Our complaints about the current Honda Civic are well documented. Despite its pedigree of past outstanding small cars, the current model is too noisy, has an unrefined ride, and unimpressive fit and finish. It falls well short in our testing, conceding ground to numerous, better competitors. It turns out, many of those shortcomings were addressed in its upscale mechanical sibling, the Acura ILX.
The ILX is indeed a well-executed Civic. It proves what that platform can achieve, being quieter, better finished, and more richly appointed. But our test car stickered for just over $30,000—a lot of coin for a Civic by any name.
The ILX aims to compete in the burgeoning compact upscale market, where automakers see some consumers shifting in their desire to balance fuel economy, amenities, and brand prestige. The ILX, like its competitors, exposes certain compromises with its approach.
Namely, it is clear that the ILX is a tarted-up Civic. Even though it rides better than its lower-rung Honda sibling, the ILX's more expensive dampers don't mask the choppy and unsettled highway ride. The base 150-hp engine remains pokey but at least it's efficient. And better dressed than the chintzy Civic, the ILX cabin still falls short of true luxury.
Not a bad car by any stretch, the ILX does carry some compromises. Ultimately, the toughest competition for the ILX will be the Acura TSX, a larger, more substantial car.
The ILX faced off in the November magazine against another compact upscale sedan, the Buick Verano. (Read the comparison test.)
Check out our video for more insights, and visit our Acura ILX model page for the complete road test, ratings, and pricing.
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