Acura Integra Review

The all-new 2023 Acura Integra is a responsive, precise-handling, great-value sports sedan that distinguishes itself from the related and economically-priced Honda Civic Si by delivering a premium driving experience. Boasting a modern design incorporating the latest technological advancements, the Acura Integra provides electrifying performance in a comfortable and refined package. The Integra will surely be a favourite among sports car enthusiasts with its balanced performance and value.

When Honda released the redesigned 2022 Civic Si, one noticeably absent feature was the adaptive suspension from the previous generation, replaced with a non-adjustable steel suspension. We regret to inform you that this change has made the new Civic Si stiffer and bouncier than the previous one. Nevertheless, all other aspects of the vehicle remain just as impressive.

The 2023 Acura Integra has arrived. We immediately had one question: Is this car worth the added cost over a Civic Si when it’s not much more than a more luxurious, better-equipped and differently styled version of the same car? After deeper inspection, the answer is a qualified yes. The Integra features an adaptive suspension and a variety of refinements, options and modifications designed to evoke nostalgia for the Integra name. As such, the Integra is a great choice for those looking for a premium sports car with enhanced features that make it stand out from a standard Civic Si.

The lightweight Integra is no powerhouse, but at least that lack of power is accompanied by some satisfyingly snorty exhaust noises adjusted to your liking. However, while the pleasant engine notes are audible from within the cabin, road and wind noise can also be pervasive. Though the Integra is light on the scales, too much sound-deadening material was removed to reach that goal.

The Integra could benefit from some stickier tires for better performance. In contrast to the Civic Si’s dedicated summer tire option, the Integra has to make do with its all-season tires– an important trade-off between ride quality and noise levels. Despite this, the car’s capable handling remains unaffected. If you’re after an even more dynamic driving experience, we suggest replacing the existing tires with summer rubbers in the warmer months; this should offer a significantly better outcome.

Integra’s active dampers boast three settings for a personalized driving experience. In Comfort and Normal mode, the ride is remarkably smoothed out compared to the jarring, bouncy experience of the Civic Si. Even in Sport mode, the Integra’s ride remains more relaxed than the Civic’s, making a gentler journey easier on your back and kidneys. Professional yet engaging, this setup is the perfect combination of capability and comfort.

What has Acura done to improve its vehicles?

Making its triumphant return to the automotive scene, the 2023 Acura Integra is the reincarnation of a fan favourite. It’s a sleek, sporty take on the beloved Honda Civic Si, but with its special twists. Unlike the Civic Si, the Integra is mostly offered with an automatic transmission as standard. Drivers looking for a manual transmission can find it with the A-Spec with Technology trim level. The iconic hatchback body style is also exclusive to the Integra, as the Civic Si only comes in a sedan. And for those wanting cutting edge in performance, the Integra offers an adaptive suspension with top-level trim. Make the jump to the Acura Integra and experience all it offers.

The powertrain offers an impressive package: a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine producing an output of 200 horsepower and 192 pounds-feet of torque. With a standard continuously variable automatic transmission or an inspirational six-speed manual gearbox, 0-60 mph is achievable in the mid-seven-second range per performance tests. This combination of power and performance is truly remarkable.

The optional manual transmission of the testing vehicle gave the Integra an engaging and enjoyable driving experience. However, the car didn’t-felt subjectively slow compared to its competitors. On the turbo edition, the extra low-rev power responded quickly, but as the revs increased, the power diminished. So, while it may be cliche to say a car in this situation needs more power, it is warranted for the Integra to become a genuine sports sedan – not just a “sporty” one.

Where the Integra Works Well

It’s time to forget Integra’s Civic roots and focus on where the new sedan stands in its competitive set. The Audi A3, for instance, starts at roughly $36,000 and boasts more power and torque, reaching 60 mph a full second quicker than the Integra. Similarly, the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 comes in at around $40,000, with an even greater leap in horsepower, torque, and 0-60 time. And at around $39,000, the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe includes superior acceleration specs and enhanced horsepower and torque specifications. All of these prices include destination fees. In the face of these formidable contenders, the Integra certainly has some impressive work to do.

Where the Integra Fails

The problem with the Integra is that it’s a small step up from the Honda Civic Si. Although its interior is just as nice, its engine is slightly faster and sharper in most ways. In reality, the Integra only makes sense if you’re looking for a 200 HP engine with an automatic transmission, a hatchback instead of a trunk, or if the Civic Si’s rigidity overwhelms your daily commute and you desire a more comfortable drive. The Integra is a more sophisticated take on the Honda Civic Si – it’s for the professional weekend warrior, not the boy racer.

Badge devotees may not be considering the Integra among the more traditional German sports sedans, but it only marginally competes with them. For a base price of just a tick over $32,000 and a top trim cost of about $38,000 for those who stay away from the options list, it is a screaming deal compared to the German competitors. However, this comes at $3,000 – $8,500 more than the Civic Si (which only comes one way – loaded with options). While it is a great value compared to German offerings, the price difference between the Integra and Civic Si may take time to swallow.

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