REVIEW: 2016 Acura ILX Promises Affordable Luxury, Does it Deliver?

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2014 Acura ILX Front

The Acura ILX is the brand’s attempt at an entry level luxury sedan aimed at those who can’t yet afford higher end models. They made some changes for 2016 to better meet this goal and they pull it off to a point, but don’t quite hit the bulls-eye.

Every ILX now comes with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder paired to an 8-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. It provides 201 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque for what is billed as a sporty, entry-level luxury car.

It moves along well enough, but there’s simply not enough to truly call this car sporty. Peppy. Sprightly. Lively. Yes, all those apply, but if you’re looking for a truly sporty ride, then this is not your car.

2016 Acura ILX Dash

There are SportShift paddle shifters that give you more control, taking those revs higher for better response, but there’s only so much you can get from a 201 horsepower engine. No matter how aggressively you choose to drive, it doesn’t quite deliver.

Where the Acura ILX does come through is in its looks which are sleek, stylish, and very sporty. Making a particularly good impression are the jewel eye LED headlights which are a standard feature. The A-Spec Package adds 18″ aluminum wheels, rear spoiler, side sills, and fog lights that seal the deal.

The sporty look carries through to the interior with that same A-Spec Package adding Lux Suede seats, aluminum sport pedals, red on black instrumentation, and contrast stitching. Front seats are heated in every ILX and are 8-way power adjustable. Higher trims get a power passenger seat and driver’s memory seat.

2016 Acura ILX Seats

What you see on the outside is what you get on the inside, but there are still issues. Where the sporty vibe is there, the sense of luxury that most associate with the Acura brand is missing.

Our test ILX was the top end model with Technology Plus and A-Spec packages that gave it those sporty good looks, but couldn’t compensate for an interior that didn’t feel luxurious. Those perforated leather trimmed sports seats look good, but they do not look luxury. It’s a bit like this car couldn’t decide exactly what it wanted to be when it rolled off the line.

There are plenty of comfort and convenience features like keyless access, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, dual zone climate control, tilt and telescoping steering column, and 12-volt power outlets up front. Safety is also a priority with the standard airbags, 4-wheel anti-lock bakes, and a standard rear camera.

2016 Acura ILX Rear

Higher trims can also take advantage of adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, road departure mitigation, forward collision and lane departure warning as well as blind-spot and rear cross traffic alerts.

The interior is comfortable with a surprisingly roomy rear seat that accommodates even tall passengers, but front seating is short on legroom. Pushing the seat all the way back will still leave tall front passengers with their knees knocking the door and center console.

Acura’s infotainment system isn’t the easiest or most intuitive with a dual-screen system on higher trims that can be confusing. It is well-equipped with Siri Eyes Free, USB connectivity, Bluetooth streaming audio, SMS and MMS text message capability all standard.

2016 Acura ILX Profile

Navigation with real time traffic and rerouting, premium sound systems with 7 or 10 speakers and subwoofer, SiriusXM, HD radio, and AcuraLink are all available.

Starting price on the Acura ILX is $27,900 with 5 additional trim levels that top out at $34,890. That’s pricing that is definitely easier to afford than many other Acuras, but it’s at the cost of the luxury vibe of the brand.

The 2016 Acura ILX doesn’t quite deliver on the luxury promise, but it does deliver a sporty-looking, well-equipped ride at a more affordable price.

2016 Acura ILX with Technology Plus and A-SPEC Package

Base Price: $27,900
Price As Tested: $34,890 (not including destination charge)


  • Great Styling
  • Roomy Rear Seat
  • Price


  • Uninspiring Drive
  • No Luxury Feel