Acura has added more standard features in a bid to make the 2014 Acura ILX more upscale and sophisticated. These include an eight-way power driver's seat, heated leather seats, upgraded seventeen-inch wheels, a new subwoofer, active noise cancellation, leatherette door liners, and a multi-angle rear camera. Its price increases by $1000...
The 2014 Acura ILX is smaller and less expensive than the rest of the Acura lineup, and thus serves as a gateway to Honda's premium brand. The goal is to attract the millennial generation -- customers in their twenties and early thirties -- and then keep them as long-term buyers as they move up to larger, more expensive vehicles. The ILX launched as a 2013 model and slots below the TSX in the brand's portfolio. It is Acura's latest attempt to craft an appealing entry-level sedan, following the Integra and the TSX. Acura pitches the ILX as a value proposition; it starts at $27,795, including shipping charges.
The 2014 Acura ILX shares underpinnings with the Honda Civic, but the Acura has its own exterior design and cabin appearance. The body styling is marked by prominent lines on the sides that define the haunches around the rear wheels and stretch into the front quarter panels. The grille is a take on Acura's signature face, but it is slimmer and less pronounced than on other vehicles. The cabin is also understated and business-like, offering black or tan leather schemes or a black cloth configuration.
There are three powertrain options. A 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder engine rated at 150 hp is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. This combination gets 24 mpg in city driving and 35 mpg on the highway. Hot shoes can opt for the 2.4-liter 201-hp four-cylinder that teams with a close-ratio six-speed manual; this is the configuration we selected for the ILX in our long-term test fleet. Fuel economy drops 2 mpg in the city and 4 mpg in highway driving with the sportier setup. The hybrid variant is currently rated at 39 mpg in the city and 38 on the highway in 2013, but new figures are expected to be released this fall.
A few Automobile Magazine editors have criticized some of the interior features and the quality of the materials, along with the numb steering and harsh suspension, but the smooth-shifting manual transmission and energetic engine have earned consistent praise. This year, the ILX gets a much-needed upgrade to its rear camera; the driver now has access to views from several angles. Compared with our 2013 model, which provided a grainy image of only a single angle, it is a welcome upgrade. While we think the 2014 Acura ILX is an adequate entry-level luxury sedan, we have concluded that we prefer the Honda Civic Si, which shares the same powertrain as the ILX but is styled and equipped differently.
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