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2019 Acura ILX Overview

The Acura ILX hit dealerships in the 2013 model year. Since then, it’s had to stave off competition from entry-level premium cars and from increasingly nice vehicles by non-premium brands. The 2019 model brings drastic improvements to the ILX’s styling and technology.

While the ILX’s body remains the same, you’ll recognize the 2019 version due to its all-new front and rear fascias. The sharp LED headlights, downturned pentagonal main grille, and snarling lower grille all come from Acura’s latest brand designs. The rear end presents a simplified appearance, with translucent taillights up top joined by an elegant crease. Acura designers relocated the license-plate recess to the bumper, surrounded by a faux rear diffuser and reflector accents. Inside, reshaped seats with a new stylized stitching pattern keep things interesting.

The ILX now offers the performance-inspired A-Spec Package. It enhances the already aggressive exterior styling with A-Spec badging throughout, along with 18-inch gray wheels, dark-chrome details on the headlights and taillights, LED fog lights, side underbody spoilers, a dark chrome diamond grille, a piano-black rear diffuser and decklid spoiler, a sportier steering wheel, a unique red instrument panel, and a leather-and-ultrasuede upholstery combo in either ebony or red, with piping and contrast stitching.

Technology moves at a breakneck pace these days, leaving those that ignore it behind. Realizing this, Acura’s engineers gave the ILX a technology upgrade for 2019. While the base infotainment system is the same as before, it features a redesigned dual-screen premium unit 30 percent faster than before, creating a more-responsive touchscreen. It now includes the all-important Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The ILX’s sole engine is a carryover, a 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. It sends power directly to the front wheels through an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). Fuel-economy ratings are down by one mile per gallon compared to the 2018 model, at 24 city, 34 highway, and 28 combined on premium fuel.

Standard features on the 2019 ILX include 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, a power moonroof, heated side mirrors, leatherette upholstery, an 8-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, a folding rear seatback, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless start and access, ambient lighting, and Siri Eyes Free.

The available Premium Package comes with perforated leather seats with contrast stitching and piping, driver memory settings, a 4-way power passenger seat, 17-inch pewter-gray alloy wheels, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a premium audio system, the nicer infotainment system, satellite radio, and a garage door opener. Meanwhile, the Technology Package comes bundled with the premium package and also throws in navigation, real-time traffic, a color instrument panel display, and telematics. The aforementioned A-Spec Package also comes bundled with the Premium Package.

Acura includes the AcuraWatch suite of safety equipment on all its models. That includes a reversing camera, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and lane-departure warning with road-departure mitigation. The Premium Package adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the ILX favorably during its 2018 crash-safety evaluation. 2019 scores have yet to be released as of this writing.

The Acura ILX is more premium than luxury, but that’s a niche it fulfills well. This year’s sharper styling, upgraded technology, and optional A-Spec configuration should win favor among buyers.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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