2021 Acura ILX

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2021 Acura ILX Review: Waiting For Inspiration To Strike

by Aiden Eksteen

As a premium marque, Acura produces cars that are meant to compete with luxury brands such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi but that bear prices more comparable to those of more mainstream brands. In that light, the 2021 Acura ILX, as a premium compact sedan, has a the look and feel that fits the likes of the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan, and the Audi A3 Sedan, but pricing that has it slot in amongst sedans like the Hyundai Sonata, Volkswagen Jetta GLI, and Subaru WRX Sedan.

The Acura ILX sedan is a suave vehicle that offers plenty of value for the money. It really does offer premium levels of specification and features, but at far more affordable prices than its German contemporaries. There are various compromises Acura had to employ to achieve this appealing idiosyncrasy, however, such as using an outmoded 201-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder gas engine instead of a more modern turbocharcharged, low-displacement unit. It's also ill-fated by its old-generation Honda Civic platform and low-quality cabin. Is the Acura ILX's value-rich appeal enough to obscure its dotage and quality compromises?

Read in this review:

What is BuzzScore?

2021 Acura ILX Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2020 Acura ILX?

The ILX received a comprehensive overhaul going into the 2019 model year and, as such, gets no significant upgrades or alterations for 2021.

Pros and Cons

  • Premium marque, value-rich pricing
  • Sophisticated overall styling
  • Brimming with inclusive creature comforts
  • Extensively outfitted with safety features
  • Acceptable fuel economy returns
  • Engine could do with more low-down torque
  • Road noise becomes an issue at high speeds
  • The cabin looks and feels a little too cheap
  • There's not all that much room in the back

What's the Price of the 2021 Acura ILX?

Best Deals on 2021 Acura ILX

2021 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 2021 Acura ILX Trims and Specs

2021 ILX Exterior

2021 Acura ILX Front View Acura
2021 Acura ILX Rear View Acura
2021 Acura ILX Front Angle View Acura
See All 2021 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

  • Performance Red Pearl +$500
  • Majestic Black Pearl +$500
  • Platinum White Pearl +$500
  • Apex Blue Pearl +$500
  • Modern Steel Metallic
  • Lunar Silver Metallic

2021 ILX Performance

2021 Acura ILX Front View Driving Acura
2021 Acura ILX Rear Angle View Acura
2021 Acura ILX Wheel Acura

Engine and Transmission

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

2021 ILX Interior

2021 Acura ILX Steering Wheel Controls Acura
2021 Acura ILX Infotainment System Acura
2021 Acura ILX Door Handle Acura
See All 2021 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

2021 ILX Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Acura ILX Front Seats Acura
2021 Acura ILX Rear Passenger Seats Acura
2021 Acura ILX Trunk Space Acura
  • Trunk Volume
    12.4 ft³

2021 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 2021 Acura ILX A Good sedan?

At first glance, the 2021 Acura ILX is a handsome-looking sedan and it does come very nicely outfitted with creature comforts and conveniences and is also backed by impressive safety and reliability standards. Both the NHTSA and the IIHS subjected the 2021 Acura ILX to review for its crashworthiness and each scored the 4-door sedan with a fairly good safety rating.

Unfortunately, Acura's cost-cutting measures implemented in the ILX undermine its high-value appeal and, arguably, expected safety and reliability qualities. Its outmoded 2.4-liter engine and ancient Civic platform really detract from its driving character, having it elicit lackluster or just unrefined responses during urban and suburban driving conditions. The cabin is also flooded with engine and road noise at higher speeds because of the low-grade cabin-build, making long- distance road trips nearly unbearable.

The 2021 Acura ILX is far too outdated for any sane person to appreciate. It still forms part of the first-generation ILX line introduced all the way back in 2013. The current Honda Civic in the USA is a far more sensible choice that's better in just about every way and more affordable, too. Acura has, however, announced an all-new ILX for the 2023 model year that will be based on the latest Civic's platform. If you're keen on the ILX sedan, we'd hold off until then.

What Acura ILX Model Should I Buy?

Acura offers the ILX as a single model that can be outfitted with a selection of packages that then define its specification position. The sticker price of the 2021 Acura ILX sedan starts off at $26,100, which includes a pretty attractive consignment of creature comforts and conveniences. LED headlights, a power moonroof, an eight-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and loads of advanced driver assists are all standard. We'd suggest throwing in the Premium Package, however, as it adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities, perforated leather seating upholstery, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert to the mix.

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