When we first got behind the wheel of the 2016 ILX, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. After all, what exactly does ‘entry-level’ mean when it comes to a luxury vehicle? What we found in the 2016 was a compelling blend of style and performance that maintains the standard of excellence that made Acura famous while setting itself apart from every ILX that came before it.
This car makes a strong first impression: Acura’s patented Jewel Eye LED headlights, combined with a rear spoiler and striking body, evoke understated sophistication. The interior is spacious and boasts just enough hard plastic to make Acura’s signature two-tier screen system, which previous ILX models had lacked, pop visually. The seats adjust to fit a wide height-range and featured seat warmers which went unused, as I was driving in 90+ degree heat.
While the ILX has improved leaps and bounds from last year in terms of comfort, appearance, and technological features, its improvement is most obvious in its sheer drivability. The 2015 model we drove for reference utilized a 2 liter engine, to less than awe-inspiring effect; the 2016 ILX boasts a 2.4 liter engine and the 8-speed dual clutch transmission, which make for a powerful, smooth drive, both in town and on the highway.
Also new to the ILX this year is AcuraWatch, with features like Blind Spot Information, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Departure Warning. We’re not fans of bells-and-whistles for innovation’s sake, but we found ourselves using many of the included safety features to enhance our driving experience. The navigation feature was intuitive and streamlined, and the sound system provides crisp and clear audio while also actively noise-cancelling to decrease unwanted noise.
When we pulled back into Butler Acura, we found our questions as to the state of this entry-level luxury sedan answered: Anyone who wants the performance, style, and technology that have made Acura famous along with the best fuel economy and lowest price-tag possible need look no further than the 2016 Acura ILX.