All kinds of Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs, and Audis cycle through our parking lot, and it seems that they're all optioned with headlights that can see into the future and seats that can give you a Shiatsu massage. It's hard to forget these high-end features when we plop into our eleven-month-old Acura ILX, a semi-luxury car that has an inferior rearview camera and an optimistically named premium audio system.
The ILX might've finished its life here overshadowed by those megabuck German sedans, had not Automobile Magazine's newest arrivals, associate editor Greg Migliore and associate web editor Joey Capparella, reminded us that the ILX really is a cool, fun-to-drive, practical compact sedan.
The first thing they noted? The ILX's often praised powertrain. Like dozens of editors before them, Migliore and Capparella instantly fell for the gearbox. "It's hard not to enjoy the six-speed manual, nicely weighted clutch, and smooth, taut shift throws," said Migliore. "I like the short gearing, too" added Capparella. "The ILX feels very eager and playful because of it."
They next focused on the exterior and interior. "I like the ILX's look," said Migliore. "There's a lot of curb appeal, and this shade of crimson is snappy. The styling has enough curves and lines to add some character, though they're not excessive." Capparella chimed in: "The size of the ILX is just about perfect. Honda has always been good at space efficiency, and this Acura manages to be relatively roomy inside while appearing compact on the outside. I especially like that there's barely any center floor hump in the back seat. My six-foot tall uncle fit perfectly back there." Migliore also complimented the supportive driver's seat, calling it "one of the interior's best features."
The ILX's too-stiff suspension and poorly soundproofed cabin didn't impress either one, but both Migliore and Capparella walked away from Acura in high spirits. "If you don't think of the ILX as a luxury car, it comes off as a pleasant and fun small sedan," said Capparella. "For 30 grand, the ILX is a smart package," said Migliore. "Its features make it comfortable for commuting, and the powertrain makes it enjoyable to drive once you get away from traffic."
Now that we've had a fresh perspective on the ILX, we hope that it doesn't retreat back to wallflower status in the final month of its yearlong stint.