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2023 Acura Integra First Look: The Original Acura Is Back

2023 Acura Integra First Look: The Original Acura Is Back

Looking to capture the essence of the original in a new, modern package

  • New wallet-friendly Acura is a four-door hatchback with coupe-like styling
  • Standard turbocharged engine is available with a six-speed manual or CVT automatic
  • Kicks off the fifth Integra generation for 2023

What is the Integra?

The Integra has been around as long as Acura itself. Since the brand launched in 1986, the Integra nameplate has graced generations of two- and four-door hatchbacks, as well as the occasional four-door sedan. Driving an Integra wasn't always a rip-roaring adventure — the high-output, 8,000-plus-rpm redline engines were reserved for range-topping models like the GS-R and Type R — but you were always assured to get a small, lightweight and sporty front-wheel-drive car. In the U.S., the Integra name was retired after 2001 and replaced by the RSX. This two-door coupe carried forward its predecessor's ethos of luxury and performance but was ultimately mothballed after 2006. For years, buyers looking for a fun, affordable Acura had a choice between the ILX sedan or nothing. The latter was honestly a better choice.

Thankfully, Acura seems to have learned the error of its ways and is finally reviving the Integra name for 2023. What you see here is the production version of the Integra, which looks nearly identical to the prototype that was previewed late last year (save for a few detail changes to the front bumper and exhaust tips). The Integra will effectively replace the ILX and serve as the entry point to Acura's lineup when it finally hits dealerships late this year. Expect a starting price of around $30,000 for the base Integra, with the A-Spec and A-Spec with Technology trims likely adding a few thousand dollars to the price tag.

What's under the Integra's hood?

Integras have always been powered by naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines, with a modest power output on pedestrian models and more thrust and a loftier redline reserved for trims like the Type R or GS-R. The new Integra bucks convention by adopting a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that comes, for the first time, paired with a turbocharger straight from the factory. Power output from the 1.5-liter engine is identical to the Honda Civic Si's 200 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. It will send its power to the front wheels through either a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable automatic transmission. Manuals also get rev-matching and a limited-slip differential at the front (again, much like the Civic Si) to help put power down as you're exiting corners.

All Integras will come with the Comfort, Normal and Sport driving modes, which alter the weight of the steering and responsiveness of the engine. The driving modes also firm up or soften the ride in models equipped with the optional adaptive suspension. The adaptive suspension also introduces an Individual mode that allows the driver to select whichever combination of modes works best for them.

Since Acura is also reintroducing high-octane Type S models to its lineup, we also wouldn't be surprised to see a new Acura Integra Type S, possibly using the same powertrain as the forthcoming Civic Type R. Since the last Type R made in excess of 300 horsepower, a new Integra Type S could be seriously spicy indeed, but if a Type S is in the works, mum's the word from Acura. For now.

How's the Integra's interior?

The Integra's interior is nearly identical to the current Civic's, with the biggest change coming in the form of the Acura's standard 10.2-inch digital instrument panel. Only the top-spec Civic Touring comes with the eye-catching display, but it's standard on the Integra regardless of trim or package. Little touches, including a digital caricature of the Integra and unique graphics, make the IP unique to Acura. The rest of the interior changes amount to some more upscale material choices, unique seats, and an upholstery color choice of red, black or white.

The steering wheel, HVAC controls and the infotainment screen are all identical to those in the Civic. On its face, that might seem like a disappointment for what's supposed to be a more premium brand, but it might actually prove to be a boon for Acura. We never really fell in love with Acura's button-heavy interior spaces, and the simplicity offered by the Civic's blueprint is a step in the right direction.

How's the Integra's tech?

The Integra comes standard with the aforementioned 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, a 7-inch infotainment display and an eight-speaker audio system. Every Integra also includes safety systems such as blind-spot monitoring, forward collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist technology. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, but you'll have to connect your phone via USB cable to use these features.

The A-Spec with Technology package trim level bumps the infotainment screen size to 9 inches, adds a 12-way power-adjustable seat for the driver, and doubles the number of speakers to 16. A head-up display, front and rear parking sensors, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless charging pad for your smartphone and three USB-C ports are also on deck in this top-level Integra. If you opt for the CVT, you get remote engine start too.

Edmunds says

Now that we've gotten our first full look at the new Integra, we only need to know one more thing: how it drives. Stay tuned for our impressions of the new 'teggy once we get it out on the road.