You may have forgotten Acura was still building and selling its ILX compact sedan. Quite frankly, we had wondered whether the automaker was aware it was doing so, considering this little sedan has not enjoyed a significant redesign since its introduction in 2012 when it replaced the CSX.
Alas, for 2019, Acura has given its least-expensive model a more substantial update that attaches the brand's diamond pentagon grille to the car's nose, along with other exterior styling changes, new technology and a revised trim structure.
Key among new tech options is a dual-screen infotainment system called "On Demand Multi-Use Display" that promises a more intuitive user experience.
The ILX's A-Spec sport-oriented trim still makes do without any actual performance upgrades over the rest of the line, but it does enjoy a new wheel design, new sport seats, LED fog lights, darkened head- and taillight assemblies and piano black and chrome interior trim.
What hasn't changed is that the ILX is based on the last-generation Civic platform, which the Civic itself graduated out of in 2016. Power once again comes from a 2.4L four-cylinder engine making 201 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque, and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic is tasked with putting that power to the front wheels.
We're not entirely sure with which other cars the ILX is meant to compete. It's not powerful enough to be cross-shopped with the similarly sized BMW 3 Series or Audi A4; even the smaller 2 Series comes with more standard power than the ILX. The best we can come up with are the subcompact Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, both of which are both smaller and carry more expensive starting prices.
All ILX trims come with forward collision warning with automatic braking, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and road departure mitigation.
The base ILX also enjoys heated front seats with leatherette upholstery, LED headlights and brake lights, 17-inch wheels, sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, six-speaker stereo.
Premium trim brings an auto-dimming rearview mirror, driver's seat memory, four-way power front passenger seat, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, perforated leather upholstery, the new infotainment system, upgraded sound system with subwoofer and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration systems.
Premium A-Spec is purely a styling exercise that adds 18-inch wheels, trim-specific exterior appearance upgrades, metal sport pedals and ultrasuede/leather upholstery.
Finally, Tech A-Spec gains rain-sensing wipers, garage door opener, 10-speaker stereo, navigation and the AcuraLink connectivity system.
Acura's fuel consumption estimates for the ILX are 9.9/7.0 L/100 km (city/highway).