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2019 Acura ILX first drive

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2019 Acura ILX first drive

Acura is aware of what it takes to make a enjoyable, compact car that lovers want. It did so for 3 many years with the Integra, which ultimately morphed into the nonetheless enjoyable RSX. Then the ILX got here round for the 2013 mannequin yr, and the world collectively yawned. It is truly nonetheless yawning, and the 2019 redesign is not doing an entire lot to vary that.

One may anticipate extra wholesale modifications from a car getting into its seventh yr available on the market, however we’re nonetheless staring down the barrel of the identical 201 horsepower 2.four-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder and trick twin-clutch automated transmission (which additionally features a torque converter for low-velocity smoothness) from earlier than. These items aren’t essentially the issue although. It is gratifying to thrash the engine out to 7,000 rpm, and the twin-clutch snaps off surprisingly fast shifts when utilizing the paddles in guide mode. It’s kind of of a throwback to earlier than all of Honda’s efficiency engines switched to turbocharging for energy. It pulls more durable the extra you wring it out, and begs to be paired with a slick-shifting six-velocity guide prefer it was within the ninth-gen Civic Si.

Sadly, every thing else outdoors the powertrain (nonetheless) simply misses the mark. The best a part of Acura’s previous efficiency compacts was how they made you are feeling once you have been driving them. There was an intimate connection between the driving force and street always that’s sorely missing from the ILX. Flip in really feel is smooth and does not supply satisfying fast modifications of course. The previous chassis feels its age in controlling physique actions too. All of it culminates in making the ILX really feel like a bigger car than it truly is. That is to not say the ILX handles poorly, although; it merely does so with none eagerness or really feel — identical to it has from the start.

2019 Acura ILX A-Spec2019 Acura ILX A-Spec

2019 Acura ILX A-Spec2019 Acura ILX A-Spec

That is unlucky as a result of the ILX appears higher than it ever has. Acura re-did the entire entrance nostril from the A-pillar ahead, and it attacked the rear fascia too. We acquired to take a look at and drive A-Spec trimmed automobiles, which add much more aggression to the styling however no efficiency upgrades. Positive there’s three-too-many pretend air vents, however the car lastly grew some tooth in comparison with the extremely-bland appears from earlier than. Props for not following the horrible business development of completely unreasonably-sized pretend exhaust retailers too.

The interior is not as thrilling. It’s going to take you again a couple of years, even in the costliest A-Spec trim, which will get new seats with extra bolstering, suede inserts and a correct-feeling stitched leather-based steering wheel. Acura up to date the infotainment system, however it feels historic in comparison with the utterly new setup within the RDX — Acura wanted that system in all of its automobiles yesterday. Loads of the requisite tech is onboard, together with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. AcuraWatch comes standard too, together with adaptive cruise management, lane-maintain help, street-departure mitigation and auto emergency braking.

Whereas there could be some good features and gear right here, it nonetheless suffers from feeling like a barely gussied-up previous Honda. Think about the RDX’s materials decisions and design language, or the brand new Accord’s extremely-trendy really feel. The ILX is previous, positive, however you possibly can’t have the posh car model interiors lag to date behind the non-luxurious branded automobiles. Regardless of being billed as “new,” the ILX must be redesigned on the present Civic platform as quickly as attainable, to stay aggressive in its class — and even to stay aggressive with the Civic itself.

2019 Acura ILX first drive

And there are not any chassis updates to talk of, because it’s nonetheless driving on the ninth-gen Civic bones. Acura does not appear to be getting the identical efficiency love bestowed upon Honda today, at the least not at this decrease finish of the market.

Acura is perhaps realizing that the ILX’s attraction is waning, as a result of relying on the trim degree you go for, the corporate dropped the price by $2,200, or extra. A base price of $26,895 makes this vehicle a bit extra interesting, however I am nonetheless not bought. The 2019 Civic Si begins at $25,195, feels far more trendy inside and is a blast to drive. In larger trims, the place the ILX turns into much less of a worth proposition, it seems to be even much less interesting. Our tester rung in at $32,545. Until you want the upscale badge, the Civic — and even different entry-degree luxurious fashions, just like the Audi A3 or Mercedes A-Class — are extra interesting than the previous-masquerading-as-new ILX.

What the compact Acura wants is to return to its roots. We all know there are plans convey again Sort S fashions, however we do not know which automobiles are going to get the efficiency remedy. All of the income appear to be in crossovers and SUVs nowadays, so it is easy to think about Acura will make a pair Sort S variations of these. Nevertheless, what we might like to see is a real efficiency successor to the Integra. Following the previous ILX components with the brand new-era Civic, and swiping the Sort R’s beastly turbocharged motor, can be a terrific play. As a result of what we’ve got now simply is not chopping it.

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