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The 2020 Acura ILX Premium: Pros, Cons, and Info From a Real Owner

Heeere she is!


Why I Chose This Particular Car

I drove an old raggedy car for years. Endured all the jokes. All the summers without AC. Finally I said screw it. Let’s get something nice for a change.

I’m on the tall side so I didn’t want a Corolla. The Camry was too touchy. My buddy had just got an Accord Sport so I tried that. That was pretty great. But then I thought hey, during this pandemic, maybe I can get a good deal on a lux car. Gave it a try and I was in heaven.

This car has everything. Speed if you want it. It even has a sport mode, with paddle shifters and everything. Comfort. The driver and front passenger seat are super adjustable, with lumbar support. Even the steering wheel is moveable which is awesome. Style, especially if you spring for the Premium package which I highly recommend. You get real leather seats, nice wheels that make you want to stay miles away from any curbs, and the car just looks great. There’s also a lot of convenience like the car unlocking when you walk up to it.

Why Get The Premium Package?

I walked in already having seen the rundown of what was included in the Premium Package. Lane Keep? Uh, I know how to drive, hello. However, actually seeing everything in action is what sold it to me.

Lane Keep literally stops your car from going out of its lane.

Adaptive Cruise Control means your car will stay a certain distance from the car in front of you. They can speed up, slow down, whatever. So on long car trips you barely have to do anything at all.
Leather Seats. These are gorgeous. I have never owned a car with leather seats before and I am just in love.
Nice-ass alloy wheels. The seats and the wheels alone are worth the price of the upgrade. Everything else is pretty much included for free at this point.
Backup cam. I have a really stupid driveway so this has been nice. Can I back in without a camera? Yes. Is it easier to do with a camera? Also yes.
Whats been a game changer for me is the blind spot assist. I barely have to move my head at all when I drive now. It’s really awesome.

So all that stuff I listed above? It’s not in the regular package. None of that. The Premium Package is $1900 more. If you aren’t interested in any of that, you can get the ILX without it, but to be honest you might be better off in an Accord Sport. They’re 90% the same car, and the Accord Sport has some of the technology stuff already included. It also has an Eco mode that the ILX doesn’t have.

Wheels Comparison

Wheels for Premium Package

Wheels for Premium Package

Wheels for Regular Package—same general design as Premium, but made out of a different material and not nearly as cool

Wheels for Regular Package—same general design as Premium, but made out of a different material and not nearly as cool

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Wheels for A-spec package

Wheels for A-spec package

Why The Technology Package Isn’t Worth It

The Premium Package comes with a ton of technology already. The tech package is an upgrade of the Premium, so you have to pay the $1900 and then another $1900 for the tech. All the tech package comes with is a better sound system, and a built in navigation system. Dude, the car already has Apple Play / Android Whatever. There’s no reason to get the tech package too unless you can get them to throw it in for cheaper, because $1900 is way too much.

What About The A-spec?

The important thing to remember that all the ILX cars have the same exact powertrain. The A-spec is not faster and doesn’t perform better than the other two cars. It also is an add-on to the Premium package, so you have to pay $1900 for the Premium upgrade and then another $2000 for the A-spec upgrade.

That said, it’s certainly a look. Black wheels, red leather interior, and lots of little details that make the car look cooler. The A-spec is also going to be a lot more rare. My dealer had 5 or 6 of my car but only one A-spec, which wasn’t even test driveable because they‘d put it inside the showroom. It’s like a WRX vs an STI.

The A-spec wasn’t for me, but it was pretty cool. The biggest difference was the seats. If red leather seats are not your thing, then I wouldn’t get the A-spec. The black wheels are cool, but the Premium already has wheels that are almost as cool. The trims were also neat, but if you’re not interested in The Whole Look, Acura lets you buy those trims separately if you just want a few things.

Does The Acura Need Premium Gas?

The ILX doesn’t have a Turbo. Mine is also completely stock. So while it doesn‘t need premium gas, every Acura owner I have talked to swears by it. Their finicky engines apparently will knock without it, and the manual claims that the car will last longer with premium.

Why I’m an Idiot

So my old car was a suuuuper basic Toyota from the 90s. It didn’t even have a tape deck. I get this new car and it’s like trying to fly a spaceship. Catching up with 20 years of So the salesman had mentioned that one feature of this car is that when you walk away, the car automatically locks itself. Great, one less thing to do.

Well come to find out, you have to enable this feature. So my dumb ass left my brand new car totally unlocked all day and night for like two weeks before I figured it out.

Protect that Floor, Foo!

© 2020 Jo Gavilan

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