Acura ILX Vs. Lexus IS

 Compact luxury sedans like the 2019 Lexus IS and 2019 Acura ILX offers shoppers small footprints to zip through traffic, relatively low prices, and tons of features. Which of these Japanese compact luxury sedans is best for your Rochester area family? Find out below.


The 2019 Acura ILX and the 2019 Lexus IS both have sporty good looks, so everything is a wash there. The ILX, though, is fresher, as it went through a refresh just this year. The IS, on the other hand, has seen no changes since way back in 2013. Where the IS gets a boost is its more traditional rear-wheel-drive platform gives it the sharp and sporty luxury sedan looks buyers seek. The ILX does a good job mimicking this despite its front-wheel-drive platform, but it can’t quite perfect it.


In terms of exterior features, the 2019 Acura ILX has things on lockdown with its standard LED headlights and taillights, power moonroof, remote-operated power windows, and much more. The IS remains surprisingly simple on the outside – at least in its base model.


As for sizing, the Acura ILX is significantly smaller than the IS, giving it a more compact footprint for zipping in and out of traffic. Plus, it is far lighter, making it nimbler at higher speeds. Both models also have warmer variants in the ILX A-Spec and the IS F Sport.


Measurement Acura ILX Lexus IS Difference
Length 182.2 inches 184.3 inches -2.1 inches
Width 70.6 inches 71.3 inches -0.7 Inches
Height 55.6 inches 56.3 inches -0.7 inches
Wheelbase 105.1 inches 110.2 inches -5.1 inches
Ground Clearance 5.3 inches
Curb weight 3,095 to 3,148 pounds 3,583 to 3,737 pounds -642 to -435 pounds


Advantage: 2019 Acura ILX

  •       Smaller footprint
  •       Lighter and nimbler
  •       Modern standard LED lighting

Advantage: 2019 Lexus IS

  •       Traditional rear-wheel-drive luxury look
  •       Bold design still holds weight today


Inside, both models boast premium cabins decked out in upscale materials any discerning buyer would like, including standard leatherette upholstery, and premium trimming. The Lexus IS’ interior is understandably dated with its thick center console, simpler seats, and a frustrating infotainment interface.


The ILX takes a more modern approach with its sport-contoured front seats that deliver superior comfort and a simpler-to-use available dual-touchscreen infotainment system. While the ILX’s base 5-inch infotainment system will leave some buyers wanting more, its 8-inch unit in the Premium and higher trims includes key features the Lexus lacks, most notable Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.


In their respective sport models, the IS F Sport and ILX A-Spec, both models up the ante with special touches, but the ILX’s black-on-red seating is an eye grabber.


As for passenger space, the IS take the win in all the critical measurables up front, but like many rear-driven luxury cars, the rear passengers suffer. The front-driven ILX offers 34 inches of rear legroom, which is 1.8 inches more than the IS, making it the more family-friendly model of the two. The flatter platform of the ILX also makes for an extra 1.6 cubes of cargo room in a smaller body.


Measurement Acura ILX Lexus IS Difference
Front headroom 38 inches 38.2 inches -0.2 inches
Front legroom 42.3 inches 44.8 inches -2.5 inches
Front shoulder room 55.6 inches 55.9 inches -0.3 inches
Front hip room 50.3 inches 54.3 inches -4 inches
Rear headroom 35.9 inches 36.9 inches -1 inch
Rear legroom 34 inches 32.2 inches +1.8 inches
Rear shoulder room 53.6 inches 53.4 inches +0.2 inches
Rear hip room 51.7 inches 54 inches -2.3 inches
Cargo room 12.4 cubic feet 10.8 cubic feet +1.6 cubic feet


Advantage: 2019 Lexus IS

  •       Larger standard infotainment screen
  •       Roomy front seats

Advantage: 2019 Acura ILX

  •       Available Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  •       Striking color contrast inside A-Spec
  •       Simpler infotainment interface
  •       Spacier back seat and trunk


The Lexus IS has plenty of powertrain options to fit many buyers’ needs. In the base IS 300, this luxury sports sedan comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that pumps 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission for a 6.9-second 0-to-60 time. Opt for the all-wheel-drive IS 300, and you get a 3.5-liter V-6 with 260 horses and 236 pound-feet of torque paired to a six-speed automatic that combine to sprint the IS to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.


Moving into the IS 350 nets you a 3.5-liter V6 with 311 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque that ships its power through an eight-speed automatic. Unlike the IS 300, the engine remains the same whether you pick the standard rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. With this powertrain, the IS 350 sprints to 60 mph in 5.6 to 5.7 seconds, depending whether it’s all-wheel drive or not.


The 2019 Acura ILX has a single powertrain: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that pumps 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and out to the front wheels. This leads to a surprisingly quick 6.8-second gallop to 60 mph, which is a hair quicker than the more powerful base IS 300. The IS can attribute its quickness to its lower curb weight.


Across the board, the 2019 ILX delivers superior fuel economy.


Acura ILX Lexus IS Difference
Standard engine 2.4-liter 4-cyl 2.0-liter turbo 4-cyl (IS 300 RWD)
Horsepower 201 hp at 6,800 rpm 241 hp -40 hp
Torque 180 lb-ft at 3,600 rpm 258 lb-ft at 1,650 to 4,400 rpm -78 lb-ft
Transmission 8-spd dual-clutch 8-spd automatic
Driveline FWD RWD
0-60 time 6.8 seconds 6.9 seconds -0.1 seconds
MPG City 24 mpg 21 mpg +3 mpg
MPG Highway 34 mpg 30 mpg +4 mpg
MPG Combined 28 mpg 24 mpg +4 mpg
Optional engine 3.5-liter V-6 (IS 300 AWD)
Horsepower 260 hp
Torque 236 lb-ft at 2,000 to 4,800 rpm
Transmission 6-spd automatic
Driveline AWD
0-60 time 6.1 seconds
MPG City 20 mpg
MPG Highway 28mpg
MPG Combined 23 mpg
Optional engine 3.5-liter V-6 (IS 300)
Horsepower 311 hp
Torque 280 at 4,800 rpm
Transmission 8-spd automatic
Driveline RWD (std.)/AWD (opt.)
0-60 time 5.6 to 5.7 seconds
MPG City 19 to 20 mpg
MPG Highway 26 to 28 mpg
MPG Combined 21 to 23 mpg


Advantage: 2019 Lexus IS

  •       Big V-6 power
  •       Quicker to 60 mph in IS 350
  •       Available all-wheel drive

Advantage: 2019 Acura ILX

  •       Superior fuel economy
  •       Quicker versus base IS
  •       Slick dual-clutch transmission

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Acura ILX doesn’t have trim levels in the traditional sense. Instead, it has one Standard model and three packages that work like trim levels: Premium, Technology, and A-Spec. Their respective starting prices range from $25,900 to $31,550.

The 2019 Lexus IS, like the ILX, has no trim levels beyond its base model, which starts from $34,560. Unlike the ILX, though, there are no clear-cut packages that act as defacto trims. Sure, there is the F Sport that includes special suspension tuning, unique 18-inch wheels, a TORSEN rear axle (IS 350), styling enhancements, and more, but this is so complex and varies by type of IS that is is more like a package.

2019 Acura ILX Key Features and Pricing by Trim

Standard: $25,900

  •       2.4-liter four-cylinder engine
  •       Eight-speed automatic transmission
  •       Front-wheel drive
  •       17-inch Glitter Silver machine-finishes Y-spoke noise-reducing wheels
  •       Power moonroof
  •       Remote-operated power windows
  •       Jewel-eye LED headlights
  •       LED daytime running lights
  •       Auto-on/off headlights
  •       LED taillights
  •       Heated mirrors
  •       Chrome exhaust outlets
  •       Acoustic windshield
  •       Sport seats
  •       Leatherette upholstery
  •       Eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar
  •       Heated front seats
  •       Fold-down rear seatback
  •       Dual-zone automatic climate control with GPS link
  •       Keyless-access system
  •       Proximity key
  •       Keyless ignition
  •       Power windows with front one-touch up/down
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       Leather-wrapped shifter knob
  •       Steering-wheel-mounted control
  •       Bright-silver and chrome dash trim
  •       Six-speaker Acura audio system
  •       Bluetooth streaming audio
  •       USB audio interface
  •       MP3/Aux jack
  •       Pandora
  •       Siri Eyes Free
  •       SMS capability
  •       5-inch color infotainment display
  •       Color multi-information display
  •       Compass
  •       Automatic emergency braking
  •       Road-departure mitigation
  •       Adaptive cruise control
  •       Lane-keep assist
  •       Forward-collision warning
  •       Lane-departure warning
  •       Multiview rearview camera
  •       Hill-start assistance

Premium: $27,650

  •       All Standard features, plus
  •       17-inch Pewter Gray machine-finishes Y-spoke noise-reducing wheels
  •       Perforated Milano leather-trimmed interior with contrast stitching and piping
  •       Two-position memory for driver’s seat and mirrors
  •       Four-way power passenger’s seat
  •       Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  •       Seven-speaker Acura Premium Audio System
  •       SiriusXM
  •       HD Radio
  •       Android Auto
  •       Apple CarPlay
  •       8-inch VGA touchscreen
  •       Secondary touchscreen
  •       Universal home remote
  •       Blind-spot monitoring
  •       Rear cross-traffic alert

Technology: $29,550

  •       All Premium Features, plus
  •       10-speaker ELS Premium Audio System
  •       Song By Voice
  •       Navigation with 3D
  •       AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic
  •       Traffic re-routing
  •       AcuraLink Connected Service
  •       Dynamic guidelines for the rearview camera

A-Spec: $29,650 (w/ Premium)/$31,550 (w/ Technology)

  •       All Premium or Technology features, plus
  •       Shark Gray 15-spoke noise-reducing wheels
  •       Dark chrome and lighting details
  •       LED fog lights
  •       Dark chrome accents
  •       Piano-black deck-lid spoiler
  •       Piano-black rear diffuser
  •       Side underbody spoiler
  •       Sport A-Spec Seats
  •       Perforated Milano premium leather and Ultrasuede interior
  •       Contrasting stitching and piping
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel with A-Spec garnish
  •       Graphite and chrome dash trim
  •       A-Spec exclusive red instrument panel lighting
  •       Ebony headliner
  •       Stainless steel pedals

Lexus IS Key Features and Pricing by Trim

Standard: $34,560

  •       LED daytime running lights
  •       Mirror-integrated turn signals and puddle lights
  •       Keyless entry and ignition
  •       Normal, Comfort, and Sport modes
  •       Nuluxe leatherette upholstery
  •       Dual-zone automatic climate control
  •       60/40 split-folding rear seat
  •       Analog clock
  •       Exterior temperature gauge
  •       Two USB ports
  •       Bluetooth connectivity with streaming audio
  •       HomeLink universal home remote
  •       7-inch infotainment screen
  •       293-wayy, eight-speaker audio system
  •       HD Radio
  •       SiriusXM
  •       Scout GPS Link
  •       MP3 and WMA playback
  •       Lexus Enform Remote infotainment system
  •       Voice recognition
  •       Automatic emergency braking
  •       Lane-departure alert
  •       Lane-keep assist
  •       Automatic high-beam headlights
  •       Adaptive cruise control

Who Should Buy the 2019 Lexus IS

With its rear-wheel-drive platform and proportions to match, the 2019 Lexus IS is the compact luxury sedan for traditionalists. It also delivers a traditional driving and handling feel, so no senses go without pleasing.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Acura ILX

The Acura ILX has a huge price advantage over the IS without losing a lot in roominess up front and in features. Dollar for dollar, the features in the ILX are far more generous than those in the 2019 IS. Plus, its rear seat is more family-friendly, and the trunk is better prepared for those weekend getaways.


Come see for yourself just how excellent the 2019 Acura ILX is here at Acura of Rochester serving the Rochester, Pittsford, and Fairport areas. We have plenty of in-stock ILX models you can test drive today. Can’t make it to our Rochester area showroom today? Navigate to our online inventory page, choose a few interesting ILX models online, and schedule a test drive through the Rochester area at your convenience.



Prices shown are Acura suggested retail prices only and do not include taxes, license or destination and handling charge. Destination & Handling charge is $995 for sedans and $995 for SUVs. Acura vehicle accessory costs, labor and installation vary. Dealers set their own prices. Please consult your selected dealer.

Based on 2019 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery-pack age/condition (hybrid only) and other factors.

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Justin Cupler

Justin Cupler

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Acura of Rochester 43.0752173, -77.6442315.