2016 Acura ILX [REVIEW]

Here’s our review of the much improved 2016 Acura ILX.

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Acura originally introduced the ILX for 2013. Based on the Civic it was Acura’s attempt to compete in the ever growing small car luxury segment. Unfortunately the ILX didn’t offer much to differentiate it from the Civic. With new players from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, the ILX just couldn’t complete. Luckily for 2016 that has all changed with pretty much the entire car getting reworked, especially where it was needed most – under the hood.

The revised ILX sports the same new 2.4L 4-cylinder that was introduced last year on Acura’s new TLX. With direct injection the powertrain now offers 201-hp and 180 lb-ft. of torque. The new engine is paired with Acura’s new revolutionary 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with a torque converter. the setup is very smooth to start-off, but seems to sometimes get a little confused on the top end with what gear to pick. The 2016 ILX is rated at 25 MPG city/36 MPG highway for a combined rating of 29 MPG which is exactly what I achieved my week with our test vehicle.

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On the road the effect upon Acura’s ILX is nothing short of revolutionary. Acura also saw fit to update the NVH, steering, and suspension. The ILX now has additional materials, thicker door glass, design enhancements, and a retuned suspension. Where as the old model bordered on anemic, the new powertrain and chassis refinements have given the revised ILX a zest for life that wants to run and play. It’s a lot of fun on backroads and darting through traffic.

Luckily the 2016 ILX now stands out on the road more than ever thanks to a host of exterior refinements. Acura’s trademark “Jewel-Eye” headlights make their first appearance as well as a new grille design, and more aggressive lower fascia. The ILX also boasts a restyled rear end with new LED taillights and revised lower fascia, all wrapped around new 10-spoke 17″ alloy wheels. Although Acura didn’t change any of the sheetmetal, the ILX still remains a handsome package, even more so now.

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Related: 2016 Acura NSX: Acura drops more details

The ILX’s interior remains stylish but also saw a raft of updates with upgraded materials, contrasting stitching on the steering wheel, parking-brake handle and shift knob, new silver trim for the instrument panel and the adoption of Active Noise Control technology. New for 2016 the Acura is available with a sporty A-SPEC Package that includes sporty side sill garnishes, a trunk spoiler, front fog lights, new 18″ 10-spoke alloy wheels, and several interior touches all of which really make the ILX standout.

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Acura continues to be at the forefront of technology by now offering a 7′ touch screen on upper trim levels which consolidates and eases a lot of control but some of the small buttons can be hard to input at speed. Acura Watch is now available and includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, Road Departure Mitigation and Forward Collision Warning. The ILX remains a tremendous value however even with these optional packages. Our A-Spec & Tech Package equipped test vehicle rang in at $34,890, but a base ILX with a long list of standard equipment starts at $27,900.