2023 Acura Integra
The long-awaited return of the Acura Integra brings a 200-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder and, reward Acura, a guide transmission. Kristin Shaw

Acura introduced the return of its honored Integra at Monterey Automobile Week 9 months in the past, and the enjoyment may very well be heard from the throats of followers the world over. The Japanese model has been holding onto this nameplate for 22 years, and eventually, it’s again. Acura basically created this phase of hot-hatch sedans and is hoping it may possibly flip the market on its head yet again. The brand new Integra may simply have the ability to make it occur.

The Integra was a sizzling ticket within the Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Nineties, however pale within the DotCom period and was changed with the RSX (nonetheless referred to as Integra again in Japan) in late 2001. That automobile failed to attract in new consumers and was quietly dropped in 2006. The brand new model goals to recapture that pleasure, its new turbocharged engine main the cost. With 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque, the 2023 model jumps off the road eagerly and has loads of vitality to maintain issues attention-grabbing.

Marketed towards youthful consumers, the 2023 Integra is inexpensive, beginning at $31,895. Even totally outfitted—together with all of the choices and the selection of a six-speed guide or repeatedly variable automated transmission (CVT)—it tops out at $36,895. Driving residence a performance-minded Acura for lower than $37,000 is an attractive proposition, notably one which seems like a pricier automobile from behind the wheel.

As a model, Acura launched in 1986 with two fashions: the Legend and the Integra. The previous was was meant as a correct luxurious automobile, however the Integra was aimed toward up-and-coming professionals who may in any other case have chosen an entry-level BMW, a distinct segment stuffed by at present’s 2 Sequence Gran Coupe. Although it used many components from the humble-pie Civic, the recipe was a winner and the unique Integra a gateway to the model for a lot of customers.

Pleasure started to construct internally when the concept of bringing it again began taking form 5 or so years in the past. I might see why whereas driving the snappy, front-wheel drive Integra on winding roads between Austin, Texas and deep into Hill Nation in Johnson Metropolis.

2023 Acura Integra interior
It’s clear that there’s some Civic DNA within the Integra, and certainly it shares its platform with the new-for-2022 Civic, however the inside feels extra upscale and the styling and really feel are properly differentiated. Acura

New Integra, Acquainted Vibes

Driving the 2023 model of the legendary Integra seems like slipping into a brand new model of the beloved jacket you’ve had for years. The Acura crew did its homework and understands what its clients need with this up to date automobile. Contemplate how sizzling the crossover and three-row SUV market have been within the final a number of years and the Integra might have appeared like of venture. In any case, the sedan is lifeless, some individuals say. Nevertheless, this five-door sizzling hatch transcends the boring sedan mildew.

Acura goes upstream towards the youthful market with this automobile. And up to now, the gambit is working as a result of the primary two months of manufacturing bought out shortly. And never solely that, however greater than 65 % of the consumers selected the guide transmission. Furthermore, a promising signal for Acura is that half of the full consumers up to now are new to the Honda group altogether.

This front-wheel drive five-passenger automobile competes with the Volkswagen GTI, and by all rights, the VW ought to have the sting. It comes with a seven-speed guide (in comparison with the Integra’s six-speed), 241 horses to the Integra’s 200, and 274 lb-ft of torque over the Acura’s 192. And but, I’d select the Integra and right here’s why: it’s extra refined and upscale. It’s the distinction between sitting in an costly recliner and a folding chair.

2022 Acura Integra Trims and Options

Acura previewed a “frameless” diamond pentagon grille on the Kind S Idea, and the model adopted that search for the brand new Integra. Inside, the diamond form repeats within the criss-cross sample throughout the vents, accented by a slim knob to regulate the stream. The daytime working lights wrap across the aspect familiarly.

The 2023 Integra is obtainable in six colours: Efficiency Pink Pearl, Apex Blue Pearl, Platinum White Pearl, Lunar Silver Metallic, Liquid Carbon Metallic, and Majestic Black Pearl. I’ve seen the white, grey, and blue shades, and the latter is a shocking Lapis that stands out greater than the opposite colours on the palette. It’s a shade worthy of the return of the Integra.

The 2023 Integra comes normal at base degree with a seven-inch touchscreen, 10.2-inch digital gauge show, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a USB-A port, energy driver’s seat, heated entrance seats, and even a moonroof. All Integras are outfitted with hill begin help, which is especially useful with the guide transmission.

2023 Acura Integra shifter
Guide transmissions are an endangered species nowadays, however Acura has seen match to proceed providing them on the Integra. Volkswagen additionally provides a stick, however BMW’s 2 Sequence and the Mercedes-Benz CLA don’t. Acura

Upgrading to the A-Spec and Know-how bundle provides rain-sensing wipers, wi-fi charging, a head-up show, and a 530-watt, 16-speaker premium audio system by ELS Studio.

From an aesthetic perspective alone, there are a number of notable variations. The A-Spec trim provides stainless-steel pedals, pink gauge needles, and pink distinction stitching on the steering wheel, console and shifter base. With the Know-how Package deal, you’ll additionally get a four-way energy passenger seat, together with energy lumbar controls within the driver’s seat, microsuede inserts and stitching distinctive to the trim.

However Isn’t the Integra Only a Fancier Civic?

Constructed on Honda’s world small-car structure, the Integra begins with a strong base and riffs from there. Every part up from the chassis is exclusive to Integra, from the construction to the design. The Integra’s physique is stiffer than the Civic and is longer and wider, sharing solely the wheelbase with its less-expensive sibling. As a result of the liftgate was important to the reboot design, Acura added construction to compensate. 

It’s price noting that the non-obligatory CVT transmission is lifted straight from the bottom Civic. On this kind, the Integra takes an enormous step down in attraction. Whereas it’s completely fantastic, dependable, and tuned for precision, it has much less of the zest of its guide counterpart. Should you have been to drive the Integra with the CVT first and by no means put your proper hand on the guide gear shifter, you’d in all probability be happy with the efficiency. However I didn’t, and I’m not. There’s no query that the three-pedal model of the Integra obtained all the character whereas the CVT variant tags alongside behind.

2023 Acura Integra rear three-quarter
Acura is sort of open in regards to the new Integra’s mission as a gateway efficiency automobile. It’s designed to ignite (and reignite) driving ardour in “younger city professionals” similar to the 1986 authentic. Acura

Three drive modes are accessible with a fast flick of the wrist. In consolation mode, the drive is extra compliant and supple, and the steering is lighter. You wouldn’t be upset by sticking it in consolation mode and leaving it there. For a extra spirited drive, sport mode prompts a stiffer suspension and steering that offers the Integra sufficient grace and area to carve canyons or sort out rolling hills. I anticipated to love the automobile finest in Sport mode however discovered that Regular mode suited me very properly, because it’s proper in between the 2. It’s a pleasant mix for a balanced baseline.

And let me reply the massive query: With a guide transmission, is it pretty much as good because the wildly standard Civic Si? Sure. The commonality is obvious, however all the pieces from the tuning to the software program is exclusive to the Integra.

If I had a brand new driver in the home, I’d completely get a Civic Si or Acura Integra to show them tips on how to drive a guide. The gear shifting is forgiving and supple, and even after I left it in third gear to climb a small hill, the automobile graciously pulled with out feeling burdened.

Dwelling with the New Integra

The Integra is an astonishing cut price for this value, however with a caveat: It’s solely price it with the guide transmission, which implies you’ll must spring for the highest trim for that choice alone.

One characteristic the Civic Si brings to the desk that the Integra lacks is the gear quantity show contained in the tachometer. That tiny contact makes it straightforward for drivers to see what gear they’re in, and I missed it on the Integra. It looks as if a small element that might be straightforward so as to add.

Street noise is clear when touring at speeds above 55 mph, which is truthful. Even so, it’s a nice journey that allowed me to check the bounds of the upgraded ELS Studio audio system, which is spectacular. I extremely suggest cranking out no matter playlist evokes you as a result of the sound is top-notch.

2023 Acura Integra Red
2023 Integras ought to begin arriving at Acura sellers this June. If curiosity within the Civic Si is prologue, there ought to be sturdy demand. Acura

I tip my hat to Acura for together with a beneficiant suite of security and driver-assist options even on the base degree of the brand new Integra. Each automobile will get adaptive cruise management, lane departure warning, lane preserving help, ahead collision warning, blind spot warning, rear cross warning, pedestrian detection, collision mitigation braking system, site visitors jam help, site visitors signal recognition, auto high-beams and a multi-view rear digicam with dynamic pointers. The one characteristic missing in case you select a guide transmission is adaptive cruise management with low-speed observe.

Acura has succeeded in resurrecting a beloved dinosaur with out the horrors of Jurassic Park. The brand new Integra lives as much as its storied identify, and it nonetheless proffers the enjoyable journey it guarantees; that’s, so long as you get the guide. It’s well worth the improve.

Acura supplied lodging, meals and journey to allow us to carry you this first-person report. Though Forbes Wheels typically participates in manufacturer-hosted occasions, our protection is impartial, unbiased and aimed toward providing customers an goal view of each automobile we take a look at.

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