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Acura ILX Review

The 2016 Acura ILX ranks 14 out of 14 Upscale Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Acura ILX, as well as reliability and safety data.

Though the refreshed 2016 Acura ILX has a nicer cabin and an improved powertrain, it still can't match the performance or interior quality of its competitors, according to test drivers.

Reviewers write that the ILX, which comes with a new four-cylinder engine for 2016, accelerates slowly to highway speeds, though they note that it has adequate acceleration from a stop. Critics say the ILX's eight-speed automated manual transmission, which is also new for 2016, changes gears with precision. The 2016 ILX earns an EPA-estimated 25/36 mpg city/highway, which is very good for an upscale small car. Test drivers note that the ILX has composed handling, with strong grip in turns. Most report the ILX has a comfortable ride and that the cabin remains quiet at speed. They add that the ILX has strong brakes and that overall, the 2016 ILX has better driving dynamics than the 2015 model.

Though some critics appreciate the improvements Acura made to the 2016 ILX's cabin, others note that its materials are subpar for the class, and aren't even much nicer than the materials in a Honda. On the other hand, the ILX's trunk space matches that of its rivals, and reviewers say its front seats are comfortable and its back seats are roomy. Critics are confused by the Acura ILX's available dual-monitor infotainment display, noting the screens are redundant and distracting to the driver. Standard features in the 2016 ILX include Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a multi-view rearview camera, a USB port, Pandora Internet radio compatibility, a 5-inch display screen and a six-speaker stereo system. Available features include leather upholstery, a 7-inch touch-screen display, navigation, a 10-speaker ELS surround-sound audio system, adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, HD Radio and satellite radio.

  • "The ILX is clearly improved over last year's model, but Honda is still faced with the underlying problem that there's not enough space between its mass-market products and those sold by its luxury marque. Or at least enough to overcome the Acura badge's lack of snob appeal compared with its competition from Audi, Mercedes, and BMW, however unfair that may be." -- Car and Driver
  • "So, the ILX is more powerful, better looking, and more luxurious. … But the ILX no longer feels like a Civic, and it's evidence that Acura has its ear to the ground and is working to restore its former luster." -- Road and Track
  • "Attractive and well equipped, the 2016 Acura ILX is a respectable choice for a compact luxury sedan. There are a number of worthy alternatives that shoppers should consider, but with this year's updates, the ILX is a more compelling offering." -- Edmunds
  • "This updated model is what the ILX should have been from the start, and the new car's dynamic competence makes the 2013-2015 ILX feel half-baked. Acura has a long way to go until it catches up to the major luxury players in terms of design and prestige, but sweet-driving, engaging products like the 2016 ILX are a start. …" -- Automobile Magazine

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Other Cars to Consider

The Audi A3 has an elegant interior, according to critics, with high-quality materials and an intuitive infotainment system. Test drivers also praise the A3's lively turbocharged engine options and nimble handling.

Reviewers think the BMW 3-Series is a very engaging car to drive, with strong acceleration from all engine options and spirited handling to match. They also add that the 3-Series' interior has a solid build quality, with comfortable and spacious front and rear seats.

Compare the ILX, A3 and 3-Series »

Details: 2016 Acura ILX

The 2016 Acura ILX seats five and has front-wheel drive. A 2.4-liter four cylinder engine and an eight-speed automated manual transmission come standard. The Acura ILX comes in one trim, and Premium and Technology option packages are available. The ILX debuted for the 2013 model year and has a new base engine and transmission for 2016, as well as refreshed interior and exterior styling. Aside from those changes, the ILX is mostly unchanged from the 2013 model, and as a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 to 2016 model years.

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Review Last Updated: 5/15/15

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