2016 Acura ILX Comfortable, features-packed sedan should boost carmaker’s stock in entry-level luxury field

One of the first things you will notice about the exterior design of the 2016 Acura ILX is the Jewel Eye Light Emitting Diode headlights.

The now familiar delta-like Acura grill is flanked by two sets of five LED headlight clusters. This treatment improves the look of the entire car. The updated design elements of the 2016 Acura ILX are refreshing. They give the entry-level luxury car a fresh and crisp look. The chrome accents about the car are tastefully placed adding just enough bling.

I loved the low stance of the ILX. It gave it a sportier look and feel behind the wheel. The driving position was on point. Steering is nicely weighted. It was smooth but provided enough gravity and feel to inspire confidence.

The front seats felt great and were supportive under intensive lateral maneuvers. Suede inserts are not only stylish, but give great touch points.

The eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission was precise. It was also smooth off the line due to the addition of a torque converter. Acceleration felt strong and was spirited from standing starts. Only light throttle is needed at 1,500 rpm in fourth gear for solid propulsion in most driving conditions and environments. Braking was strong and smooth enough to place it on par with its competitors.

Several new entry-level luxury models have been introduced over the past three years. The 2016 Acura ILX not only meets this competition, but surpasses them in many ways. I thoroughly enjoyed my test and can’t wait to test the ILX turbo. What ... too soon Acura?! Well, let us hope that Acura has plans to offer a beefed up version of its lovely turbo charged four-cylinder in the ILX.

Until then, if you are looking for an entry-level luxury model that is comfy, can perform, is packed with features and is a true value; the 2016 Acura ILX could be your next mule.

Larry Cornwell is an automotive journalist based in the Charlotte area.