Honda’s luxury brand Acura is methodically renewing and updating its model lineup. One of this model year’s additions is the low-slung ILX compact sedan, Pete ’n’ Pam’s most recent test drive.
Pete: This new Acura sure does blur the line between luxury and nonluxury sedans, Pam. The ILX has a comfortable, classy cabin, but it didn’t feel very luxurious to me.
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Three other vehicles in the Acura ILX’s class.
Lexus IS 250
$36,000 to about $51,000
Highs: Toyota dependability, all-wheel drive an option, classy looks, luxury cabin.
Lows: Not very sporty.
$34,000 to about $54,000
Highs: Three engine choices, road dynamics, styling, fun-to-drive.
Lows: Cramped rear seat.
$24,000 to about $33,000
Highs: Quiet and comfortable, zoomy turbo engine available, pleasing looks, priced right.
Lows: Ho-hum base engine.
According to Pete ’n’ Pam …
Target audience: Loyal Civic drivers who get big fat raises, sticker-shocked Acura TL & TSX shoppers settling for Plan B, urbanites looking for a zippy, easily parkable sedan a step above the ordinary.
Pricing: $26,800 to about $35,300 (includes hybrid model).
Highs: Pete — Good-lookin’, Honda reputation, luxury name for the price of a Camry. Pam — Tech-savvy features, affordable for a quasi-luxury car.
Lows: Pete — Boring color choices, road noise, design is too timid. Pam — Rear seat doesn’t split, less than snappy drive.
Bottom line: Pete — I want the Integra back, Acura. Pam — It looks sort of like a luxury car, but it doesn’t quite act like one.