Acura’s relaunch is kicking off. Over the past year we’ve seen the small ILX sedan, redesigned RDX crossover, upcoming RLX and the NSX Concept debut. The only thing left untouched so far is the best-selling MDX. With Acura’s quick pace at getting a thoroughly redesigned lineup launched, it can’t be too far behind.
This latest generation of Acuras has toned down styling (and pricing), and we think it hits just about the right note for Acura. Competing against Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz proved to be a fruitless pursuit, especially without an appealing design language or a willingness from Honda to put in the required investment. When ILX was first heard about, we didn’t have high hopes given its Honda Civic underpinnings.
After seeing it though, it largely exceeded our expectations, at least as far as styling is concerned. Entry-level small luxury is burgeoning segment and the Acura ILX goes right against the Buick Verano. Out of the two, the ILX definitely looks more youthful on the exterior while Verano has the clear edge on the interior. It’ll be interesting to see who wins in the sales race. Somehow we’d have to probably bet on the ILX, but we’ll see. Acura has announced pricing for the new small sedan.
It starts at $25,900 and includes a good amount of standard kit. Under the hood, a 2.0-liter 150 horsepower 4-cylinder is standard, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Adding options and upgrading the engine will tick the price up significantly. A fully-loaded hybrid ILX with a navigation system will ding the cash register at $34,400. Too much money in our book, and the hybrid is utterly pointless. Honda has never gotten them figured out. But, we digress. The standard 2.0-liter car loaded costs $31,400, giving Acura a nice margin on the Civic-based sedan. If you’re getting the ILX, the engine and tranny combo to go for is the 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 201 horsepower, mated to a close-ratio six-speed manual. That will set you back $29,200 with the Premium package. At these prices, we’d rather try to save longer and get into a 3-Series, IS or A4. That’s just us though – what do you guys think?