in Upscale Small Cars

MSRP: $27,900 - $34,890
Invoice: $26,275 - $32,837
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Acura ILX Review

The 2016 Acura ILX ranks 13 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.

Despite improvements to the 2016 Acura ILX's powertrain and cabin, reviewers agree that rivals offer better-quality interiors and more impressive performance.

The 2016 ILX comes with a four-cylinder engine that auto writers think produces sufficient acceleration from a stop, but requires time to get the ILX up to highway speed. An eight-speed automated manual transmission is standard, and automotive journalists are impressed with its precise shifting. According to the EPA, the 2016 ILX gets 25/36 mpg city/highway, which is very good for the class. 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.

Some reviewers say the 2016 Acura ILX's interior materials quality isn't much higher than what you'd find in a Honda and doesn't measure up to that of upscale rivals, while others find the cabin much improved from last year's model. They think the ILX's front seats are comfortable and that the rear seats are spacious. Cargo space is on par for the class. 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.

See 2016 Acura ILX specs »

Review Last Updated: 3/30/15

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