The 2016 ILX is the Acura we’ve been waiting for. Full review including 0-60, pricing AND comparisons.
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The ILX started out as a rehashed Acura CSX (Canadian only), essentially a luxury version of Honda’s Civic. While the model got unique sheetmetal and a mostly unique interior, the engines, transmissions and some infotainment components were shared. This left the ILX feeling underpowered and “under-teched” for a luxury car. For 2016 Acura didn’t reinvent the wheel but the changes are just as dramatic. We have a new more powerful engine and 8-speed dual clutch transmission under the hood, revised bumpers, standard LED headlamps, a tweaked interior and the same infotainment systems as the Acura TLX, MDX, RDX and RLX. In addition Acura jams Radar Cruise Control, Collision Mitigating Braking, Pre-Collision Warning, Lane Keep Assist and electric pre-tensioning seat belts into almost every ILX on the dealer lot. The seemingly simple changes have managed to transform the ILX into exactly the small Acura I was looking for. The base model is no longer a penalty box, instead think of it as the same sausage cut a little smaller. While in the past competition was limited to the Buick Verano and up-level Mazda3 trims, the 2016 ILX has the goods to present a value alternative to the Lexus IS250, BMW 320i, Audi A3 and Volvo S60. My how times have changed.
Despite sharing quite little with Honda’s Civic and not looking like a fancy Civic, the 2015 ILX felt like a fancy Civic. Now there’s nothing wrong with that per se (after-all the success of the Lexus ES is largely due to the fact that for many years it was little more than a fancy Camry), but that’s not the Acura that the brand’s faithful remember. This ILX however is that Acura. The drivetrain and excellent pricing scheme more than the infotainment system or LED headlamps are the reason. Sure the ILX has some discount plastic, but the interior on the whole feels like a TLX that’s been discounted than a Civic that’s been “tarted up.” While the old ILX could only be compared with the Verano, Mazda3 and similar vehicles with a straight face, the 2016 model is different. No, I would not call it direct competition to the 320i, IS 250, CLA 250 or S60 per se, but with pricing up to $10,000 less than those models comparably equipped the ILX is unquestionable a value alternative. While the Acura RL may have replaced the Legend in 1995, the 2016 ILX is the true successor.
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