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Acura ILX tackles premium segment with self-driving techAcura's smallest car makes a bid for premium status with high-tech driver assistance features. But it's let down by a confusing infotainment interface and noisy cabin.
[MUSIC] For a century luxury automakers have been putting big engines in their cars and natural materials like wood, metal, and leather in the cabin. But now there's this idea that city dwellers want a smaller luxury car. [MUSIC] Acura's answer to this question is the 2016 ILX. Now, this is the smallest car wearing an Acura badge and it's based on the Civic platform and that's not a bad thing. It's got a relatively small engine and instead of old growth timber and [INAUDIBLE] in the cabin, Acura tries to make this a premium or luxury car with high-tech features. For example, Accura fits ILX with these LED headlights. Now that's a standard feature not an option. Tha's not something you really see in the compact segment. [MUSIC] The cabin of this Accura ILX feels kind of like a high trim standard car, rather than a luxury car, a premium car. We do have soft touch materials on the dashboard. There's nice metallic trim here, no wood of course, and suede seats here. In the console here, I've got the eight speed, dual clutch, automated, manual transmission. Now that's one of the high-tech features that puts us in that premium category. I've got my standard parts. Reverse. Neutral. Drive. And it's sport mode. Plus I've got paddles on the steering wheel here, now we'll get to how that works in a minute. I've got my infotainment center in the dashboard here, or here, or, well I've got two screens and a set of buttons, a very confusing system. So I push one of these buttons down here, doesn't do anything to this screen, it does something in the screen up here. These buttons control this screen. Touch-screen is in the middle of it all and has no relation to any of these things. Another example of bad design here. I'm looking at my audio control screen here, I've got satellite radio up right now, I can choose different stations. That's cool. I push this audio button here, and I get another screen for Or my audio source, my audio control up here which I can control with this. So which one do I use? And they're totally different formats too which, it just, I mean that's just bad design. I've got a decent navigation system here. Hard drive based, so the maps load pretty quickly. Live traffic, and it'll route around traffic jams. So that's good. Hands-free phone system that's hooked up to my phone through Bluetooth. Audio sources, I can choose that from this screen here, or this screen here. Each HD FM. I've got a hard disc which I can store music on, a USB port for iOS devices and drives, Bluetooth audio, Pandora, and Aha for my app connectivity. Another example. On the instrument poster here I've got a display and I've got a green label that says LKAS. That stands for Lane Keeping Assistance System. That's one of the high-tech features of this car. So it's green Should tell me it's on, but I have to push this button ont he steering wheel, it lights up these little lane lines on the display and that actually means it's on. Then I have to have a button on the left hand side down here, that's the road departure mitigation system. It's a different system but kind of similar and so these buttons are all over the place with different labels I'd really have to read the manual to understand how to work this at all. Under the hood we have a 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder engine that's driving the front wheels. This engine has direct injection which is a nice pice of modern efficient technology. But we only get 201 horsepower, 180 pound-feet of torque out of this engine. So not hugely powerful. Fuel economy comes in at about 25 miles per gallon city, 35 miles per gallon highway. Average is gonna be about 30 miles per gallon. Not bad. Now there's no idle stop feature on this car, and that might save some fuel. The switch in here is pretty comfortable. Acura does A good job with that. Both are pretty stable in the corners when you're pushing at it a bit. But one thing I notice is a lot of engine noise here, a lot of sound in the cabin. And that just tells me that Acura didn't really put a lot of sound dampening material here, which is kind of a shame because it really brings down the apparent quality of the car, the ride quality of the car. One thing I do get though that is premium are a lot of driver assistance features. I've got a blind spot monitor system, so that flashes little icons in the side mirrors if there are cars in my blind spot to either side. That's nice feature to have. And with that lane keeping assistance, this is what I pointed out earlier, this car will actually recognize the lane lines and it'll actually turn the wheel a bit under my hand So does some of the work of keeping the car in its lane. But it is very close to being a self driving car. The base price for this model goes fro $28,820 that's with destination. [UNKNOWN] Individual options. This car, with the technology plus package, and with the A-SPEC package, that puts it at 35,810 dollars with destination. Now the cabin tech in this model is not nearly as good as an Audi 83 a competitive compact luxury model, but the driver assistance features are really good. The cabin is a bit noisy though and that's what really keeps this car from hitting that luxury or premium kind of level.