Review: 2016 Acura ILX A-Spec

Written by: Adil Arif

Photography by: Adil Arif


Nowadays having more of anything is always a good thing. For manufacturers it's also associated with an evolution or an improvement. More power, more grip, more features, more bang for the buck: these are all traits we look for in a next generation model. It's always a tough act to follow a successful model and manufacturers never want to fall into a list of one-hit-wonders. So naturally we were all smiles when we heard just how much more car the 2016 Acura ILX was going to be.


For starters, all 2016 ILX models will be powered by a 2.4-litre, 16-valve, direct-injected DOHC i-VTEC engine, with peak output of 201-horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 180 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,600 rpm. That's a healthy upgrade of 51 horsepower and 40 lb.-ft. compared to the outgoing 2.0-litre engine. The second generation ILX also receives a completely new 8-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) with torque converter and paddle-controlled Sequential Sport Shift. Together they deliver an exceptionally engaging driving experience. The DCT is lightning quick and downshifts are rev matched and instantaneous. Up shifts are equally as fast all the while maintaining buttery smoothness. The car launches hard and the torque converter works really well, all in all right on par with the new Volkswagen DSG, and I can't think of a better compliment.


The added power screams to it's 7,000 redline and the exhaust remains composed emitting a nice deep tone. With all this new performance the ILX also comes with some added new tech to keep the driver informed at all times. The Acura LaneWatch system shows a wide-angle camera view alongside and behind the vehicle, and a new AcuraWatch safety suite which includes adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, and enhanced collision mitigation braking with pedestrian sensing. There’s even a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross traffic monitoring for majority of the lineup.


The chassis is much more rigid this time around and body roll is substantially improved. The suspension however, I found to be on the comfortable side and the steering didn't provide much feedback. But in daily driving there's still enough sportiness and steering feel to be content. The ride is supple and cabin quietness is enhanced by additional noise-insulating materials, a thicker front-side door glass, noise "attenuating" wheels, and Active Noise Control technology. Out of all that jargon all you really need to know is that it works very well and you quickly forget you're in a $30,000 vehicle. Interior fit and finish also feels high-end with Euro-style stitching on the steering wheel, parking brake and shift knob. I’d be fooled if someone told me I was sitting in a TLX. Exclusive to the A-spec package, as tested, is an all black interior. Black headliner, black suede seat inserts, aluminum brake pedals and aggressive red instrument illumination.

The upgrades continue on the outside, with restyled front and rear fascia, front grille and rear LED lights. Our tester came with a few extra cosmetic goodies as we were in the A-spec package, side skirts, trunk spoiler, front fog lights and some sexy new 18-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels with gloss black insets. All trim levels also benefit from the unmistakable Jewel Eye LED headlights as standard equipment, further confusing the ILX with more expensive Acuras in their line-up.


Park this second generation next to its older brother and the exterior updates look subtle. But don't let that fool you as the car is completely transformed. I'm glad Acura was able to inject some soul back into their entry level model as the last ILX proved to be a bit of a numb experience. There are now a total of six 2016 Acura ILX packages, including standard ILX, Premium, Technology Plus, A-Spec, A-Spec Premium, and A-Spec Technology Plus. A-Spec models are the sporty versions in the lineup, and at the Premium level, the ILX gets a two-position driver’s seat memory, plus a power passenger seat, universal garage-door opener, and the dual-screen setup. The Premium grade model has, for the first time, a navigation system based on a connected iPhone, with the proper AcuraLink app. Tech models add the AcuraWatch suite plus embedded navigation and a reconfigurable display. They now have a solid contender in the ring against Ze Germans.


Our fully spec'd out A-spec Technology Plus trim rings in at $34,890, almost $3000 - $5000 cheaper than a similarly optioned Mercedes Benz CLA250, BMW 320i, or Audi A3. The value was always there but Acura nailed it this time by adding some much needed power, a seamless transmission, youthful aggressive styling and a comfortable "German" felt interior. It’s hard to imagine now that the ILX is based off the Honda Civic as Acura has done an excellent job to set the car apart; it truly can hold its own admirably. Although the upgrades are mainly cosmetic on the A-spec trims, in our opinion are worth every penny. The car really turns heads and that to me feels empowering especially for an entry-level car. So if you are in the market for an small and affordable luxury vehicle, make sure the 2016 Acura ILX is on your list. Athletic and agile in any trim and starting at just $29,490 with a slew of luxury features standard, you really feel like a class higher. And for those of you still a bit skeptical, trust us when we say this is far from a Honda Civic with just an Acura badge.


Photo Gallery:


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acura ilx a-spec honda acura ilx a-spec buttons acura ilx a-spec 18 inch wheels


acura ilx a-spec 2016 and 2015 2015 acura ilx vs 2016 acura ilx 2015 and 2016 acura ilx



型号 Model: 2016 Acura ILX A-Spec

顏色 Paint Type: Bellanova White Pearl
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $34,890

試車售價 Price as Tested: $34,890
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,670
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,620 / 1,794 / 1,412

車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,424
引擎 Engine: 2.4-litre, 16-valve, Direct Injection DOHC, i-VTEC® 4-cylinder
最大馬力 Horsepower: 201 hp @ 6,800 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 180 lb-ft. @ 3,600 rpm 
波箱 Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch transmission
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, FWD
前懸 Suspension-Front: MacPherson strut
後懸 Suspension-Rear: Multi-link

油耗 Fuel Consumption (City/Highway/Combined)- L/100 km: 9.3 / 6.6 / 8.1
輪胎尺碼 Tires: P225/40 R18 





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