2023 Acura Integra Aims to Defeat Doubters

  • The Integra returns to the Acura lineup for the first time since 2001.
  • Higher trim levels offer a six-speed manual transmission, head-up display and wireless charging.
  • The chassis and drivetrain are shared with the Honda Civic Si but with Acura-specific suspension tuning.

    There is always a risk in bringing back a popular nameplate. Nostalgia imbues previous models with superpowers, and modern versions may pale in comparison. We’ll (mostly) leave the arguments about Integras of the past to those of you in the comments, and instead focus on how the 2023 Acura Integra stands up to the 2022 ILX – which it replaces as a Acura’s small car offering – and against the Honda Civic, with which it shares its engine and underpinnings.

    Acura took a slow rollout on the Integra’s unveiling, first showing the exterior in prototype form in a flashy Indy Yellow Pearl paint job with silly graphics, then unwittingly allowing a glimpse of the interior at the 24 Hours of Daytona. We finally got the chance to see several production models up close. While it may not match the rosy memories of hardcore fans, it’s a definite step up from the ILX – which we felt lacked options and amenities – and an attractive alternative. to the Civic Si. Our display models were all top of the line, the A-Spec model with technology package, currently the highest bid on the Integra. Reps would neither confirm nor deny the possibility of an Integra Type R or Type S in the future.

    Elana ScherCar and driver

    All Integras come with the same 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four from the Civic Si. Acura made no changes to this powertrain other than an Acura badge on the breather cover. The engine produces the same 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque as in the Si, but it sounds different thanks to an exhaust setup that adds a swirl of cinnamon piping just before the exhaust tips. This effectively lengthens the tubes and results in a deeper exhaust note: not quite the bassoon, say English horn rather than the angular oboe of most four-cylinders.

    The engine is backed by a standard CVT automatic with programmed ‘shifts’ and paddle shifters so you can pretend you’re in control. If you want to shift for real, upgrade to A-Spec and choose the 6-speed manual transmission, which also comes with a limited-slip differential. The Manual isn’t available in the base trim level, as Acura believes enthusiasts looking to step up a gear will also want features like a head-up display and wireless smartphone integration, only available with technology package. All trim levels get three drive modes, but the tech pack adds an individual mode that allows some customization of steering feel and throttle response, plus adaptive dampers that aren’t available on the Civic Si.

    Design-wise, the Integra is more dramatic than the outgoing Civic or ILX, with a sharp mohawk of a hoodline and a narrow row of LED headlights accented by a slash of running lights that ‘Acura calls it “the Chicane”. The pronounced crease of the headlights is a repeating feature on the side of the car, where the body lines angle before projecting into the rear wheel arch and quarter window, giving the Integra a slanted look. The front features an embossed Integra logo below the headlights as a nod to popular third-generation models, and it could be argued that the multi-bulb lights themselves are reminiscent of quad-headlight “spider eyes.” from the 1994 redesign. . But the rear angle is probably the closest to a historic feature, with a long rear window and a trunk lid that drops down between the taillights.

    Even so, if you’re looking for a throwback, you won’t find it in the 2023 model. “We didn’t want to make a retro car,” says Acura senior product planner Jonathon Rivers. “We wanted to imagine that the Integra never left the line. Where would it be in a modern version? Rivers says he doesn’t see Integra as a competitor to Civic, but as the next step in Civic Si features and technology. “There isn’t a single sheet metal panel shared between Civic and Integra, and there are options available on Integra that you can’t even get on Civic Si,” he says, pointing to the interior’s 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster, heated seats with memory function and audio system. 12-speaker ELS.

    Inside, the Integra is spacious and pleasant to the touch. The layout is similar to the Civic, with a wide console housing the shifter and storage leading to a dash-mounted touchscreen. But the Integra’s dash is terraced for added visual interest, and the mesh trim inserts are a diamond pattern rather than the honeycomb pattern found in the Honda. While the A-Spec package mostly includes exterior changes like gloss black window trim and 18-inch alloy wheels, the tech package adds wireless charging, ambient lighting and a 9.0″ touchscreen. 0 inch to replace the 7.0 inch base. screen.

    Acura does some nice things with the interior materials, and the synthetic leather with microsuede inserts – another upgrade to the tech package – is so soft you’ll want to keep stroking it. We wouldn’t recommend it in the White Orchid interior. In fact, we wouldn’t recommend a white microsuede interior at all, but if you opt for the black or red color options, your dirty hand marks won’t show up so quickly.

    The seats are comfortably bolstered, with plenty of legroom front and rear. Tall drivers might feel the speakers mounted at noggin height above the door opening and the slight loss of space for the standard sunroof, but the rest of us can just put on our jams and enjoy the well-lit interior. The rear seats are also attractive and fold flat in a 60/40 split. The hatchback design and generous cargo area offer plenty of space for luggage or even large, bulky items like a stroller.

    Elana ScherCar and driver

    Acura hasn’t released fuel economy figures, and while the engine and transmission are the same as the Civic, the Integra’s weight and transmission tuning changes will likely result in a level of different thirst. Still, it’s safe to assume something in the range of the Civic Si’s EPA-estimated 31 mpg combined.

    We know prices start around $30,000, and a fully loaded example with A-Spec and tech package should end up in the $30,000 range. Integra reservations are open now and the cars should be in dealerships by late spring.

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