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Acura has big plans for its new ILX small sports sedan, hoping it will help the luxury brand return to 200,000 total unit sales annually. But like the Honda Civic on which it is based, the ILX has so far turned out to be a disappointment in terms of both sales and packaging. According to a report from Automotive News, the ILX will be following the example set by the latest Civic when it too receives a significant refresh well ahead of schedule.
The bottom line is that sales have been lagging well below expectations as the ILX has barely managed to outsell the TSX, the slightly larger (and older) model it will eventually replace. In fact, the ILX “is being outsold by the Buick Verano,Volkswagen CC and the Audi A4.” So what’s the reason for the ILX’s lackluster sales? For starters, Acura is pointing the finger at the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that powers the base and mid-level models. It produces just 150 horsepower and simply doesn’t offer the performance capabilities potential buyers want in an entry-level premium sport sedan.
A second fault lies in the fact that the optional 201 hp 2.4-litre engine can only be mated to a six-speed manual, indicating that potential buyers in this segment have little interest in rowing their own gears. Acura is planning to offer an automatic with this engine in the near future and the 2.0-litre is supposedly being ditched as well, but it remains to be seen as to what powerplant will replace it.