2018 Acura ILX vs. 2018 Ford Fusion

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Using vehicle speed sensors, smart airbags in the ILX deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The ILX’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Fusion’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The ILX has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Fusion doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the ILX and the Fusion have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Acura ILX is safer than the Ford Fusion:







5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Leg Forces (l/r)

57/324 lbs.

167/333 lbs.




4 Stars

3 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

166 lbs.

197 lbs.

Neck Compression

40 lbs.

50 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Acura ILX is safer than the Ford Fusion:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.3 inches

Abdominal Force

143 G’s

401 G’s


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

699 lbs.

790 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

16 inches

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.


The ILX comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Fusion’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the ILX 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Ford covers the Fusion. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Fusion ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.


J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 75 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 31st.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 6 places higher in reliability than Ford.


The ILX’s 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 26 more horsepower (201 vs. 175) and 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (180 vs. 175) than the Fusion’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The ILX’s 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (201 vs. 181) than the Fusion’s optional 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the ILX gets better fuel mileage than the Fusion 2.5 4 cyl. (25 city/35 hwy vs. 21 city/32 hwy).


An eight-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Acura ILX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Fusion.

The ILX offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Fusion doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the ILX’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Fusion:




Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.8 inches

Tires and Wheels

The ILX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Fusion S’ standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the ILX has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Fusion S.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the ILX’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Fusion’s (36.8 feet vs. 37.5 feet).


The Acura ILX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 700 pounds less than the Ford Fusion.

The ILX is 9.9 inches shorter than the Fusion, making the ILX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the ILX offers cargo security. The Fusion’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.


The ILX’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Fusion and aren’t offered on the Fusion S.

When the ILX is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Fusion’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The ILX has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Fusion and isn’t available on the Fusion S.

The ILX’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Fusion S doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the ILX is less expensive to operate than the Fusion because it costs $108 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the ILX than the Fusion, including $21 less for front brake pads and $45 less for a timing belt/chain.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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