- - Sunday, October 30, 2016

I’m a big Acura fan. For some reason whenever I get behind the wheel of an Acura I feel right at home. That was no different a few weeks ago when I drove the 2017 Acura ILX for a week. It’s a luxury compact sedan with all the bells and whistles, but minus a ridiculously high price tag.

The 2017 Acura ILX is pretty much the same as this year’s model since a nice invigoration was done in 2016 in order to up the ILX ante.

Even with no significant changes, the competition with this four-door sedan still includes the Audi A3, Honda Accord and the Ford Fusion.

On the 2017 Acura ILX entry-level sedan, you can choose from different trims that are based on equipment options; the base, AcuraWatch Plus package, Premium with or without the A-Spec Package and there is the Tech Plus that comes with or without the A-Spec Package.

On the base model, you get 17-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights, heated mirrors and front seats, a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, premium vinyl, an eight-way power driver seat and back seats that fold-down. There is also a five-inch display and a multi-view backup camera. The technology features on the base trim include Bluetooth phone and audio, six speakers, USB/iPod interface and the Pandora radio with the Siri Eyes Free smartphone app.

For the AcuraWatch Plus trim, add adaptive cruise control, safety features like forward collision, automatic braking with front collision mitigation, lane keeping and a lane departure warning.

The Premium package takes it up a notch with everything on the base plus blind-spot monitoring, leather front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, both an eight-inch information display on the top and a seven-inch touchscreen with seven speakers, iPhone-based navigation and Aha radio smartphone integration.

With the Technology Plus trim package, you get the AcuraWatch Plus and Premium package goodies along with 10 speakers, voice commands and a rearview camera.

For the A-Spec package, it’s the Premium and Technology Plus trims with 18-inch wheels, fog lights, rear spoiler and suede seat inserts with unique stitching.

Under the hood, the engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder on the 2017 Acura ILX with 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic.

Safety on the 2017 Acura ILX is the same as in 2016 when there were some additional features added in this area. Expect antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side and side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. The rearview camera comes on all trims standard, but you can also add frontal collision warning, automatic braking, lane departure warning as well as lane keeping assist and Road Departure Mitigation.

Comfy and cozy inside, you get luxury sedan features with all the knobs and buttons easy to navigate as well as a functional, easy to use touchcreen. With the larger screen on the upper trims take note of the split screen showing both audio and navigation at the same time, which can be quite handy when you don’t want to keep going back and forth.

The seats for the driver and passengers are comfortable and there is more room than would be expected in the back seats considering the ILX is an entry-level sedan.

For hauling you get 12.3 cubic feet in the trunk, but the rear seats do fold down together if needed offering the ability to carry items that are longer. In that case however, you can’t include backseat passengers.

Overall, the driving experience for the 2017 Acura ILX is a strong and capable ride and drive. While it might require you to really put the pedal to the metal if you have to get on the highway fast, otherwise, I found it to be a secure and perhaps sporty ride. This Acura easily takes the curves easily with refined handling and it’s definitely an above par driving encounter.

Should You Need to Know: The 2017 Acura ILX is in its fifth year of production and is Acura’s entry-level offering.

Miles Per Gallon: You get 25 miles per gallon in the city and 35 miles per gallon on the highway in the 2017 Acura ILX.

Cost: The 2017 Acura ILX has an impressive price tag of $28,930.

For more auto tips and information, follow Rita @RitaCook13.

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