The Acura Integra is back! But it’s not how it once was. For example, it is no longer available as a 2-door coupe but it is available with a CVT automatic. Don’t worry though, this 2023 Integra demo vehicle is a good ‘ol fashioned 6-speed manual. So what’s the rest of the car like? Read on.
Engine – The powertrain is nearly identical to that of the Honda Civic Si. Like that car, the 2023 Acura Integra is powered by a 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with VTEC. The output is 200 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque (149 kW & 260 Nm) between 1,800 to 5,000 rpms. Thanks to the turbo, pickup with this engine is quick. It also feels as though it wants to be revved. It’s more happy to be spinning at higher rpms than at below 2,000. However, this is not the screamer of the old 90’s Integra engines. The redline is at the 6,500 rpm mark.
Fuel Economy – With this sporty turbocharged engine, the fuel economy is surprising. In a good way. Officially, the 2023 Acura Integra with the 6-speed manual is rated for 8.9 L/100km (26.4 MPG) in a city and 6.5 L/100km (36.2 MPG) on a highway. Although the city fuel economy seems quite high, in reality you’ll probably get closer to 8 L/100km (29.4 MPG) in a city. Also, the Integra has an auto start/stop feature. The engine is automatically shut off when the transmission is in neutral and your foot is off the clutch pedal. As soon as the clutch pedal is depressed, the engine fires up again. On highways, it is super easy to reach the claimed fuel economy rating even though the short gear ratios of the transmission mean that the engine is spinning at 2,500 rpms at 100 km/h. But even so, I managed to get an average fuel economy figure of 7.3 L/100 km (32.2 MPG).
Transmission – Yes, a CVT automatic is now available on a sporty compact car like this Integra. But this demo vehicle came equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission. The gear ratios are short which adds to the quick revving nature of the engine. The shifter feels very much mechanical in operation and requires a bit of force to get it into the next gear. It’s not as free-flowing from one gear to the next like the shifter in the Mazda MX-5. The clutch is on the light side and the bite point isn’t all that distinctive. As in, the clutch pedal resistance doesn’t change when the clutch engages the flywheel. Also, there is some rev-hang which is more noticeable at higher rpms than at lower rpms. That, unfortunately, is the result of Government emissions. Finally, the 6-speed is equipped with a rev-match feature that will automatically rev up the engine upon downshifting for smoother operation. This system can be turned off if you want.
Braking – The 2023 Acura Integra has simple floating calipers on all four corners. No Brembo branded brakes like the TLX or MDX Type-S. But even so, the brakes are strong with little effort required from your foot to stop the car. The brake pedal itself is also firm in actuation further giving you confidence to stomp on it when you’re driving more enthusiastically.
Handling – Acura is known for SH-AWD but you won’t find it with the Integra. Instead, the 2023 Acura Integra A-Spec Limited is equipped with a limited slip differential to make sure that the engine’s power is not wasted with wheel spin. There is a very subtle tug of the steering wheel under full-throttle applications when exiting a corner but it is more than manageable.
The steering weight can be adjusted between the Comfort, Normal, or Sport drive modes. There is also an Individual drive mode with different aspects of the car being customizable. One of the additions to the Integra that the Civic Si doesn’t have are the adaptive dampers. They too change in stiffness depending on drive mode but the change is subtle.
Overall though, the 2023 Integra handles like a modern compact car should. It likes to be tossed around some corners but not too aggressively otherwise the car will understeer. Turn-in is direct and the car has some agility as it turns from one corner to the next.
Ride Comfort – With the addition of the adaptive dampers, the ride of the 2023 Acura Integra is a bit more forgiving than that of the Civic Si. However, there isn’t a huge difference between the different stiffness settings. All I noticed was that Sport mode was just a bit more jiggly than the Comfort mode. But I could comfortably keep the dampers in Sport mode even on poorly maintained city streets.
The power adjustable seats are also a nice addition over the Civic Si. The bolsters are big enough to keep you planted but not so big that they become a nuisance on long road trips. As well, the driver’s seat has power lumbar support.
Interior Space – With the front seats to their lowest position, there is a lot of front occupant room for tall adults. Better yet, visibility is excellent out the front and side with the seats lowered. Visibility out the back is a bit more confined due to the sloping roofline. Sitting behind my driving position, legroom is ample but headroom is non-existent. Again, thanks to the sloping roofline.
Behind the seats, the Acura Integra is a hatchback rather than a sedan like the Civic Si. It can accommodate 688 L (24.3 cu-ft) of space but be aware that the trunk lip is higher up than the one in the Civic Si. The back seats can fold 60/40 for more space but the seats are not completely flat.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – The 2023 Acura Integra feels like a solid and well put together product. Nothing rattles or squeaks in the cabin. The engine makes some fruity noises at lower and mid rpms and there’s a subtle turbo whistle when lifting your foot off the throttle pedal. However, it is road noise that is the predominant sound inside the cabin. For me, it’s not too bad because at the end of the day, this is a compact car not a $70,000 SUV. As well, this demo vehicle came equipped with snow tires which tend to produce more road noise than all-season tires. Plus, the road noise can be drowned out by the excellent ELS audio system.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – The 2023 Acura Integra starts at $34,450 CAD ($30,800 USD). This demo vehicle is the A-Spec Limited with the platinum white pearl paint and carbon package which raised the price to $47,575 CAD ($39,724 USD). Without those two extras, the A-Spec Limited is $42,550 CAD ($35,800 USD). Bad news is that if you want the Integra with the manual transmission, this is the only trim that it is currently available with.
Gadgets – For the $40,000+ price tag, this fully loaded Acura Integra has a lot of features. Some of the highlights include the Ultrasuede & leatherette upholstery (which feels like the real thing), heated seats all around and a heated steering wheel, a head-up display, wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto connection, wireless phone charging, and an excellent adaptive cruise control with lane centering system.
The infotainment system is displayed on a 9-inch screen and it is not the infotainment that other Acura models use. The biggest complaint with the other systems is the use of the touchpad, especially when using CarPlay or Android Auto. With this system, it is a touchscreen so it’s much easier and more intuitive to use.
Interior Design – The 2023 Acura Integra looks similar to the interior of the new Honda Civic. Some of the biggest differences include the power seats, the metal mesh that does not go across the dashboard, and the design of the door panels. Everything else is identical to the Honda Civic. However, while it looks a bit like a Civic, that’s not to say it’s a bad thing. The Integra feels more premium than its counterpart.
Exterior Design – The Integra is heavily influenced by the design language of current Acura models. In my opinion a bit too much so. Yes, it has the stylish slim headlights and taillights but it looks more like an evolution of the Acura ILX rather than something that is truly unique.
As for that $4,500 carbon package, you’re paying for the carbon fiber rear spoiler, carbon fiber mirror caps, black side accents & black rear diffuser.
Safety – The 2023 Acura Integra is equipped with every standard active and passive safety feature that Acura offers on their vehicles. These include automatic emergency braking, lane keep, blind spot sensors, adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, and hill start assist to name a few.
The IIHS has not yet tested the 2023 Acura Integra A-Spec but the 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback received a Top Safety Pick+. This Integra is almost an identical car so I’d be surprised if it does not receive a Top Safety Pick+ as well.
Warranty – The 2023 Acura Integra A-Spec has a 4 year / 80,000 km new vehicle warranty and a 5 year / 100,000 km powertrain warranty. This powertrain warranty is 6 years & 70,000 miles in the United States. For more information on Acura’s Canadian warranty, click here. For USA warranty information, click here.
Conclusion – If you were expecting this new 2023 Acura Integra to be a true successor of the Integra in the 90’s, you’ll be disappointed. This new Integra is what current Acura models have become. Sporty but premium vehicles. Overall this is a good car but it’s missing the essence of the old Integra. I prefer to look at it as a new generation of the ILX. I only have two major criticisms of this car, why does it not have a little bit more power to further differentiate itself from the Civic Si and why is the manual option only available on the top spec trim? Hopefully Acura will address those items for the 2024 model year.
Thank you to Acura Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Acura.ca