Regular readers of this column might remember the recent review of the new Buick Verano compact entry-level luxury sedan. In that review, the only notable competitor was the Acura ILX, formally known as the Acura CSX, which was preceded by the Acura EL. With the Verano, General Motors is just catching onto the trend Acura stared here in Canada back in the 1990s; build a luxury sedan that regular people can afford. The EL, CSX and now this ILX share the same basic formula of taking the Honda Civic platform and modifying it into something slightly more luxurious. The EL and CSX were thinly veiled Civic's, meaning the changes were minimal and in the case of the recent CSX, almost pathetic. This ILX is a much better attempt at developing a different car. It has a more cohesive design, engine options and a more refined interior, befitting the Acura name.
The CSX, from ten paces was almost impossible to discern if it was indeed an Acura or the Civic it was based on. The styling was poor. Not the case with the new ILX, the designers at Acura have done a wonderful job of grafting the Acura DNA onto the Civic bones. The front grille is similar to the bigger TSX, the sweeping roofline is stylish, plus the side body accents dip just before the rear quarter panel, providing rear hips that give the ILX a sense of movement. The most elegant view is the rear, with flush-mounted taillights. The base ILX starts at $27,790 and it comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, moon roof and halogen headlamps. To get 17-inch wheels the Premium model at $29,990 needs to be ordered. To round out the ILX lineup is the Dynamic model ($29,990) with the same engine found in the Civic Si and a hybrid ($34,990), which is the same drive train found in the Civic version.
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