2019 ILX receives major styling and technology upgrades
August 13 2019, Trevor Hofmann
Sharp new design ideally incorporates Diamond Pentagon signature grille
The highly popular ILX compact luxury sedan gets a significant update for 2019, complete with the premium brand's new trademark Acura Diamond Pentagon grille up front and centre, complemented by a new front bumper and lower fascia. The latter is made more dramatic in new A-Spec trim, while the rest of the car gets attractive updates from nose to tail.
Only the seven-element Jewel Eye LED headlamps look unchanged, although Acura points out the 2019 ILX is entirely new from the A-pillars forward, with even the hood more sharply sculpted. The shape of the LED taillights appear totally new and much more eye-catching, while the rear bumper and apron are revised as well, once again more significantly in A-Spec guise.
Of course, no mid-cycle update would be complete without new wheel designs, which means lower end models get fresh sets of 17-inch split-five-spoke alloys with trim-specific finishes, and the new A-Spec sports exclusive 18-inch rims.
Acura makes key improvements to ILX interior
The 2019 ILX interior receives many of the outgoing model's high-quality finishings for 2019, although Acura speaks of "more luxurious and sporty cabin appointments" too. Acura also highlights new silver-finish dash trim featuring a new chrome insert, plus a machine-finished ignition button. Even more consequential to real-world comfort, the reworked ILX receives "more intricately styled and reshaped sport seats, front and rear, with available high-contrast piping and stitching." Driver's seat power-adjustable lumbar support is standard across the line as well, making comfort priority one.
Additionally, the dual-screen On Demand Multi-Use Display (ODMD 2.0) infotainment system gets an update featuring fresh graphics, new software, a faster responding operating system (by up to 30 percent), more intuitive menus and command structures, and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. Acura says the 7.0-inch touchscreen portion of its dual-screen setup features a capacitive display that's "more responsive to touch and is positioned within easy reach of the driver and front passenger," so we look forward to testing this out in an upcoming review.
Plenty of colours and trims to personalize your ILX experience
The new 2019 ILX gets five new exterior colours as well, including Platinum White Pearl, Majestic Black Pearl, Performance Red Pearl, Canyon Bronze Metallic and A-Spec-exclusive Apex Blue Pearl, while Lunar Silver Metallic and Modern Steel Metallic carryover. Likewise, Ebony and Graystone colourways continue forward inside, although take note new Espresso provides some upscale colour to the ILX cabin, while the sportier A-Spec model gets exclusive Ebony on Red or Red on Ebony combinations, mixed with soft, grippy Ultrasuede seat inserts.
Speaking of the A-Spec upgrade, along with the exterior enhancements mentioned earlier, which also include distinctive styling with more aggressive aero components, plus dark chrome grille and lower fascia trim, darker headlights and taillights, LED fog lamps, a gloss-black rear deck lid spoiler, and unique new 18-inch alloys in a Shark Gray finish, the A-Spec gets a special graphite-silver dash accent with chrome insert, an A-Spec branded steering wheel with contrast stitching, and aluminum sport pedals. The aforementioned sport seats feature high contrast stitching as well.
Strong standard performance an ILX hallmark
Despite getting a dramatic refresh that brings it inline with the rest of the Acura lineup, the 2019 ILX continues forward with Acura's well-proven, wonderfully rev-happy 201-horsepower, 16-valve, DOHC, i-VTEC-infused 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine borrowed from the previous Civic Si albeit refined for this car's more luxury-oriented gateway-to-premium persona.
As part of its repurposed application the potent engine joins up to an automated dual-clutch eight-speed transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters, providing both smooth ease of use and quick-shifting performance, while its front-wheel drivetrain aids fuel economy. If it seems familiar, this formidable powertrain is also used in the base TLX.
New ILX delivers class-leading active safety
Additionally, the 2019 ILX joins every other model in the brand's lineup in providing the AcuraWatch suite of active safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment, including Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW).
Acura is the only premium brand to provide such standard advanced safety features to all of its models, and this focus has pushed it up the U.S. Insurance Institute of Highway Safety's (IIHS) rankings, resulting in three of its recently updated models receiving Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick + scores. The 2019 ILX should benefit from the AcuraWatch upgrade too, as the 2018 model already earns 5 safety stars from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), plus zero complaints, zero investigations and zero recalls.
The current ILX' high NHTSA score results from Acura's Advance Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure as well as other standard safety and driver assistive features, such as Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control, an Expanded View Driver's Mirror, advanced front airbags, driver and front passenger side airbags, side curtain airbags, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), not to mention pedestrian injury-mitigation exterior design elements, while the new 2019 ILX will also be available with blind spot information (BSI) and rear cross traffic monitoring.
Quality comes standard with every Acura ILX
Also notable, the outgoing 2018 ILX earned a top Initial Quality Study (IQS) ranking for its segment this year. In more detail, it received a Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5 and a quality award in the Small Premium Car segment. The ILX also earned the top position in the entry-luxury car category of Kelley Blue Book's 5-Year Cost to Own Luxury Brand Awards, while Acura was the top ranked brand for the third consecutive year.
Will the redesigned 2019 ILX continue to attract more millennial buyers than any of its compact luxury competitors? It's been the class leader amongst young millennials every year since 2013, and the refreshed model's more distinctive styling, strong performance, and high quality, comfortable interior should help it maintain a steady influx of new and repeat customers.
The new 2019 Acura ILX will go on sale later this month, so make sure to contact Acura of Langley for pricing and trim details by calling (888) 690-0290 or dropping by the showroom at 20257 Langley Bypass, Langley.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press
Photo credits: Acura
Copyright: Canadian Auto Press Inc.