On Sale Now: 2016 Acura ILX

New 2016 model year vehicles are beginning to trickle out and the Acura ILX is among them. This entry-level premium sedan has been redesigned and is priced from $27,900. A new, high-performance, direct-injected engine is now paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, to deliver improved performance and efficiency.

2016 Acura ILX

The 2016 Acura ILX made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November. While there, Acura outlined its ideal demographic for the sedan — under 35 luxury buyers, including people interested in making the transition to a premium marque for the first time.

To that end, Acura has priced the ILX competitively with all six package options retailing below $35,000. Indeed, beyond the base model an ILX with AcuraWatch —its safety and driver-assisted features — is priced from $29,200. When equipped with a premium package — what brings in blind spot information, cross traffic monitor, a 7-inch color display, HD Radio, Siri Eyes Free, a smartphone-linked navigation and additional power accessories — the price point climbs to just $29,900.

Further enhancements can be had by choosing an A-SPEC package, what embellishes the sedan with 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, all-season tires, sport seats with lux-suede inserts and contrast stitching, fog lights, a rear deck spoiler and aluminum pedals. It is added to the premium package or it can be combined with the available tech plus package.

That tech plus package includes everything found in the premium package plus AcuraLink connectivity and AcuraWatch.

2016 Acura ILX

New, More Powerful Engine

Under the hood, the ILX gains a significant power boost in its lone engine choice, a 2.4-liter, in-line four-cylinder engine rated at 201 horsepower and 180 foot-pounds of torque. That engine compares to the 150 horsepower and 140 foot-pounds of torque served out by the previous 2.0-liter engine. Indeed, one of the more consequential complaints with the earlier model was a lack of power. In the new model that problem has been eliminated.

To give the front-wheel drive Acura ILX an edge in the segment, an eight-speed dual clutch transmission with torque converter and paddle shifters is present. Acura claims that when operated in manual mode, the transmission will shift fast and smooth, and comes with rev-matching downshifts to enhance its sporting persona. Further, the powertrain combination is an efficient one as the 2016 ILX is rated at 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. In addition, this model takes regular grade gasoline.

Other improvements for the 2016 ILX extend to its exterior, now outfitted with Jewel Eye LED headlights, a fresh grille design, a burly lower front fascia and standard, 10-spoke 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels. To the rear, new LED combination lights and lower fascia embellishments are present.

Quiet, More Refined Interior

Acura says that the cabin is quiet, benefiting from additional noise-abating materials along with thicker front door glass, active noise control cancellation technology, and wheels that also mitigate noise.

The revamped interior also includes refined materials, contrasting European-style stitching on the steering wheel, shift knob and the parking brake, energetic silver trim surrounding the instrument panel and other areas. Moreover, this model receives additional embellishments through various package upgrades mentioned earlier, including red instrument illumination and swank gray interior stitching and aluminum brake and throttle pedals.

Among the standard and available features across the 2016 ILX line are heated front seats, an Acura/ELS Studio premium audio system, handsfree Bluetooth connectivity, GPS-linked automatic climate control, and a seven-inch touchscreen. In addition, ILX shoppers will enjoy a suite of safety features, including airbags, stability control, and various pedestrian injury-mitigation design features.

Battling With its Competitors

As an entry-level model, the 2016 Acura ILX has its share of competitors. The Audi A3, BMW 2-Series, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and the Buick Verano are just a few that come to mind. However, Acura’s powertrain choice and low price point just may be the drawing cards that first-time luxury buyers will gladly receive, reversing lagging sales that have recently plagued this model.

Photos courtesy of Acura.

Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.

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