Just a quick personal review if you don't mind.
Currently I own a 2010 Genesis Coupe 2.0T which I have mod'd (450 lbs-ft clutch for a reason), and previous to that I had an Audi B5 S4 (twin turbo V6 and a 600 lbs-ft clutch for a reason). Recently I picked up a low mileage used Suzuki SV650 (converting into a streetfighter) and all three have one thing in common...wheels, mod friendly and torque.
I took an ILX for a test drive because I heard some great reviews and honestly, I never cared for Honda's until I saw this complete package, and it felt it was worth a test drive. In all honesty, I am loving my motorbike, so this is going to replace my coupe, since I only seek 4 wheels and shelter for the winter / bad weather. Also it would be for those days / nights on the road with a few friends, or when it's too gay for two guys to be riding down the street on a motorbike. To be perfectly clear, I am looking for a 'compact' sedan or sportback, preferably with AWD or RWD, and most importantly a PREMIUM interior. For options, I need HID's, tried halogens and can't go back. Automatic climate control, Bluetooth, otherwise I am quite content.
First off exterior, I felt the masculine, swoopy lines I have loved in the Genesis Coupe were quite nice in the Acura ILX. I have absolutely no gripes with the design, in all honesty, it was a nice change from somewhat boring styling of past Honda / Acuras. The front grill which I have hated since being introduced in the TL wasn't as predominate and it was easy to overlook. 17" rims? Well they would make good winter rims no?
When I got inside, I definitely loved the bolstered seats, the soft touch plastics. General layout of the center console was ideal and followed the good ol German efficiency. It was nice to see that I wasn't in a space shuttle like my friends Accord...too many buttons. I am 6' and I had PLENTY of space behind for a passenger which was excellent. I had my seat in my driving position, got out and went to the seat behind, and it was perfect. Trunk was fine, however I would have liked 60/40 split since I do like snowboarding, and it's great to take one other person along, but I can only do that now anyway...
As for the test drive. I think this was one of the best manual transmissions I have driven, especially in a sedan where sometimes this can be overlooked. It was like cutting through butter. Taking the ramp, I REALLY would have liked a limited slip diff, however, the one item where I thought I was going to miss a diff is in straight line acceleration, and from past FWD cars, having to deal with torque steer. The one thing was, power delivery was very smooth, but also on the highway you really had to ring out the engine to get moving, it just didn't have the torque. Something I am not accustomed to...
Things also to keep in mind, excellent maintenance costs...yes they tried their best to differentiate itself from a Civic, however one of the key benefits of owning a Civic is it's bullet proof. The incentives for the ILX are excellent, cash back along with rates. Also I don't have to pay the extra $2k for the Tech Package which includes items I don't care for.
The plan is to lease the car, and quite possibly own it since I am on the fence, so a purchase is NOT in the cards. This is where convincing comes in...
Have a feeling though, with even bolt ons, I am not going to get that punch I am looking for?
intake, downpipe back exhaust and Hondata ECU tune of sorts. Only other mod will be lowering springs (H&R looks like they have what I want).
The immediate competitor that I had been waiting for besides seeing the ILX was the 2015 Audi A3 2.0T /w Quattro, similar performance except with a turbo engine (likely will settle with just an ECU tune and springs since stock it will have 280 lbs-ft, likely increased into the 300 lbs-ft). Weight is same, except add a few hundred pounds for the Quattro system. Issue is, 2015...so DOUBTFUL seeing it in 2013, likely spring 2014...and I am not a patient person.