The Acura ILX is the entry-level luxury car sold by the upscale division of Honda Motor Company. It is based on Honda’s Civic, with luxury appointments to bring it up to the Acura standard. It is the first luxury compact sedan sold by Acura in America since 2001 – that was the Integra.
A month ago I travelled to San Francisco to test an ILX, with plans to both attend some Giant-Rockie games and also to drive it to Salinas, California. Ruth, my wife, accompanied me there and our stay was at the Inn at the Opera on Fulton Street near Haight-Ashbury. I mention that district because as a child of the 60’s, I served in Viet Nam, had a stay-at-home Mom, fell in love with cars, enjoyed reading John Steinbeck’s books, and watched scenes from Haight-Ashbury on television. The hotel was also relatively close to Golden Gate Park, the Civic Center, AT&T Park, and Fisherman’s Wharf. San Francisco is quite compact.
As a little boy, I read those books written by Steinbeck, the Nobel- and Pulitzer- prize winner from Salinas, and I often fantasized about that area of California. So Ruth and I drove there, about 100 miles away, in the ILX. In Salinas is the National Steinbeck Center, the only museum in America dedicated to one author. Between it, lunch, and driving the Acura down U.S. 101, it was a very pleasurable day.
The test Acura was the 5-speed automatic with technology package, priced at $31,600.00 (base). Freight, added to the M.S.R.P., brought the total to $32,495.00. The 5-speed automatic had sequential sport-shift setup with paddle shifters on the steering column, and the engine was a 4-cylinder, 2.0 liter, 150 horsepower unit with EPA ratings of 35 mpg on the highway, 24 in the city, and a combined rating of 28 mpg. Premium gasoline is required in the ILX, and the tank holds 13.2 gallons. My observation of the gas mileage for the ILX was 27 mpg.
Handling, guidance, and ride of the ILX were all suitable for the five-passenger sedan. The road noise on our highway cruising was about average for a sedan of this size and caliber. Acceleration to 60 mph reportedly occurs in ten seconds and top speed is 113 mph. The fifteen foot car sits on a wheelbase of 105.1” and weighs 3,000 lb.
The interior was leather-equipped, came in black, and featured the navigation (8” display), cruise control, backup camera, power locks/mirrors/doors, seven-speaker premium stereo with satellite radio, pushbutton start, and proximity keyless entry. Ruth and I found the front buckets to be supportive and attractive and back seat legroom for our daughter was adequate. We were able to just get by, luggage-wise, with the 12.3 cubic foot trunk.
Acura manages to make the ILX look more expensive and attractive than its sister, the Honda Civic, and the five-spoke, 17” alloy wheels added to the allure. Shoppers in this category would do themselves a favor by taking a long look at the ILX from Acura.