2020 Acura ILX Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.
Which words come to mind when you think of Acura? This probably evokes images of comfort and technology for those at all familiar with the brand. For many of Acura's vehicles, this would be an accurate conjuration. Unfortauntely, the 2020 Acura ILX does not meet every standard set for the brand.
The 2020 Acura ILX is basically the same as the 2019 line-up, which means that you will get a ton of features and excellent handling mixed with a dated interior design and slow acceleration. But is each of its trim levels (which are referred to as packages since each version has the same powertrain) really such a mixed bag? Is there one that is a better deal than the others?
With the ILX, you have to take your pick from the Standard, Premium, Technology, and A-Spec. And, of course, each one gives you something a little different. That is why it is important to know what you are getting into before you decide whether to buy an ILX. Read through this trim level comparison and, at the end, see which of the ILX's packages we deem most worthy of your consideration.
Compare the 2020 Acura ILX Standard vs Premium. What is the difference?
The 2020 Acura ILX starts its line-up with the base Standard package. This, as is the case with the other versions, is powered by a 2.4-L aluminum alloy 4-cylinder engine that is capable of generating 201 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission comes equipped, and these vehicles only come with front-wheel drive. They get 28 mpg combined (24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway). A MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension make up the suspension system, and there are also amplitude reactive dampers equipped. There is an electric power assisted rack and pinion steering system as well.
The only difference between the packages when it comes to mechanical features are the wheels. The Standard starts off with 17-inch glitter silver machine-finished Y-spoke noise-reducing wheels while the Premium gets upgraded to 17-inchers done in pewter gray.
On the outside, these two vehicles probably look pretty similar. Even upon closer inspection, you will find that the Premium package adds nothing to the ILX that the Standard does not give it. The Standard comes equipped with a tilting and sliding power moonroof, a moonroof open function and remote operated windows, LED headlights with auto on/off and wiper integration, LED taillights, brake lights, and a center high-mount stop light. The side mirrors have a heating function, and there is a chrome exhaust tip. Of course, the Premium has all of that too.
Things are a little bit different inside of the cabin. The Standard has leatherette-trimmed sport seats, an 8-way power-adjustable driver seat with power lumbar support, heated front seats, cup holders in the rear center armrest, a split-folding rear seat, dual-zone automatic climate control (which features air filtration and humidity control), keyless entry with personalized Acura settings, push button start, and smart entry. Also, the Standard has auto-reverse and auto-up/down on the driver and front passenger windows, windows and a moonroof with retained accessory power, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, and multiple controls (for Bluetooth, lane keep assist, audio, adaptive cruise control, and the multi-information display) mounted onto the steering wheel. Active sound control, ambient lighting, a 12-volt power outlet on the front armrest, and bright silver and chrome dash trim also adorn the Standard.
The Premium takes most of these features and makes some additions. The Premium gets seats with perforated Milano leather with piping and contrast stitching, 2-drive position memory for the side mirrors and seat, a 4-way power-adjustable front passenger seat with power lumbar support, and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.
Things get shook up a tad with multimedia features too. The Standard comes with the 6-speaker Acura audio system, Bluetooth audio streaming, a USB audio interface, an mp3/auxiliary input jack, Pandora Radio capability, and speed-sensitive volume compensation. Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth wireless phone service, and SMS and MMS text messaging capabilities. There is also a 5-inch color center information display, a color multi-information display, and a built-in digital compass.
To this, the Premium adds HomeLink (a universal transceiver for controlling your home's garage door, security system, and linked electrical items), an on-demand multi-use display, an 8-inch backlit LED VGA center information display, e-mail message compatibility, smartphone app integration through Android Auto and Apple Carplay, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, HD Radio, and a 7-speaker sound system.
When it comes to standard safety features, the Acura ILX is well-equipped, even on its base trim. With the Standard, you get a collision mitigation braking system, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, a multi-angle rear view camera, LED daytime running lights, the LATCH system for child car safety seats, hill start assist, brake assist, a maintenance minder system, a tire pressure monitoring system, an electronic engine immobilizer with the anti-theft system, and a tire repair kit. To that, the Premium adds on a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert.
Compare the 2020 Acura ILX Premium vs Technology. What is the difference?
So, what can you get on the Technology that you cannot on the Premium? Well, as the name suggests, there is more in the way of standard tech in this package. Nothing differs from the Premium under the hood or on the exterior. The changes all happen inside of the vehicle.
First of all, the dual-zone climate control system on the Technology gets a GPS-linked climate control feature added to it. This equips the vehicle with a solar sensor that measures the intensity of the sun in order to determine just what kind of an influence it is going to have over the temperature of the cabin. Pretty nifty, right? It will definitely come in handy for those living in climates with frequent heat extremes.
The biggest - and definitely the coolest - upgrade is the Acura/ELS Studio Premium Audio System. This set-up was actually tuned by a Grammy Award-winning recording engineer (Elliot Scheiner) and is designed to make music sound like it is happening right in the recording studio. There is touchscreen operation aided by steering wheel mounted controls, DTS Neural Sound circuitry, an MP3 and WMA compatible disc player, Pandora connectivity, 10 speakers (with one in each door), and an 8-inch subwoofer mounted in the rear. There is also a USB interface, HD Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth, and an auxiliary input jack. Song By Voice is also equipped.
The built-in navigation system is also a huge bonus. With this system, you get real-time traffic and freeway conditions, traffic rerouting, and turn-by-turn guidance on the color multi-information display.
AcuraLink Connected Services also come on the Technology. These features include vehicle tracking in case the ILX gets stolen, emergency notification sent upon the deployment of airbags, real-time traffic, remote door locking and unlocking via your smartphone, and live concierge service.
The only other change is to the multi-angle rear view camera, which gets dynamic guidelines. Other than that, you will see that the Technology is set up a lot like the Premium, with the same standard interior design elements equipped.
Compare the 2020 Acura ILX Technology vs A-Spec. What is the difference?
The A-Spec is the most expensive package in the ILX line-up, and it is the most different from the other trim levels. However, you can add the Premium or Technology along with it and reap the benefits of some of their features.
So, just what makes the A-Spec so special? First of all, it gets upgraded to 18-inch wheels done in shark gray. The exterior is adorned with dark chrome and lighting details, and LED fog lights get added to the front of the vehicle. There are also dark chrome accents, a piano black decklid spoiler, a matching piano black rear diffuser, and side underbody spoilers. This lends to the A-Spec looking a bit sportier than the other ILX packages.
Of course, the interior sees the majority of the additions and upgrades. For starters, the seats get swapped out in favor of sport A-Spec seats that mix the perforated Milano leather upholstery with ultraseude trim, piping, and contrast stitching. The leather-wrapped steering wheel bears the A-Spec insignia in its middle, and there is a red-glowing A-Spec instrument panel. Additionally, the cabin of the A-Spec receives dash trim done in chrome and graphite, a lovely ebony headliner, and stainless steel sport pedals.
As far as infotainment and safety features go, they are all the same as what you would get on either the Premium or the Technology package. You can get the Premium's standard array, which is already quite plentiful, or you can upgrade to the Technology package and gets its GPS system and excellent sound system.
Just take note that the starting MSRP differs with each of these packages. The Premium starts at $29,750, which is just $100 more than the Technology trim. The A-Spec paired with the Technology package bumps the starting MSRP up to $31,650. For the extra features you get, this is not a terribly huge jump. But it might not be one that you want to make. In the end, the choice is up to you.
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Which Trim to Choose?
That brings us to the conclusion of this trim level (or, in this case, package) comparison. The 2020 Acura ILX is, all in all, a mixed bag. While there are things about the ILX that feel dated or slow, there are other things that seem contemporary and responsive. The precision handling is impressive, and the array of available technology on the higher packages is excellent.
But there is one combination that stands out as being better than the other three packages. If you are going to invest in the ILX, go for the A-Spec, and equip the Technology package along with it. The A-Spec has a sportier, more upscale look than the other packages, and the addition of the Technology package will give you everything you need to make the car seem current-gen.
Still, if you cannot afford to go all-out with the A-Spec and Technology pairing, the two lower packages offer a lot of handy features for the price. Of the two, the Premium is the better option for someone looking to stay within a certain budget but reap as many benefits as possible.The A-Spec really is the highlight of this line-up though. It is not exponentially more expensive than the other packages, and it offers the best-looking cabin design. Matched with the Technology, it will have you feeling a little bit better about the ILX's slow acceleration. It isn't the sportiest vehicle out there, but the A-Spec at least tries to look the part.
• Compare the 2019 Acura ILX Trim Levels