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Acura loads new ILX with advanced tech, confusing interface (pictures)

Acura's entry level ILX model gets a full suite of driver assistance tech and standard LED headlights, but its infotainment system creates confusion.

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Wayne_Cunningham.jpg
Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
2016 Acura ILX
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Acura's relatively recent ILX model marks a low-cost entrant to the premium car segment.

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Acura makes its Jewel-Eye LED headlights standard on the ILX.

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Styling echoes the larger Acura car lineup.

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This 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine uses direct injection to produce 201 horsepower.

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The small sedan's body shows off a modern design.

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These wheels come as part of the A-Spec package.

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Like its platform-mate the Honda Civic, the ILX is a front-wheel-drive car.

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Trunk volume is rated at 12.3 cubic feet, about average for a compact car.

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At a little over 15 feet long, the ILX offers easy parking in an urban environment.

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In keeping with its premium aspirations, the front seats are power adjustable.

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Cabin materials are soft plastics and thin metal trim pieces.

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Rear seating will prove a little cramped for adults.

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With the Technology Plus package, the ILX comes with navigation.

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Electric power steering is well-tuned for a natural feel.

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The instrument cluster display shows many of the driver assistance functions.

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Acura fits the ILX with a newly developed eight-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission.

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The rear-view camera includes active trajectory lines.

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Acura litters the steering wheel with buttons.

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The navigation system shows maps in plan or perspective views.

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Although it doesn't show online destination search on the main menu, Aha app integration offers some level of search.

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The lower touchscreen shows limited phone, audio and destination information and control.

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The upper screen also shows phone information.

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The lower touchscreen defaults to an audio display and controls.

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You can choose an audio source from the touchscreen.

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You can also choose the audio source from the upper LCD.

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Impressively, you can view a Bluetooth-paired iPhone's music library on the upper LCD.

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The play screen shows a list of songs in the queue.

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Satellite radio is also available.

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The ELS audio system offers excellent clarity.

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The DTS Neural Surround setting adds robust sound.

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The ILX tackles the premium segment with many tech goodies, but a noisy cabin lets it down.

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