After a quick spin in the new TLX 2.4-liter with Acura’s outstanding new eight-speed twin-clutch automatic, we fell hard and fast for the often-chastised Honda luxury brand. The TLX is a revolution in funtionality, style and performance dynamics — and hopes to shine some of its new skills on the ILX sedan forming the entry to the Acura range.
For 2016, we have a finessed ILX lineup that no longer includes a hybrid but does bring a standard jump of 50 horsepower and 40 pound-feet of torqye versus the previous cars. The 201-horsepower total might not win many headlines but it does closely mirror the VW GTI and Fiesta ST, one must recall.
The new ILX is quite fresh-looking thanks to the six-pack of LED jewel-eye lamps on either side of its recontoured nose. Our favorite ILX wears the Acura optional wheels with dark inner spokes — making this 2016 ILX quite a fresh and dapper entry into the premium luxury brand segment, for easily $5,000 less than the cheapest BMW, Cadillac, Audi or Mercedes.
– LOS ANGELES, Calif.
Re-engineered ILX delivers exceptional performance with new standard 201-horsepower direct-injected engine and 8-speed dual-clutch transmission with torque converter
Available AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies sets a new benchmark in the entry-luxury segment
New grades increase customer choice with premium features, style and technology; New A-SPEC variant adds package of sporty design elements inside and out
Acura took the wraps off its restyled, reengineered and reborn 2016 ILX sports sedan today, launching at Acura dealerships nationwide in early 2015. The 2016 Acura ILX delivers more strongly than ever before on its mission as the gateway to the Acura lineup with a major injection of Acura performance DNA, courtesy of its new 201-horsepower, directed-injected i-VTEC engine and 8-speed dual-clutch transmission for all models, the same advanced engine and transmission combination that powers the just-launched TLX.
The 2016 ILX boasts dynamic new front and rear styling cues, standard Jewel EyeTM LED headlights, upgraded interior materials, optional upsized wheels and tires, enhanced connectivity, and a host of new premium features and technologies, along with significant improvements to cabin quietness, sporty handling and collision safety.
The 2016 ILX also expands customer choice with six available grades vs. the previous three, including the standard ILX, the ILX with Premium Package, and the line-topping ILX Technology Plus Package. In addition, an all-new A-SPEC package, available with the Premium and Technology packages, adds sporty style, and all models can now be equipped with AcuraWatch™, the most advanced suite of safety and driver assistive technologies in the class. The ILX AcuraWatch suite includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist System, Road Departure Mitigation and enhanced Collision Mitigation Braking System™ with pedestrian sensing capability.
“Top to bottom, from dynamic design to luxury features, and leading-edge safety technology to sport sedan athleticism and sophistication, ILX is now a true gateway to Acura’s performance luxury sedans,” said Michael Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager for the Acura division. “ILX was always a great idea. Now it’s a great idea fulfilled—a luxury vehicle for the next generation.”
All 2016 ILX models will be powered by a 2.4-liter, 16-valve, direct-injected DOHC i-VTEC engine with peak output of 201-horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 180 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,600 rpm, up 51 horsepower and 40 lb.-ft. compared to the outgoing 2.0-liter engine. The new engine is mated to an 8-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) with torque converter and paddle-controlled Sequential Sport Shift. It’s the most advanced transmission in its competitive set, delivering incredibly quick, crisp and intuitive gear changes, including rev-matching down shifts, to achieve outstanding response and sporting performance with top-class fuel efficiency. The world’s first DCT with a torque converter, Acura’s 8-speed DCT provides off-the-line torque multiplication for smoother, more powerful launches that other DCTs cannot match.
The 2016 ILX gets numerous styling upgrades including restyled front and rear fasciae, front grille and rear LED combination lights, plus a restyled 17-inch, 10-spoke aluminum alloy wheel. The new ILX A-SPEC package features a sporty side sill garnish, trunk spoiler, front fog lights and new 18-inch, 10-spoke machined alloy wheels with gloss black insets. All ILX models come equipped with Acura’s signature Jewel EyeTM LED headlights as standard equipment, a feature unmatched in the competitive set.
The 2016 ILX also benefits from numerous interior upgrades, including contrasting Euro-style stitching on the steering wheel, parking brake handle and shift knob, as well as new high-intensity silver trim for the passenger-side instrument panel. The ILX A-SPEC package enhances the exceptional cabin appeal and appointments with an exclusive Premium Black interior color scheme including black headliner, perforated black Lux Suede® seat inserts, red instrument illumination, exclusive gray interior stitching and aluminum brake and throttle pedals.
New Premium Features and AcuraWatch™
In addition to the new powertrain and extensive interior and exterior upgrades, the 2016 ILX also ups the ante for luxury, connectivity and technological sophistication. Premium and above grades get a new two-position driver’s seat memory function, a 4-way power passenger seat, Homelink remote, and Acura’s On-Demand Multi-Use Display (ODMD) with upper 8-inch display screen and lower 7-inch touchscreen. The evolved touchscreen connectivity and media system receives more than 50 design changes to enhance intuitive operation and functionality.
Also available for the first time on the Premium grade is a new tethered navigation system powered by the user’s compatible iPhone and data plan via the AcuraLink navigation app. Premium and above models also get Acura’s Blind Spot Information and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor along with enhanced audio options, including SiruisXM radio, AHA radio and HD radio.
The Tech Plus grade with AcuraWatch™ and embedded Acura Navigation add a color Multi-information Display (MID) between the tachometer and speedometer, Siri Eyes Free and ELS premium audio system along with the latest generation of Acura Link connected car technology.
All ILX models can be equipped with the AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, the most advanced system of its kind in the competitive set. AcuraWatch™ includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist System, a Multi-View Rear Camera with Dynamic Guidelines, as well as Road Departure Mitigation and an enhanced Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (including Forward Collision Warning) with sensor fusion technology that enables new capabilities including pedestrian sensing.
Body, Chassis and Safety Enhancements
The ILX body and chassis benefit from significant engineering changes that advance collision safety, increase body rigidity, improve cabin quietness and enhance sporty handling performance.
Utilizing Acura’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, the 2016 ILX is designed to more efficiently absorb and disperse the energy in a frontal collision and targets a “GOOD” rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) small-overlap frontal crash test and an overall “TOP SAFETY PICK+” IIHS crash safety rating.
Cabin quietness is enhanced by additional noise-insulating materials, a thicker front-side door glass, noise attenuating wheels, and the addition of Active Noise Control technology. Steering responsiveness and linearity is also improved via a retuned suspension and a multitude of chassis design enhancements.
Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance-luxury vehicles through a network of approximately 270 U.S. Acura dealers. The Acura lineup features five distinctive models – the RLX luxury flagship sedan, the TLX performance luxury sedan, the ILX compact luxury sedan, the 5-passenger RDX luxury crossover SUV, and the 7-passenger Acura MDX, America’s all-time best-selling three-row luxury SUV. Acura was recently recognized by Edmunds.com for the third consecutive year as leading all luxury brands in retained value after five years of ownership. More than 90 percent of the Acura vehicles sold in America are produced at the company’s manufacturing facilities in America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.
For More Information
Consumer information about Acura is available at acura.com. To join the Acura community on Facebook, visit facebook.com/Acura.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.