$19,081 - $23,797

2018 Acura ILX Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Acura ILX was new.


Performance: 7.5

The 2018 Acura ILX has decent power and high fuel economy estimates for its class. The transmission also performs admirably. However, its ride quality can be a little stiff over rough roads, and its handling isn't particularly engaging.

  • "We saddled up in an ILX A-Spec and tackled some winding roads throughout California's Napa Valley and were immediately impressed with the power from the new drivetrain and its handling ability on some challenging strips of pavement. … The new drivetrain has done wonders for Acura's gateway vehicle, giving it adequate muscle to make a stand against the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA." -- Autoweek (2016)
  • We do like how the … Acura ILX rides. This car offers a nearly ideal compromise between control and comfort, even with the larger 18-inch wheels. Driving enthusiasts might be disappointed that the steering doesn't provide much feedback, but overall the car is sure-footed and pretty enjoyable to pilot around turns." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • Regardless of model, the … ILX is a better, more cohesive car to drive. We will be interested to see how it stacks up dynamically with the Audi A3, which Acura identifies as its performance bogey." -- Road and Track (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The 2018 Acura ILX has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is also standard. The ILX gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, which is good for the class. The ILX has satisfying acceleration and decent overall engine power for its size. The transmission shifts smoothly and easily.

  • "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 previous 2015 Honda Civic Si sport sedan, even though the handy limited-slip differential (for better cornering traction) didn't make the transition." -- Autotrader 
  • It's about midpack acceleration-wise." -- Edmunds
  • "The 8-speed automatic is one of our favorite things about the car; smooth shifting in Drive and quick when using the paddle shifters." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

The ILX has stable handling and a decent steering feel, but its driving dynamics are pretty unengaging overall. The car rides comfortably over even surfaces but feels rough when tackling bumps in the road.

  • "Handling is decent, but at-the-limit responses should be better for a sport sedan. … Ride quality can be surprisingly bad over bumpy surfaces." -- Edmunds
  • 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. … Overall, we'd say razor-sharp handling isn't a real highlight of the 2018 ILX, but its handling is certainly secure." -- Autotrader
  • "The interior is also quieter than you might expect, especially if you've driven or ridden in the earlier versions of the ILX. It's also fun to drive with good steering feel and an athletic well-tuned suspension, although some may find the ride overly firm. The sedan's handling certainly is up to Acura's reputation for performance, especially with the optional 18-inch wheels and tires." -- Kelley Blue Book

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