As Acura's entry-level offering, the ILX is now in its fifth year of production. This compact four-door sedan had an inauspicious start when it originally debuted, not quite living up to the segment or the expectations of its brand.
However, a significant refresh was introduced in 2016 that reinvigorated the ILX with a dose of vitality. It received a more powerful engine, an impressive all-new transmission and a host of safety features. The styling was livened up, too, and numerous other minor enhancements phased in. So while technically the current generation of the Acura ILX is entering the latter stages of its life, it's never been better.
The ILX doesn't escape its foibles entirely. There isn't much to differentiate its cabin from that of a well-equipped Honda, and its touch points don't feel like they're up to snuff for a luxury sedan. Acceleration is tepid unless you like taking the engine to redline, and isolation from road noise could be better. Tech-savvy buyers might find the functionality of its updated multimedia interface leaves a bit to be desired. Systems from Audi and BMW are much more user-friendly.
Accordingly, you'll want to look at some of the excellent alternatives in this price range before making a decision. The Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class are slightly more expensive and aren't as roomy in back, but their more potent engines and more refined interiors make them seem more worthy of luxury sedan status. Larger mainstream sedans like the 2017 Ford Fusion and 2017 Honda Accord might not have luxury nameplates, but their loaded-up top trim levels can be very respectable alternatives to the ILX. Ultimately, we're glad that the recent improvements have moved the 2017 Acura ILX up a notch. But this entry-level model still has its work cut out if it wants to stand out from the crowd.
The 2017 Acura ILX entry-level luxury sedan comes with six different equipment levels: base, AcuraWatch Plus package, Premium with and without A-Spec Package and Tech Plus with or without A-Spec Package.
Standard equipment for the base model includes 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, automatic LED headlights, heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats, a fold-down rear seatback, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 5-inch information display screen, a multi-view backup camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB/iPod audio interface and Pandora radio and Siri Eyes Free smartphone app integration.
Springing for the AcuraWatch Plus package adds adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system, automatic braking for frontal collision mitigation, a lane departure warning system, lane keeping assist and Road Departure Mitigation.
The Premium package builds on the base car's standard equipment as well, but it omits the AcuraWatch Plus equipment in lieu of blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, perforated leather front seats, a four-way power passenger seat, driver memory settings, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an 8-inch upper information display (in place of the 5-inch screen), an additional 7-inch touchscreen and a seven-speaker audio system with HD radio, an iPhone-based navigation app, satellite radio and Aha radio smartphone app integration.
Further up the ladder, the Technology Plus package adds the contents of the AcuraWatch Plus package and the Premium package as well as a 10-speaker premium audio system, voice commands (including audio), a navigation system and guidelines for the rearview camera.
You can add the A-Spec package to both the Premium and Technology Plus package equipment lines to get 18-inch wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, side sills and simulated-suede seat inserts with contrasting stitching.