2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia vs. 2018 Acura ILX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Giulia offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The ILX doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the Giulia and the ILX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Giulia the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The ILX was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Reliability

The engine in the Giulia has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the ILX has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

The ILX’s redline is at 7200 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Giulia has a 5500 RPM redline.

The battery on the Giulia is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Giulia’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The ILX’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

The Giulia’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 79 more horsepower (280 vs. 201) and 126 lbs.-ft. more torque (306 vs. 180) than the ILX’s 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Alfa Romeo Giulia is faster than the Acura ILX:

 

Giulia

ILX

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

6.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.1 sec

17.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.7 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

94 MPH

Top Speed

149 MPH

133 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Giulia’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The ILX doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Giulia has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the ILX (15.3 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Giulia

ILX

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.5 inches

11.1 inches

The Giulia stops much shorter than the ILX:

 

Giulia

ILX

 

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Giulia has larger tires than the ILX (225/50R17 vs. 215/45R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Giulia Ti offers optional 19-inch wheels. The ILX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Giulia can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The ILX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Giulia offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The ILX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Giulia’s wheelbase is 5.9 inches longer than on the ILX (111 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Giulia is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 3.7 inches wider in the rear than on the ILX.

The Giulia’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the ILX’s (63% to 37%). This gives the Giulia more stable handling and braking.

The Giulia Ti handles at .88 G’s, while the ILX A-SPEC pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Giulia is rated a Mid-size car by the EPA, while the ILX is rated a Compact.

The Giulia has 6.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ILX (95.4 vs. 89.3).

The Giulia has .6 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 1.1 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the ILX.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Giulia easier. The Giulia’s trunk lift-over height is 25.8 inches, while the ILX’s liftover is 28.7 inches.

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Giulia’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The ILX’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

Servicing Ease

The Giulia uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The ILX uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the Giulia is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the ILX. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

The Giulia’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The ILX doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Giulia and the ILX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Giulia is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The ILX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Giulia’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The ILX’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Giulia’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The ILX’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Giulia to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The ILX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Giulia’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the ILX’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Giulia detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The ILX doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Giulia offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The ILX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Giulia offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The ILX has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

On extremely cold winter days, the Giulia’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The ILX doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the Giulia and the ILX offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Giulia has standard rear air-conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The ILX doesn’t offer rear air-conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Recommendations

The Giulia was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The ILX has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Giulia as their 2018 Car of the Year. The ILX has never been chosen.

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

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