The 2022 Acura ILX is a tiny luxury vehicle, and it’s presently the smallest car produced by Acura. It is also the company’s oldest. This generation of ILX debuted in 2013 and hasn’t seen a significant redesign since. In terms of cars, this is an eternity.
The ILX is relatively outdated, with technology features that are behind the competition such as the Audi A3, Genesis G70, and Mercedes A-Class. It has a less-than-luxurious interior design and underwhelming performance, which is why it falls short of competitors like the Audi A3, Genesis G70, and Mercedes A-Class. It’s priced competitively, but there’s not much more to say about it. Also note that Acura has announced the return of its tiny sporty sedan, the Integra. We wouldn’t be shocked if it replaced the ILX in 2022.
The 2022 Acura ILX appears to be a luxury car bargain at first glance, with a premium exterior look treatment and an appealing starting price. Look closer, however, and you’ll notice that the brand’s smallest vehicle is little more than a reskinned previous-generation Honda Civic with a less desirable standard features list. Its infotainment system is embarrassingly out of date, and it has no sporty driving dynamics in this class.
The ILX is one of the most affordable luxury sedans in its class. We believe that value is best served by the optional Premium package, which includes leather upholstery, improved infotainment systems, and more driver assists. The A-Spec option may give the impression of enhanced performance, but it only provides modest improvements that aren’t worth the money.
The base model is a four-cylinder engine with front-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The ILX’s character makes us pine for the VTEC-powered Honda and Acura sedans from years gone by, despite its modest performance.
Handling is poised and confident, but not especially memorable; road and wind noise seep into the cabin more than in competitors such as the Audi A3 or Mercedes-Benz A-class, particularly at highway speeds. The smallest Acura nevertheless offers an excellent brake pedal feel.
Acura’s other vehicles receive all the attention, but the subcompact ILX sedan has remained in the shadows since 2013. Those early samples even made it to our Best Used Cars For $15,000 list because they aren’t significantly different from those available new from the dealership today. That said, the ILX received significant overhauls in 2016 and 2019. The first update added more technology and eliminated lower-powered engines from the line. In 2019, Acura updated the look of the vehicle with more technology and improved design. For 2021, there were no modifications to the model.
Despite the fact that recent updates assist, the ILX’s platform is still from the 2012 Honda Civic. Despite its age, the ILX has retained a niche among its competitors and kept up with them. In 2019, Acura sold almost 14,700 vehicles and over 13,000 in 2020. That compares favorably to the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, which sold 17600 cars in 2019.
The ILX is a subcompact luxury car with a reasonably competitive price point. The front seats are comfy and spacious, but the rear is cramped. Despite this, the 12.4 cubic feet of cargo capacity is close to the class average. Although it trails rivals in driver feel, the ILX has a better driving experience than previous Acuras (excepting larger Cadillacs). It’s also noisy inside at speed and the basic model lacks an adequate infotainment system.
The Acura ILX is still a worthwhile vehicle in its own right. It has a solid value proposition despite the fact that it isn’t as spacious or powerful as cars in its class. Despite this, the smallest Acura promises to provide an exciting driving experience. With almost every available option installed, it costs around $7,000 to $10,000 less than some rivals.