It’s 2023, and Acura has finally brought back the Integra. But here’s the thing: it feels a lot like the Civic, just a little fancier and more expensive. If you want the Integra with a manual transmission, it will cost you an extra $10,000 compared to the Civic SI. However, there are some nice upgrades inside, making it feel a bit more upscale. Plus, it’s a hatchback, which means it’s more versatile.
With its blend of sportiness and practicality, the Integra is a compelling alternative for those who aren’t big fans of how the new Civic looks. And because Acura is the luxury division of Honda, the Integra comes with some neat stuff that you won’t find in the Civic.
The new Integra uses the same engine as the Honda Civic SI, which we praised before. All Integra models, except the Type S, have a 200-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. While the engine is not necessarily impressive, it provides enough power to make your daily drive more enjoyable. You also get two transmission choices: a CVT with paddle shifters or a 6-speed manual with rev-match control. We tested the manual, and honestly, that’s the one we’d go for. It’s a lot of fun, and it might not be available in a few year’s time as more automakers are going the electric route.
The Elite A-Spec model, which we tested, has some great features not found in the regular model. First, there’s the Integrated Dynamic System (IDS). It lets you customize certain performance settings, and save them for later use. This trim also includes adaptive suspension dampers, which let you adjust the ride to be either more comfortable for city driving or firmer for more excitement when taking corners. Lastly, it has a limited-slip differential, which improves traction and reduces individual wheel spin.
Now, let’s talk about the price. The base Integra starts at around $41,000 with a CVT. But if you want the manual, you’ll need to get the Elite A-Spec trim, which costs approximately $6,000 more than the Base A-Spec trim. This raises questions about its value proposition, and one might consider the Civic SI, which offers similar performance at a lower price.
When comparing the interior of the fully loaded Civic with that of the Integra, most people will have a hard time spotting significant differences. Acura seems to have copied Civic’s interior and pasted it into the Integra, with a few subtle tweaks here and there. These tweaks become more noticeable after spending ample time in both vehicles. In the Civic, you’ll notice a honeycomb mesh pattern across the dashboard, which is absent in the Integra. Additionally, the regular Civic’s center console, excluding the SI model, differs slightly in terms of cupholder and gear shifter placement. There’s also some extra leather padding on the passenger’s side, extending from the dashboard to the center console. Finally, the Integra gives you the option of different colour schemes not found in the Civic. Aside from these minor differences, the Integra’s interior is essentially a replication. Now, don’t get us wrong; the Civic’s interior is impressive and punches above its weight. But because the Integra costs a bit more, we thought Acura would do more to make it stand out.
Our tester, the Elite A-Spec trim came with a 12-way power adjustable driver’s seat, allowing you to find the perfect seating position and be comfortable on long road trips. Speaking of comfort, the Integra also offers a smooth and enjoyable ride. And thanks to adaptive suspension dampers on the Elite A-Spec, you can switch between a comfortable ride for everyday driving or a firmer ride made for spirited driving.
In the cabin, the Integra does a good job of minimizing road and wind noise, ensuring a relatively peaceful ride for most driving conditions. However, at higher speeds, there is a bit more noise compared to some other luxury vehicles. That said, it’s not overly disruptive and is unlikely to bother potential buyers.
Finally, the climate control system is easy to operate thanks to the physical buttons that can be used to adjust the temperature and climate settings. The climate control system in the Integra resembles what you find in other Honda vehicles, as it’s essentially carried over from the Civic. One thing to note is the lack of rear vents, which is disappointing given the vehicle’s price tag.
The Integra with the manual transmission is rated at 8.9/6.5/7.8 (City/Hwy/Combined). In our week-long test, we averaged 9.1 L/100km combined. However, we were pretty heavy on the throttle and did a lot of testing in sport mode.
If you want better fuel economy then you can always opt for the CVT transmission that’s rated at 8.1/6.5/7.4 (City/Hwy/Combined).