2020 Acura ILX Vs. 2020 Honda Civic

By Justin Cupler | February 17th, 2020

Need a well-equipped compact sedan that delivers great reliability and performance? The Acura ILX and its cousin the Honda Civic offer that and more for our Rochester area buyers. Which of these cousins is the better buy for you and your family? Continue reading to find out.

Exterior

Though they are closely related, you’d never guess it by looking at the 2020 Honda Civic and 2020 Acura ILX. The ILX is clearly the more luxurious of the two with its sharp design language combined with classy features. Just a year ago, the aging ILX received a comprehensive refresh that gave it an all-new look from the A-pillars forward and a new lease on life while it awaits its highly anticipated redesign.

The Civic is still a sharp-looking ride and remains fresh from its 2016 redesign that brought in a more mature design that included a bold gloss-black grille, sweptback headlights, razor-sharp body lines, a slow-sloping rear glass, and unmistakable taillights.  

When it comes to standard features, the ILX’s status as a luxury car buries the base Civic, as the ILX includes standard LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, sunroof, remote-operated windows, and much more. The Civic’s standard features are tuned toward budget buyers and include 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps and halogen projector headlights.

Despite the Civic being more a budget-friendly cat, moving up in its trims puts you almost on par with the base ILX. For example, the EX-L trim starts $1,000 cheaper than the base ILX and includes standard heated mirrors, fog lights, spoiler, power moonroof, 17-inch wheels, and more.

In terms of size, the 2020 Civic is slightly larger than the ILX, but the most significant difference is its 1.2-inch-longer wheelbase, which shows up in cabin roominess.

 

Measurement 2020 Acura ILX 2020 Honda Civic Difference
Length (in.) 182.2 182.7 -0.5
Width (in.) 70.6 70.9 -0.3
Height (in.) 55.6 55.7 -0.1
Wheelbase (in.) 105.1 106.3 -1.2
Ground Clearance (in.) 5.3 N/A
Curb weight (lbs) 3,095 to 3,148 2,762 to 2,963 +132 to +386

 

Advantage: 2020 Honda Civic

  •       Bold, mature look
  •       Cheaper feature for feature
  •       Tons of value in Sport trim

Advantage: 2020 Acura ILX

  •       More standard features
  •       Eye-grabbing design
  •       Sharp A-Spec model

Interior

Inside, the Honda Civic boasts a surprisingly good-looking setup with plenty of horizontal lines to give it a wider look, a sporty three-spoke steering wheel, a hidden lower center console, and much more. The cabin is also surprisingly clean and free of too many buttons and knobs, giving it a more upscale feel than it should have.

The 2020 Acura ILX’s cabin is a little more dated, as it did not get the same 2019 refresh its exterior received. That said, it is still sharp with its swooping lines that envelop each front-seat occupant, thick-rimmed steering wheel, and sharp red seats in the A-Spec trim.

Where the ILX shows its age is its busy center stack in the base trim. In higher trim levels, a second touchscreen takes the place of most of these buttons, but even that system is a little on the older side.

In terms of standard interior features, the Civic is simple with its single-zone automatic climate control, power windows with front one-touch-up and down, power door locks, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, rear-seat heat ducts, floor mats, steering-wheel-mounted controls, one-piece fold-down rear seat, 5-inch color LCD infotainment screen, 160-watt, four-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, and single 1.0-amp USB port.

The ILX matches all these standard features and adds other luxury goodies like an acoustic laminated windshield, sport seats, a leatherette-trimmed interior, an eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, MP3 and Pandora compatibility, Siri Eyes Free, SMS text messaging capability, and more.

In interior space, the Civic’s longer wheelbase opens things up, giving it more room in every measurable except rear hip room and front legroom.

Measurement 2020 Acura ILX 2020 Honda Civic Difference
Front headroom (in.) 38 37.3 to 39.3 -1.3 to +0.7
Front legroom (in.) 42.3 42.3
Front shoulder room (in.) 55.6 56.9 to 57 -1.4 to -1.3
Front hip room (in.) 50.3 53.7 -3.4
Rear headroom (in.) 35.9 36.8 to 37.1 -1.2 to -0.9
Rear legroom (in.) 34 37.4 -3.4
Rear shoulder room (in.) 53.6 55 -1.4
Rear hip room (in.) 51.7 47.3 +4.4
Cargo room (cu.-ft.) 12.4 14.7 to 15.1 -2.7 to -2.3

 

Advantage: 2020 Honda Civic

  •       Roomier cabin
  •       Better value feature for feature
  •       Unique and modern interior design

Advantage: 2020 Acura ILX

  •       Tons more luxury features
  •       Sharp A-Spec red seats and accents
  •       Peaceful cabin

Performance

Under its hood, the 2020 Acura ILX shares its engine with the last-generation Civic Si. This 2.4-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine cranks out 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. The power flows through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission for a 6.8-second 0-to-60 time.

 

The 2020 Honda Civic comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that pumps 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque through a standard six-speed manual or an optional continuously variable transmission and out to the front wheels. This power heads to the front wheels and sprints the Civic to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds.

 

In EX and higher models, the Civic boasts a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-pot that pumps 174 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque through a CVT and out to the front wheels. This results in an ILX-matching 6.8-second sprint time and an impressive 42 mpg highway* in select trims.

 

2020 Acura ILX 2020 Honda Civic Difference
Standard engine 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cyl 2.0-liter i-VTEC 4-cyl
Horsepower 201 hp at 6,800 rpm 158 hp at 6,500 rpm +43 hp
Torque 180 lb-ft at 3,600 rpm 138 lb-ft at 4,200 rpm +42 hp
Standard transmission 8-spd dual-clutch 6-spd manual
Optional transmission N/A CVT
Driveline FWD FWD
0-60 time 6.8 seconds 8.2 seconds -1.4 seconds
MPG City 24 mpg* 29 to 30* -6 to -6 mpg
MPG Highway 34 mpg* 37 to 38* -4 to -3 mpg
MPG Combined 28 mpg* 32 to 33* -5 to -4 mpg
Optional engine 1.5-liter turbo 4-cyl
Horsepower 174 hp at 6,000 rpm +27 hp
Torque 162 lb-ft at 1,700 to 5,500 rpm +18 lb-ft
Transmission CVT
Driveline FWD
0-60 time 6.8 seconds +0 seconds
MPG City 30 to 32 mpg -8 to -6 mpg
MPG Highway 38 to 42 mpg -8 to -4 mpg
MPG Combined 33 to 36 mpg -8 to -5 mpg

 

Advantage: 2020 Honda Civic

  •       Huge fuel-economy numbers
  •       1.5-liter-equipped Civic matches ILX acceleration
  •       Available manual transmission

Advantage: 2020 Acura ILX

  •       Slick dual-clutch transmission
  •       High-winding VTEC fun
  •       Softer ride

Pricing and Features

The 2020 Honda Civic has five trim levels – LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring – and their starting prices range from $17,950 to $27,600.

There are no normal trims in the ILX lineup, but it has three packages – Premium, Technology, and A-Spec – that act as trims. With these defacto trim levels, the ILX’s MSRP ranges from $25,900 to $31,650.

2020 Honda Civic Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LX: $19,750

  •       2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  •       Six-speed manual transmission
  •       Front-wheel drive
  •       Hill-start assist
  •       Electric parking brake with automatic brake hold
  •       Eco Assist system
  •       Variable-ratio electric power steering system
  •       16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  •       Two-speed intermittent windshield wipers
  •       Projector-beam halogen headlights with auto on/off
  •       Taillights with integrated LED light bars
  •       Body-color door handles
  •       Body-color, power side-view mirrors
  •       Automatic climate control
  •       Power windows with one-touch-up/down front
  •       Power door locks
  •       Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  •       Rear-seat heat ducts
  •       Floor mats
  •       Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  •       One-piece fold-down rear seat
  •       5-inch color LCD infotainment screen
  •       160-watt, four-speaker audio system
  •       Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  •       One 1.0-amp USB port
  •       Forward collision warning
  •       Lane-departure warning
  •       Automatic emergency braking
  •       Road-departure mitigation
  •       Brake assist
  •       Lane-keep assist
  •       Adaptive cruise control
  •       Automatic high-beam headlights
  •       Multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines

Sport: $21,450

  •       All LX features, plus
  •       18-inch alloy wheels with gloss-black inserts
  •       Center-outlet exhaust
  •       Smart entry with walk-away auto-lock
  •       Fog lights
  •       Gloss-black rear spoiler
  •       Sport pedals
  •       Push-button ignition
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       Leather-wrapped shifter knob
  •       60/40 split-folding rear seat
  •       One center console 1.0-amp USB port
  •       1.5-amp lower center console USB port
  •       180-watt, eight-speaker audio system
  •       Display Audio infotainment system
  •       7-inch high-resolution touchscreen
  •       HondaLink
  •       Apple CarPlay
  •       Android Auto
  •       SMS text messaging function
  •       Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines

EX: $23,700

  •       All LX features, plus
  •       1.5-liter turbo 4-cyl engine
  •       Continuously variable transmission
  •       17-inch alloy wheels
  •       Remote engine start
  •       Heated outside mirrors
  •       Rear spoiler
  •       Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  •       One-touch power moonroof
  •       Shark-fin antenna
  •       Illuminated vanity mirrors
  •       LED pocket light
  •       Dual-zone automatic climate control
  •       60/40 split-folding rear seat
  •       Blind-spot camera
  •       Keyless ignition
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       Leather-wrapped shift knob
  •       Heated front seats
  •       Eight-way power driver’s seat
  •       180-watt, eight-speaker audio system
  •       Display Audio infotainment system
  •       7-inch high-resolution touchscreen
  •       HondaLink
  •       Apple CarPlay
  •       Android Auto
  •       SMS text messaging
  •       1.5-amp USB port in the lower front center console
  •       SiriusXM
  •       HD Radio

EX-L: $24,900

  •       All EX features, plus
  •       HomeLink universal home remote
  •       Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  •       Leather-trimmed seats

Touring: $27,600

  •       All EX-L features, plus
  •       Paddle shifters
  •       18-inch alloy wheels with gloss Shark Gray inserts
  •       Chrome-accented door handles
  •       Mirror-integrated LED turn signals
  •       Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  •       LED headlights with auto-on/off
  •       Sport pedals
  •       Rear outboard heated seats
  •       Four-way power passenger’s seat
  •       Satellite-linked navigation
  •       450-watt, 10-speaker audio system with a subwoofer
  •       Compass

2020 Acura ILX Key Features and Pricing by Trim

Standard: $25,900**

  •       2.4-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine
  •       Eight-speed dual-clutch transmission
  •       Front-wheel drive
  •       Electric power steering
  •       17-inch Glitter Silver machine-finished alloy wheels
  •       Power moonroof
  •       Remote-operated power moonroof
  •       Jewel Eye LED headlights with auto-on/off
  •       LED taillights
  •       LED daytime running lights
  •       Heated side-view mirrors
  •       Chrome exhaust outlets
  •       Acoustic laminated windshield
  •       Sport seats with leatherette-trimmed interior
  •       Eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support
  •       Heated front seats
  •       Fold-down rear seatback
  •       Dual-zone automatic climate control
  •       Keyless access system
  •       Keyless unlock
  •       Push-button ignition
  •       Power windows with one-touch up/down front windows
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       Leather-wrapped shift knob
  •       Six-speaker Acura audio system
  •       Bluetooth streaming audio system
  •       USB audio interface
  •       MP3 Pandora compatibility
  •       Siri Eyes Free
  •       SMS text messaging capability
  •       5-inch color display
  •       Color multi-information display
  •       Compass
  •       Automatic emergency braking
  •       Road-departure mitigation
  •       Adaptive cruise control
  •       Lane-keep assist
  •       Forward collision warning
  •       Lane-departure warning
  •       Multi-view rearview camera
  •       Brake Assist
  •       Hill-start assist

Premium: $27,750**

  •       All Standard features
  •       17-inch Pewter Gray Metallic machine-finished Y-spoke 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 with power lumbar
  •       Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  •       Seven-speaker Acura Premium audio system
  •       SiriusXM
  •       HD Radio
  •       Apple CarPlay
  •       Android Auto
  •       Email capability
  •       On Demand Multi-Use Display 2.0
  •       8-inch LED touchscreen
  •       HomeLink
  •       Blind-spot monitoring
  •       Rear cross-traffic alert

Technology: $29,650**

  •       All Premium features, plus
  •       GPS-linked climate control
  •       10-speaker Acura/ELS premium audio system
  •       Song by Voice
  •       Navigation with 3D view
  •       AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with street and freeway conditions
  •       Traffic Rerouting
  •       Color multi-information display with turn-by-turn guidance
  •       AcuraLink Connected Services
  •       Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines

A-Spec: $29,750 (w/ Premium Package)/$31,650 (w/ Technology Package)**

  •       All Premium or Technology features, plus
  •       18-inch Shark Gray 15-spoke wheels
  •       Dark chrome and lighting details
  •       LED fog lights
  •       Dark chrome accents
  •       Piano-black rear spoiler
  •       Piano-black rear diffuser
  •       Side underbody spoilers
  •       Sport A-Spec seats
  •       Perforated Milano premium leather and Ultrasuede-trimmed interior
  •       Contrast stitching and piping
  •       Leather-wrapped A-Spec steering wheel
  •       Graphite and chrome dash trim
  •       A-Spec-exclusive red instrument panel lighting
  •       Ebony headliner
  •       Ebony headliner
  •       Stainless steel sport pedals

Who Should Buy the 2020 Honda Civic

The base Civic is, of course, for folks on a tighter budget. But those who would are comparing the Civic and ILX are looking for value in Acura’s non-luxury cousin, and they will find that in the Touring and EX-L models. Sure, they lack the prestige of a luxury nameplate, but they offer more features at better prices.

Who Should Buy the 2020 Acura ILX

Buyers who want a true luxury car and will only settle for the best will prefer the ILX. Sure, it costs more money, but between its stellar fit and finish, great performance, and slick looks, it is a better buy for more discerning shoppers.

Want to put a 2020 Acura ILX in your driveway today? Swing by Acura of Rochester today to take it for a spin and make it yours. Can’t make it to our Acura showroom serving Rochester, Pittsford, Fairport, and the surrounding areas today? Navigate to our online inventory, pick a few in-stock ILX models that suit your needs, and schedule a time to test drive that fits your life.

**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 2020 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.