2016 Acura ILX Review
2016 Acura ILX Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Price tag is fairly low across the board
- generous list of standard features
- feels kind of sporty thanks to precise steering
- rear seat is roomy for its class.
- Interior materials don't look or feel premium
- engine isn't as powerful as most in this class
- engine and road noise are pronounced
- harsh ride quality may literally bounce you out of your seat
- infotainment interface isn't as user-friendly as some rivals
- taller occupants may not fit.
For 2016, the Acura ILX gets freshened front and rear end treatments, including new LED headlights, for a sharper look. The base 2.0-liter engine is no longer available, so the previously optional 2.4-liter engine is now standard in every ILX, and this year it produces some additional torque and comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Lastly, there are several new safety features available, including a blind-spot warning system, rear-cross traffic alerts, lane keeping assist, forward collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control and a multiview back-up camera.
Looking for a luxury sedan without a high price tag? You may be intrigued by the 2016 Acura ILX. Plenty of standard features and a spacious cabin make this sedan comfortable for everyday driving, while its sporty look and feel make it a real driver's car, too. Read on to see if the Acura ILX has the right mix of value, comfort and sport for you.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2016 Acura ILX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.93 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$164/mo for ILX Base
Avg. Midsize Car
Within the growing class of compact entry-level luxury sedans, the Acura ILX has yet to have its standout moment. In past years, the ILX lagged behind competitors because of a lackluster base powertrain and a lack of available safety features to match the competition. For 2016, however, Acura ILX gets a series of updates aimed at bringing it into line with the rest of its (relatively) inexpensive premium-brand rivals.
For starters, the 2016 ILX comes standard with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that was optional in the past. That engine gets a small increase in torque, and it is now paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission rather than a six-speed manual. Along with the updates to power, the 2016 Acura ILX gets several new safety features including a standard multiview rear camera and optional items like a blind-spot warning system and adaptive cruise control with frontal collision mitigation. As icing on the cake, the ILX is still priced lower than some of its top rivals, and within its size class, its rear seat is pretty accommodating for adult passengers.
The 2016 Acura ILX is a handsome-looking sedan. LED headlights are standard this year.
Nonetheless, numerous foibles persist. Materials quality, for example, may not be what you're expecting, as many of the surfaces you'll come in contact with on a regular basis don't feel like they're up to snuff for a luxury sedan. Basically, there isn't a lot inside the cabin that makes an ILX stand out from a well-equipped Honda. Acceleration is tepid unless you like taking the engine to redline, and road noise is a persistent issue. For tech-savvy buyers, things aren't perfect, either. The 2016 Acura ILX gets an additional screen on the center console this year, but, while its graphics are pleasing, functionality leaves a bit to be desired. Systems from Audi and BMW are much more user-friendly.
Accordingly, you'll want to look at some of the excellent alternatives in this price range before making a decision. The 2016 Audi A3 and 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class are more expensive and aren't as roomy in back, but their more potent engines and more refined interiors make them seem more worthy of luxury sedan status. Larger mainstream sedans like the 2016 Ford Fusion and 2016 Honda Accord might not seem luxurious at first, but their loaded-up top trim levels can be very respectable alternatives to the ILX. Ultimately, we're glad that this year's improvements have moved the 2016 Acura ILX up a notch. But this entry-level model still has its work cut out if it wants to stand out from the crowd.
Performance & mpg
Powering the base 2016 ILX is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that's rated at 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is the only available transmission (it's technically an automated manual transmission but it functions like a conventional automatic). The EPA's estimated fuel economy stands at 29 mpg combined (25 city/36 highway).
In Edmunds performance testing, a 2016 ILX accelerated from zero to 60 mph in an adequate 6.9 seconds.
The 2016 Acura ILX comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A rearview camera is also standard.
Optional equipment includes a frontal collision warning system, automatic braking for frontal collision mitigation, a lane departure warning system, lane keeping assist and road-departure mitigation (which detects the potential for veering into objects such as trees or parked cars and applies the lane keeping assist and collision mitigation systems).
In Edmunds testing, the Acura ILX came to a stop from 60 mph in 118 feet, a few feet shorter than similar vehicles with all-season tires.
In prior years, we preferred the ILX's 2.4-liter engine over the underwhelming base 2.0-liter engine, so it's nice to have the bigger engine standard this year. Better yet, you can finally get this engine with an automatic transmission, something most buyers will want in this class of car. Still, the 2016 ILX is hardly a speed demon, and the engine has to work harder and rev higher than most competitors to accelerate with authority. The eight-speed automatic transmission's steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and rev-matched downshifts liven up the driving experience, but we noted some low-speed hiccups in full automatic mode.
In terms of handling and acceleration, the 2016 Acura ILX comes up short for its class.
The 2016 Acura ILX's ride quality is also disappointing. The car reacts stiffly over rough surfaces, yet it's overly soft and wallowy when encountering big highway dips. Road noise is also higher than average for this segment. In both regards, the Audi A3 is more refined and pleasing to drive. Around turns, the ILX's precise steering helps the car feel sporty and direct, but its handling limits and fun-to-drive nature are ultimately modest for the segment.
While there are a few improvements to styling, the 2016 ILX's interior mostly carries over from the previous year. That means the materials still aren't really much better than what you'll find in top mainstream sedans like the Accord, though everything seems to be screwed together pretty well. In contrast, the Audi A3 feels much classier and more luxurious inside than the ILX.
You do get a fair number of features, though. The Premium and Tech Plus models benefit from a new, larger touchscreen on the center stack. Even with the optional larger screen however, the ILX's setup isn't our favorite. It splits audio and navigation functions into two screens, and the control knob in the middle of the dash is less intuitive to use than the armrest-mounted controllers in the ILX's German rivals.
Compared to other entry-level sedans, the 2016 ILX has a roomy rear seat.
Special care was used in designing the seats, which are supportive, yet not overly firm or confining. The ILX is also pretty spacious for a compact car, with a decent amount of backseat room. Still, headroom can be snug for 6-footers due to the car's standard sunroof.
Trunk space, at 12.3 cubic feet, is average, and the opening is a little narrow. The rear seat folds down to facilitate carrying longer items, but the seatback is not split to permit a mix of long cargo and a passenger or two in the backseat.
2016 Acura ILX models
The 2016 Acura ILX entry-level luxury sedan comes with six different equipment levels: base, AcuraWatch Plus package, Premium package, A-Spec Package, Premium and A-Spec package. and Technology Plus package.
Standard equipment for the base model includes 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, automatic LED headlights, heated mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats, a fold-down rear seatback, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 5-inch information display screen, a multiview rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB/iPod audio interface and Pandora radio and Siri Eyes Free smartphone app integration.
With the AcuraWatch Plus package, you'll get all the base ILX equipment plus adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system, automatic braking for frontal collision mitigation, a lane departure warning system, lane-keeping assist and road departure mitigation.
The Premium package builds on the base car's standard equipment as well, but it omits the AcuraWatch Plus equipment in lieu of blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, leather front seats, a four-way power passenger seat, driver memory settings, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an 8-inch upper information display (in lieu of the 5-inch screen), an additional 7-inch touchscreen and a seven-speaker audio system with HD radio, satellite radio and Aha radio smartphone app integration.
The 2016 ILX Premium receives the larger, 8-inch information display screen.
Further up the ladder, the Technology Plus package adds the contents of the AcuraWatch Plus package and the Premium package as well as a 10-speaker ELS audio system, voice commands (including audio), a navigation system and guidelines for the rearview camera.
You can add the A-Spec package to both the Premium and Technology Plus package equipment lines to get 18-inch wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, side sills and simulated-suede seat inserts with contrasting stitching.
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4.25 out of 5 stars
ILX Tech pack.
2016 Acura ILX Technology Plus Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
Got the ILX like 3 weeks ago, so far no problems, fast, corners nicely, good on gas, I like better than the A3, felt cramped inside, handles as well as IS250, anyone feels differently about you are subject to your own opinion, I am not a critic just a regular guy typing my own views...
5 out of 5 stars
I LOVE this car!
Shane Gochenouer, 09/01/2015
2016 Acura ILX Premium Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
This car has met all of my expectations and surpassed most of them, it is everything I was looking for at a very reasonable price point. I previously owned a 2014 Civic EX 4dr, which I bought, at least partially, because Civics are traditionally modders, with a lot of potential for customization. Not so much the case (mechanically) anymore, unless you get the SI, but I work in the city … and bumper to bumper commuting with a manual, forget it. At any rate, the ILX offered everything I wanted my Civic to become, sporty, both in appearance and performance (big emphasis on performance), as well as more luxury and Honda/Acura's legendary reliability. I did a LOT of research before pulling the trigger on the purchase and I just don't think that anything out there can touch the ILX if price is at all an issue for you. Go to Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Infiniti, Lexus websites and "Build and Price" their entry level offerings with same/similar features and you will see what I mean. In NONE of those cases are you getting anywhere near the ILX in features, performance, quality or reliability for under 40K (the model I bought, w/ premium package, stickers at $30,820 with destination charges). If you are looking to buy a status symbol, this isn't the car for you, but if you want luxury quality and performance combined with unmatched reliability, this is definitely worth a look and test drive, I consider it a class leading example of what I call "practical luxury". Also worth mention, I had a 2015 ILX base model (with the 2.0) loaner for a day and a half while the dealership installed a remote start and was NOT impressed, the 2015 would not have won me over, I would still be driving the Civic, so if you have an earlier model and weren't pleased or it didn't meet your expectations, give the 2016 a test drive. The only Cons I have to offer are getting into and out of the vehicle (at 5'11" with short legs and a long torso) can be slightly awkward and low speed crawl can be chunky at times (for the first week till you get used to shift points) however from the reviews I have read on its competitors it still excels in this area (I haven't test driven any of them). UPDATE: After 8 months driving it every day, I still love this car. My only takeaway after 8 months is that without Navi the 2 screen layout can feel pretty redundant, but that's such a first world problem I don't even feel good complaining about it. Sport mode is awesome, whether or not you use the paddle shifters, which by the way can be used in normal drive mode as well.
5 out of 5 stars
Hard to Categorize
2016 Acura ILX Premium Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
This is a great combination of luxury and economy. I paid $9,000 less than the dealer's best offer on a comparable BMW 320i. It's pretty quick at 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds ( .2 seconds faster than the BMW according to zeroto60times.com) but still gets 36 mpg (the same as the BMW epa estimate) on the highway. After driving the BMW 320i and the X1, the ILX interior materials seemed just … slightly inferior. And the noise and handling were just a little off. I am very sensitive to squeaks and rattles. So far, not a single one. The 8 speed DCT is very smooth and precise. Driving in sport mode changes everything. The shift points are at much higher revs and the engine responds much more quickly. This is my second Acura. I drove the first one for nearly 200,000 miles and all I did was change the fluids and bulbs...not a single problem. I can't attest to the reliability of the ILX, but I'm betting it will be similarly phenomenal. The expert reviews are all over the map on this one. Do you compare it with a Toyota Corolla, or a BMW 2 or 3 series? Therein lies the problem. They have to put it in a category to make sense of all the vehicles and this one doesn't fit. You have to read between the lines.
5 out of 5 stars
I love it
Holly Swanson, 04/30/2016
2016 Acura ILX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
I absolutely adore this car. I have no idea what some people are talking about regarding the seats being uncomfortable. These are the most comfortable seats I've ever driven in. This car is just what I was looking for...a beautiful, reliable and luxurious commuter. The white model really turns heads and by the first week I'd already gotten so many compliments. Interior road noise is … perfect, road feel is excellent, steering is excellent, ever little detail in his car screams luxury. Really nothing bad I can say about this car, and no I've not been paid to say these things...this car is just that good.
2016 Acura ILX video
JAMES RISWICK: When it comes to luxury cars, bigger has typically always been better. You couldn't call something luxury in the 70s unless it was the size of the Carnival Crown Princess. Today, things are different. But still, is this compact Acura ILX worthy of the term luxury? [MUSIC PLAYING] The ILX is mechanically based on the Honda Civic, and there's really no hiding that fact. Now, you do get the same sort of surprising interior space. Adults can quite comfortably fit in a back seat, which is not something you can say about the Audi A3 or Mercedes CLA. The trunk is generous, too, although the one-piece seat back isn't split 60-40. Like the civic, the ILX also offers a better ride than its competitors. Big bumps still tend to upset it though, and really, having a better ride than a CLA isn't exactly something to hang your hat on. Handling is sharper than a Civic, but there's a lot of understeer, not a lot of grip, and in general, you'd be happier behind the wheel of the Mercedes or the Audi. For 2016, every ILX comes with a 2.4 liter, 201 horsepower four-cylinder. That's better than the old standard, 150 horsepower four, but it's actually a bit less than the Civic SI's otherwise similar 2.4 liter, and it provides considerably less torque than the turbo charged A3 and CLA. You can also only get an 8 speed automated manual transmission, and front-wheel drive. There's no traditional manual, or all-wheel drive available. So the improvements under the hood are a bit underwhelming, and so is the new infotainment system. It's the same dual-screen setup found in other Acuras that we found to be confusing and irritating, especially for the audio system. Some things are controlled by the touch screen, others by the control knob and the top screen. Others still can be done with either choice it's all just kind of a mess. The cabins materials and ambiance also leave something to be desired compared to an A3 or a CLA. The surfaces really don't feel much better than what you'd find in a Honda Accord, which by the way costs about the same, while offering more space, more power, and a similar amount of equipment. And actually, the Accord used to offer more equipment, but that has been rectified for 2016 with the new AcuraWatch Plus package, that includes blind spot, cross traffic, lane departure, and forward collision warning systems. It also includes adaptive cruise control, though we found Acura's system to be overly conservative, and a bit dimwitted in its reactions. Now, the ILX does provide a decent amount of value. There's Acura's sterling reliability reputation, and its 29 MPG combined. And it around $28,000 it starts between $1,000 and $3,000 less than the A3 and CLA that don't come with as much stuff. And that Gulf widens even further once you start loading on equipment. So it's a mixed bag for the ILX. You get a lot of luxury equipment, while still maintaining a small car's footprint, fuel economy, and lower price. But a luxury car of today should offer a more compelling performance, and upscale trappings. Let us know what you think. Is the ILX the sort of small luxury car you'd go for, or would you prefer an A3, a CLA, or for the same amount of money, a midsize sedan like the Honda Accord or Ford Fusion?
2016 Acura ILX Review
This Acura ILX video review includes information about fuel economy, price, interior space, technology, ride and handling, its available engine and how it stacks up to competitor compact luxury sedans.
2016 ILX Highlights
|Combined MPG||29 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$164/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover10.7%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestGood
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood