2019 Audi A3 Sedan vs. 2019 Acura ILX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

The A3 Sedan’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The ILX doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A3 Sedan are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Acura ILX has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The A3 Sedan has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The ILX doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The A3 Sedan 45 TSFI has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The ILX doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the A3 Sedan and the ILX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors 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 Audi A3 Sedan is safer than the Acura ILX:

 

A3 Sedan

ILX

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.5 inches

Neck Injury Risk

34%

40%

Leg Forces (l/r)

329/424 lbs.

768/623 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 Audi A3 Sedan is safer than the Acura ILX:

 

A3 Sedan

ILX

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

172

234

Hip Force

308 lbs.

487 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

277

324

Spine Acceleration

56 G’s

64 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

14 inches

Spine Acceleration

47 G’s

56 G’s

Hip Force

666 lbs.

945 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A3 Sedan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The ILX was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

The A3 Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the ILX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

There are over 11 percent more Audi dealers than there are Acura dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the A3 Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability

The Audi A3 Sedan’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the ILX’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 47 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 6 places higher in reliability than Acura.

Engine

The A3 Sedan 40 TSFI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 41 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 180) than the ILX’s 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The A3 Sedan 45 TSFI Quattro’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 27 more horsepower (228 vs. 201) and 78 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 180) than the ILX’s 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the A3 Sedan 45 TSFI is faster than the Acura ILX:

 

A3 Sedan

ILX

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

6.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14 sec

17.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A3 Sedan 40 TSFI FWD gets better fuel mileage than the ILX (26 city/35 hwy vs. 24 city/34 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A3 Sedan’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 A3 Sedan 45 TFSI Quattro’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the ILX (14.5 vs. 13.2 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi A3 Sedan higher (7 out of 10) than the Acura ILX (3). This means the A3 Sedan produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the ILX every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A3 Sedan Quattro 45 TFSI’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the ILX:

 

A3 Quattro 45 TFSI

ILX

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.1 inches

The A3 Sedan stops much shorter than the ILX:

 

A3 Sedan

ILX

 

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A3 Sedan has larger standard tires than the ILX (225/45R17 vs. 215/45R17). The A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ILX (235/35R19 vs. 225/40R18).

The A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the ILX A-SPEC’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige offers optional 19-inch wheels. The ILX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The A3 Sedan has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the ILX; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A3 Sedan is 1.8 inches wider in the front than on the ILX.

The A3 Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.1% to 41.9%) than the ILX’s (63% to 37%). This gives the A3 Sedan more stable handling and braking.

The A3 Sedan Premium Quattro handles at .94 G’s, while the ILX A-SPEC pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the A3 Sedan’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the ILX’s (36.1 feet vs. 36.8 feet).

Chassis

The A3 Sedan is 6.7 inches shorter than the ILX, making the A3 Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The A3 Sedan has .2 inches more rear headroom and 1.1 inches more rear legroom than the ILX.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the A3 Sedan easier. The A3 Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26.3 inches, while the ILX’s liftover is 28.7 inches.

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the A3 Sedan’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the ILX’s useful trunk space.

The A3 Sedan’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The ILX’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Servicing Ease

The A3 Sedan 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.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Acura. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 26% lower rating, Acura is ranked 12th.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the A3 Sedan and the ILX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A3 Sedan 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 A3 Sedan’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 A3 Sedan’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 standard on the A3 Sedan 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 A3 Sedan’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the ILX’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A3 Sedan offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The ILX doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the A3 Sedan Prestige detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The ILX doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The A3 Sedan Prestige has standard 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 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the A3 Sedan and the ILX offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A3 Sedan 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi A3 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The ILX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi A3 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The ILX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The A3 Sedan Prestige’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The ILX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Audi A3 comes in convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Acura ILX isn’t available as a convertible or station wagon.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the A3 Sedan owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the A3 Sedan with a number “5” insurance rate while the ILX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A3 Sedan is less expensive to operate than the ILX because typical repairs cost less on the A3 Sedan than the ILX, including $40 less for a starter, $122 less for fuel injection and $169 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi A3 Sedan, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the A3 Sedan first among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The ILX isn’t in the top three.

The Audi A3/S3 outsold the Acura ILX by 62% during 2018.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos