2021 Acura ILX

MSRP $25,950 - $31,850

Ranked #14 in Compact Sedan

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2021 Acura ILX Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 19, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Acura ILX has served to be the entry point into the Acura brand for quite some time and has maintained a healthy image for a good entry-level luxury sedan. Being the Honda Civic’s distant cousin, the ILX surprisingly has a solid identity of its own and does at least appear more premium on the outside. The list of practical and modern connectivity features inside the cabin is a long one, but the overall implementation could have been better. 

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Pros

Plethora of standard safety tech

Striking and bold exterior design

Powerful engine

Low ownership costs

Cons

Obsolete infotainment system

Cramped rear seats

Soggy brakes

Uninspiring handling

What's New?

No major changes as compared to the 2020 model


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$29950

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

130 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

144 cu.in.

horsepower

201 hp @ 6800 rpm

torque

180 lb-ft. @ 3600 rpm

transmission

8 speed Dual Clutch

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

12.3/11.1 in.

capacity

passenger volume

89.3 cu ft.

cargo volume

12.4 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.6 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15.2 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

188 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

24/28/34 mpg

highway range

448.8 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

6 yr./ 70000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$25,950 onwards

Premium Package$27,950 onwards

Premium and A-SPEC Packages$29,950 onwards

Technology Package$30,000 onwards

Technology and A-SPEC Packages$31,850 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Acura ILX in Canyon Bronze Metallic color
Canyon Bronze Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

6.2

Engine and Performance

6.1

Fuel Economy

8.4

Interior

5.7

Exterior

7.0

Safety

8.1

Competition

8.0

Final Verdict

6.0

7.1

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.1

Overall Rating


For the 2021 model, Acura has carried over the 2020 ILX with no perceptible changes, which was expected since it recently received a facelift in 2019. Although it does look the part, we do believe that the ILX is in need of a complete overhaul soon. The exterior has a distinct styling of its own, while the interior design is forgettable. It faces competition from the likes of BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine, and Audi A3.

2021 Acura ILX Sedan front angle view
2021 Acura ILX Sedan rear angle view

6.1/10
Engine and Performance

8.4/10
Fuel Economy

5.7/10
Interior

7.0/10
Exterior

8.1/10
Safety

8.0/10
Competition

6.0/10
Final Verdict


2021 Acura ILX Features

The 2021 Acura ILX has a decent spread of trims, starting from the Base trim priced at $26,100, Premium Package coming in at $28,100, A-Spec Package w/Premium Package priced at $30,100, and the top-of-the-line A-Spec Package w/Technology Package commanding $32,000. As it is evident, the ILX comes in a decent variety of configurations, although they are quite narrowly priced, which could see you wanting to climb the hierarchy quite quickly though.

Trim

Base

Premium Package

A-Spec Package with Premium Package

A-Spec Package with Technology Package

MSRP

$26,100

$28,100

$30,100

$32,000

Key Features

Dual Zone Climate Control

Adds to Base features

Adds to technology Package features

Adds to Premium and A-Spec Package features

 

Daytime Running Lights

Blind Spot Monitors

18-inch alloys

Acura navigation system with 3D view

 

Stability Control

Satellite Radio

LED Fog Lamps

Keyless Ignition

 

Lane Departure Warning

7 total speakers with 1 subwoofer

A-Spec Sport Seats

AcuraLink real-time traffic

 

Emergency Braking Assist

4-way Power Passenger Seat

USB with External Media Control

Interior Air Filtration

 

AM/FM Stereo with 6-total speakers

Leather Upholstery

Milano Ultrasuede Upholstery

Graphite and Chrome dash trim

 

Sunroof

 

A-Spec Red Instrument Cluster

Dynamic guidelines for the multi-view rear camera

Which trim should you buy? 

The Base trim of the ILX offers good value for money as it does come with some generous amount of features on offer, but upgrading to the Premium would be our suggestion since it is arguably the most value for money option of the lot. The fact that it at least offers a touch screen, albeit a terrible one, is enough reason to upgrade in the year 2021 as we wouldn’t want you to feel left out on the infotainment front. The other added features are also more than makeup for the price increase, but if your pocket allows, springing up the top tier isn’t a heavy task.

2021 Acura ILX Engine and Performance

6.1/10

The 2021 Acura ILX features the same 2.4L naturally aspirated V-TEC motor that has been doing its duty in this chassis for quite a while. The engine produces a healthy 201 hp of power and 180 lb-ft. of torque which is decent enough for a naturally aspirated motor in our eyes. Although the acceleration could feel a little on the sluggish side due to the lack of greater torque in lower RPMs, when you start wringing the motor out, you do get to experience the classic V-TEC kicking in. 

2021 Acura ILX Sedan engine bay

Since the engine comes paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, shifts are rather quick and precise and the engine can appear to be sportier than it actually is. Although we would have loved to see some sort of forced induction or power bump for 2021 MY, the ILX as it stands still offers appreciable levels of performance for the average user. It manages a 0-60 mph sprint in about 6.4 seconds and a quarter-mile drag is done in 14.9 seconds.

Models

2021 Acura ILX

2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine

2021 Audi A3

MSRP

$26,100

$37,500

$32,900

$33,300

Engine

2.4L Inline Four-Cylinder

2.0L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder

2.0L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder

2.0L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

7-speed dual-clutch automatic

7-speed automatic

Power

201 hp @ 6,800 RPM

228 hp @ 5,000 RPM

188 hp @ 5,800 RPM

184 hp @ 4,500 RPM

Torque

180 lb-ft @ 3,600 RPM

258 lb-ft @ 1,450 RPM

221 lb-ft @ 1,250 RPM

221 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM

0-60 MPH (seconds)

6.4

6.0

7.5

6.6

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

14.9

14.5

15.3

14.8

Top Speed (MPH)

143

155

155

155

The BMW manages to take home a win, thanks to its power advantage over the rest of the competition, which is attributed to the amazing turbocharged motor that BMW slapped in. Out of all the rivals, the ILX is the only vehicle that is naturally aspirated and could appeal to a certain few that aren’t cozy to the idea of forced induction. When comparing the price range, BMW is the most expensive option, making it around $11,000 more expensive than what Acura asks for.

How well does the 2021 Acura ILX handle?

The 2021 Acura ILX is somewhat of a lukewarm affair when it comes to the handling department. Although behind the steering wheel experience isn’t something that is confidence-inspiring enough to drive at ten-tenths, it isn’t terrible enough to completely neglect it. For an entry-level luxury sedan, the ILX retains acceptable levels of composure when going around tight bends, but if you push it too hard, the body roll could be troublesome.

2021 Acura ILX Sedan handling

The ILX deserves some credit for being quite agile when switching direction quickly which helps quite a lot, especially when puttering in the city. The suspension setup of the ILX is definitely one of the better things about it as it manages to iron out most undulations, but the louder than acceptable road and wind noise could be a little taxing while behind the wheel. We expected better noise insulation inside the cabin.

Braking Performance

The brakes on the ILX unfortunately are on the weaker end of the spectrum as it can be easily felt that they tend to fade pretty quickly if you put them through some demanding applications. The brakes on the ILX not only feel wooden but also lack the stopping power that would impart confidence in the driver. Also, emergency stops could be a little anxiety-inducing, although one might get used to the braking distance with time. The ILX is equipped with 12.3-inch rotors in the front and 11.1-inch rotors in the rear. Both the rotors work hard and bring the ILX to a complete halt from 60 mph within 121 feet of stopping distance. 

Models

2021 Acura ILX

2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine

2021 Audi A3

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

12.3

12.3

12.6

12.3

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

11.1

11.3

11.6

10.7

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,095

3,534

3,285

3,197

60-0 MPH (feet)

121

127

121

117

The Audi takes the least distance to stop from 60 mph, whereas the ILX is tied for the second shortest stopping distance with the Tri-Star. It is extremely weird that in the practical world, even though the BMW takes a longer distance to stop, it is much easier to gauge and somehow feels much better through the brake pedal than the ILX. However, the BMW is also the bulkiest one of the lot, and with all that momentum comes to a complete halt within 127 feet of stopping distance. 

2021 Acura ILX Fuel Economy

8.4/10

With an EPA estimate of 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg out on the highway, the 2021 ILX manages to return some very respectable fuel economy numbers which should result in fewer trips to the gas station. With a fuel tank capacity of 13.2 gallons, it can travel up to 317 miles in the city, 449 miles on the highway, and 369 miles in mixed driving conditions on a full tank of gas. For a vehicle that is as docile as the ILX, we are happy to see it performing well on the economy front as it would at least return miles per gallon if not smiles per gallon!

Models

2021 Acura ILX

2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine

2021 Audi A3

MPG (City)

24

23

24

27

MPG (Highway)

34

33

36

36

MPG (Combined)

28

27

28

30

Fuel Tank Capacity (Gallons)

13.2

13.2

13.5

13.2

Range (City/Highway/Combined; Miles)

317/449/369

304/436/356

324/473/378

337/472/378

The better fuel economy numbers on the Audi and a class standard 13.2-gallon tank size make it the choice to be when opting for a fun and economical vehicle, with the A-Class coming in an extremely close second. The Beemer, although is sportier than the rest, does lose out by a smidge when it comes to EPA estimates. Acura stands along with Mercedes in both city and combined fuel economy but loses on the highways.

2021 Acura ILX Interior

5.7/10

The 2021 Acura ILX comes with a dated-looking interior styling. The center console design feels archaic and the twin infotainment display design is comical to look at and aftermarket in its feel. The choice of materials utilized for the ILX’s interiors certainly doesn’t reflect anything remotely “luxurious,” and the only thing that we did like at a glance was its steering wheel design. The seating department is a little problematic somehow too as the driver seat refuses to go down beyond a certain point and could pose headroom issues for taller people.

2021 Acura ILX Sedan cockpit area

The rear seat room can be dubbed as cramped in general for anyone that has a height starting with figure six and above. Although the controls that are separate from the infotainment do work well and the cabin is fairly well equipped, it is very disappointing to sit inside a vehicle that looks smashing on the outside but damn near barf worthy on the inside. Surely, the Acura designers could have worked harder and given the ILX a better interior.

Models

2021 Acura ILX

2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine

2021 Audi A3

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

38.0/55.6/42.3

39.8/55.5/41.4

40.3/55.1/41.8

36.5/54.8/41.2

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

35.9/53.6/34.0

35.7/53.1/34.4

37.2/54.0/33.9

36.1/53/35.1

Cargo Space (cubic feet)

12.4

15.1

14.3

12.3

The tag of the ‘most modern-looking interiors’ has to go to Mercedes-Benz as they have been doing some fantastic stuff inside the cabin in almost all of their 2021 vehicles. Yes, we do like the clean and simple BMW interiors as well, but Mercedes takes it to a whole new level. The added boot space on the BMW might sway some, but we would still rather have the A-Class for its interior alone. The ILX and A3 lack good cargo capacity as well. The BMW offers better practicality with more cargo capacity than the competition. Some of the standout interior features of the ILX are: 

  • Dual-Zone, automatic climate control
  • Keyless access system
  • Heated front seats 
  • Stainless steel sport pedals
  • Ambient cabin lighting 
  • Automatic dimming rearview mirror

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The moment that we thought the cabin experience of the ILX couldn’t get worse, Acura decided to bamboozle us by slapping us in the face with the most confusing infotainment in any automotive product. The dual-screen infotainment setup in the ILX is confusing to look at and painful to operate. For some reason, every function is haphazardly split between these two screens, and the fact that the higher screen isn’t a touch screen just makes you scratch your head in amazement. Yes, if it is just too much for you, you can opt for the base model that does away with the touch infotainment entirely, but we would still not suggest you go that route as it takes away a ton of functionality too.

2021 Acura ILX Sedan infotainment screen

For some reason, Acura has decided to display the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto screens on the higher no touch display with the controls on the lower touch screen, which makes for the most frustrating interaction ever with these services. The audio quality is also nothing to be raved about, but it gets the job decently well, which is enough for most folks. The moment you step up to the optional 10-speaker Burmeister setup, the car thumps out some solid tunes with appreciable sound separation. The upgraded system is a worthy add-on that is only let down by the subpar head unit. The premium sound system does sound great and tries to compensate for the mediocre infotainment system. Some of the highlights of the infotainment system are: 

  • 8.0-inch Touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • AcuraLink Navigation and Real-Time Traffic
  • SiriusXM
  • 7 Speaker + 1 Subwoofer System /10 Speaker Burmester System
  • Secondary Non-Touch Display

2021 Acura ILX Exterior

7.0/10

The front end of the Acura ILX has got to be one of its biggest USPs as it looks gorgeous on the outside. The standard Jewel Eye LED Headlights are crisp to look at, and we do believe that the larger Acura grille does grow on people with time. The side profile looks modern with a slightly sloping roofline, and the chrome on the window panes gives it a premium appeal. The overall proportions of the Acura are a big thumbs up, while the piano black rear spoiler and the blacked-out alloys look especially great with the white color scheme. 

2021 Acura ILX Sedan

Models

2021 Acura ILX

2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine

2021 Audi A3

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,095

3,534

3,285

3,197

Length (inches)

182.2

178.5

179.1

175.5

Width (inches)

70.6

70.9

70.7

77.2

Height (inches)

55.6

55.9

56.9

55.7

Ground Clearance (inches)

5.3

5.5

4.3

6.3

Wheelbase (inches)

105.1

105.1

107.4

103.8

The wider and taller proportions of the A3 do impress a tad more when it comes to interior comfort, but thanks to the extended wheelbase on the Mercedes, it is the A-Class that appears to be slightly more planted when going full speed. When considering the ground clearance, the A3 scores the top rank, followed by 2 Series, ILX, and A-Class. Some of the standout exterior features are as follows:

  • Jewel-Eye LED headlights
  • Signature Acura grille
  • Piano black Aero on A-Spec Package
  • Smoked chrome accents
  • 18-inch alloys wheels

2021 Acura ILX Safety

8.1/10

A 5-star rating from the NHTSA and the highest rating of “Good” in all metrics, barring the headlights, from the IIHS does establish the fact pretty well that the ILX is remarkable when it comes to safety. Not only has Acura built the ILX as a safe platform in itself with great passive safety features, but it also has not skimped on the active safety features as well. Although certain features are available on higher trims or as optional. Some of the notable active safety features are as follows:

  • Lane departure warning system
  • Forward collision warning system
  • Automated emergency braking
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring system

2021 Acura ILX Competition

8.0/10

2021 Acura ILX vs 2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe has managed to send ripples into the very class that all these vehicles are fighting in. The Beemer is faster, more agile, and offers a great level of safety features when compared to the ILX. The 2 Series offers a much bigger boot in comparison to the ILX and also comes with a significantly better interior which more or less wipes out the ILX from our consideration. However, the BMW is more expensive than the ILX but justifies its price tag better. 

2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

2021 Acura ILX vs 2021 Mercedes A-Class Limousine

The new A-Class from Mercedes-Benz in all honesty chews up and spits out the ILX when it comes to the interiors as it is arguably the most opulent feeling vehicle in the class. The infotainment on the Mercedes blows the ILX out of the water, while the great driving dynamics and newer exterior styling only further justify the A-Class’s argument of being better than the ILX. The A-class is more expensive than the ILX but is the car of our choice between the two. 

2021 Mercedes A-Class Limousine

2021 Acura ILX vs 2021 Audi A3

The Audi A3 might be a little longer in the tooth when compared to some of the other rivals in the class, but it still feels much fresher than the aging ILX. Yes, if given a choice, we might pick between the BMW and the Mercedes as the most sought-after vehicle in the class. That said, the Audi offers an extremely compelling package of efficiency and driving dynamics that make it a great option for potential buyers. Much like in the other cases though, the ILX falls flat on its face and fails to convince us as to why we should pick it over the A3.

2021 Audi A3

 

2021 Acura ILX Final Verdict

6.0/10

The 2021 Acura ILX might look like a sorted vehicle on the outside, but when you start probing, you realize that most of the product is just based on hopes and dreams. We might have forgiven the ILX for the slightly lethargic performance and lazy handling in favor of its luxury orientation, but the interior of the ILX messes it over so bad, that it is tough to recommend this vehicle to a potential buyer. Overall, it is not a bad vehicle, but the competition does everything in a much better way. Acura, please give the ILX a complete overhaul, it is desperate for one! 

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