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    Acura ILX vs Honda Civic: Which Premium Compact Sedan is Right for You?

    Acura ILX vs Honda Civic: Which Premium Compact Sedan is Right for You?

    When searching for an upscale, well-equipped compact sedan, two popular options often come to mind: the Acura ILX and Honda Civic. Both models offer a compelling blend of style, features, and value. However, there are some key differences between the Acura ILX and Honda Civic that shoppers should be aware of.

    In this comparison, we'll take an in-depth look at the Acura ILX vs Honda Civic matchup. Our expert analysis will cover everything from performance and fuel economy to interior amenities, safety, and pricing. By the end, you'll have a clear understanding of which model best fits your needs and budget.

    Acura ILX Overview

    The Acura ILX is the gateway model to Honda's premium brand. Positioned as a step above mainstream compact sedans like the Civic, the ILX aims to deliver an elevated driving experience with its sporty dynamics, upscale features, and luxurious appointments.

    Key highlights of the Acura ILX include:

    • Powerful 2.4L inline-4 engine (201 hp)
    • Quick-shifting 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
    • Available A-Spec sport appearance package
    • Premium interior with high-quality materials
    • Extensive list of standard tech and safety features

    Honda Civic Overview

    The Honda Civic is one of the most popular and acclaimed compact cars on the market. Known for its spacious cabin, fuel-efficient engines, and strong value proposition, the Civic appeals to a wide range of buyers.

    Notable attributes of the Honda Civic include:

    • Choice of 2.0L and turbocharged 1.5L engines
    • Available continuously variable transmission (CVT) or 6-speed manual
    • Roomy and versatile interior
    • User-friendly infotainment system
    • Strong safety ratings and driver-assistance tech

    Exterior Design & Dimensions

    Acura ILX

    The Acura ILX features a sleek, angular design that conveys its sporty intentions. The brand's signature diamond pentagon grille, LED headlights, and aggressive lower air intakes give the ILX an unmistakably premium look.

    In terms of size, the ILX measures:

    Dimension Measurement
    Length 182.2 inches
    Width 70.6 inches
    Height 55.6 inches
    Wheelbase 105.1 inches

    Honda Civic

    The Honda Civic boasts a modern, sophisticated exterior that's both stylish and aerodynamic. The latest generation features a low, wide stance, a bold front fascia, and distinctive C-shaped LED taillights.

    Civic dimensions:

    Dimension Measurement
    Length 184.0 inches
    Width 70.9 inches
    Height 55.7 inches
    Wheelbase 107.1 inches

    The Civic is slightly larger overall compared to the ILX, most notably in wheelbase which translates to increased passenger space.

    >> View more: Honda NSX vs Acura NSX


    Acura ILX Engine & Transmission

    All Acura ILX models are powered by a high-output 2.4-liter inline-4 engine producing 201 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with a quick-shifting 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

    The ILX's drivetrain delivers brisk acceleration and a sporty driving character. Acura's Amplitude Reactive Dampers and motion-adaptive electric power steering further enhance the ILX's engaging road manners.

    Honda Civic Engines & Transmissions

    The Honda Civic offers two engine choices:

    1. Standard 2.0-liter inline-4 with 158 hp and 138 lb-ft (LX, Sport trims)
    2. Turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-4 with 174-180 hp and 162-177 lb-ft (EX, Touring trims)

    A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is standard on most trims, while a 6-speed manual is available on certain Civic models for drivers who prefer more control.

    The Civic's turbocharged engine option provides peppy performance. However, the ILX's larger displacement naturally aspirated engine has the edge in overall output.

    Fuel Economy

    Here's how the Acura ILX and Honda Civic compare in EPA-estimated fuel economy:

    Model City MPG Highway MPG Combined MPG
    Acura ILX 24 34 28
    Honda Civic (2.0L) 30-31 37-40 33-35
    Honda Civic (1.5L Turbo) 30-32 37-42 33-36

    The Civic has a clear advantage in fuel efficiency, especially when equipped with the 1.5L turbo and CVT. This is mainly due to the Civic's smaller displacement engines and more efficiency-focused transmissions compared to the ILX's performance-tuned powertrain.


    Acura ILX Cabin

    The Acura ILX features a well-crafted interior with upscale materials and a long list of standard amenities. Highlights include:

    • Leatherette-trimmed sport seats with heating
    • Dual-zone automatic climate control
    • Keyless access with push-button start
    • 8-inch touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
    • 7-speaker audio system

    Available upgrades include full leather seating, GPS-linked climate control, a 10-speaker premium audio system, and more. The A-Spec package adds unique interior trim and styling elements.

    Honda Civic Interior

    Inside, the Honda Civic provides a spacious, modern cabin with logically arranged controls and good outward visibility. Notable features include:

    • Cloth or leather upholstery
    • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
    • Multi-angle rearview camera
    • 7-inch or 9-inch touchscreen infotainment
    • 8-10 speaker audio system

    Higher trims gain amenities like power front seats, dual-zone climate control, and an upgraded infotainment interface. While not as luxurious as the ILX, the Civic still has a pleasant interior environment.

    >> View more: Acura TLX vs Infiniti Q50

    Passenger & Cargo Space

    Here's how the ILX and Civic measure up in terms of interior dimensions:

    Model Front Headroom Front Legroom Rear Legroom Cargo Volume
    Acura ILX 38.0 in 42.3 in 34.0 in 12.4 cu ft
    Honda Civic Sedan 39.3 in 42.3 in 37.4 in 14.8 cu ft

    Despite being classified in the same compact segment, the Civic offers a bit more passenger and cargo room compared to the ILX, particularly in the rear seat and trunk.


    Acura ILX Safety Features

    The Acura ILX comes standard with AcuraWatch, a suite of advanced driver-assistance systems that includes:

    • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
    • Lane departure warning with lane keep assist
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Road departure mitigation

    Additional standard safety features consist of a multi-view rear camera, Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control, and a full array of airbags.

    Honda Civic Safety Technology

    Every Honda Civic also boasts an extensive roster of safety and driver-aid technologies, such as:

    • Honda Sensing (forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, etc.)
    • Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
    • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
    • LED daytime running lights

    Thanks to their strong crash test performance and comprehensive safety features, both the ILX and Civic have earned top marks from the IIHS and NHTSA in various impact protection categories.

    Pricing & Value

    Acura ILX Cost & Trims

    The 2023 Acura ILX starts at $28,900 for the base trim and ranges up to $34,400 for a top-of-the-line A-Spec with Technology Package.

    Available ILX trim levels include:

    • ILX (base)
    • ILX with Premium Package
    • ILX with Technology Package
    • ILX A-Spec with Premium Package
    • ILX A-Spec with Technology Package

    Honda Civic Pricing & Variants

    2023 Honda Civic sedan pricing begins at $24,650 for a base LX model and can reach $30,450 for an uplevel Touring trim.

    Civic sedan trim levels consist of:

    • LX
    • Sport
    • EX
    • Touring

    While the ILX has a higher starting price, it does come standard with some luxury-oriented features that are optional or not available on the Civic. However, a fully-loaded Civic Touring still costs several thousand less than a range-topping ILX A-Spec with Technology Package.

    Acura ILX vs Honda Civic: Key Differences

    Now that we've analyzed all the core aspects of the Acura ILX vs Honda Civic comparison, let's recap the primary differences between these two compact sedans:


    • The ILX has a more powerful standard engine (201 hp 2.4L) vs the Civic's base 158 hp 2.0L
    • ILX uses an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic, Civic has a CVT or manual transmission
    • Civic offers an optional turbocharged engine with up to 180 hp

    Fuel Economy

    • Civic achieves significantly higher EPA-estimated MPG ratings in city/hwy/combined
    • ILX's larger displacement engine and performance focus impact efficiency

    >> View more: Acura Integra vs Honda Civic

    Interior & Space

    • ILX provides a more premium cabin with additional standard luxury features
    • Civic has a roomier interior, especially in the rear seats and trunk
    • Both include user-friendly infotainment with smartphone integration


    • ILX and Civic come standard with AcuraWatch/Honda Sensing safety suites
    • Each model receives excellent crash test safety ratings
    • Blind-spot monitoring is available on Civic but not ILX

    Value & Pricing

    • 2023 ILX pricing ranges from $28,900 - $34,400
    • 2023 Civic sedan starts at $24,650 and tops out at $30,450
    • Civic generally offers more features per dollar
    • ILX includes some standard luxury amenities not available on Civic


    Choosing between the Acura ILX and Honda Civic ultimately depends on your priorities. If you're looking for a compact sedan with a decidedly premium feel, sportier performance, and an extensive list of luxury features, the ILX is a compelling choice. It delivers an elevated driving experience compared to the average mainstream small car.

    On the other hand, if maximum interior space, fuel efficiency, and value are your main concerns, the Honda Civic is tough to beat. While not as upscale as the ILX, the Civic still impresses with its refined driving dynamics, feature-rich cabin, and strong safety credentials. It remains one of the benchmarks in the compact sedan segment.

    Regardless of which model you choose, both the Acura ILX and Honda Civic offer the quality, reliability, and advanced features that Honda and Acura are known for. Be sure to thoroughly test drive each vehicle to determine which best matches your lifestyle needs and budget.