Friday, October 31, 2014

Acura's ILX sedan is simply a driving pleasure

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews also can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website

Sacramento, California – For all the words you absorb from auto reviewers about ultra-rich luxury and killer horsepower, the truth is that we often miss the point.

Most folks want to know about a dependable, nicely equipped every day driver, a passenger car that takes you to and from work, shares chores with you and provides enjoyable transportation during those golden moments when the only person you have to answer to is yourself.

If that’s the standard – and I wager that for many, it is – the 2015 Acura ILX sedan is a motorcar worth considering.

My tester was the ILX with a five-speed automatic and the automaker’s Technology Package, which translates to an Acura entry-level four-door starting at $31,750.  That’s the highest price among the four trim levels offered, but rest assured it’s sufficiently loaded to justify the fare.

This is my second go-around in the ILX, two years after it started rolling in the U.S. market.  I liked it the first time around, and my mind was not changed in my latest test drive.

This is a handsome-looking ride, with sharp, angular cuts on the front end lending more than a hint of sportiness.

On the move, the ILX feels and performs much stronger than advertised.  A quick-responding 2-liter, four-cylinder engine enabled me to dart around fast- and slow-moving traffic with ease, much more than I would expect out of a power plant rated at a max 150 horsepower.

Fellow reviewers have complained about tight interior room, but I’m 6-4, and I had no such problems.  Range of vision from the cockpit was good.

Interior comforts included leather seating surfaces with heated front seats.  I really liked the “projector beam” headlights that lit up my drive path with clear white light.

The Technology Package definitely boosts the ILX to near-luxo status with a romping ELS Surround audio system, a readable/workable navigation system and other goodies.  Motorists who want something more than a Honda and the flash that goes with moving up in class will not be disappointed.

Stellar fuel mileage is something to brag about.  The ILX tester gets 24 miles per gallon in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

My one gripe was that the driving range gauge in my ride seemed to jump all over the place without adequate justification.  Even with steady, conservative pressure on the gas pedal, the system’s estimate of miles left to go before zero jumped as much as 10 miles up or down within a mile of driving.  A one-time thing?  I haven’t a clue.

What impressed me most about the ILX was that it offered the simple pleasures of driving without digital feedback overload.  Nary a squeak or a rattle.  It responded, it handled and did it all with quiet efficiency.

Isn’t that kind of what you want in an every day driver?

Yeah, me too.