Acura Integra 2023 Review: Exactly What It Should Have Been

Integra likes a good valley road.

To revive the Integra name, Acura is offering fans the opportunity to compare the new hatchback with its predecessor. And while negative Nancys continues to focus on the fact that this new car isn’t a direct successor to the high-performance, low-volume Type-R, the reality is that the 2023 Integra should be exactly that.

2023 Acura Integra

The Integra shares most of the frame with the Honda Civic Si, and the similarities are based entirely on Acura’s history. Integras has always emphasized the Civic, and the new car is essentially a Si hatchback that Honda doesn’t offer, with higher equipment standards and a more sophisticated driving ethic. Most importantly, the 2023 Integra is a more attractive entry point into the Acura lineup than the faded old ILX.

Sharing the foundation with the Civic Si, the Integra uses a turbocharged 1.5-liter I4 engine, producing 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque, just like the Honda. Unlike the Si, the Integra comes standard with a continuously variable automatic transmission, but is also equipped with a six-speed manual. Oddly enough, you can only get sticks over the Integra A-Spec with the tech pack, but Acura says that’s good news because more than half of all Integra pre-orders are selected this way.

The CVT definitely opened up the Integra to more customers than the manual-only Civic Si, but it definitely killed off some of the fun factor of the Acura. The Integra would be a great car for first-time manual drivers. The clutch light has a clear pick-up point and the stick itself has a short throw with a solid bond. Like the Si, the Integra also comes standard with a matching tachometer, making the manual more tolerant and easier to use when driving around town or in heavy traffic. Yes, you can disable this feature, but I really don’t want that. The traffic jams in Los Angeles are a real test of your daily ability to work safe shifts, and the Integra doesn’t tire easily.

Apart from the transmission, the A-Spec/Tech Integra model comes with adaptive dampers, which may explain why Honda removed it from the Civic Si. (Should we abandon some of the Acura-specific features?) The Integra’s Comfort and Normal settings offer a more comfortable ride than the Civic, while the Sport significantly strengthens the dampers to provide firmer cornering characteristics without undue roughness.

The Integra’s heavy steering is a pleasure to use. There are many opinions about how responsive it is and how much grip you can use on the road surface. The base car uses 17-inch wheels, while the A-Spec and A-Spec/Tech models sport 18 with 235/40 Continental ProContact all-season tires, and the larger 19 is available through the Acura accessory catalog. However, you can’t buy an Integra with factory high performance tires. That’s a bit odd, especially considering that Honda is selling a Civic Si with Eagle F1 summer tires for just $200.

The A-Spec model has 18-inch wheels, but some summer tires would be fine.

Regardless of style, Acura equips the Ingra with active and passive safety technologies, including adaptive cruise control, lane guard assistance, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and more. However, the shift stick does not allow the use of low-speed adaptive cruise control. In other words, Acura’s Traffic Jam Assist is a prohibited feature on A-Spec/Tech manual vehicles.

The A-Spec/Tech model, on the other hand, comes with a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system and runs a software relay version of the Civic Si. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wireless, USB-A and USB-C ports, and a charging pad are standard. The regular and regular A-Spec Integras will switch to a 7-inch touchscreen compatible with wired smartphones, but you’ll find a 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster regardless of the model, but colors and graphics are a bit lacking compared to the two systems. . Luxury brand competition. (Audi virtual cockpit for victory).

The Integra’s interior is a copy of the Civic, with a much wider color range and only slightly higher quality materials. My A-Spec/Tech tester had leather seats with micro suede inserts, but the rear seats are definitely cheaper to rent, since only the front seats use that fabric. Overall, the Integra comes with heated front seats and the omission of the other odd Civic Si, which could give the Acura a more upscale look.

There’s a lot of Civic in the Integra, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Thanks to the hatchback body design, the Integra is more cargo-only than the Civic Si sedan with 24.3 cubic feet of luggage space. The rear seats fold flat for additional storage, but the height above the rear bumper is too high to accommodate large items. Boxer competitors like the Volkswagen Golf GTI are much easier to pack.

Why file a quick complaint about the soapbox? Where’s the back room? Acura says the design of the Integra fastback is stained enough to wash water off the windshield when driving with air moving over the surface. But that doesn’t help when you’re backing out of your driveway and want to wipe off the morning dew or last night’s rain. Any additional drag caused by the wipers, of course, does not affect the design or fuel economy. The Honda Civic hatchback has rear wipers.

The base Integra starts at $31,895, including $1,095 for destinations, while the top A-Spec/Tech costs $36,895 whether you opt for the CVT or manual transmission. It’s much more comfortable, fun and saves nearly $3,000 compared to a loaded Volkswagen Golf GTI, which is thousands of dollars cheaper than cars like the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, even if the competitors are more luxurious. in.

The Integra looks great and the hatchback design is very practical.

However, while the Integra looks a lot more valuable than other luxury compacts, the tougher comparison is the Civic Si. Despite the added luxury and functionality for each A-Spec/Tech, I’m not sure if it’s worth the $8,000-pump Si for summer tires. And if you don’t look at Acura in terms of performance, it’s hard to ignore the well-designed Civic Sport Touring hatchback ($31,145 on purpose) or the turbocharged Mazda3 ($32,915) as basic and mid-range alternatives. integral.

But the 2023 Integra is a great car. It offers peace of mind along with Honda/Acura’s reputation for solid powertrains, good road behavior, rich technology and excellent build quality and overall longevity. Even if the inescapable hypo S-Type is something we’ll aspire to in the future, it’s an apt representation of the previous Integra.

2023 Acura Integra

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