By on March 27, 2015

2016 Acura ILX Exterior Front.CR2

It has been two years since we last looked at the ILX, and my conclusion went like this:

The 2.4L engine needs an automatic and some infotainment love, the 2.0L engine needs more grunt and the hybrid needs to be euthanized. Without changes like these, the Acura ILX will remain a sensible Civic upgrade but as a competitor to Buick’s new-found mojo, Acura has some catching up to do.

2016 brings what I was expecting: a mid-cycle refresh with a new nose and new rump to keep the photos fresh. What I didn’t expect was for Acura to also address the major mechanical systems that we all complained about. Neither did I expect the ILX to be so transformed by a “simple” heart transplant. Can the ILX live up to the legendary Acura Legend? I snagged the keys to a “A-Spec Technology Plus” model to find out.

Exterior

Acura is not the kind of company that dishes out one daring design after another, especially since the Acura “beak” went over so poorly. As a result this ILX, like its predecessor, plays right to the conservatively styled heart of the traditional Acura shopper.

As has been said in the past, the ILX is related to the Honda Civic, but the relation is more third-cousin than sister. The ILX never shared sheetmetal or glass with its plebeian platform mate, and the ILX isn’t a simple re-skin either. While the wheelbase is shared with the Civic, nearly every hard point was changed from the A-pillar moved 8-inches rearward, trunk and door openings modified to the lowered roofline, the 2016 ILX shares as much with the Civic as the original Chrysler 300 shared with the Mercedes E-Class.

As expected, Acura swapped in a set of full-LED headlamps styled after the multi-beam modules we first saw in the MDX and RLX, and further massaged the front end to look more like the larger TLX. Acura’s quest to give the ILX more of a “wedge like” appearance rather than a tall hood translates to a somewhat pointy front to the side profile. Out back the changes are minimal but the A-Spec trim our tester wore gives the sedate sedan a bit more style and a tasteful chrome strip on the trunk spoiler.

2016 Acura ILX Interior Dashboard.CR2-001

Interior

Interior parts quality is right in line with the Buick Verano which, as expected, is a notch below the more expensive A3, CLA, S60, IS 250 and 320i. As you’d expect in a “near-luxury” vehicle, most of the ILX touch-points are soft plastic but you will find hard plastic lurking below the faux-metal trim and making up most of the center console. Front seat comfort is good but the lack of adjustable lumbar support is surprising. All models get an 8-way power driver’s seat, but only upper trims offer seat memory or a power passenger seat. An important side-effect of Acura’s modifications to the platform’s roof-line is limited headroom. Headroom is further limited up front by the standard sunroof, a nice value feature for sure, but at 6-feet tall my head missed touching the ceiling by millimeters. Acura will no doubt show taller shoppers the TLX.

The ILX’s rear seats are slightly less comfortable than the Verano, but a step above the mainstream compact segment with more thigh support for adults and considerably more legroom than the Mercedes CLA, Volvo S60, and despite the spec sheet saying otherwise, the A3 sedan as well. The key seems to be in combined front and rear legroom where the ILX shines. On the downside, Acura chose to share the rear seat frame with the Honda Civic giving the ILX a 100% folding bench seat that is far less practical than the more common 60/40 variety. This would be less of a problem if the trunk had grown in 2016, but it is still stuck at a smallish 12.3 cubes, smaller than the Verano, Lexus CT or Mazda3.

2016 Acura ILX Interior Shift Paddles

Speaking of the Mazda3, the small Mazda is in many ways a similar vehicle despite Mazda and Acura targeting different demographics. Interior parts quality is quite similar, although the ILX is more of a mixed bag by borrowing switchgear from both the Civic and the TLX. Where they differ notably is the steering wheel, gauge cluster and infotainment systems where the ILX shares more heavily with the more expensive Acuras while the Mazda is a little more constsient but lacks the spendy parts.

To keep things simple, Acura bundles features into packages, leaving essentially no stand-alone options. The base model comes well equipped with dual-zone climate control, 5-inch infotainment display, LED headlamps, Bluetooth/iDevice integration, backup camera, keyless entry/go and a cabin air filter for $27,900. Since the base model is rarely the volume leader, the second trim is the most interesting because the $29,200 “AcuraWatch Plus” trim adds radar adaptive cruise control, collision warning, collision mitigating autonomous braking, lane keep warning, lane keep assist, and electric pre-tensioning front seat belts. This safety system package is included in every trim above as well, making the ILX one of the least expensive vehicles with this kind of tech near-standard. (If you want all that in your TLX it will set you back $42,600.) The $29,900 Premium adds leather seating, blind spot monitoring, cross traffic detection, XM radio and a sub-woofer to the base 6-speaker system, swaps the 5-inch infotainment screen for a dual screen system featuring an 8-inch display high in the dash and a 7-inch touchscreen lower in the dash. The last jump is the $32,900 Technology package adds factory navigation to the 8-inch screen, 10 speakers, AcuraLink (Acura’s answer to OnStar), an upgraded backup cam, color LCD in the gauge cluster and GPS-reading/solar-sending to the climate control system. The only option is the $1,999 A-sped sport trim package netting the buyer 18-inch wheels, fog lamps, faux-suede inserts in the seats, a spoiler and some aluminum pedals.

2016 Acura ILX Interior Infotainment Navigation System-003

Acura’s two-screen infotainment system isn’t as polished as BMW’s iDrive but it is considerably snazzier than you’ll find in any mass-market competitor like the Mazda. The base system lags behind the Verano’s touchscreen radio, while the two-screen system tops it in elegance. Why two screens? The engineers say the concept is as follows: the lower touchscreen handles the audio, freeing the upper screen for navigation and other tasks. My opinion of the system has improved since I first encountered it on the MDX but I still think the casserole needs more time in the oven. You can skip tracks/albums using the touchscreen, but changing playlists or more detailed browsing requires the rotary/joystick lower in the dash and the 8-inch screen at the top. In my mind, this sort of kills the dual-screen sales proposition. On the positive side, the system is very responsive and the graphics are all high-resolution and attractive. Compared to the other entries in this segment, it lacks the online connectivity features found in Volvo’s Sensus Connect and Audi’s latest MMI, but offers more screen real estate and a more modern feel than either connected system.

2016 Acura ILX 2.4l EarthDreams Direct Injection Engine-001.CR2

Drivetrain

When it launched, the ILX borrowed the complete engine line-up from the Civic, including the lackluster 1.5L engine, 5-speed auto, underpowered hybrid, and the rev-happy 2.4L from the Civic Si mated only to a 6-speed manual. The 2.4L engine was the only engine worth buying, but slow manual sales meant it was a small portion of the sales pie. For 2016, Acura dropped all three engines in favor of the direct-injection 2.4L four-cylinder engine from the TLX. Closely related to the 2.4L in the Honda Accord, the  “EarthDreams” engine is tuned for slightly higher output. At 201 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of twist, this looks similar to the Civic Si’s 2.4L until you look at the power and torque curves. Thanks to the new design, and the direct-injection system, both power and torque arrive lower at RPMs and stay strong at higher revs.

Sending power to the wheels is the same 8-speed dual-clutch transmission as the bigger Acura. DCTs are nothing new, but Acura takes things a step beyond Audi and Mercedes with an 8-speed unit and a torque converter tossed in for good measure. The biggest issue with DCTs is their unrefined low-speed / hill-start performance. The torque converter solves that by allowing the clutch to completely engage first gear at low speeds.

2016 Acura ILX Interior Gauge Cluster-002

Drive

On the surface of things, the Frankenstein transmission sounds like the unholy union of all that is wrong with an automatic and a manual. Part of this is because early DCT adopters told us that torque converters were the root of all evil and DCTs were so blindingly efficient that the relatively poor 0-10  performance is compensated by brilliant 10-60 performance. In reality, the combination creates one of the finest transmissions in the world. No kidding. The Acura DCT is at the same level as ZF’s 6-speed and 8-speed automatic. Rather than hamper performance, the torque converter improves off-the-line acceleration because it can transmit more power to the gearset than a slipping clutch can. After the initial start, the converter spends most of the time “locked up” giving the drivetrain a very linear, manual-like feel. When shifting is called for, it delivers the speed of a dual-clutch transmission (slightly faster than most of ZF’s offerings) and the smoothness of an automatic because the torque converter is momentarily “unlocked” to soak up vibration during the shift. My only complaint is that Acura didn’t jam at least a low-pressure turbo on the 2.4L engine because this transmission deserves more power. Or AWD, or both.

The difference in refinement is immediately noticeable when driven back-to-back with the A3′ wet-clutch DSG and night-and-day different from the DCT in the Mercedes CLA. (The Mercedes transmission has been improving, but is still shockingly rough around the edges.) Likely largely to the new transmission, 0-60 times are a full second faster than the 2015 2.4L model and a blazing 3-seconds faster than the 2015 base model. Some of the credit goes to the new engine since the Civic Si engine has to scream like a leaf blower to deliver maximum thrust. This engine has a more luxury car appropriate torque band. In absolute terms, the 6.2 second sprint to 60 is faster than the Verano Turbo we tested, faster than the A3 2.0T, IS 250 and a just 4/10ths slower than the CLA 250 and S60 T5 Drive-e.

2016 Acura ILX Exterior Rear-001

Handling was never an issue with the ILX and that continues for 2016, despite what the folks at CR may say. The light curb weight of 3,093lbs is impressive, not just because it is 100lbs less than the lightest A3 in America and nearly 200lbs lighter than a CLA 250, but because the ILX is 6-inches longer than the German as well. With a similar weight distribution to the A3 and CLA and 225/40R18 tires (A-Spec), you’d expect the ILX to run with the sportier entries in this pack and you’d be right, with a twist. The light curb weight and wide tires provide excellent grip, but even in the A-Spec trim the ILX avoids bruised kidneys with a surprisingly refined suspension. Acura’s “dampers with two valves” allow the damping to be firm and body roll to be well controlled under most conditions while soaking up large imperfections like a sedan with a softer suspension. The system retains 95% of the Civic Si’s road holding ability while delivering a ride more composed than the turbo Verano. Similarly, the steering is a little less direct than the Si but yields better feel than the Buick. The ILX lacks the precision and astonishing grip you find in the CLA, but taken as a whole the ILX is the best balanced since it lacks the jarring ride of the CLA with the sport package but gives up little grip in the process. The CLA is a hoot and a half on your favorite winding mountain road, but the ILX is the kind of car you can also stick your mother-in-law in and she won’t think you’ve gone “all boy-racer” after turning 30. Limits are lower in the non-A-Spec trim largely due to the 215-width tires, but driving the ILX back-to-back with a Audi A3 1.8T made me question the sanity of the folks at Consumer Reports who berated the handling. Go figure.

Fuel economy was a concern of mine because of the torque converter, and indeed I averaged 2 MPG lower than the EPA combined 29 MPG, but that may have had something to do with my driving style. Treating the ILX gently it was possible to get 35 MPG out of the baby Acura on the open highway besting most of the entries in this segment and matching Volvo’s new Drive-e engines.

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 the value alternative. While the Acura RL may have replaced the Legend in 1995, the 2016 ILX is its true successor.

Acura provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.4 Seconds

0-60: 6.2 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 14.8 @ 95 MPH

Interior sound level: 72db @ 50 MPH

Average observed fuel economy: 27.1 MPH over 981 miles

 

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115 Comments on “Review: 2016 Acura ILX (With Video)...”


  • avatar

    I’m quite pleased with the 2016 ILX. It seems to have been considerably improved in terms of driving dynamics and the front-fascia and overall styling come off as stylish and tastefully upscale. Overall, the car seems very comfortable with what it is, and that’s always a good thing in my book. I also like the pricing, as it tops out well under $40K.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      It does look nice overall. Front end has some similarities to the last pre-beak TL. The door handles need a character line to tie them together, though.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The previous incarnation was something like 26,4 to start I think topped out at 31-32ish. Now it is 27,9 to 34,8. The moonroof used to be a standard feature on all models, I’m not seeing it as an option on Acura.com so maybe this has continued. You have to go to the 29,9 to get leather.

      If these act like the previous generation, resale sinks like a stone to Civic territory pretty quick, now with a serious standard motor they might get my nod as a used car value.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        This is okay, but overpriced, and it has a ugly front nd and what appears to be a very narrow/tight front seat.

        I don’t imagine this riding much better than a Chevy Cruze, either, and even though an Acura is going to have better resale value than a Cruze, at a real world price of about 16k + TTL, I’d prefer a Cruze with the 1.4T, as it has more interior room, a substantial feel to the suspension & chassis, looks like a subtle Audi, can be had with a manual, had decent fit/finish, and rings in at 55% the price of the Acura Civic.

        Here I am, endorsing a Chevy over an Acura.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I too like the Cruze a lot, but how sure are you of it having more interior room than the ILX? The Cruze sure seems more claustrophobic than my Civic, but part of that may just be the larger, higher dash and black interiors that are all too pervasive on the Chevies. Rear legroom is tigher than a Civic as well. I was blown away by how solid and nice the 6spd Eco was that I test drove, with a nice and tall 5th and 6th gear. It felt absolutely German in the best way possible. But it’s a heavy little bugger, weighs as much as an Accord with the hp and interior room of a compact. That and the high-ish price that the Ecos were selling for new back in 2012 is what turned me off.

          I’ve had a 6A LT with the 1.4T as a rental, and it ranked near the top of rental cars I’ve had, mediocre 30 mpg highway that I was getting notwithstanding.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I think if you do a feature checkbox exercise you’ll see that a number of near-luxury basics are unavailable at any price on the Cruze… no dual-zone automatic climate control, no HID or LED headlights, no keyless access, no multi-angle camera, no safety suite (for those who care). And I’m not sure I’d characterize its looks as “subtle Audi”… looks to me like “functional small sedan.” (Not that the ILX is really different.)

          If you don’t care about features or interior refinement, then of course buying a premium badge is dumb.

          And finally I can’t imagine going from the excellent K24, which would be a dream engine in a 3000-pound car, to GM’s game but vastly overmatched LUV in a 3400-pound car.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    Wow – sounds like they got the little guy right with the refresh. Unfortunately the “I wanna Mercedes!!!” folks stretching to buy a CLA250 will never bother test driving it.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I imagine the CLA250 is inferior in every way to this “Acura”, let those who lack critical thinking skills have it.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “I imagine the CLA250 is inferior in every way to this “Acura”

        I see your reading comprehension skills are very weak:

        “The ILX lacks the precision and astonishing grip you find in the CLA…CLA is a hoot and a half on your favorite winding mountain road,”

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Correction: how about in every way which matters?

          I’m sure the 234 people in the US who live on mountain roads and want to play boy racer will gravitate toward something else.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            Grip and precision don’t matter. Got it.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Manufacturers don’t want me to have comfy and fast. Apparently everyone wants to carve canyons in their midsized sedans. I like cars with good driving dynamics, but when I drove the CLA, it’s rock hard suspension made me not care if it could handle twisty roads. The CLA’s dirty little secret is the Focus ST and GTI are MUCH better cars for $10K-$15K less.

            Also, when it comes to grip, we need to look at the tires the CLA and ILX were wearing.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            In a FWD only, auto only, car intended for commuters? No not really. That precision crap is just as faux as Cadillac’s Nürburgring BS.

          • 0 avatar
            Jacob

            The population of the mountain states alone is over 20million. Add to that the west coast, which has plenty of mountainous terrain.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The irony is that (despite Alex’s sloppy inclusion of the CLA in a list of other near-luxury cars with good interiors) the interior of this Acura is almost certainly a cut above the cheap, hard, bargain-basement CLA one. Yet people will buy CLAs and think they are experiencing “luxury” because of the star on the front.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        You could not be more correct. Sat in the CLA at the auto show, could not wait to get out. The Acuras, including the ILX and the TLX, while not having as much bling as any budget-class Mercedes, were a heck of a lot cheaper. And easier to see out of too.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “For 2016, Acura dropped all three engines in favor of the direct-injection 2.4L four-cylinder engine from the TLX. Closely related to the 2.4L in the Honda Accord, the “EarthDreams” engine is tuned for slightly higher output.”

    Claps, I congratulate Honda Motor Corp for rectifying a big problem with the model.

    “My only complaint is that Acura didn’t jam at least a low-pressure turbo on the 2.4L engine because this transmission deserves more power.”

    That’s a feature not a bug because (1) every does that and its not necessarily always correct and (2) if 201hp isn’t enough go to TLX.

    Acura has slowly refined the fail they introduced in the last model refresh period and I applaud them for it. While yes they still aren’t building anything interesting, they took the time to correct their issues and made their product -somewhat- appealing again.

    Additional: Nice review, Alex.

    • 0 avatar

      The only thing the CLA-Class has going for it, in my opinion, is a very strong engine. (Note: I said strong, not durable.)

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        About 70lb-ft of torque in a much more “tinny” platform from what I gather. Since I do preside over the Church of 3800 and bow to the altar of torque, I am forced to agree with you. However to Alex’s point, a turbo would have closed the gap but Honda’s customers in this segment would be more concerned with the overall package I suspect and HMC played too it.

        According to Wikipedia:

        CLA 250 2013–
        1,991 cc (121.5 cu in) I4 turbo (M 270 DE 20 AL)
        211 PS (155 kW; 208 hp)@5500
        350 N·m (258 lbf·ft)@1200-4000

        The ILX runs the K24W7:

        2016 Acura ILX
        Displacement: 2,356 cc (143.8 cu in)
        Bore and Stroke: 87 mm x 99.1 mm
        Compression: 11.1:1
        Power: 206 HP (154 kW) @ 6800 rpm
        Torque: 182 lbft @ 3900 rpm
        Redline: 7,000 rpm

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_K_engine#K24

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The DI K24 is an astonishingly torquey motor in real-world use. It feels more like one of the old Japanese 3.0L SOHC V6s than any previous Honda four. The 0-60 time doesn’t lie on this car or on the Accord Sport.

      • 0 avatar
        jrasero23

        I think that is what Honda is banking on yet again, people who notice the huge price gap once you go beyond base models and the Acura reliability. But at least in America the people buying a CLA250 are probably leasing so reliability is a huge issue

  • avatar
    sirwired

    This isn’t necessarily a criticism of this review, more than a question about car reviews in general:

    Why does nearly every car review (not just TTAC… it’e nearly everywhere) talk about hard vs. soft-touch plastics on places that don’t get regularly touched?

    On, say, door sills, that’s certainly something I’d like to know. But the dash cover, top of the instrument panel, or trim around the head unit? Why does it matter if those are soft or hard? To me this sounds akin to commenting that they didn’t wax the paint inside the spare tire well, or that they didn’t use daylight-spectrum bulbs for the map light.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      I say it goes to the overall impression of quality and attention to detail vs. obvious cost cutting.

    • 0 avatar

      Alex always had this vice, even when he started his first TTAC stint years ago. I am most concerned that in his love of soft plastics he may be missing the distinction between quality plastics and the cheap ones. You may have a soft one that looks poor, scratches easily, warps in the sun.

      Also, not every application has luxury parameters. I was lucky with good hard plastic in 2010 Wrangler, which coincidentialy is tough enough to keep the screws that mount my CB through the bumps on the trail. I’d rather have that than a weaker soft plastic that is nice to touch.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      What I look for in a quality interior (call if soft touch plastic if you like) is that it is usually screwed together. Cheap hard plastics use molded clips that snap together. After awhile the “clips” come loose and make an annoying rattle sound. It’s difficult to fix. Soft plastics that are held together with screws can be screwed back tight. I can’t say this is universal but from the few new cars I’ve had it’s been the case.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Agreed on this. This is the biggest vice with my Pontiac G8 interior, which is almost entirely clipped together and is a rattle factory. And it was one of the things I loved about my old ’88 Accord which had amazingly better interior quality than anything else I drove from that decade. There wasn’t a single clip; it was all Philips screws and 9mm hex-head bolts.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        Corolla went with all hard plastic beginning in’03 and the quality has just not been the same, after a few years, rattles begin. My ’98 has none of those rattles with all the miles on the odometer.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Bummer they took away the manual, but not unexpected.

  • avatar
    zamoti

    I don’t really give a flying fig about the car itself as it’s not very interesting, but the review was fantastic. Normally I wouldn’t read a review of a entry-level faux-luxury car, but it was a very clean review and a good read.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Can’t see picking this over a Verano unless you have a 1st rate Acura dealer and a “lives up to all the bad old stereotypes” Buick dealer.

    On a slightly related note my wife is starting to look around for her next vehicle. She found an MDX to test drive (2012 model, loaded) and after we had been driving a few min the dyed-in-the-wool, born and bred GM buyer said: “So Acura is Honda’s Buick?”

    It made me chuckle a little.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Honda seems to have addressed the glaring issues and closed the gap with the Verano. Buick’s response (if any) should be interesting.

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      If you care about resale, you’ll go with Acura over Buick. It’s pretty substantial.

      I actually like Buick’s offerings, but the depreciation is staggering on most GM sedans (but not trucks or SUVs) Acura’s hold up pretty well.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Actually the MY13-15 ILX is the exception to that rule as it trades much closer to Civic valuation curves (probably because it is a Civic). The base model was something like 26,4 (with cloth seats) to start and the premium took it to just a hair under 30. Bear in mind we’re only two model years in and it trades for about 2/3rds of sticker.

        MY13 ILX Base

        02/13/15 PA Lease $19,700 8,785 Above SILVER 4G P Yes
        03/26/15 SO CAL Lease $20,300 10,891 Above SILVER 4G A Yes
        01/19/15 NJ Lease $17,300 22,802 Avg GRAY 4G A Yes
        01/29/15 FRDKBURG Regular $16,800 29,097 Avg WHITE 4G A Yes
        02/20/15 PA Regular $17,500 29,272 Avg WHITE 4G P Yes
        02/16/15 NJ Lease $15,500 35,329 Below GRAY 4G A Yes

        MY13 ILX Premium

        03/11/15 CALIFORN Regular $22,000 11,438 Above SILVER 4G A Yes
        03/18/15 NASHVILL Regular $20,600 21,650 Avg WHITE 4G A Yes
        03/10/15 GEORGIA Regular $18,200 22,517 Avg BLACK 4G 6 Yes
        03/05/15 DARLNTON Regular $19,400 23,002 Avg BLACK 4G A Yes
        03/18/15 NASHVILL Regular $19,500 23,195 Avg BURGY 4G 6 Yes
        03/01/15 KC Regular $19,200 24,171 Avg SILVER 4G A Yes
        03/26/15 ATLANTA Lease $16,400 30,922 Below BLACK 4G 6 Yes
        03/05/15 SO CAL Regular $20,000 30,996 Avg SILVER 4G A Yes
        03/13/15 PA Lease $20,000 35,189 Avg SILVER 4G P Yes
        03/06/15 PA Regular $17,800 45,026 Below BLUE 4G P Yes

        Meanwhile MY13 MDX started at $43,280 and trades healthily around 30 at slightly above average miles.

        MY13 Acura MDX Base “4D SUV” (this is how Manheim lists it)

        03/10/15 GEORGIA Regular $29,500 29,222 Avg Black 6CY A Yes
        03/10/15 BALTWASH Regular $27,500 32,690 Below BLACK 6G A Yes
        03/13/15 PA Regular $30,250 24,617 Avg BLACK 6G P Yes
        03/17/15 RIVRSIDE Regular $32,000 21,630 Above BLACK 6G A Yes
        03/18/15 DALLAS Regular $30,700 32,274 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes
        03/19/15 PA Lease $28,700 15,579 Avg BLACK 6G P No
        03/24/15 RIVRSIDE Regular $31,750 21,370 Above BLACK 6G A Yes
        03/24/15 HOUSTON Regular $30,000 23,143 Avg BLACK 6G Yes
        03/25/15 PITTSBGH Regular $28,700 22,284 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes

    • 0 avatar
      badreligion702

      I think the new ILX and the Verano are great cars for people who want something small, modern and high tech, while also not being either cheap run of the mill or expensive German. I wouldn’t feel bad driving either of these cars.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        That’s a good point, I see them as small semi-premium cars you can own out of warranty probably for a considerable period.

      • 0 avatar
        flour_child

        That’s how I see it too. besides, I’m one of those people who would be too self conscious in a bmw or Audi. I like the Volvo s60, as it’s more subtle, and I think it makes an interesting comparison to the ILX. yes, the Volvo is nicer inside, but that comes at a price. An s60 packaged at the same level as an Acura ilx premium would be about 7,000 more. The Acura would be 28000…

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Dan, see my post above; I’d actually prefer a Chevy Cruze 1.4T over the ILX because it probably rides as solidly (if not more so, the Cruze has a very good torsional rigidity for its class and better than many much more expensive cars), has more interior room, can be had with a manual, and they’re blowing mid-trim Cruzes out for around 16k+TTL.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      I can see picking the Acura over the Verano. Or the Accord. Or a whole lot of other cars over the Verano.

      I hopped into a Verano at the Auto Show this year with high expectations of interior quality, which after all is supposed to be one of its big selling points (it certainly isn’t selling based on room or power). When I got in the back seat, the first thing I noticed (okay, the second after no legroom) was the jagged, unfinished metal edge that stuck out of the front-seat track that would have gashed my nice shoes if I’d been wearing them. Last time I saw that was in a rented Ford Contour.

      A small thing? Yes, and exactly the kind of small thing Japan gets right. GM sweats the details again. No, thanks.

  • avatar
    200Series

    Hard plastic both feels and looks cheap….you don’t have to touch it to be annoyed. While you would think it’s easier to clean and less scratch-prone, that has not been my experience. Our 2013 Acadia has a lot of it…and it’s awful.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    I was wondering why the numbers that pop up during the video do not match the specs shown later in the story?
    The zero to sixty pops up at 9.something while later it shows 6.2…?

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      I didn’t see what you were referring to… perhaps it’s been corrected. at 6 mins, 29 seconds into the video, Alex says that he clocked 0-60 in 6.25 seconds. That’s one hell of an impressive gain from model year to model year.

      Nice write up, although I watched the 30 minute version on your Youtube channel last week as well.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I noticed the same thing. I saw the 9.25 and was super disappointed. I suspect it was a typo (that needs to be edited out). 6.25 seconds on the other hand is pretty good for this vehicle.

      I like Acura and this looks like a nice vehicle. A little too small for me though. Then again, I drive a 4000lb car. :)

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      Oh poop! My fat fingers hit the 9 on the keypad instead of a 6. I’ll try to get that video corrected ASAP!

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    Those wheels are terrible. I think I saw the same ones, on a 1996 Geo Prizm…

  • avatar
    Wayne

    Alex,

    Good to see you’re back on TTAC. I have been following your other website. good stuff.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    You can get a 60/40 folding rear seat in a Civic, only the base LX has a one piece folding rear seat, so I wonder why they didn’t include that in the ILX?

    I actually like these a lot. They lease super cheap, and likely will never cost as much to maintain or repair as a baby Benz or Audi. But they will never have the brand cache either. Image conscious shoppers wont give it a second look or even a first look.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “I wonder why they didn’t include that in the ILX?”

      There is likely a brace in place behind the back seat that increase body rigidity for a more solid and refined feel.

    • 0 avatar
      jrasero23

      the lack of 60/40 split on the ILX is so frustrating for me.

      BUT yes leases are super cheap. I am in a Premium 24 month 12k a year, nothing down for $354, buy back price of $17,500

  • avatar
    Fordson

    The ILX is faster than an A3 2.0? You’re dreaming – no FWD car with a similar power-to-weight ratio will beat an A3 2.0 Quattro to 60 or in the quarter.

    Edmunds, which produces about the most conservative road-test numbers around, ran theirs to sixty in 5.6 and the quarter in 14 flat…which would leave this ILX you tested for dead.

    You also have the CLA 250 being faster than an A3. You’re pulling numbers out of thin air.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I think that part must have confused the A3 2.0T with the A3 1.8T, which is much closer to the ILX in pricing. The new ILX should be solidly faster than the A3 1.8T.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I didn’t realize how small the interior of this car is, until I checked the numbers.

    It’s nearly identical to a Kia Rio sedan. Think about that. As nice as this car sounds, I can’t even consider one because I won’t fit in the driver’s seat.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Not sure what the ‘numbers on paper’ are, but seeing as the ILX is based on the Civic, fitting in the driver’s seat is not a problem. The 9th generation Civic might be panned for a lot of things, but lack of passenger room is not one of them.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        The ILX is about 6% smaller than the Civic on paper.

        Civic vs ILX
        Front legroom: 42.0, 42.3
        Rear legroom: 36.2, 34.0
        Front headroom: 39.0, 38.0
        Rear headroom: 37.1, 35.9
        Passenger volume: 94.6, 89.3

  • avatar
    izzy

    If Acura/Honda is going for ugliest wheels look, it has succeeded.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I feel like 201 hp and 6.2 to 60 is -very- quick for this class of near-luxury car. And 201 would seem like plenty of HP for this car, and not enough in the much heavier TLX (which in my opinion should have a V6 as standard, as their mid-level luxury offering). Certainly needs AWD as an option, even if only on the 30K+ trim level.

    But you get six more inches of car than the CLA for less money, with more equipment. But like the CLA, there’s something of a cheapness look to this car. Especially at the back, with all the black framing around the rear windscreen. And I hate the wheels. They look like a 1970’s drawing of a cartoon foot – I’ve seen it before, somewhere.

    I can’t agree that the ILX is the successor to the Legend. The Legend was larger and more luxurious, and was the pinnacle product offered by Acura. A desirable car with 6 cylinders standard, and RWD proportions. This is the smallest thing from Acura, and has none of those other things.

    And I wish it had tints. Any car like this will improve with tints.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Maybe Honda is back on the right path. I’ve always admired Honda’s commitment to a segment and continued refinement to get it right. That mojo seems to have been lost over the past decade – they seem to have fixed basically everything wrong with the ILX.

    Hopefully this trickles across other gaffes.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    This review is making me want to test-drive an ILX. I loved my first-gen TSX 6MT, and love the general concept of a fancified Honda. But the previous ILX was just too compromised in too many ways. On paper, this fixes essentially everything wrong with the product. I’ve never seen anything but the highest praise for the torque-converter DCT and, again on paper, it seems like the perfect solution.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Go for it.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Go test drive a Civic EX-L or better yet. Or better yet, go test drive a Kia Fortes EX with technology package or a Elantra Limited. Better cars and the Kia has memory ventilated seats. And they both don’t recommend Super Unleaded.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        Has Hyundai fixed the suspension on the Elantra yet? I had a 2013 for a week and it easily had the most underdamped, worst suspension I have ever experienced. I recently had an Optima, which had a far better suspension, but completely lifeless steering. Frankly, recent Hyundais and Kias have been far more appealing to me on a spec sheet than in reality.

        • 0 avatar
          VW16v

          Yeah, good idea to go test drive a new Forte EX and Elantra before throwing money on a ILX. The American brands have been ridiculed for adding content and calling it a Cadillac or Lincoln. The ILX is no different.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Why would I want to drive an 0-60 in 8.5 Civic EX with a CVT and a bare-bones interior when what I’m interested in is an 0-60 in 6.2 ILX with a DCT and a well-equipped interior?

        If Honda offered a Civic with the DI K24, a DCT, and good feature content maybe you’d have a point.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    I rather liked the 1st gen myself, but that was because my choice would have been the 2.4 with 6-speed. Don’t mind that the manual is gone since the 8-speed/torque converter option is so good (except apparently for early TLX units in cold weather).

    Hope that Acura is brave enough to add PAWS 4-wheel steer to this…eventually…

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      A neighbor of mine has a 6spd 2.4 ILX (pre-refresh), it’s a more impressive looking (and even sounding) car in person that I ever imagined it to be, having seen it mostly in photos. I can certainly see the appeal as the successor to the first gen TSX, or guys that got rid of their Civic Si because they were ‘grown up’ but still wanted the same hardware.

  • avatar
    tekdemon

    I’m pretty surprised that the 2016 refresh is so quick compared to the previous models given it’s relatively modest rated power output, but it seems like they did a great job retuning the torque curve to provide a lot of power throughout the powerband and I’m guessing that 8 speed DCT is helping a lot here too. And the equipment levels now are pretty impressive too, there’s basically no other car you can buy for $33K that’ll have radar cruise, lane keep, rear cross traffic, blind spot, navigation, LED headlamps, etc.
    Honestly, from what I can tell, basically the only luxury features missing are adaptive headlamps, ventilated seats, and a panoramic sunroof, but the ILX has gone from coming off as a really lousy value compared to the improved Civic EX-L to actually being a great value in the luxury class. I honestly wouldn’t have ever considered this car before but it actually seems like Honda has managed to make a worthy successor to the old RSX-except this time it’ll actually be a refined luxury vehicle.

    Actually, the only real serious negative that stops this from being a truly practical car for me is the lack of a split folding seat…I’d like to be able to go skiing/snowboarding without having to kick my friends out of the car, lol.

  • avatar
    wmba

    I really don’t care what Alex thinks about the 8DCT transmission. The damn thing is useless, and nearly tried to kill me on a TLX test drive. It cannot figure out what gear to use at 3 to 5 mph when you are trickling along trying to make a left turn against oncoming traffic. You get nothing – that’s why there is a lawsuit about it. Dangerous, because of course, it only acts that way – sometimes.

    An Audi A3 2.0t eats this thing for breakfast lunch and dinner, and the DSG works perfectly, unlike this underachieving thing.

    I read Consumer Reports remarks on the new ILX and sorry, I believe them over this review. It’s a cheap and nasty car, now with better engine and a bit more blown-in insulation. Hell, even on Acurazine, people drive the new ILX and TLX and buy the TLX for just a few dollars more, it’s so much better.

    But not good. After I drove a TLX SH-AWD, within 30 minutes I was in an A3, and for me, an actual enthusiast who could care less about infotainment, and particularly the dual screen Honda mess, the A3 is so far ahead, the Acuras aren’t even in sight.

    I really don’t get Alex’ reviews. Must be from a different planet, I guess. Even Car and Driver said:

    “Although the ILX now delivers more feedback and a more immediate response to the road, this also makes the conservative suspension tuning more apparent. Curb weight is up by about 150 pounds and the balance of that mass shifts forward from 61 to 63 percent over the front drive wheels, which doesn’t help with understeer or the feeling that the rear of the car is merely being towed around. When equipped with new 18-inch wheels, the back end is also prone to impact harshness and subsequent excessive vertical motion.”

    Sounds like just the job, doesn’t it?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      “An Audi A3 2.0t eats this thing for breakfast lunch and dinner”

      And costs $8,000 more. The A3 that is priced against the ILX is the 1.8T.

      “and the DSG works perfectly, unlike this underachieving thing.”

      And yet you see far more complaints about VAG’s DCTs than about this one, although the VAG units also seem to be getting better.

      • 0 avatar
        Jacob

        I always thought that comparing A3 with ILX is quite superfluous, considering that its DNA-brothers VW Jetta GLI and GTI are 90% as good, but come at a significant price discount. The a base GTI starts cheaper, while options exist for DSG, better interior, toys and all that.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    From what I’ve read the new Acura 8 speed is indeed one of the best autos available, so Alex is spot on there.

    R&T raves about the excellent 8 speed:

    “In addition to making the ILX quicker and smoother off the line, the eight-speed gearbox snaps off crisp shifts in automatic mode. You can pop the lever into sport mode and hammer away, because the transmission always seems to know exactly where in the rev range the engine should be. It also serves up rorty, rev-matched, predictive downshifts under braking. Nice. In manual mode—operated only with the standard paddle shifters—gears are held through redline, though an automatic upshift follows should you fail to hit the appropriate paddle. ”
    http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/first-drives/news/a24986/first-drive-2016-acura-ilx/

    As for the video, from about 5:20 on he’s driving forward but facing what should be backwards. I’m not sure I’d want that feature.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      “As for the video, from about 5:20 on he’s driving forward but facing what should be backwards. I’m not sure I’d want that feature.”

      Alex- I would agree with this. I love the review but editing yourself into the outside camera shot makes it look like your sitting in the car back to front.

      • 0 avatar
        Alex L. Dykes

        Here’s why that look exists, it’s a balance between having nobody in the picture (folks on YouTube didn’t like that) and having the screen cut off with the scenery disturbed. I’ll fiddle with it some more but I suspect I won’t make any major changes.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    Great review! I think this one is a winner for Honda while I disagree that it should be wearing an Acura badge in a near-luxury segment. Keep it a Honda model and I think it would sell much better.

    • 0 avatar
      badreligion702

      I don’t think it will sell better as a Honda at all. It would compete with the cheaper but larger Accord, and the cheaper but sportier Civic Si. Too much overlapping. It makes much more sense in the Acura lineup, especially since the TSX and TL merged.

    • 0 avatar
      jrasero23

      From a guy that Just bought a 2016 ILX Premium the thing that kills a lot of sales is the fact that the new 2016 Civic Touring is just as good or better than the ILX Base, Base w/ AcuraWatch, and probably competes with the Premium. Secondly the difference in price between the Base and Base with AcuraWatch is so minimal the AcuraWatch should have been standard, even the difference between the Base w/ AcuraWatch and Premium is only $700 yet you get a ton of features like real leather, Blind Spot, Cross traffic, upgraded auto system, and the two tier screen setup. One could argue the Premium should be the base model.

      Ford/Lincoln have the same problem. As a former Lincoln owner their cars weren’t bad by any means but the problem was the new Fords were just as good but at thousands less. I think Acura is trying to capture too young of a buyer and leave Honda for that job. If the Premium ILX was the base at $30,000 that is a reasonable entry point for a near luxury car.

  • avatar
    Boxofrain

    So, what does this have that the base Subaru WRX doesn’t have? In Canada both are a tad under $30,000 in base trim. The Subaru has 268 horsepower, a 6 speed manual and AWD. Made in Japan. Doesn’t this check off all the boxes? I’m sure each one has a feature or two the other doesn’t have, but the WRX has the extra power and the AWD. What does the ILX bring to the table that trumps that? Looks like the base ILX doesn’t even have heated seats. In Canada? Really? $21,000 Civic EX has heated seats.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      It has an engine that won’t be blowing copious amounts of oily smoke out of the exhaust in 2 years :) That and a much nicer interior, Subarus after the 2000-2004 Legacies have some of the nastiest, hollowest interiors out there these days (says a guy with a 2012 Civic)

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      “So, what does this have that the base Subaru WRX doesn’t have?”

      A significant level of refinement. The interior on current Acuras isn’t Audi nice, but it’s nicer than most mainstream cars and way nicer than anything with comparable features + price. Meanwhile the WRX has one of the cheapest-feeling interiors of any car currently in production.

      If you want a small $30k sedan with a near-luxury interior and Honda reliability, you buy an ILX. If you want one with 268 horsepower and a stick, you buy a WRX.

      I would have loved the WRX in my 20s but I feel too old for it. I have two cars with crap interiors (one is a Subie) and I’m getting sick of that… I think interior refinement will probably be important in whatever I buy next.

      • 0 avatar
        Boxofrain

        The Subaru is that bad eh? I admit, I haven’t been out to look at one, nor have I seen an ILX up close. I’m in the market for a new vehicle in the next year and am looking at sedans in the $30,000 range (Canadian). The Accord EX-L is on my list as it seems like a great value. The refreshed ILX has also caught my eye, and I thought about giving the WRX a look. Honestly, the Accord EX-L may be the best overall value, with a decent drivetrain, plenty of room and pretty much loaded for the price. I’m not totally sold on the CVT, but reviews are good. Oddly enough, the EX-L is the only Accord trim level that doesn’t offer a 6 speed manual.

        Looks like the ILX has the nicer drivetrain with the new 8 speed DCT and the extra power in the 2.4. I have read about the Honda Earth Dreams 2.4 actually putting out more than the stated 185 HP on a dyno. The ILX makes an extra 16 HP on paper, but requires premium fuel. The premium fuel requirement is a detractor to me, especially where it only makes 201 HP. The current Civic Si is now rated at 205 HP and the TLX 2.4 is rated at 206 HP. Anyone else confused?

        • 0 avatar
          JD23

          The premium fuel requirement will likely cost you a little more than $100 per year, or $1000 over the life of the car if you keep it for close to 10 years. I’m not sure why this bothers people so much.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          My close friend bought a 2011 WRX Wagon as his graduation present to himself (chem. E. from Cornell), huge car nut that likes to drive fast. Well for his daily drive, he wasn’t happy with the gearing that netted barely 25 mpg in very light footed driving on the highway. Then the throwout bearing went out, then the turbo was replaced… he’s looking to get out of this thing before the warranty runs out, and ironically enough is looking at Accord Sports and used TSX 6spds.

          I have to say though, that WRX is an absolute terror on twisty tarmac. We went hiking in West Virginia and that thing was defying physics with how much grip it had at ludicrous speeds in corners. But you have to live with the higher strung engine and poor fuel economy in the other 99% of daily driving that you have to do and I guess for some people it isn’t worth it.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Agree on the WRX interior. It’s ghastly, they don’t even finish the edges on any of the hollow plastic trim in there.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Only $2,000 for fog lights, but I’m sure cheap plastic cut-out fillers come standard. Hey, just like an ATS!

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      With rebates. I’d take a ATS over an ILX any day. At least the Cadillac has some history and it feels like more then a fancy hideous Civic. The mole cricket of automobile’s.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Ehhhhhhh..

        This is brutal.

        It’s Saturday morning & you guys had to go there, huh?

        I am not keen on the ILX, yet I’d be shocked if it didn’t have better ride quality, better fit/finish, FAR better reliability/durability, FAR better residual value, a FAR better HVAC/CRUISE CONTROL/AUDIO interface, and at least as large a rear seat with a LARGER trunk, than a Pontiac G6/Cadillac ATS.

        Wait…almost forgot…

        And the ILXs gauges are crisp, clean & contemporary compared to the ATSs gauges, which were pulled directly from a 1992 Pontiac Bonneville parts bin at General Motors Leftover Parts Central Depot.

        • 0 avatar
          VW16v

          Drove neighbors ATS with the 2.0T. It was actually a way better car then I was expecting. And the owner could afford just about any car made. His wife has had two different Porsche Cayman S’s in the past three years. Having said that. With out the rebates. No way I would spend $45k on a ATS. Low $30’s with the 2.0T. a different story.

        • 0 avatar
          jrasero23

          DeadWeight has no clue what he is talking about. I now own a 2016 ILX Premium and while I love the car for it’s tech and extreme value the ATS fit and finish is almost Lexus like and the ATS offers performance variants the ILX couldn’t even hold a candle to.

  • avatar
    shaker

    I imagine that having yet another huge “distraction screen”, while subjugating the climate controls to an almost tertiary role in the center console would make “radar adaptive cruise control, collision warning, collision mitigating autonomous braking, lane keep warning, lane keep assist, and electric pre-tensioning front seat belts” a near necessity.

    Still, the non-turbo motor (and the hopefully acceptable durability of a very complex transmission) would make this a good off-lease buy (for short people).

    • 0 avatar
      jrasero23

      It’s funny you mention this. You read all these reviews that hate touch screens and Acuras weird dual setup, but after owning two Acura’s with the dual screen setup I kind of enjoy it.

      On my ILX I can see trip information or view maps, while simultaneously flipping through Pandora and fiddling with the temperatures gauges. Could it be a little more intuitive? Sure, but for me it’s like working with 3 desktops screens at work rather than 1.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    Way better model of the past ILX. But, I do sadly agree with Consumer Reports. This car just looks cheap and why would Acura still make a car that uses Super Unleaded. Especially in a car that does not seem to Super.
    http://www.carscoops.com/2015/03/2016-acura-ilx-still-feels-cheap-says.html

    • 0 avatar
      Boxofrain

      The premium fuel requirement for a 201 HP non turbo 4 cylinder is a downer.

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        “The premium fuel requirement for a 201 HP non turbo 4 cylinder is a downer.”

        I believe premium fuel is “recommended” and not “required.” But not using premium means less HP and worse mpg.

        • 0 avatar
          VW16v

          The recommended per my local Acura dealer is not just a recommended. They say Acura’s are made for super unleaded, and regular unleaded should not be an option.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            “The recommended per my local Acura dealer is not just a recommended.”

            I’d go with what’s in the owner’s manual. For me, recommended means you can get by with 87 or 89 in a pinch, but should use 91 or above on a regular basis.

            In my neighborhood, premium costs about 40 to 50 cents more per gallon than regular. Still, most of the time, I will use premium. I have used 89 at high altitudes though (ski trip).

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      “Way better model of the past ILX. But, I do sadly agree with Consumer Reports. This car just looks cheap”

      I think the discontinued TSX did a better job in the near-luxury role. The base model was around $32k and was built on the Euro-spec Accord, so it couldn’t be confused for a gussied up Civic or even a U.S. model Accord. It also had lumbar support which CR complained was missing in the 2016 ILX, but standard on the competitors.

      I do give Acura credit for addressing the deficiencies of the original ILX. It’s a step in the right direction. But I don’t see the ILX as a successor to the Legend. Perhaps Alex was suggesting that this ILX was nipping at the heels of the German entry-level luxury makes, but for $10k less, much the way the Legend did in its time.

      I also don’t see this ILX as an Integra successor, as some comments have suggested. For something that could be considered an unofficial successor to the 1st gen Integra, go test drive a Mazda3.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        There is no more Euro Accord, so there is no car to base a new TSX on. The TLX, like the previous TL, is based very loosely on the U.S. Accord.

      • 0 avatar
        jrasero23

        I think the ILX is 80% there luxury wise but the huge silver painted pieces of plastic in all Acura’s just looks cheap and easily could be upgraded by using some sort of premium material or by just painting it better. The media console is mirrored by plastic found in a Honda. You can’t offer a leatherette even though BMW and Mercedes do because people are willing to look past that because of the name. Honda needs to stop providing these crappy base models in hopes of capturing every age group and demographic. Offer AWD on all models!

  • avatar
    ceipower

    For some reason Honda has seen fit to mold Acura into a brand not unlike GM’s Saturn. Neither was ever profitable , and both became rebadged vehicles from the parent brand all too quickly. Remember “Precision Crafted Performance” That gave way to “can you see what we’ve done to lower costs.” IF you take away the SUV sales Acura is nothing. Those SUV’s would no doubt sell in higher volume if rebadged as Hondas , if for no other reason than the higher number of dealers. There’s a few die-hards out there who will never give up on the brand , but face it there’s no reason for it to still be around.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    The refresh has certainly improved the looks. Shrub gets her license in 3 years, and MIGHT be getting a car a year later. If we don’t lean towards a CRV or RAV4, this is certainly on the menu. Of ocurse, she wants to inherit the SAAB. Even has the 6 speed shifting down the few times we’ve visited industrial parks on the weekends…

  • avatar
    tced2

    I have driven this drivetrain 2.4/8 speed DCT for about 12,000 miles/8 months in a TLX. I previously drove a 2005 TSX 2.4/6 speed manual. I usually get mileage in the 30’s. The 8-speed DCT works very well most of the time and manual shifts are satisfying with the steering wheel paddles.
    It has problems automatically selecting a gear at low speeds (turning a corner, or a near-stop). The shifting is a bit hesitant in cold weather.
    There is a 285 reply thread on one forum discussing the issues. There is no official software release for a fix but the dealer will install new firmware if you insist. This intermediate firmware fixes the problem for some and others have the problems return. This seems to indicate Acura doesn’t have the problem solved.
    I wonder what happened to the testing? These problems would have surely been detected in any testing. I am awaiting the firmware release that makes it an excellent transmission.

    I looked at an ILX previously and was not impressed with the Civic-like drivetrain. The top drivetrain previously in the ILX was the 2.4/6-speed manual which was only available in a mid-trim package (no navigation or upgraded audio).

  • avatar
    MichaelD_Utah

    The new engine and other revisions have finally made the ILX a desirable vehicle. The first version of the car was a total ripoff; buyers of the 150hp version would have been far better off with a Focus Titanium or the like.

    • 0 avatar
      jrasero23

      The first version was a disgrace. The fact that the first gen required premium fuel was a shot to the face by Acura not to mention the base came with cloth seats

  • avatar
    jrasero23

    Just got a 2016 ILX Premium and I am very pleased with it. I think Honda/Acura has made a great product but continues to confuse customers with too many trim levels and by Honda offering cars that have way too much overlap. I was in the dealer yesterday and my sales rep noted how he had a handful of people looking at ILX but changed there mind and bought Civics (Touring). The 1.5T Touring Civic is a great car and offers Android Auto and Apple Car Play, while the 2016 ILX offers only iOS Acura Link. Also the first 2 trims on the ILX are pointless (Base and base w/ AcuraWatch). The cost to upgrade from Base w/ AcuraWatch is a few hundred dollars and worth every penny to get Blind Spot, real Milano leather, and the larger dual screen setup.

    Now there is no denying the ILX DOES NOT matchup with true luxury comps but remember others base models start at: BMW 320I $33,150, Lexus IS 250 $36,550, Audi A3 $30,900, Mercedes CLA250 $32,050, Volvo S60 $33,950. In contrast Acura ILX Technology Plus and A-SPEC Package Sedan top package hits at $34,980 which is thousands of dollars less (up to $10,000 less) than the ILX’s comps when properly equipped. Yes the other cars have better names, better fit and finishes, and performance options like AWD that the ILX doesn’t offer but is all of this $10,000 better? Unless you are a German fanatic or love the looks and finish of the Lexus IS the Acura ILX is a huge value. Speaking of value my ILX Premium lists at $29,990, I got it for $26,260. At this price and feature set I can live without the German badge and lack of luxury.


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