As an Acura entry-level sedan, the 2018 ILX is now in its fifth year of production. This compact four-door sedan has an unfavorable start when debuting, not enough to stick with the segment or expected of its brand.
But, refreshes made in 2016 revive the ILX with a dose of vitality. It receives a more powerful engine with impressive new transmissions and a number of safety features. Styling is also improved, and many other minor enhancements. So while technically the current generation of Acura ILX enters the final stage of its life, it has never been better.
In terms of feature and price content, the 2018 Acura ILX cuts other entry-level luxury sedans by a considerable margin. That alone is enough to get the buyer’s attention. But the notion of value begins to fade as you realize that ILX is far from the standard set by its more expensive rivals. For this reason, the 2018 Acura ILX is less worth competing with Audi, BMW or Mercedes. Instead, the ILX just a slightly nicer Honda Civic.
Trim and Features
The 2018 Acura ILX is an entry-level luxury sedan offered in seven different trims: base, Special Edition, AcuraWatch Plus, Premium, Premium A-Spec, Tech Plus and Tech Plus A-Spec.
Standard features for the base include 17-inch wheels, rain-sensing wipers, automatic LED headlights, keyless entry and ignition, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an eight-way power driver sport seat, heated front seats, simulated leather upholstery, a folding rear seatback, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, limited text messaging functions, a six-speaker stereo with active noise cancellation, USB/auxiliary input and streaming internet radio.
The 2018 Acura ILX Special Edition trim adds 18-inch wheels, rear spoiler and extended side sills. The AcuraWatch Plus builds on the base features plus an updated driver information screen, a forward collision warning and mitigation system, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist.
The 2018 Acura ILX Tech Plus get the AcuraWatch Plus items along with a 10-speaker premium audio system and a multiview rear camera. The Premium back to the base trim features and adds a seven-speaker audio system and an iPhone-based navigation system. The Tech Plus and Premium trim levels also include an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a four-way power front passenger seat, leather upholstery, a universal garage door opener, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, Siri Eyes Free phone control, a touchscreen display, additional internet music apps, satellite and HD radio.
You can add the A-Spec package to both the Premium and Technology Plus models and includes the Special Edition items plus foglights, metal sport pedals, a dark headliner and suede seat inserts with contrasting stitching.
Uunder the hood, the 2018 Acura ILX is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is the only available transmission (it’s technically an automated manual transmission but it functions like a regular automatic).
In performance testing, the 2018 Acura ILX accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. That a little slower than average for the segment, but still quick enough to make merging onto a highway a stress-free maneuver. EPA estimated fuel economy rated at 29 mpg combined (25 mpg city/35 mpg highway).
Although it gets some improvements on styling, the 2018 Acura ILX interior is mostly still as before. That means the material does not go beyond what you’ll find in a sedan like the Accord, even though it all looks messy along well.
But you still get enough features. The larger touch screen on the Premium and Tech Plus models in the central stack is clearly legible. But even with an optional large screen, the 2018 Acura ILX multimedia setup is not one of the best. It separates the navigation and audio functions into two screens, and the control buttons in the center of the dash are less intuitive to use than the rival console controllers.
Particular attention is used in designing seats, which are supportive but not overly firm or limiting. The 2018 Acura ILX is also spacious enough for a compact car, with a back room that feels more spacious than expected. Even so, the headroom is rather cramped for 6-footer passengers because of the standard sunroof.
The 2018 Acura ILX 12.3 cubic feet of trunk space is average for the class. The rear seats are folded to make it easier to carry longer items, but the seatback is not split to permit a mix of long cargo and a passenger or two in the backseat.
Release Date and Price
Official pricing ranges will start from $28,100 for the base models and range up to $35,100 for the well-equipped Technology Plus Package.