Brilliant price and performance strategy slated for 2016 Acura ILX
Acura's portal car ILX has floundered in the shadow of upstart sibling TLX, as has the balance of Acura’s car line-up. In an era of post- recession recovery, car and truck sales in the U.S. continue to rebound as consumers regain confidence lost with retirement savings and melted home market value. ILX sales, not so much so.
Acura has regained a performance sedan foothold with 2015 TLX. Torque News asks the question: Can ILX be “refreshed” to the point of price point and performance domination in the pocket-class entry level performance sedan sector?
Why 2015 Acura ILX fails to excite
2015 Acura ILX is not a bad car, it’s just a little too similar to its best selling cousin Honda Civic, once again named to Edmond’s “best value” list for 2014. According to Edmunds, Civic leads the automotive industry in properly priced standard featured performance, class leading fuel economy and upgraded interior ergonomics. Civic goes one on one with with Accord, with the highest retained residual and long term tangible ownership satisfaction. There’s also that Honda-Link “pinch and swipe” infotainment dash monitor, Acura ILX doesn’t offer it.
I’ve driven and reported on Civic Si and 2015 Acura ILX, arguably ILX is the superior choice for interior quiet, ergonomic refinement, ride and road handling characteristics. I find ILX in its present form to be subtly pleasing to the eye, pure Acura.
TLX sales push ILX to the backlot
As they say, ‘the public has spoken’: October 2014 sales of ILX were down several hundred units from the month before. I believe ILX sales were lost to the 2015 TLX i-4 with P-AWS. With current lease incentives, a beginning MSRP($30,995) lower than ILX with Premium Package, greater horsepower and torque, 8 speed automated manual transmission with paddle shifters and power assisted all-wheel-steer, buyers have little to no reason to purchase ILX in its present manifestation.
Underpowered and overpriced for the segment
2015 Acura ILX is a good car; it’s not a great car and there lies the problem. I drove ILX and found it to be a bit to Civic-ish in look and overall driving experience. That’s not what young Acura enthusiasts are looking for in an Audi 3 sized 4 door performance sled. It does slam the Europeans in price and standard accoutrements but lacks in fuel economy, horsepower transmission technology and panache.
Acura will hold the price on 2016 ILX while adding standard features and performance
Honda did it with CR-V taking the # 1 selling SUV in North America to new record sales while holding the $ bottom line; as goes Honda so goes Acura.
I predict that 2016 Acura ILX will feature a higher standard horsepower(180+) and midrange torque, a CVT transmission with paddle shifters and power assisted all wheel steering (P-AWS). I further predict that Acura’s dual stage inducted 206 hp 192-lb-ft torque i-4 as found in TLX will power the top of the line offering with improved fuel economy optioned through CVT technology.
While an 2016 Acura ILX-S replacing the TSX would be nice, I don’t anticipate that happening in the near term. What happened to ILX Hybrid?
I’ll be reporting live from the Los Angeles Auto Show, Nov 19-20 on Honda HR-V and Acura ILX, thanks for reading.