2016 Acura ILX
When the Acura ILX arrived for 2013, even we had a hard time not dwelling too much on its civic-minded origins. Fortunately for Acura, the ILX did appeal to buyers; more importantly, to that holy grail of demographics, elusive younger buyers. So, let’s see if that group might find a new ILX even more appealing.
While the 2016 Acura ILX is not all-new, as far as mid-cycle re-freshing goes, this one is quite thorough.
Now assembled in Honda’s Marysville, Ohio plant right alongside the recently introduced mid-size TLX. And, much like it, the compact ILX takes the majority of its design cues from Acura’s flagship RLX, yet also adds enough sporty elements to keep those 20 and 30-somethings interested.
So understandably Acura’s Jewel-Eye headlights are now standard; as well as an aggressive looking front fascia with large air intakes down below.
ILX wheelbase is unchanged at 105.1-inches, as are most exterior dimensions, save for overall length which grows by almost 3-inches. A-SPEC trim adds a rear spoiler, sweet-looking 10-spoke 18-inch machined-finished alloy wheels with 225/40 tires, fog lights, and some tacked-on rocker trim.
Inside, it augments the seats with Luxe-suede coverings, and adds sport pedals to what has become a very roomy and increasingly premium feeling interior. Other highlights include adopting the familiar Honda/Acura dual screen center stack, and making a multitude of additional AcuraWatch radar and camera-based safety systems, like Collision Mitigation and Lane Keeping, available.
Push button ignition and a Multi-View rear camera are standard. The Tech Plus package adds navigation with AcuraLink, as well as a color Multi-Information Display in the sporty looking gauge panel and 415-watt ELS premium audio with 10-speakers.
The front seating area is indeed spacious, and surprisingly luxurious in feel; very reminiscent of the TLX and RLX. The seats are quite comfortable in back as well; but head and knee room are both insufficient for full-size adults. Cargo space is unchanged at 12.3 cubic-ft. and the area is well-finished.
A folding rear seatback is standard, but it’s a single piece, not split; and the only release is located in the trunk. It’s probably the only remaining real reminder of this ride’s economy car roots.
Perhaps because of the shorter attention span of all of those younger buyers, engine options have been simplified; with now just a 2.4-liter I4 available. The direct-injected piece outputs 201–horsepower and 180 lb-ft. of torque. Gone, are the base 2.0-liter I4 and, at least for now, the ILX Hybrid.
Attached to the 2.4 is an 8-speed DCT, but unlike most dual-clutch units; there’s a slushbox-style torque converter to maintain the feel of a traditional automatic, particularly when accelerating from a stop.
Most of our drivers had good things to say about the trans, and the overall surprisingly sporty driving experience as well; though like many 8-speeds, it can at times be in a hurry to find higher gears.
Of course you can learn a lot more about a car on the track, and here we were equally impressed with how nicely the ILX handled our slalom test. Accurate turn-ins without a peep of understeer, and a well-balanced chassis had us scooting through the cones with ease.
The body structure has been stiffened; and the MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear suspension re-tuned.
But, there’s not really enough power to get you into too much trouble; as we found out when doing straight-line runs.
It took us a leisurely - for a sporty sedan - 7.1-seconds to hit 60, and 14.7 to finish out the ¼ at 93 miles-per-hour. There was zero torque steer at launch, and not a lot of grunt either. But the engine does rev quickly, and like most 4’s pulls strongest in the upper rev ranges. Shifts were quick and firm.
Braking from 60 averaged a good 121-feet. Stability was excellent and fade minimal.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 25-City, 36-Highway, and 29-Combined. We averaged a very good 31.6 miles-per-gallon on Premium fuel. So, the Energy Impact Score is much better than average with 11.4-barrels of oil ingested yearly, while expelling 5.0-tons of CO2.
Pricing for the ILX starts at a very sensible $28,820. And even the top line A-SPECs starts at just $35,810.
It’s an unfortunate truism that the more successful you become, the harder it is to become more successful. But we think Acura is certainly heading in a great direction now. And injecting the 2016 Acura ILX with both more performance and more prestige will ensure that it not only stays appealing to those hip, young trendsetters, but it will become a whole lot more appealing to a broader spectrum of sport-luxury sedan buyers.
- Engine: 2.4 liter
- Horsepower: 201
- Torque: 180 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 7.1 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 14.7 seconds @ 93 mph
- EPA: 25 mpg city/ 36 mpg highway
- Energy Impact: 11.4 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 5.0 tons/yr
2023 BMW X7
Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More
While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.
When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.
There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…
…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.
Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.
The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.
At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!
New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.
In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.
There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.
Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.
It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.
- Engine: I-6
- Horsepower: 375
- 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 398 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
- EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined