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2016 Acura ILX

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/29/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2016

The refreshed 2016 Acura ILX gains a new 2.4-liter I-4 and eight-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission, a combination that replaces the two powertrains offered in the previous model year. The ILX now offers the AcuraWatch suite of safety and driver assistance systems, and a styling package called the A-Spec package is now available.

Vehicle Summary

Slotting below the larger TLX, the 2016 ILX is a front-drive compact premium sedan and serves as the entry-level model in Acura's lineup.

Overview

A 2.4-liter I-4 producing 201 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque is the only engine available and it's paired to an eight-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission with a torque converter for smoother starts. Fuel economy is excellent at 25/36 mpg city/highway, making the ILX one of the most fuel efficient gas-powered entry-level premium sedans, second only to the front-drive Mercedes-Benz CLA250. There's room for four passengers in the 2016 ILX and a 12.3-cubic foot trunk. However, the rear seats don't split and fold, limiting its cargo-carrying capabilities.

Safety

Standard safety features include front driver and passenger airbags, front-side airbags, and side curtain airbags. The Acura Watch suite of safety and driver aids is available, the ILX with AcuraWatch Plus trim or when the car is opted with the Premium or Technology Plus packages. This includes adaptive cruise control, automatic forward emergency braking, lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning.

Trims, Packages, and What's Standard

Base 2016 ILX models come standard with Bluetooth connectivity, USB audio interface, rearview camera, hands-free keyless access and start, dual-zone climate control, "Jewel Eye" LED headlights, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Stepping up to the ILX with AcuraWatch Plus adds the AcuraWatch suite of safety and driver aids, a compass, and a multi-information display.

The Premium package adds perforated leather seats, driver's seat memory, an eight-inch touchscreen, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot warning, and an iPhone-based navigation app capability.

Finally, the range-topping Technology Plus package adds navigation, HDD media storage, and GPS-linked climate control.

The A-Spec package, which is available in combination with the Premium or Technology package, adds 18-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, fog lights, side sill garnishes, grey contrast stitching, aluminum pedals, red instrument illumination, and perforated "Lux Suede" seat inserts.

What We Think

Improvements made to the 2016 ILX have turned it into a credible competitor in the entry-level premium compact segment, offering great driving dynamics, an improved interior, and excellent fuel efficiency. In a First Drive review, we said that the car's new engine has plenty of power on tap and a gearbox that "seems to always know the right gear at the right time." The retuned suspension and well-calibrated electric power steering system enables the car to handle better and provide linear feel to the driver. Interior quality is also much improved over the pre-face-lift ILX, featuring more sound insulation and higher-quality materials. The car's center cluster controls, however, are confusing because the lower touchscreen acts as a radio head unit that can duplicate functions on the larger knob-controlled display above it, making the former pointless.

Cool Fact

The new 2.4-liter I-4 and eight-speed twin-clutch gearbox is shared with the larger TLX.

You'll Like

  • Strong powertrain
  • Engaging handling
  • Much-improved interior

You Won't Like

  • Pointless second touchscreen
  • Confusing center stack controls

Key Competitors

  • Audi A3
  • Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
  • Buick Verano
  • Lexus CT 200h

Rating

4 star

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