Not Shame In Its Game
The name Integra has near-legendary status in the auto world, and it was a sad day in 2001 when Acura chose to change that name to RSX as part of a new marketing strategy. Sadder still when Acura stopped selling it here altogether just a few years later. Well, the Acura Integra is back for 2023! So, let’s find out if it’s worth celebrating the second time around.
The original Acura Integra did much to help grow Honda’s new luxury performance division, introducing Americans to new terms like Type R and V-TEC. But eventually, Acura decided the younger sport compact crowd was not who they were after. But, that was then and this is now.
Now, the original Integra was mostly successful in disguising its humble Civic roots, but the new one seems to embrace them, with the same slick 5-door hatchback shape. Though the diamond patterned frameless grille and jewel-eye LED headlights are all Acura. A diffuser-style lower rear fascia integrates dual oval-shaped exhaust tips; 17, 18, and 19-inch wheels are available. An optional A-Spec sport appearance package adds black trim, front lip spoiler, and shark gray 18-inch alloy wheels with Continental all-season performance tires.
Inside, there is a tech-forward feel, with a standard 10-inch digital gauge display that is a super clean design. But, to really make it special and stand apart from its Civic cousin, you need to add extras like 16-speaker ELS premium audio, the technology package with Head Up display, and the A-Spec package with stainless steel pedals and contrast stitching. Now you’re talking!
Taken to the backroads, we found that, like many Acuras, it is a highly capable machine, but one that puts the exclamation point on refinement rather than emotion. Driven more aggressively at the test track, the car is very tight with only moderate body roll. Due in part to great Acura tuning, and in part to its already more than capable 11th–generation Civic platform. The Adaptive dampers, a feature not available on Civic, seem to excel best in smoothing out the ride when you want it, more so than boosting handling performance.
With the manual transmission, Government Fuel Economy Ratings come in at 26-City, 36-Highway, and 30-Combined. Our lead feet yielded an acceptable 28.9 per gallon of Premium.
That’s a slightly better than average Energy Impact Score, using 9.9-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 4.8-tons.
Pricing starts at $31,895, but to get the full experience, you really need to go all in with A-Spec and Technology packages which brings it to a still more than reasonable $36,895.
Acura had to know they were stirring up controversy as soon as they molded the Integra name into its front fascia. The 2023 Acura Integra may not be the overly emotional Integra that many people remember. But it is a fine, totally modern, sport-luxury contender. One that is perfect for a time when many are more than willing to pay a little extra for something unique and special. And, on that score, it’s a bargain in its class. Still, we can’t wait for the Type S to take Integra to the next level.
Engine: 1.5-liter turbo-4
Torque: 192 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 7.5 seconds
1/4 Mile: 15.8 seconds at 91 mph
60-0 Braking: 110 feet (avg)
EPA: 26 City / 36 Highway / 30 Combined
MW Fuel Economy: 28.9 mpg (Premium)
Keyword: 2023 Acura Integra