite that includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. Though Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren't available in the 2018 ILX, the advanced safety features are. You may be able to save money and get these high-tech safety features by shopping for a 2018 ILX with the AcuraWatch Plus package.

Read about the new Acura ILX »

The 2018 ILX belongs to a generation that began with the 2013 model year. For 2016, Acura freshened its exterior. The company also replaced the previous powertrain with a more powerful engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Numerous tech features became available for 2016, including the AcuraWatch safety package. The ILX didn't receive any significant changes for 2017 or 2018. We recommend shopping for a 2016-or-newer model that's equipped with the available safety features.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 ILX »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Acura ILX?

The 2018 Acura ILX has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about ILX reliability »

2018 Acura ILX Recalls

At the time of writing, there is one recall for the 2018 Acura ILX:

  • Fuel gauge may not be accurate

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Acura ILX safety recalls »

Which Used Acura ILX Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Acura ILX comes in one trim level, but several packages are available. Standard features include synthetic leather upholstery, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, proximity key entry, a moonroof, and a multiview rearview camera. The base infotainment system comes with a 5-inch display, Bluetooth, and a USB port.

For leather seats, look to the Premium package. In addition to premium Milano leather upholstery, this package adds a four-way power-adjustable passenger seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. Its upgraded infotainment system has a 7-inch touch screen, a separate 8-inch display, a phone-linked navigation system, a seven-speaker premium audio system, satellite radio, and HD Radio.

The AcuraWatch Plus package comes with adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and a color multi-information display.

The A-SPEC package includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, fog lights, aluminum pedals, and suede seats. The Special Edition package comes with 18-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler. The Technology Plus package has the AcuraLink telematics system, GPS-linked climate control, a 10-speaker premium audio system, navigation, and voice recognition.

See 2018 Acura ILX trims and specs »

What Does Acura's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Acura offers a certified pre-owned program for cars six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Qualifying vehicles get a limited warranty that is good for up to two years or 100,000 miles after the four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty has expired. Acura covers the powertrain for seven years or 100,000 miles. These CPO models must pass a 182-point inspection. Additional benefits are available, including roadside assistance and the first scheduled maintenance, so read Acura’s warranty page carefully.

Among luxury car manufacturers, Acura’s CPO program is about average, according to our research. You’ll find better programs from Lexus, Audi, and Infiniti.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the ILX?

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety evaluations, the ILX earned the highest rating of Good in five crash tests. Models equipped with the available AcuraWatch Plus package received the top rating of Superior for front crash prevention. The ILX’s headlights received the second-lowest rating of Marginal for how well they illuminate the road ahead.

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

Standard advanced safety features:

  • multiview rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • forward collision warning
  • automatic emergency braking
  • rear parking sensors
  • adaptive cruise control
  • lane departure warning
  • lane keep assist
  • road departure mitigation
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert

See ILX safety scores »

2018 Acura ILX Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Acura ILX or 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA?

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA joins the ILX in the bottom third of our luxury small car rankings. Average prices for the CLA are about $8,500 higher than the ILX's, but in return you get more standard safety features, improved performance, and a higher predicted reliability rating. Optional features such as a hands-free trunk lid, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are available in the Mercedes but not the Acura. Overall, the CLA is slightly better.

Which Is Better: 2018 Acura ILX or 2018 Honda Civic?

Between the Acura ILX and its corporate cousin the 2018 Honda Civic, we recommend the latter. The Civic is lively and fun to drive, with several engines to choose from. It's available as a compact sedan, hatchback, or coupe. For near-luxury amenities, go with a top-level trim, which comes with features such as heated rear seats and rain-sensing windshield wipers – which aren't available in the ILX – and leather upholstery. The Civic wins this comparison hands down.

Compare the ILX, CLA, and Civic »

2018 ILX Performance

How Does the 2018 Acura ILX Drive?

Every ILX comes with a four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. This sedan is reasonably quick, its powertrain feels refined, and its handling is stable. Some professional reviewers say the ride quality is a bit too firm and lament that the ILX isn't as sporty or agile as some rivals.

  • Engine: 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed dual-clutch automatic
Does the 2018 Acura ILX Get Good Gas Mileage?

The ILX has one of the highest fuel economy ratings in the luxury small car class.

  • 25/35 mpg city/highway

Read more about ILX performance »

2018 ILX Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 ILX Seat?

The 2018 ILX is a sedan that seats five people. It offers good visibility, moderately comfortable front seats, and a decent amount of legroom for rear passengers. Headroom, however, can be tight for some.

Standard seating features:

  • synthetic leather upholstery
  • eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat
  • heated front seats

Available seating features:

  • genuine leather seats
  • four-way power-adjustable passenger seat
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Acura ILX?

The 2018 ILX has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. For ease of use, the system received the second-highest rating of Acceptable from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The lower anchors are set too deep in the seat cushions, but the hardware is otherwise easy to use.

2018 Acura ILX Features

The ILX has well-placed audio and climate controls, and it comes standard with a basic sound system. The upgraded dual-screen infotainment system is a little overwhelming, but it isn't so daunting once you become familiar with the setup.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 5-inch display, Bluetooth, and a USB port
  • Available infotainment features: a dual-screen infotainment system, a seven-speaker premium audio system, a 10-speaker premium audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, navigation, and voice recognition
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, and a moonroof
  • Other available features: the AcuraLink telematics system, GPS-linked climate control, a color multi-information display, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and remote start

See 2018 Acura ILX specs »

Read more about ILX interior »

2018 Acura ILX Dimensions

Acura ILX Cargo Space

The ILX has a 12.3-cubic-foot trunk. That's about average for a luxury small car. The rear seatback folds down so you can haul oversized items.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Acura ILX Length and Weight
  • Length: 15 feet, 1.9 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,093 to 3,137 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Acura ILX Built?

Acura built the 2018 ILX in Ohio.


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