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Acura ILX Performance

The 2016 Acura ILX has an improved powertrain from last year's model, auto journalists report, though they say that power at highway speeds is sometimes insufficient. They say the ILX has poised handling and a composed ride, and it gets good fuel economy for the class.

  • "We do like how the 2016 Acura ILX rides. This car offers a nearly ideal compromise between control and comfort, even with the larger 18-inch wheels. Driving enthusiasts might be disappointed that the steering doesn't provide much feedback, but overall the car is sure-footed and pretty enjoyable to pilot around turns." -- Edmunds
  • "We saddled up in an ILX A-Spec and tackled some winding roads throughout California's Napa Valley and were immediately impressed with the power from the new drivetrain and its handling ability on some challenging strips of pavement." -- AutoWeek
  • "Regardless of model, the 2016 ILX is a better, more cohesive car to drive." -- Road and Track

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Acura ILX comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 201 horsepower and an eight-speed automated manual transmission. According to the EPA, the 2016 ILX gets 25/36 mpg city/highway, which is very good for the class.

Test drivers appreciate that the ILX is no longer offered with last year's standard engine, and now has the more powerful four-cylinder engine standard. They say that as a result, the ILX has quick acceleration from a stop, but they add that highway passing requires some time and that the engine feels strained. Auto writers praise the eight-speed automated manual transmission, noting it has very precise shifts.

  • "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." -- Road and Track
  • "… the new ILX loses virtually nothing in acceleration compared to last year's combination of the 2.4-liter with the 6-speed manual. The new 8-speed shifts smoothly and quickly in Drive." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "In normal drive mode, the ILX accelerates smoothly on city roads with a pleasant low burble and precise steering. Reaching highway speeds and passing slower traffic with confidence requires a decent prod of the pedal in order to get the revs up as the engine begins to emit a strained groan. Once up to speed, the engine quiets down considerably, overtaken by a noticeable but not intrusive amount of road noise." -- Edmunds
  • "Above 4,000 rpm, the direct-injected 2.4-liter four-cylinder sang, and the new engine's broader torque curve made the ILX feel responsive and energetic as we charged up hills and zinged toward the 6,800-rpm power peak. The dual-clutch executed perfectly timed downshifts under hard braking and always managed to be in the correct gear as we exited tight hairpins." -- Automobile Magazine

Handling and Braking

The 2016 Acura ILX has much-improved driving dynamics compared to last year's model, according to reviewers, with composed handling and strong grip during spirited driving. Critics note the ILX has well-weighted steering and strong brakes with a linear pedal feel.

  • "As would be expected from such changes, the improved brakes bite harder and the firmer pedal is easier to modulate than before." -- Car and Driver
  • "The handling improvements are also notable, with intuitive weight transfer and significant grip at both axles. Despite aggressive driving on undulating backroads through California's Sonoma County, the ILX's tires didn't squeal or allow for any disconcerting sensations while navigating elevation changes and decreasing radius turns." -- Autoblog
  • "The last Acura ILX felt front-heavy and unsorted (its light, numb steering didn't help), but the 2016 model's retuned chassis has transformed the ILX's balance and character into something much more engaging. Steering is significantly heavier, with more organic feel, and better damping keeps body motions controlled and composed." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "An expansion of the use of high-strength steel and other fixes have yielded an improvement in firmness of up to 12-percent. In addition to contributing to a better handling car, it has allowed Noise, Vibration and Harshness engineers to tune out much of the noise and vibration seepage into the cabin." -- Left Lane News
Review Last Updated: 5/15/15

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