2020 Honda Civic vs. 2020 Acura ILX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/06

Both the Civic and the ILX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.

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

Civic

ILX

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

201

227

Neck Injury Risk

20%

26%

Neck Stress

176 lbs.

257 lbs.

Neck Compression

53 lbs.

56 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

34%

40%

Neck Stress

131 lbs.

166 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

445/224 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 Honda Civic is safer than the Acura ILX:

Civic

ILX

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

204

234

Hip Force

306 lbs.

487 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

356 lbs.

699 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

14 inches

HIC

260

299

Spine Acceleration

37 G’s

56 G’s

Hip Force

727 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 and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Civic the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The ILX last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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There are almost 4 times as many Honda dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Civic’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Honda vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in initial quality. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in reliability. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 16 places higher in reliability than Acura.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Civic Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the ILX:

MPG

Civic Sedan

Manual

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/36 hwy

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

30 city/38 hwy

Sport 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

32 city/42 hwy

Touring 1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

30 city/38 hwy

ILX

Auto

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

24 city/34 hwy

The Civic has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The ILX doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The Civic offers an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The ILX doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Civic stops much shorter than the ILX:

Civic

ILX

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Civic Sport/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ILX (235/40R18 vs. 225/40R18).

The Civic 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

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The Civic’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The ILX doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Civic’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the ILX (106.3 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Civic is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the ILX.

The Civic Sport Hatchback handles at .93 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 Civic LX/EX’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the ILX’s (35.4 feet vs. 36.8 feet).

Chassis

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The Honda Civic may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 350 pounds less than the Acura ILX.

The Civic Sedan is 4.3 inches shorter than the ILX, making the Civic easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Civic has a liquid-filled front engine mount. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The ILX uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

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

The Civic Sedan has 8.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ILX (97.8 vs. 89.3).

The Civic Sedan has 1.3 inches more front headroom, 3.4 inches more front hip room, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 3.4 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the ILX.

Cargo Capacity

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The Civic Sedan has a much larger trunk than the ILX (15.1 vs. 12.4 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Civic Sedan easier. The Civic Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26.8 inches, while the ILX’s liftover is 28.7 inches. The Civic Hatchback’s liftover is only 22 inches.

The Civic Coupe/Hatchback/EX/EX/Touring’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.

Ergonomics

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The Civic’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The ILX has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The Civic Touring’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The ILX’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 Civic’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the ILX’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

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

Both the Civic and the ILX offer available heated front seats. The Civic Touring Sedan/Sport Touring also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the ILX.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Honda Civic offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The ILX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

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The Honda Civic comes in coupe, sedan and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Acura ILX isn’t available as a coupe or four door hatchback.

Economic Advantages

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The Civic will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Civic will retain 46.26% to 48.42% of its original price after five years, while the ILX only retains 36.22% to 38.53%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Civic is less expensive to operate than the ILX because it costs $155 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Civic than the ILX, including $56 less for a water pump, $38 less for a muffler, $20 less for front brake pads, $310 less for fuel injection, $11 less for a fuel pump, $149 less for front struts and $238 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Civic will be $4181 to $8018 less than for the Acura ILX.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/06

Consumer Reports® recommends the Honda Civic, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Honda Civic outsold the Acura ILX by over 22 to one during 2019.

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

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