Our take on the 2023 Acura Integra
Lightness and luxury are at odds with each other. Luxury cars are almost always heavier because they have more features, more soundproofing and more technology to keep the driver more comfortable. This means it’s hard to find a luxury car that’s light enough to be considered truly fun. The 2023 Acura Integra balances weight and comfort in a way that no other affordable car on sale right now can.
Weighing just 3,026 pounds, the Integra A-Spec is much lighter than a regular luxury sedan. Based on the Honda Civic Si, it maintains the same exciting, driver-focused attitude that can excite at any speed. The driving position, seats and gearbox are all perfect. It’s one of the best-feeling transmissions this side of a Porsche 911 GT3, and we’re grateful that Acura still offers a manual. We just wish it didn’t have the same annoying rev lock as the Civic Si (which is there for a reason).
Like most Honda products on sale today, the Acura Integra’s interior is a highlight. It’s free of unnecessary bloated style and excessive polish, instead focusing on a simple layout that’s easy to use and beautiful to look at. The standard infotainment touchscreen responds well to inputs and there are actual buttons for climate control, just how we like it.
The 2023 Acura Integra is a new entry in the U.S. lineup, but it serves as a spiritual replacement for the company’s outgoing small car, the ILX.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an Acura Integra sold in America. The Integra nameplate was first used in 1985 until it went out of production in 2001. Now it’s back.
The manual transmission option is a godsend in 2023
Steering, gearbox and seats are the best in the segment
The interior looks sumptuous, it looks more expensive than it is
Not enough add-ons to justify the price premium over a Civic Si
Rev-hang is prevalent during fast driving
Is it too much to ask for a manual handbrake?
Performance, engine and power
The 2023 Acura Integra comes with just one available engine: a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four 200 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. The base transmission is a continuously variable automatic (CVT), though thankfully, a six-speed manual can be optioned if you opt for the A-Spec Technology trim.
The manual-equipped Integra can sprint 60 mph in just 7.0 seconds. Choose the CVT and that number jumps to 7.1 seconds.
Features and specifications
Just because the Integra is Acura’s smallest and cheapest car doesn’t mean it lacks features. Standard equipment includes power front seats, a touchscreen infotainment system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a power moonroof, heated exterior mirrors, and keyless entry.
Supporting the standard turbo engine are MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear. There are disc brakes all around and an electrically assisted steering rack.
Opt for the A-Spec package and you’ll get 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235-section-width tires, LED fog lights, aluminum pedals, and a lip spoiler.
The 2023 Acura Integra automatic can achieve 30 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, for a combined rating of 33 mpg, according to the EPA. These numbers each drop by one mpg if you choose the A-Spec trim thanks to the larger wheels and drag-inducing spoiler.
Fuel economy drops significantly if you opt for the manual gearbox. It gets an EPA-rated 26 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, for a Combined rating of just 30mpg.
Like the original Integra, this new model is an absolute joy behind the wheel. Unsurprisingly, it drives very much like the Honda Civic Si on which it’s based, providing excellent steering and gear feedback and a fun get-up-and-go attitude.
The 200-hp turbocharged powerplant is well-matched to the chassis, providing adequate torque if you maintain momentum. However, we’re not a big fan of the excessive rev-locking designed into the manual transmission model.
Read our full test drive of the 2023 Acura Integra right here.
The 2023 Acura Integra starts at $32,495 destination included. Step up to the A-Spec trim and you’ll pay $33,895. There’s also the $36,895 A-Spec Technology trim, which gives you adaptive dampers, a larger infotainment screen, a great 16-speaker ELS sound system, and wireless phone charging.
Manual is a free option, available only when choosing Integra A-Spec technology.
Honda and Acura have locked down the inside game right now. Like the Civic, the Integra features a cabin that feels like that of a double-priced car. The excellent style is supported by great materials and a smart button layout, with real climate control buttons and a volume knob.
The two-tone red and black seats in our tester were excellent and easy to adjust for an optimal driving position. The retro-inspired digital instrument cluster is also a nice touch, displaying analog-style gauges that harken back to the Integra of the 1990s and early aughts.
Even though the Integra leans a little on the sportier side, it’s still a luxury car. The suspension is taught but never crashes over bumps, and there’s enough sound deadening to shut out any excessive external noise.
In typical Honda fashion, the seats are incredibly comfortable and supportive, allowing for extended journeys without having to deal with back pain afterwards. We suggest the suspension for the A-Spec technology suspension not only because you can get a stick, but because you also get adaptive suspension, which means an even wider range of adjustability in different driving situations.
As a new luxury vehicle, the Acura Integra is packed with new technology. There’s a standard digital instrument cluster measuring 10.2 inches sitting in front of the steering wheel, paired with a seven- or nine-inch infotainment screen, depending on which trim you get. There’s also Acura’s suite of active safety systems, which includes things like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.
Opt for the Technology package and you get the nine-inch screen, adaptive dampers, a 5.3-inch head-up display, three USB-C charging ports and a wireless phone charger.
We feared that Acura would abandon the hatchback body style we loved so much in the latest Integra, but thankfully that’s not the case. The five-door configuration of the new car means plenty of space for luggage. The cargo volume in the rear is impressive 24 feet3and you can fold the seats down for even more space if needed.
The 2023 Integra comes with Acura’s AcuraWatch suite of active safety features. It includes adaptive cruise control, a collision mitigation system, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and a road departure mitigation system.
The Integra received a five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick+, that body’s highest award.
The 2023 Acura Integra is offered in three distinct trim levels. The base model comes with a 200-hp turbocharged engine paired with a CVT, along with a lovely interior with a smart layout, great seats, and a seven-inch infotainment screen.
Step up to the A-Spec trim and you get a lip spoiler, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED fog lights and aluminum pedals. The third trim, the A-Spec Technology package, adds adaptive dampers, a head-up display, a 16-speaker audio system, sportier seats, a wireless phone charger, rain-sensing wipers and more.
Thanks to a $600 charge for Liquid Carbon Metallic paint, the as-tested price for the Integra A-Spec we drove was $37,395. Before you blast Acura for charging nearly $40,000 for a Civic-size sedan, consider that you get hot-sedan levels of performance and true luxury car appointments, all for less than the average price of a new car, reasonable if you ask me.
However, for my money, I’d get the Honda instead. It provides 90% of the same experience for about eight thousand dollars less (if you absolutely have to have the leverage shift, which I would).
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