2022 Acura ILX

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2022 Acura ILX Review: Premium Light

Acura is regarded as a premium brand, competing with the likes of Audi and BMW, and the Acura ILX is the cheapest way to buy in. However, it faces some formidable competition like the Audi A3 sedan and the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe. The ILX has also been tasked with luring new, younger customers to the brand with the hope that the rest of the stable will then keep them buying Acuras for years to come. To that end, it's a handsome vehicle that's well-equipped and more affordable than the Germans.

Unfortunately, it's let down by a low-quality interior and an asthmatic, old-school 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. This is far from ideal in a segment where most competitors, including the Honda Civic, have moved on to low-displacement turbocharged powertrains. To top it all off, the ILX feels older than its rivals because it was originally built on a Civic platform that is already two generations old - that of the 9th-generation Civic. So, does it have what it takes to achieve the goals it was designed for? Probably not.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 7 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 6 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 10 /10
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2022 Acura ILX: What’s the Difference vs the 2021 Acura ILX?

The ILX received its last facelift and update in 2019 and has continued on virtually unchanged. Even the 2022 model is a carryover from last year with no changes whatsoever except for a $400 price increase for each trim. This is probably in anticipation of an all-new model that is expected to debut in 2022 as a 2023 model. The 2022 model year will be the last for the first-generation ILX, having been on the market since 2012.

Pros and Cons

  • Attractive price for a premium brand
  • Lots of convenience and safety features as standard
  • Handsome exterior
  • Slick dual-clutch transmission
  • Engine lacks torque
  • Cheap feeling interior
  • Limited space for rear passengers
  • Some road noise intrudes into the cabin

What's the Price of the 2022 Acura ILX?

The base price of the Acura ILX is $26,500 MSRP, excluding the destination charge of $1,045 in the US. With the Premium Package included, it retails for $28,500. The A-Spec Package can't be included without having the Premium Package and takes the price up to $30,500. A fully-loaded ILX with the Premium, Technology, and A-Spec packages included retails for $32,400. Even at the latter price, the Acura ILX represents good value for how much you get.

Best Deals on 2022 Acura ILX

2022 Acura ILX Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Premium Package
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Premium & A-Spec Package
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Technology & A-Spec Package
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Acura ILX Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

The 9th-generation Civic was a decent all-rounder, and some of those characteristics have filtered through to the ILX. The platform isn't completely devoid of feel and provides some semblance of feedback. It can be an enjoyable car to drive, but it's no sports sedan. It's starting to feel its age - the latest Civic is already in its 11th generation.

The suspension tune is biased toward comfort more than anything else. Bumps and ruts are dealt with smoothly. If only Acura spent as much time on cabin insulation. Wind and road noise are noticeable at freeway speed, which is not ideal for a car with a premium label attached to it. The brakes are easy to modulate and offer sufficient bite under normal conditions and during an emergency stop. We'd advise you to take the Acura for a test drive to see if the refinement levels meet your standards.

Verdict: Is the 2022 Acura ILX A Good Car?

But once you start reading between the lines, things start falling apart quickly. Acura saved a chunk of money by building the ILX on the 9th-generation Civic's platform, but that saving was unfortunately not put to good use.

The interior is too small, the material quality is below par, and the cabin becomes noisy the faster you go. Making a long trip in this car would be mentally exhausting. The infotainment system is more of the same. It seems appealing at face value, but you soon realize that it would have been better just to have a single touchscreen display. Compared to its German rivals, the ILX just feels like a poorly developed, unpolished, rushed attempt at building a competitor. To be fair, the Germans are around $7,000 more expensive, and they'll charge you extra for several features that are standard on the Acura.

Unfortunately for Acura, the Honda Civic still exists in the USA. It offers everything the Acura does at an even more reasonable price. We can't think of a single reason why you'd have the ILX over the Civic.

What Acura ILX Model Should I Buy?

The Acura's main aim is to provide a premium badge at a reasonable price. Since value for money is its number one positive attribute, we'd recommend only adding the Premium Package to the car. It adds the most critical convenience features, like smartphone compatibility, a decent sound system, and blind-spot monitoring.

2022 Acura ILX Comparisons

Acura TLX CarBuzz
Honda Civic Sedan CarBuzz

2022 Acura ILX vs Acura TLX

The previous-generation TLX's entry-level pricing kicked off at almost the same price as a fully-loaded ILX. For 2021, there came an all-new TLX, and it's a whole new ballgame. The TLX used to have the same engine option as the ILX, but it now comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot with 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. The TLX is more handsome, is better built, and provides the same comprehensive features list as the base ILX, including AcuraWatch. Being the more modern offering, it also beats the ILX when it comes to infotainment and interior space.

The downside is the new entry-level price of $37,500. That's a big leap in price over an ILX equipped with a Premium Package. If you can afford it, then it's definitely worth it, but if you can't and have to have an Acura, the ILX is the good runner-up.

See Acura TLX Review

2022 Acura ILX vs Honda Civic Sedan

It's an unfair battle between these two, as it's essentially old vs brand-new. Unfortunately for Acura, it's a comparison we have to make. What makes it even more unfortunate is that the latest and improved 11th-generation Civic sedan takes over from a predecessor that was arguably already the segment leader. You can tell from the get-go that the Civic is a more polished product. How could it not be, as it's essentially an ILX, but two full generations ahead in terms of every department that matters. The Acura offers perforated leather seats, but the Civic has a more solid interior. Honda also gives you the same sort of specification level, including the safety kit, but adding features such as traffic-sign recognition that the ILX doesn't offer at all.

The 1.5-liter engine may seem small compared to the Acura's 2.4-liter engine, but it feels more potent due to turbocharging. The final nail in the coffin is the Civic's lower retail price. The battle between the two cousins is like a slugfest between the High School Musical version of Zac Efron and Dwayne The Rock Johnson.

See Honda Civic Sedan Review
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