2019 Acura ILX; Manufacturer images
Put a stake in it: Acura’s beak (sorry, shield) grille is now officially history with the reveal today of a freshened 2019 ILX compact sedan, the last Acura with that unloved schnozzle. The new model year of Acura’s entry-level sedan also gets a full suite of standard safety and driver assistance tech, and the optional multimedia system gets much-needed improvements — though not the flashy new system with a novel touchpad that just rolled out in the redesigned 2019 Acura RDX compact SUV.
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In place of the beak is Acura’s current pentagon grille with its insert of radiating diamonds. Along with it, the front end also gets a more aggressive front bumper, sharper hood sculpting and sleeker standard LED headlights. The rear also gets a new bumper, as well as a redone trunk lid and LED taillights. While the changes are mostly the bolt-on variety, the overall effect is sharper and more stylish. Optional is a new A-Spec appearance package that adds dark-chrome trim on the front, LED foglights, darker headlights and taillights, a gloss-black decklid spoiler, fancier 18-inch wheels (17-inchers are standard) and an exclusive blue paint color.
All 2019 model-year ILX sedans now will have the formerly optional AcuraWatch suite of technology, which includes a forward collision system with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-centering steering . With the addition of the ILX, this package now is standard on all Acura sedans. Blind spot warnings and rear cross-traffic alerts on the ILX remain optional, however.
The available multimedia tech still features the older Acura two-screen multimedia arrangement with a lower 7-inch touchscreen for most controls and an upper 8-inch, non-touch display for navigation and other functions that has a dashboard knob-and-button controller. But the 2019 system gets an upgraded interface (dubbed On Demand Multi-Use Display 2.0) that appeared in the refreshed 2018 TLX mid-size sedan and 2018 MDX SUV. It promises a 30 percent speed boost, fresher graphics, fewer menu steps and a more intuitive split for what’s displayed on either screen. It also has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. (Read more about the system here.) My experience with the system in a TLX is that the system is no longer a low point. The base ILX media system includes just an upper screen and knob controller with buttons and knobs for additional controls.
Other interior upgrades include reshaped front and rear seats, available leather with contrast stitching, and new dashboard trim. The A-Spec interior has its own black or red leather upholstery with black Ultrasuede inserts and contrast stitching.
The chassis and powertrain carry over for 2019, with all ILX models powered by a 201-horsepower, non-turbo 2.4-liter four-cylinder mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with a conventional gear shifter (not the electronic buttons as in some new Acuras) as well as steering-wheel paddle shifters.
The 2019 ILX will go on sale in October, with pricing still to be announced.
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