Some of Acura’s biggest successes have been with small, front-wheel drive offerings like the Integra, RSX and TSX. It is an area where Acura has shined. Recent history hasn’t been kind to Honda’s luxury division.
Sales are in decline thanks to a polarizing design language that has crippled sales of its most popular model, the TL. Executives at Honda have decided its time for a reboot – Acura is abandoning its chase of top tier luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz for a return to its roots. The ILX is the first evidence of that plan.
Buick Verano – meet your chief competitor. The ILX is aimed squarely at the Verano, and is going to be competing in the small, entry-level luxury category. The goal of ILX is to provide buyers with something more upscale than your average Civic.
A nicer name, fancier interior and edgier design, but still with an accessible price. The ILX is based on the Civic, but you would never know it thankfully. We were worried it would be a rebadge, but that isn’t the case. The ILX gets an entirely unique design. And surprise! It actually is pretty engaging – the best Acura design in years no doubt.
It is youthful and sleek, with a techy appeal. ILX sales are going to be interesting to watch in comparison to the Verano. Based on the exterior design, we think we have a winner here. The inside has yet to be revealed for some strange reason. Hopefully no traces of the Civic are to be found inside either. The ILX will be offered with three engines, all four-cylinders. The first is a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter with automatic transmission, high performance 2.4-liter with a six-speed manual (lack of auto could hurt sales) and a 1.5-liter hybrid, Acura’s first. The ILX is badged as a “concept”, but it is production ready, with an on-sale date set for this Spring.