2020 Acura ILX

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2020 Acura ILX Review: Stylish But Flawed

As an entry-point to the brand, the Acura ILX competes in the premium subcompact segment in the USA. Along with the established Audi A3 sedan, the ILX now also finds itself needing to compete with the brand new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe. It's formidable competition and, following a comprehensive update in 2019, the ILX not only wants to draw younger buyers away from these premium-badged rivals, but also introduce new buyers to the Acura stable. While the ILX is well-equipped and offers a high-value price tag, it's undone by a 2.4-liter engine that could desperately use turbocharging. There's also a cheap-feeling interior that doesn't come close to the A3's for quality or refinement. Of course, being based on the previous-generation Honda Civic provides some explanation as to why the ILX doesn't feel as high-end as it's intended to be. Still, Acura claims that the 2019 update helped the ILX appeal to a greater percentage of under-35 buyers in the US than before, so the range isn't without some appeal.

Read in this review:

What is BuzzScore?

2020 Acura ILX Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 ILX?

Following a comprehensive update in 2019, the Acura ILX enters 2020 largely unchanged. The most recent update included a redesigned exterior, an updated infotainment system, and the re-introduction of the sporty A-Spec Package.

Pros and Cons

  • Attractive price tag for a luxury brand
  • Many standard convenience and safety features
  • Sporty looks following most recent update
  • Decent choice of trims
  • Smooth and slick-shifting dual-clutch transmission
  • Interior features too many cheap-feeling plastics
  • Road noise intrudes more than it should
  • Space for passengers is limited
  • 2.4-liter engine lacks low-down torque

What's the Price of the 2020 Acura ILX?

The cheapest way into an Acura ILX is the standard model at an MSRP of $25,900. This pricing excludes tax, licensing, registration, and Acura's destination charge of $995. Next is the ILX with the Premium package at $27,750, followed by the more advanced Technology package at $29,650. The Premium and A-Spec package will cost you $29,750, and finally, the fully-loaded ILX with the Technology and A-Spec package will total $31,650. Overall, considering the amount of equipment on offer, the ILX represents good value in this segment.

Best Deals on 2020 Acura ILX

2020 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
Technology 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 2020 Acura ILX Trims and Specs

2020 ILX Exterior

2020 Acura ILX Front View Acura
2020 Acura ILX Rear View Acura
2020 Acura ILX Front Angle View Acura
See All 2020 Acura ILX Exterior Photos


  • Length 182.2 in
  • Wheelbase 105.1 in
  • Height 55.6 in
  • Max Width 70.6 in
  • Front Width 59.4 in
  • Rear Width 60.2 in
  • Curb Weight 3,095.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Majestic Black Pearl +$400
  • Performance Red Pearl +$400
  • Canyon Bronze Metallic +$400
  • Apex Blue Pearl +$400
  • Platinum White Pearl
  • Modern Steel Metallic
  • Lunar Silver Metallic

2020 ILX Performance

2020 Acura ILX Front View Driving Acura
2020 Acura ILX Rear Angle View Acura
2020 Acura ILX Engine Acura

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    2.4L Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain

Handling and Driving Impressions

Thanks to a light steering setup and compact dimensions, the ILX is easy to maneuver around town and, as speeds rise, provides a relatively entertaining experience from behind the wheel - the steering also isn't completely lifeless, with some feedback filtering through to let you know what the front wheels are up to. It's no hot hatch in its reactions, though, and the ILX's cornering limits aren't as high as they are in the grippy Audi A3 sedan.

Ride comfort benefits from a suspension that has been tuned more for comfort than outright dynamism. The ILX quite effectively smothers bumps and ruts and most buyers will appreciate this. What they won't love is the ILX's inability to keep external noises at bay - both wind and road noise are much too noticeable and, when coupled with the mediocre build quality and a few squeaks from the cabin, it doesn't add up to the most premium experience. Many competitors trump the ILX in this aspect, so we'd advise your test drive to include some highway driving to see how much the Acura's minimal refinement matters to you. The brakes are up to the task, though, with good pedal modulation and sufficient bite at normal speeds, and when executing an emergency stop.

2020 ILX Interior

2020 Acura ILX Front Seats Acura
2020 Acura ILX Dashboard Acura
2020 Acura ILX Infotainment System Acura
See All 2020 Acura ILX Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 42.3 in
  • Front Head Room 38.0 in
  • Rear Leg Room 34.0 in
  • Rear Head Room 35.9 in

2020 ILX Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Acura ILX Trunk Space Acura
2020 Acura ILX Maximum Cargo Space Acura
2020 Acura ILX Rear Angle View 1 Acura
  • Trunk Volume
    12.4 ft³

2020 ILX Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    6 Years \ 70,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is The New Acura ILX A Good car?

It's easy to understand the initial appeal of the new Acura ILX. For a good price, you're getting a fairly luxurious subcompact with loads of features, smart looks, and excellent safety. It's beyond the surface level appeal of Acura's smallest sedan that things start looking less rosy. The interior lacks space, features too many cheap-feeling materials, and is stuck with an infotainment system that trails the best for user-friendliness. The cabin is also too noisy once the speeds rise and the engine, while fun to occasionally rev to its maximum, requires too much hard work to get the ILX moving at a rapid pace. It also doesn't help that the competition is incredibly polished, from the super solid Audi A3 to the snazzy Mercedes A-Class and now, the new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe. They're all more expensive, though, but if you want a sedan of this size, why not go for the even cheaper and hugely accomplished Honda Civic? At the end of the day, while it isn't an awful car by any means, there are simply too few good reasons to recommend the Acura ILX.

What Acura ILX Model Should I Buy?

The ILX's strong value proposition remains one of its primary selling points, so for that reason, we'd recommend keeping your configuration relatively simple. We do suggest the Premium Package, though, as it adds worthwhile extras like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a superior sound system, a bigger display screen, and blind-spot monitoring without breaking the bank. If we were to go for an Acura ILX, this is the variant we'd choose, but it still isn't close to the best of what this segment can offer.

2020 Acura ILX Comparisons

Acura TLX CarBuzz
Honda Civic Sedan Honda
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Acura ILX201 hp24/34 mpg$27,300
Acura TLX 355 hp19/24 mpg$40,050
Honda Civic Sedan 158 hp30/37 mpg$22,550

2020 Acura ILX vs Acura TLX

The TLX is bigger, more luxurious - and of course - pricier than the ILX. Starting at $33,000, it's a worthwhile consideration for buyers looking at a top-line ILX. Cheaper TLX models make use of the same 2.4-liter engine (with a tad more power) as the ILX, so it offers similar performance. However, the TLX range also has an available V6 with a lot more punch, as well as the option of all-wheel-drive. Being a bigger car, the TLX's cabin is far more spacious in comparison, and better built, too. On the highway, you'll easily be able to tell which is the more expensive vehicle as the TLX rides with more composure and is also quieter. Ultimately, it's easy to see why the TLX costs more and, if you can make the stretch, it's the better vehicle. If appearance matters to you more than anything else, then the A-Spec ILX is the more sharply attired of the two.

See Acura TLX Review

2020 Acura ILX vs Honda Civic Sedan

The Acura ILX is based on the previous-generation Honda Civic, so its bones are older than those of the fresh, current Civic. You can tell the difference out on the road quite quickly because it's the Civic that is not only more fun to drive, but more comfortable as well. The Honda's available 174-horsepower 1.5-liter engine may be less powerful than the Acura's 2.4-liter, but thanks to turbocharging, it feels sprightlier than the ILX at lower speeds. Look beyond the Acura's perforated leather seats, and you'll also see that it is in no way a better-built car than the smartly finished, solid-feeling Civic. Plus, you get access to much of the same technologies on the Honda. The final nails in the ILX's coffin are the Civic's more spacious seating and its lower base price - you can get one for under $20,000. The new Honda Civic is a far better car than the old one, and it's better than the Acura ILX, too.

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