UPDATE: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the 2.4-liter engine in the 2016 ILX is the same unit found in the Honda Civic Si. The ILX's new engine is the same direct-injected four-cylinder found in the new TLX. The text has been edited to reflect this.
Unfortunately, the slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission has been discontinued.
"It's just a badge-engineered Honda Civic." This (uninformed) criticism has been leveled at the Acura ILX since the premium compact arrived on the scene to duke it out with the Buick Verano and, more recently, the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA-class. For model year 2016, Acura will attempt to address the car's critics, issuing a major reshuffle of the sedan's lineup along with the typical sheen of a mid-cycle refresh.
Following up on the discontinuation of the ILX Hybrid for 2015, Acura is dispatching the antiquated pairing of the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder and five-speed automatic for 2016, and simply slotting in the standard powertrain of the TLX. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder produces 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, with peak output arriving at 3,600 rpm. The ILX also benefits from the same eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission found in the TLX. Unfortunately, the slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission we've always enjoyed has been discontinued. Sad trombone, indeed.
Powertrain tweaks aside, Acura has issued a pretty handsome freshening for 2016. The ILX was always a handsome offering, but the new front and rear clips are improvements. Acura's love-it-or-hate-it JewelEye headlights have been grafted onto the ILX, while the grille, a traditional weak point for the brand, is perhaps one of the best we've seen out of the company in several years. The rear taillights also received some attention, although it was the back bumper that saw the biggest update, with the lower section getting a sportier look.
Acura will also add a new A-Spec package for 2016, which replaces the standard 17-inch wheels with 18s, adds "Euro-style" stitching to the steering wheel and adds black Lux Suede inserts to the seats, along with a flurry of smaller aesthetic tweaks. The A-Spec can be added alongside the existing Premium and Technology Packs.
Acura hasn't released any interior images as of this writing, although we'll be sure to snap a few following today's debut conference at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Until then, scroll down for the official press release from Acura.
•Re-engineered ILX delivers exceptional performance with new standard
201-horsepower direct-injected engine and 8-speed dual-clutch transmission with torque converter
•Available AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies sets a new benchmark in the entry-luxury segment
•New grades increase customer choice with premium features, style and technology; New A-SPEC variant adds package of sporty design elements inside and out
LOS ANGELES, Calif., November 20, 2014 – Acura took the wraps off its restyled, reengineered and reborn 2016 ILX sports sedan today, launching at Acura dealerships nationwide in early 2015. The 2016 Acura ILX delivers more strongly than ever before on its mission as the gateway to the Acura lineup with a major injection of Acura performance DNA, courtesy of its new 201-horsepower, directed-injected i-VTEC engine and 8-speed dual-clutch transmission for all models, the same advanced engine and transmission combination that powers the just-launched TLX.
The 2016 ILX boasts dynamic new front and rear styling cues, standard Jewel EyeTM LED headlights, upgraded interior materials, optional upsized wheels and tires, enhanced connectivity, and a host of new premium features and technologies, along with significant improvements to cabin quietness, sporty handling and collision safety.
The 2016 ILX also expands customer choice with six available grades vs. the previous three, including the standard ILX, the ILX with Premium Package, and the line-topping ILX Technology Plus Package. In addition, an all-new A-SPEC package, available with the Premium and Technology packages, adds sporty style, and all models can now be equipped with AcuraWatch™, the most advanced suite of safety and driver assistive technologies in the class. The ILX AcuraWatch suite includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Road Departure Mitigation and enhanced Collision Mitigation Braking System™ with pedestrian sensing capability.
"Top to bottom, from dynamic design to luxury features, and leading-edge safety technology to sport sedan athleticism and sophistication, ILX is now a true gateway to Acura's performance luxury sedans," said Michael Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager for the Acura division. "ILX was always a great idea. Now it's a great idea fulfilled-a luxury vehicle for the next generation."
All 2016 ILX models will be powered by a 2.4-liter, 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, up 51 horsepower and 40 lb.-ft. compared to the outgoing 2.0-liter engine. The new engine is mated to an 8-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) with torque converter and paddle-controlled Sequential Sport Shift. It's the most advanced transmission in its competitive set, delivering incredibly quick, crisp and intuitive gear changes, including rev-matching down shifts, to achieve outstanding response and sporting performance with top-class fuel efficiency. The world's first DCT with a torque converter, Acura's 8-speed DCT provides off-the-line torque multiplication for smoother, more powerful launches that other DCTs cannot match.
The 2016 ILX gets numerous styling upgrades including restyled front and rear facias, front grille and rear LED combination lights, plus a restyled 17-inch, 10-spoke aluminum alloy wheel. The new ILX A-SPEC package features a sporty side sill garnish, trunk spoiler, front fog lights and new 18-inch, 10-spoke machined alloy wheels with gloss black insets. All ILX models come equipped with Acura's signature Jewel EyeTM LED headlights as standard equipment, a feature unmatched in the competitive set.
The 2016 ILX also benefits from numerous interior upgrades, including contrasting Euro-style stitching on the steering wheel, parking brake handle and shift knob, as well as new high-intensity silver trim for the passenger-side instrument panel. The ILX A-SPEC package enhances the exceptional cabin appeal and appointments with an exclusive Premium Black interior color scheme including black headliner, perforated black Lux Suede® seat inserts, red instrument illumination, exclusive gray interior stitching and aluminum brake and throttle pedals.
New Premium Features and AcuraWatch™
In addition to the new powertrain and extensive interior and exterior upgrades, the 2016 ILX also ups the ante for luxury, connectivity and technological sophistication. Premium and above grades get a new two-position driver's seat memory function, a 4-way power passenger seat, Homelink remote, and Acura's On-Demand Multi-Use Display (ODMD) with upper 8-inch display screen and lower 7-inch touchscreen. The evolved touchscreen connectivity and media system receives more than 50 design changes to enhance intuitive operation and functionality.
Also available for the first time on the Premium grade is a new tethered navigation system powered by the user's compatible iPhone and data plan via the AcuraLink navigation app. Premium and above models also get Acura's Blind Spot Information and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor along with enhanced audio options, including SiruisXM radio, AHA radio and HD radio.
The Tech Plus grade with AcuraWatch™ and embedded Acura Navigation add a color Multi-information Display (MID) between the tachometer and speedometer, Siri Eyes Free and ELS premium audio system along with the latest generation of Acura Link connected car technology.
All ILX models can be equipped with the AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, the most advanced system of its kind in the competitive set. AcuraWatch™ includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist System, a Multi-View Rear Camera with Dynamic Guidelines, as well as Road Departure Mitigation and an enhanced Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (including Forward Collision Warning) with sensor fusion technology that enables new capabilities including pedestrian sensing.
Body, Chassis and Safety Enhancements
The ILX body and chassis benefit from significant engineering changes that advance collision safety, increase body rigidity, improve cabin quietness and enhance sporty handling performance.
Utilizing Acura's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, the 2016 ILX is designed to more efficiently absorb and disperse the energy in a frontal collision and targets a "GOOD" rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) small-overlap frontal crash test and an overall "TOP SAFETY PICK+" IIHS crash safety rating.
Cabin quietness is enhanced by additional noise-insulating materials, a thicker front-side door glass, noise attenuating wheels, and the addition of Active Noise Control technology. Steering responsiveness and linearity is also improved via a retuned suspension and a multitude of chassis design enhancements.
Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance-luxury vehicles through a network of approximately 270 U.S. Acura dealers. The Acura lineup features five distinctive models – the RLX luxury flagship sedan, the TLX performance luxury sedan, the ILX compact luxury sedan, the 5-passenger RDX luxury crossover SUV, and the 7-passenger Acura MDX, America's all-time best-selling three-row luxury SUV. Acura was recently recognized by Edmunds.com for the third consecutive year as leading all luxury brands in retained value after five years of ownership. More than 90 percent of the Acura vehicles sold in America are produced at the company's manufacturing facilities in America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.
For More Information
Consumer information about Acura is available at acura.com. To join the Acura community on Facebook, visit facebook.com/Acura. Additional media information including detailed features, pricing and high-resolution photography of the Acura model line is available at acuranews.com.