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Acura has performed an extensive midcycle update to its ILX gateway model packing in a new drivetrain, styling, features and a sportier A-Spec model.
Previously, the ILX offered a 2.0-liter I4 with 150 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque as a base engine, which was mated to five-speed automatic transmission. Those looking for more power had the option of a 2.4-liter I4 with 201 hp and six-speed manual drivetrain combination. For 2016, the direct-injected 2.4-liter I4 from the TLX is transplanted into the ILX making 201 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque and serves as the sole engine option now and is bolted to Acura’s in-house developed eight-speed dual-clutch sequential manual. Some may notice the ILX engine is down 5 hp compared to the TLX, which is because of exhaust system differences.
Chassis improvements come in the form of additional body bracing that ups torsional rigidity by 12 percent, updated shock absorbers and springs, firmer suspension bushings, thicker rear antiroll bar, retuned steering system for a more direct response and upsized brakes all around.
If you’re looking for an entry-level sports sedan, you’ll definitely want to consider the 2016 ILX now. The new drivetrain has done wonders for Acura’s gateway vehicle, giving it adequate muscle to make a stand against the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA. The engine is potent and is definitely a throwback to Honda/Acura four-cylinders of old that once powered vehicles like the Acura Integra and Honda Prelude.
Handling will also remind you a little of the brand’s sportier performers from the past, which should be music to a Honda/Acura fan’s ears.