Using the slightly altered words of Katy Perry, "We're hot then we're cold, we're yes then we're no" when it comes to our Acura ILX. We damn and praise the car from sentence to sentence, and we know it.
A lot of the ILX feels half-cocked. Executive editor Todd Lassa thinks "its handling and tossability are worth the tradeoff in ride, which is not at all luxurious." Associate web editor Ben Timmins says that the "engine feels guttural and is more rewarding the harder you push it." But then the already loud engine gets louder, and its noise blasts through the paper-thin firewall. Short gearing provides great acceleration from a stop, but it pushes the tachometer past 3000 rpm when the ILX is cruising at 70 mph in sixth gear. Though we think the ILX is a bit desultory, we also think it's very amusing from behind the wheel, something we hold in very high regard here.
Tom "The Gopher" Foley recently discovered just how engaging the ILX is during a trip down south. "On the twisty two-lanes outside of Kentucky's Mammoth National Park, the gearbox and engine worked perfectly together. Even with front-biased weight distribution and bicycle-sized tires, I loved pushing this thing through corners." But even Foley couldn't believe how scantily equipped our top-trim model is. "Given the Acura badges and the hefty price tag, shouldn't there be navigation?"
Rejoice, Tom. Acura added "a host of new standard features" to the 2014 ILX, just one model year after the compact sedan joined the Japanese automaker's lineup. Oh, how we love Acura for adding technologies like...wait, what? The only changes they've announced are to the base model? While we gingerly applaud Acura for improving its entry-level car -- but not for increasing its price by a grand -- we stick to our guns that the most powerful ILX needs more in-car features, like navigation (we might've written that in previous months). Even if it means smaller margins, Acura needs to set its luxury compact apart from its counterpart at Honda. "I've said it before, and I'll say it again; that this would be a much better $26,000 Civic Si sedan, even without some of the 'premium' touches," says Lassa. "Although, you don't have to put up with the Civic Si's kid-racer look with the Acura."
There we go again, damning and praising.