Compact Premium - Sedan
It seems that 30 years ago Honda had a great idea, create a luxury brand to compete with BMW, Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz. Seems that along the way they forgot who they wanted to compete with. Today's Acura lineup is better competing with the likes of Lincoln, Chrysler and Hyundai. I guess someone over the past 30 years forgot where Acura was suppose to go and what it was suppose to be. Too bad though as over the years they have had some great models, even if they are just rebadged Hondas.
Up front the new ILX shows its best attributes, with its steel faced grille, hard-lined headlights and X-marks the lower end. Of course this X does come with one of the worst attributes of the front end. The X also marks the low end plastic used to cover up air ducts in need of a proper grille. Add in the thrown together fog lights and you have the makings of a cheap Honda.
Out back is where the brunt of the bad low end features are. Start with the over sized rear bumper which is in need of some liposuction. Next head on over to the rear license plate space. You will find a bland and non-impressive cavern which is in need of some chrome features and smooth edging. Lastly Acura forgot the main rule of product placement, never oversize your logo. The rear Acura logo is a bit too large, but I guess that does not matter when your ass is all too big.
Along the side it seems that Acura is trying to please the likes of street tuners, adding in smooth lines and a body line which hugs the window line. Add on some chrome and you have the one bit of actual luxury on the ILX.
It seems that the new ILX has the attributes of a sports sedan and appeal of a gussied up Honda. Of course this could help being the only selling feature that the ILX has, since it has the overall appeal of every other Honda product. Slap on a Honda logo and remove the sport rims, and voila, you have the Accord sport. One thing the ILX has going for itself, is the fact that it does have a dark side. The front headlights and hood line do give it that dark sport appeal.
Overall the new ILX is everything you would want in a Euro-spec Honda, not a car branded by a luxury label. I guess in four years when the ILX gets its next update, Acura will find its mojo and bring back some soul to their select market luxury brand.
OVERALL GRADE: C+