Highlight: Acura’s ILX is loosely based-off of the same platform as the Honda Civic.

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $30,095 (Base Model starts at $26,795)

Seating Capacity:  5

Standard Safety Features:

  • airbags (front, side and curtain)
  • ABS; electronic brake distribution
  • vehicle stability assist; traction control
  • daytime running lights
  • a tire pressure monitoring system
  • hill-start assist

Standard Equipment: 

  • 16-inch wheels
  • cloth-trimmed manual adjustable seats
  • reverse mirror with tilt down feature
  • rear seat center armrest; a dual zone a/c system
  • tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel
  • power moonroof
  • keyless push-button starter
  • keyless remote; a rearview camera
  • automatic review mirror
  • illuminated vanity mirrors

Standard Audio: a 6-speaker, 160-watt AM/FM/CD Player

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 6 years or 70,000 miles

Bluetooth Compatibility: Yes

MP3 Capability: Yes

Engine Options/Horsepower:

  • 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/150-hp (5-speed manual/automatic)
  • 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder/201-hp (6-speed manual)
  • 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder/111-hp (hybrid)

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage: 24-city/35-hwy (5-speed manual base)

What’s New: The ILX is a new addition to the Acura family line up. It’s available as both a hybrid and a gasoline model.

Pros and Cons of The 2012 Acura ILX Premium

Pros: The ILX is a stylish compact premium sedan. We had the opportunity to review the ILX with Acura’s Premium Package, which included Acura’s signature form-fitting leather seats; heated front seats; a power’s driver seat; an upgraded 360-watt premium; a 7-speaker audio system with Satellite radio; foglights; a 17-inch wheel package; a multi-view rear camera; and an Active Sound Cancellation system, which allows for a quieter cabin.

The ILX Premium Package with the 6-speed manual shares the same engine as Honda’s sporty Civic Si, which is available in both a coupe and sedan. Unlike Honda’s Civic Si, the Acura is available as a sedan only, offering a better ride and longer warranty. Like the Civic Si, the ILX offered a smooth-shifting manual transmission, with great handling and precise steering due to its MacPhearson Strut front suspension system.

Also the ILX is available as 5-speed model too, with either a manual or an automatic transmission A hybrid model is a part of the line-up, too.

Cons: The ILX with the Premium Package we reviewed lacked a navigation system, which offered real-time traffic and real-time weather updates. For whatever reason, the six-speed manual doesn’t offer that feature as an option. That makes no sense to us, seeing that the performance-oriented Honda Civic Si, which it mimics, offers the nav system, but lacks the rearview camera. Go figure? Furthermore, why isn’t this vehicle available with electronic blind-spot side view mirrors? Even the Honda Accord offers this feature in the 2013 model.

And, the vehicle should be outfitted with a sliding front-seat center armrest. Furthermore, the narrow rear window also limits visibility for the driver, too.

The Verdict: For those seeking out a stylish, compact premium, upscale sedan, we believe Acura has a winner on its hands. Consumers interested in an upscale sedan, offering a number of luxury amenities with great ride and handling will be attracted to the ILX. The vehicle is available in a number of configurations: an automatic, a manual or a hybrid.

Our only concern is that the pricing of this compact sedan could swing some folks to the redesigned midsize Honda Accord, which is hitting dealerships this week. Also the base model Acura TSX pricing bumps up against the high-end ILX.

Competition: Audi A3, Buick Verano and Lexus IS

Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to www.JeffCars.com. Follow him https://twitter.com/#!/JeffCars/.