The ILX is the smallest car produced by Acura, introduced in 2012 as a 2013 model; replacing the Acura CSX (not available in the USA). Like its predecessor, the Acura ILX is based on the Honda Civic, but unlike its predecessor, it is available in the United States and it doesn’t look like just a rebadged Civic, it has its own distinct styling.
The 2016 Acura ILX is offered in four trims in Canada: Base (starting at $29,940), Premium ($31,990), Tech Navi ($33,490), and A Spec ($34,890). We were given the keys to a 2016 Acura ILX A Spec for a week long review, below are my thoughts on this entry-level luxury sedan.
The 2016 Acura ILX is offered with one engine choice, a 2.4 liter 4 cylinder with direct injection and VTEC, replacing the 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine on the 2015 model. The 2.4 liter engine produces 201 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 180 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. Power is sent to the front wheels via a newly developed 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with a torque converter, and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Manual gearboxes are not offered on any of the ILX models for 2016.
The 2016 Acura ILX is rated at 9.3 L/100 km in city driving, 6.6 L/100 km on the highway, and 8.1 L/100k on the combined cycle. For our week long review, we were getting 10.0 L/100 km driving mostly in the city, that number is according to the car’s on board computer. On our test loop of about 24 kilometers with 50/50 city/highway driving, the computer showed 7.0 L/100 km. The test loop drive was a gentle fuel saving type of drive.
The ILX is the most affordable car in Acura’s lineup, but in my opinion it is the best looking, especially in the A Spec trim. The A Spec trim adds some body elements to give the car a sportier look, the added elements include side skirts, a trunk-lid spoiler, 18 inch wheels, and fog lights. This combination makes the car stand out from the regular models and makes it quite a head turner, especially in the pearl white paint that our review car came with. Hopefully Acura applies some of this sporty treatment to the TLX and even the RLX sedans to give them a little pizazz.
The interior on the ILX keeps the same design language found on the other two Acura cars, with the dual screens and a minimal amount of buttons. The interior does look pretty sporty and the dual-screens work well in this car, I just wish Acura would do something to change the look of the display on the bottom screen; the font, colors, and layout looks dated. Other than that little complaint, the interior is very nicely finished. The A Spec comes with black leather seats with Lux Suede insert and contrasting stitching on the seats, steering wheel, hand brake, and gear lever. The sporty design theme continues with the addition of aluminum pedals and a black headliner.
The interior is also a very comfortable place to spend time in and it is pretty quiet, Acura has added extra insulation and active noise cancellation. There is a bit of engine noise making its way into the cabin but this is a sporty car, the sound just adds to the sportiness, in my humble opinion. There’s plenty of room for the front passengers and adequate room for rear passengers, however, head room is on the tighter side for taller passengers.
Driving the Acura ILX is quite fun, the engine loves to rev and the max torque provided at just 3,600 rpm makes the car seem very peppy and it feels pretty fast. It feels like a luxurious Civic SiR. I had a lot of fun driving the ILX around town, it feels very nimble and makes you want to hit up some twisty roads and really rev the engine. The 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is very smooth and makes the car even more fun when put into sport mode and using the paddle shifters, I can only wonder what it would’ve felt like with a nice short-throw 6-speed manual gearbox.
The 4-cylinder engine is pretty efficient and has enough power for a car in this category. The only downside I see is the recommended premium fuel, there is quite a bit of price difference between 87 and 91 grade in Canada, and with the ever rising fuel prices, it can add up.
Like all the other top of the line Acuras, the ILX is also loaded up with a lot of technological wizardry that not only makes life easier but also helps you avoid accidents. Below is a list of some safety and convenience tech available on the 2016 Acura ILX sedan:
- Keyless Smart Entry with Push Button Start
- Multi-view rear view camera
- NEW Active Noise Control
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- GPS-linked climate control
- Heated front seats
- SMS text messaging function
- Aha™ Radio
- USB jack
- Auxiliary jack
- Bluetooth® HandsFree Link®
- SiruisXM® radio8-inch upper display
- 10-speaker ELS Premium Studio Audio System
- 7-inch On-Demand Multi-Use Display touch screen
- Auto-dimming rear view mirror
- Next-generation AcuraLink
- Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition and AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ with Traffic Rerouting
- HomeLink™ Remote System
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Auto on/off headlights
- Blind Spot Information
- Cross Traffic Monitor
- Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW) system
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
- Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
- Road Departure Mitigation (RDM™) system
- Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) with Traction Control
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TMPS)
- Adaptive Cruise Control
I think the 2016 Acura ILX A Spec is a great little car. It is the best looking Acura currently available, in my opinion, that will of course change once the NSX is available. It’s a very fun to drive car with plenty of power and a smooth transmission, and you can own this car for a long time thanks to the known reliability of Honda/Acura vehicles. The cabin is pretty spacious and luxurious and the car is priced well.
Visit acura.ca for more information on packages available on other trims of the 2016 Acura ILX sedans.