The Acura ILX had been a steady fixture in Acura’s lineup for approximately 10 years. Yet, it never truly delighted us in the way Acura’s initial compact model, the renowned Integra, did. The Integra was the aspiration for numerous budding car enthusiasts from the late 80s through the 90s, and it is now back. Acura has resurrected the Integra. However, does it bring back the exuberance of the Integras from the past?
Upon the unveiling of the 2023 Integra, enthusiasts swiftly discredited it, asserting that it’s simply an enhanced Honda Civic. Nevertheless, the reality is that this is exactly what the Integra always epitomized. Yes, there’s the much-admired Integra Type R, but the other trims were essentially spunkier and more opulent versions of the Civic imbued with more panache.
Acura has perpetuated that approach with the new Integra, which is grounded on the same platform as the Civic. However, it distinguishes itself by borrowing its turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder from the Civic Si, signifying that it boasts 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque on tap. Even though it delivers less horsepower than the Volkswagen GTI, there’s still ample power here. The engine is supremely responsive, rendering the Integra a delight to unleash on a rural road. For buyers seeking more potency, Acura has already affirmed the 2024 Integra Type S, anticipated to share its lineage with the Honda Civic Type R.
Owing to Honda’s refusal to manufacture a Civic Si hatchback, the Integra is ideal for Civic Si devotees desiring the versatility of a hatchback. The Integra adopts much from the Civic Si but arrives with more standard equipment and a more sophisticated driving experience.
There’s also another distinction between the Civic Si and Integra – the transmission. The Civic Si is solely accessible with a six-speed manual, while the Integra offers either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission. The sole caveat is that the manual is solely offered on the top-notch Integra A-Spec with Technology Package. Luckily, the CVT will appeal to Civic Si buyers preferring an automatic transmission, considering the manual option is exclusive to the Civic Si. The manual also includes automatic rev-matching.
Although the Integra shares much of its DNA with the Civic Si, it does feature adaptive dampers, a feature absent in the Civic. The Comfort and Normal modes bestow a smoother ride compared to the Honda, while the Sport mode stiffens the dampers to facilitate tackling the bends. Even in Sport mode, the ride is never severe. The Integra’s steering is also exceptional, being nimble with a commendable amount of feedback.
Externally, the Integra varies from the Civic, yet internally, you’ll observe some traits inherited from the Acura, such as its air vents and infotainment system. The Integra is equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen as standard that necessitates a wire connection for your smartphone. The upgraded infotainment system features a 9-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Integra also comes standard with a 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster.
The cabin is enveloped in superior quality materials than the Civic, and heated seats are provided as standard. There’s also an abundance of room for your companions, and thanks to its hatchback layout, there’s 24.3 cubic feet of cargo space. The rear seats can also fold if you require additional space.
On the safety front, the Integra arrives with all the active and passive safety features you’d anticipate, including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, and lane-departure warning. Unfortunately, the manual transmission doesn’t allow for low-speed use of the adaptive cruise control.
The pricing for the 2023 Acura Integra commences at $32,495. The 2023 Integra will be obtainable in three trim levels: base, A-Spec, and A-Spec with Technology Package.
The revival of the Integra reinstates Acura as a contender for purchasers seeking a sporty and deluxe compact car. It amalgamates all the aspects we love about the Civic and cloaks it in a more fashionable exterior with a more deluxe interior. Now, we eagerly await the arrival of the Integra Type S this summer.
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