In The Face Of New Premium Competition, 2016 Acura ILX Adds More Premium

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Like the Honda Civic on which its based, the 2016 Acura ILX is the subject of constant revisions to get the original car right.

Distinguishing the Acura range of sedans is now officially about counting headlights, or rather how many LED eyes are up front. The 2016 ILX gets a TLX-ish front, and slightly less of a silver beak. But apart from the lights, it looks familiar.

Acura has been constantly refining the ILX's not-so-luxurious interior, but takes a big step in refinement now by deleting the 2.0-liter/five-speed auto powertrain in favor of making a 2.4-liter four standard and mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. If that pair sounds familiar, you may remember them from the larger TLX.

You also may remember Acura offered a six-speed manual and 2.4. That's no longer. Yet to thwart criticisms about the car being bland, they've added an A-SPEC trim level (the blue car in the photos) that looks like it was submitted to the Acura accessories catalog and then given wheels from the Civic EX.

Of more importance to gadget-loving Millennials the brand would love to court from Audi is the addition of a host of new safety tech lifted from recent Acuras. That may do something to lift the overall perception of the interior, which is more serviceable than advanced. As with the TLX, Acura can still do a competent and quality interior – it just doesn't know how to make it any more special than other Hondas.

Like the current generation Civic, I suspect no amount of refinement and tweaking will ever get this ILX exactly where Acura wants it to be. A better car for 2016, for sure, but still lacking that extra something.

By Zac Estrada

Photos: Zac Estrada/Carscoops

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