2020 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2020 Acura ILX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Jetta has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, 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.

Both the Jetta and the ILX 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.

Warranty

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The Jetta’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the ILX’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Jetta for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the ILX.

There are over 2 times as many Volkswagen dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Jetta’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 40 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Volkswagen 1 place higher in reliability than Acura.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Jetta gets better fuel mileage than the ILX (30 city/40 hwy vs. 24 city/34 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Jetta Auto’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.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Volkswagen Jetta uses regular unleaded gasoline. The ILX requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

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

Tires and Wheels

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The Jetta SE/R-Line/SEL/SEL Premium has a standard space-saver spare (not available on S) 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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For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Jetta is 1.3 inches wider in the front and .2 inches wider in the rear than on the ILX.

Chassis

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The Volkswagen Jetta may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 pounds less than the Acura ILX.

The front grille of the Jetta uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The ILX doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Jetta has 5.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ILX (94.7 vs. 89.3).

The Jetta has .5 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 3.4 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the ILX.

Cargo Capacity

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The Jetta has a much larger trunk than the ILX (14.1 vs. 12.4 cubic feet).

The Jetta’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 Jetta’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 power windows standard on both the Jetta and the ILX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Jetta 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 Jetta’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 Jetta SEL/SEL Premium’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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Jetta (except S) 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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Jetta SEL/SEL Premium 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 avoid possible obstacles, the Jetta R-Line/SEL Premium has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The ILX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Both the Jetta and the ILX offer available heated front seats. The Jetta also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the ILX.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Jetta SEL Premium keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The ILX doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Jetta’s optional (except S) 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.

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

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Jetta owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Jetta with a number “3” insurance rate while the ILX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The Jetta will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Jetta will retain 42.99% to 45.75% 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 Jetta is less expensive to operate than the ILX because typical repairs cost less on the Jetta than the ILX, including $61 less for fuel injection and $188 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volkswagen Jetta will be $6679 to $9201 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 2020/06/05

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Jetta second among compact 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 in its category.

The Volkswagen Jetta outsold the Acura ILX by almost seven to one during 2019.

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