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Acura Integra 2023 Review: The Comeback of a Legendary Car

Image Source: Karolis Kavolelis / Shutterstock
The Acura ILX was a staple in Acura’s lineup for approximately a decade, but it never quite captured our imagination like Acura’s original compact model, the iconic Integra. The Integra was a fantasy for numerous young car enthusiasts in the late 80s and through the 90s, and now it’s making a return. Acura has resurrected the Integra, but does it reignite the excitement from the Integras of the past?

Upon the reveal of the 2023 Integra, fans were quick to dismiss it, claiming it’s merely a jazzed-up Honda Civic. However, the reality is that’s precisely what the Integra has always been. While the much-adored Integra Type R existed, the other trims were essentially sportier and more lavish renditions of the Civic with added flair.
Acura has continued that approach with the new Integra, which shares its foundation with the Civic. However, it stands out by adopting the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine from the Civic Si, furnishing it with 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. Although this is fewer horses than what the Volkswagen GTI offers, the power is plentiful. The engine is highly responsive, making the Integra a blast to drive on winding roads. For those seeking more power, Acura has already confirmed the 2024 Integra Type S, anticipated to share similarities with the Honda Civic Type R.
As Honda has declined to produce a Civic Si hatchback, the Integra is an ideal choice for Civic Si enthusiasts seeking the versatility of a hatchback. While the Integra borrows heavily from the Civic Si, it comes with elevated standard features and a refined driving experience. Another point of disparity between the Civic Si and Integra is the transmission. The Civic Si solely offers a six-speed manual, while the Integra provides a choice between a six-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission. Nonetheless, the manual is solely available on the top-tier Integra A-Spec with Technology Package. Yet, the good news is that the CVT will appeal to Civic Si buyers desiring an automatic since the Civic Si is strictly manual. The manual transmission also incorporates automatic rev-matching.
Although the Integra shares many traits with the Civic Si, it possesses adaptive dampers not found on the Civic. The Comfort and Normal modes deliver a smoother ride than the Honda, while the Sport mode firms up the dampers to enhance handling on curvy roads. Even in Sport mode, the ride remains comfortable. The Integra’s steering is commendable, offering quick response with sufficient feedback.
Externally, the Integra diverges from the Civic, while internally, you’ll notice some carried-over features from the Acura, like its air vents and infotainment system. The Integra comes equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen requiring a wired connection for smartphone use. The upgraded infotainment system features a 9-inch touchscreen supporting wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Integra also includes a standard 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster.
The interior boasts higher-quality materials than the Civic, with heated seats as standard. There’s ample space for passengers, and with its hatchback configuration, the Integra offers 24.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity. The rear seats fold down for more storage space if necessary.
On the safety front, the Integra comes loaded with all the active and passive safety features one would expect, such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, and lane-departure warning. Sadly, the manual transmission does not enable the adaptive cruise control’s use at low speeds.
The starting price for the 2023 Acura Integra is $32,495, with three trim levels available: base, A-Spec, and A-Spec with Technology Package.
The reintroduction of the Integra propels Acura back into the limelight for buyers seeking a sporty and luxurious compact vehicle. It encapsulates the best elements of the Civic while presenting them in a more stylish exterior and a premium interior. The anticipation for the arrival of the Integra Type S this summer is high.
Image Source: Karolis Kavolelis / Shutterstock

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