Her + His Car Reviews

2016 Acura ILX Tech Plus A Spec

There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that! To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle – Her and His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate, women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

$35,810 Around $35,000 as equipped
A refreshed ILX has an improved powertrain and the 2.4 litre four-cylinder and 8 speed dual-clutch automatic manual transmission engine - like used in the larger TLX, a real plus. 201 horsepower for the zip that would be expected in Acura's entry-level model. Handling is responsive The engine is a 2.4 liter, 201 horsepower engine with eight speed automatic transmission. Actually the power feels pretty brisk on the road, and it is backed up by good handling, and really superior braking and cornering power. Just about what you would expect from Acura as a maker of sports luxury cars.
Fuel Economy
Pretty outstanding at 25 city, 36 highway with a combined rating at 29 miles per gallon. That was way conservative on the part of the Acura and the feds. I consistently got 31 miles per gallon combined. 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. 29 mpg overall.
The Car
Acura has done the required job needed to bring the amenities and styling for its entry level model to have the Acura-esque qualities and design language - on the exterior. The inside was much more like a Honda. I did, however, enjoy driving the ILX with its spoiler and 18" alloy wheelers to provide a smart, distinctive look.. I had car for two weeks and I did have quite the adventure. Here goes:

It all began on garbage day. I have to have everything just "so", so before I leave for my days' meetings, I put the car keys in the roof of the car so both hands are free to bring in the g-cans and recycling bins. After all, why make two trips? I jump in the car, hit the push button, start up the ILX, and zip down the frozen cobblestone street of California Avenue, out onto Route 65 and merge to 28 North. Exxactllyyyy!. You already know what happened. It wasn't until an hour after I was finishing my meeting, gathered my handbag, etc, I simply could not find my keys. I mean my KEYS -- to the office, my home, my car, and yes, my everything! And, yes to the Acura ILX I am test driving. Good Grief. I get inside the vehicle to engage the push button and...nothing. Scatological words effortlessly flow from my mouth. For every action there is a reaction and my leaving the keys on the roof of the car set off a series of comic events that continued well into late afternoon. I called my dog walker, who let me into my own home - after my dear sister picked me up and drove me across town. Oy vey!

I then spent the next two hours walking along the icy streets of Teece and California Avenues looking for anything that resembled keys or metal devices of any sort. I am sure to my neighbors, who saw me whisking my feet through the solid foliage on the side of the road, I appeared the likes of a tinker, looking for goodies. Alas, I had to call Acura and let them know of my embarrassing debacle. They were beyond fabulous. I would have lol at me! - but they were gracious and overnighted a new set of key. Saved by the key.

Lesson of the day? Bottom line - with the newer vehicles, be sure and keep two sets of keys and have at least one on your person. Because, your car WILL Start - even if the keys are NOT in the car. Further, Don't ignore, like I did, the WARNING sign that comes across your dash. Or, because you have Sirius XM on a high decibel, you don't hear the audible warning, either.

A pet peeve of mine - for a thirty five thousand purchase, I think you should be able to put a cup with a handle in the cup holder. The ILX does not allow this.
The Acura ILX, considered to be an entry level luxury sedan, has just about all of the luxury safety and technology equipment you find on its peers like the BMW Two series, Lexus IS series and Cadillac ATS. But price is only one factor. Read on and get the rest of the story.

The ILX is a very well made, reassuring car with top notch construction, strong handling and lots of values for comparison shoppers. If it was marketed as an upscale sporty compact I think it would be a huge seller.

But....it is not competitive with entry level luxury cars which beat the ILX handily in terms of styling, interior design, a sense of distinctiveness and an overall feeling of luxury. Few luxury buyers are likely to look at a car that looks like an economy compact---the Civic on which the ILX is based.

For 2016, the new generation Civic looks just like the Acura ILX except the Civic has a more sleek fastback roofline.

The ILX interior has a number of hard surfaces and the interior seat material is at best so-so. And the side pockets on the doors are virtually useless with not enough room to put your hand inside to stash something.
Stacked with Driver and Passenger Dual Stage Airbags, Side Airbags, Side Curtain Airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist, Anti-Lock Braking System, Tire Pressure Monitoring, LATCH, Rearview Camera. This car has the usual stuff like antilock brakes, stability control and traction control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, and active front head restraints, and you also have a standard rearview camera system as well.
Acura Navigation System /w Voice Recognition and Multi View Rear Camera, Acura-link Communication with Real-Time Traffic. Acura ELS with a kick 10 speakers, and AM/FM/CD, GPS Linked Dual Zone Climate Control with Air Filtration System - nice!, Hard Disc Drive. ACURA WATCH PACKAGE includes Adaptive cruise control, Lane keeping assist, Lane departure warning, Forward collision mitigation system, Road Departure mitigation and Color Meter Display Screen. If you want one, you do have a wide selection of trims from which to choose. You have base, AcuraWatch Plus Package, Premium package, A-Spec Package, Premium and A-Spec package, and Technology Plus package. They are admittedly confusing, and I think Acura would do well to use model names instead of package names between variations.

If you get the base model, you will get sunroof, 17" wheels, automatic LED headlights, Keyless ignition and entry, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, leatherette upholstery eight way power driver seat, heated front seats, a fold down rear seatback, dual zone automatic climate control, a five inch information active rear view camera system, a Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six speaker sound system with a CD player, USB/iPod audio interface and Pandora radio and SIRI Eyes Free smartphone app integration.

The AcuraWatch Plus package includes additionally a forward collision warning system, adaptive cruse control, lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, and a lane keeping assist system, frontal collision mitigation system that has automatic braking.

You won't get the Acura Watch Plus package with the Premium Package, but you will get blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alerts, leather front seats, a four way power passenger seat, driver memory settings, automatic dimming rearview mirror, an eight inch upper information display instead of a five inch screen, among other things.
Aesthetics & Styling
This Acura sports car is most attractive, especially in the crystal black and dark, rich luster colors, but there is not enough design on the interior to compete with its rivals. Still looking too much like a Honda. There's a need to differentiate this model furthert, like leather seats, a more handsome dash, less plastic, etc. If Honda wants to market this car as a luxury model, it must first give the car its own look. Acura also needs to give the car interior a dramatic upgrade. There are a few Acura details inside like a nicely contoured dashboard with metal accents, but it still looks like a Honda.
4 years/50,000 miles Basic Warranty. 6 years/70,000 miles Powertrain Warranty 48 months, 50,000 miles basic warranty, 72 months/70,000 miles powertrain warranty.