2016 Acura ILX-04

Acura has unveiled the Honda Civic-based 2016 Acura ILX at the 2014 LA Auto Show. Honda’s luxury brand’s smallest car gets revised styling, standard Jewel Eye LED headlights, upgraded interior materials, new kit and improvements to cabin quietness, handling and collision safety.

But the big news is under the hood, where all ILX variants now get a new 2.4 litre direct injection engine. The DOHC i-VTEC motor – which produces 201 hp at 6,800 rpm and 243 Nm of torque at 3,600 rpm – is paired to an eight-speed DCT, the world’s first dual-clutch transmission with a torque converter.

Acura promises “incredibly quick, crisp and intuitive gear changes, including rev-matching down shifts” and “smoother, more powerful launches that other DCTs cannot match.”

2016 Acura ILX-06

With the 2.4L DCT combo from the bigger 2015 Acura TLX now spread across the board, out goes the old entry-level 2.0 litre four-pot and five-speed auto combo, along with the six-speed manual gearbox paired to the old 2.4L motor. Any death of a Honda manual is to be mourned, even if we didn’t know this particular stick shift in person.

Acura has added noise-insulating materials, a thicker front-side door glass, noise attenuating wheels and Active Noise Control tech to the FB Civic-based ILX. Steering responsiveness and linearity is also improved via retuned suspension and chassis design enhancements.

The 2016 ILX has six available grades (double the previous three), including the Premium Package and the range-topping Technology Plus Package.

2016 Acura ILX-09

The sporty new A-Spec package, available in conjunction with the above two, adds side sill garnish, trunk spoiler, front fog lights and 18-inch, 10-spoke machined alloys with gloss black insets. Inside the all-black cabin, it has red instrument illumination, grey stitching and aluminum pedals.

All models can now be equipped with AcuraWatch, a suite of safety and driver assistive technologies that includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist System, Road Departure Mitigation and enhanced Collision Mitigation Braking System with pedestrian sensing capability.

The Acura ILX goes up against the Audi A3 Sedan and Mercedes-Benz CLA in the American market.