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2020 Acura ILX Performance Review


Performance: 6.8

The 2020 Acura ILX has satisfactory power for the daily commute, but this sedan needs an engine update to keep up with rivals. The ILX has a fairly comfortable ride and composed handling, but its driving dynamics are boring compared to sportier sedans.

  • We like the ILX’s responsive handling, snug seats and good brakes, but we did notice a bit more road noise inside the cabin than we expected, especially when traversing uneven or rough pavement. We also like the ILX’s 34-mpg highway fuel-economy figure." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Overall, we'd say razor-sharp handling isn't a real highlight of the 2020 ILX but its handling is certainly secure." -- Autotrader
  • The sole powertrain is a 201-hp four-cylinder with front-wheel drive mated to a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine revs easily and although the ILX isn’t the quickest car in its class, its character makes us pine for the VTEC-powered Honda and Acura sedans from years gone by.” -- Car and Driver

Acceleration and Power

The Acura ILX’s 201-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The ILX isn’t the swiftest car in the class, but its power is pretty good at higher RPMs. The transmission is smooth and shifts quickly.

The ILX gets above-average fuel economy for the luxury small car class: 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

  • "Despite looking for ways to make the ILX more attractive to younger buyers, the ILX's powertrain doesn’t change at all from the previous model year. Under the hood of every ILX is the same 201-hp, 2.4-liter I4. Power comes on naturally, with no major surge when you hit the VTEC part of the powerband. Transferring that power to the front wheels is an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission." -- Autoweek (2019)
  • "If you're a fan of old-school Honda and Acura models, you'll love this high-revving, naturally aspirated inline-four. It's certainly no rocket ship off the line, but power builds progressively up to the 6,900-rpm redline. Sport mode keeps the engine spinning high in each gear, the transmission firing off quick upshifts and smooth, rev-matched downshifts." -- CNET (2019)
  • The i-VTEC engine has some truly buttery torque, which was great at pushing out of and between the twisty stuff. I played with the steering-wheel mounted paddles a little bit, but I’d prefer an actual manual transmission if I wanted to change gears myself." -- Jalopnik (2019)

Handling and Braking

There’s nothing exciting about the ILX’s performance. Its ride is largely comfortable, and the handling is decent for most driving situations, but it lacks feedback from the road, and the car can feel bulky around corners. Some reviewers say there’s little steering feedback and that the suspension is a bit firm.

  • 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." -- Autotrader
  • Handling is poised and confident, but not particularly memorable; road and wind noise permeate the cabin here more than in rivals such as the Audi A3 or the Mercedes-Benz A-class, especially at highway speeds. Still, the smallest Acura sedan has excellent brake-pedal feedback." -- Car and Driver
  • "Sadly, everything else outside the powertrain (still) just misses the mark. The greatest part of Acura's old performance compacts was how they made you feel when you were driving them. There was an intimate connection between the driver and road at all times that is sorely lacking from the ILX. Turn in feel is soft and doesn't offer satisfying quick changes of direction. The old chassis feels its age in controlling body movements too. It all culminates in making the ILX feel like a larger car than it actually is. That's not to say the ILX handles poorly, though; it simply does so without any eagerness or feel — just like it has from the beginning." -- Autoblog (2019)
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2020 Acura ILX

MSRP: $25,900 - $31,650

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