Honda Civic vs. Acura ILX

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter | Website

, Automotive Editor - August 24, 2016

The 10th-generation Honda Civic underwent a massive transformation that made it roomier, more comfortable, and more versatile than ever before. The latter was further enhanced by the recent introduction of the hatchback variant.

The ILX, which shares a portion of its DNA with the Civic, takes the comfort and performance traits up a notch. With these increases, however, comes a higher price tag.

With shared DNA and more features than ever, can the Honda Civic find a way to trump its more luxurious cousin?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Civic & ILX »

What the Civic gets right

The Civic is available as a sedan, hatchback, or coupe with multiple powertrains and front-wheel drive. This wide range of offerings makes the Civic one of the most versatile cars in its class.

While the base 2-liter engine with 158 horsepower isn't exactly competitive with the ILX, the optional 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 174 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque certainly is. Both of these engines also deliver stunning fuel economy, as the 2-liter hits up to 41 mpg highway and the 1.5-liter delivers up to 42 mpg highway.

The hatchback model turns up the sportiness a little with its 180-horsepower Sport Touring model. What’s more, the hatchback variant also combines the 1.5-liter turbo engine with a six-speed manual transmission—the sedans and coupes only pair this engine with a CVT.

The new Civic is also significantly larger than the ILX, giving it more cabin room, but its advanced materials make it much lighter and nimbler than its Acura sibling.

Finally, the Civic is more affordable, even in its fully loaded Touring trim.

See more sedan comparisons here »

What the ILX gets right

Acura's ILX also underwent a restyling for 2016, albeit a much less significant one, and with this gained new features like available Jewel Eye Headlights, active noise control, AcuraWatch, and more. Acura has also simplified the ILX's powertrain offerings, leaving it with just the 2.4-liter i-VTEC engine that produces 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque and a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission.

The ILX does deliver a sportier feel than the Civic while retaining a more refine ambiance. What’s more, the added brand cachet has to be taken into consideration when looking into a luxury car.

Who is the ILX perfect for?

It’s clear that the ILX is a good luxury car, but in this price range, value is a huge consideration and the Civic wins that battle easily. The ILX is, however, great for those looking to dabble in the luxury car segment without destroying their bank account. It provides plenty of high-end features, tight performance, and a relatively quiet cabin, making it a great buy for a newcomer to the luxury segment.

Our Verdict: Honda Civic

The Civic just has too much to offer for the ILX to beat it. With its various body styles, engine choices, and slew of trim levels, it is one of the few cars that can satisfy nearly any buyer. What’s more, the fully loaded Touring model, while cheaper than the base ILX, has more of the in-demand features than its Acura relative.

Take a closer look at the Honda Civic »

Take a closer look at the Acura ILX »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter | Website