About 10 years ago, a reality show called The Swan took dowdy women, gave them boobs and cheekbones and botox, thus turning them into eye-catching beauties. Never mind that they were perennially insecure and couldn’t walk in heels — they looked good and that made for good TV.
The 2016 Acura ILX compact luxury sedan is the beneficiary of a Swan–like transformation. The ILX started life as a forgettable, warmed-over Honda Civic in 2013, but has become something of a looker for 2016, thanks to a nose job that blessed it with classy grille, LED headlamps and a butt-lift that gives it new more LEDs out back and sculpted bumper.
To be fair to the ILX, however, it can definitely walk in heels, so to speak.
A snappier suspension sharpens its handling (especially in new A-spec trim) while a more powerful four-cylinder and an eight-speed automatic transmission breathe new life into its engine bay whilst raising fuel economy. The interior has received welcome upgrades in material quality and technology features, too, though not much in terms of design changes.
Best of all, prices remain attractive, with base models starting under $29K and loaded models rising up into the mid-$30K range. As a result of all these measures, the ILX’ confidence rises higher than any of those wobbly, insecure beauty queens ever had when they walked out from behind the Swan curtain for the first time. Now let’s see if anyone notices.
2016 Acura ILX
Base Price: $28,820
Power: 2.4-liter four-cylinder (201 hp, 180 lb-ft of torque)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Fuel Economy, city/hwy mpg (EPA est): 25/36
Or you could buy:
Volkswagen Jetta GLI