2023 Acura Integra Demonstrates the Peril of High Expectations

How you watch the new 2023 Acura Integra is all about context. Through the rose-coloured lens of nostalgia, the new Integra may well appear like a disappointing adhere to-up to the past generations so revered by enthusiasts. As a peripheral member of the Honda Civic loved ones, the Integra is a pricey way to blend the Civic’s finest elements—the Si’s 200-hp engine, the hatchback human body design and style, and the six-velocity manual—in a marginally much more upscale package deal. And in opposition to German entry-luxurious models these types of as the Audi A3 and the Mercedes-Benz CLA that Acura promises to be concentrating on, the Integra is a more cost-effective alternative with a bit fewer status.

This all may well seem overly bold for what is proficiently the substitute for the unassuming ILX. But Acura lifted the stakes as before long as it made a decision to resurrect the Integra title relatively than sticking with the alphanumerics that adorn each other design in the lineup. Or probably the name was just a ploy for attention—which labored, as the world wide web has been abuzz about the automobile for months now. Much to Acura’s delight, all this dialogue has developed plenty of hype. The business states the selection of Integra preorders is “exceeding expectations,” despite the fact that they would not present us a specific figure. Even so, they did say that additional than 50 % of the early adopters are deciding upon the accessible handbook transmission.

In reality, this is not some watershed second for Acura. The Integra follows a similar system as nearly all other Acura versions in latest memory—or even not-so-modern memory—by dressing up familiar Honda parts and sticking on a diverse badge.

Fortunately, the Integra’s Honda bones are refreshing, specially as opposed to the ILX’s generations-previous Civic system and dated powertrain. The Integra is derived from the identical platform as the new-for-2022 11th-era Civic. Its turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-4 is from the Civic also. In the Integra, this motor provides the similar 200 horsepower and 192 pound-toes of torque as it does in the Civic Si. Acura claims the Integra’s system is a bit stiffer than the Civic’s and promises there’s unique tuning for the engine computer software, suspension, and transmissions—which incorporate a constantly variable computerized as very well as the six-speed manual.

The Integra also offers the adaptive dampers that the most current Civic Si does without—it appears that Honda eradicated this function from the hottest Si in order develop some separation from the Integra. Irrespective, they’re a welcome addition here. When set to both Ease and comfort or Normal manner, they help produce a cushier journey than the business Si but in Activity mode serve to make the Integra just about as lively as the Honda.

The satisfyingly major steering, responsive throttle, and easy shifter give the Integra an keen and playful truly feel. Acura states that the adhere-shift vehicle weighs just under 3100 pounds—hundreds a lot less than a CLA or A3. Transform-in could be sharper, but sadly the Integra isn’t going to provide the grippier summer season tires that are optional on the Civic Si, as a substitute earning do with Continental ProContact all-year rubber. Acura does contain a limited-slip differential with the stick, but you can expect to have to fork out extra for the privilege of shifting for oneself as the $2000 A-Spec and $3000 Technologies deals are required in get to unlock the “no-expense” handbook solution.

We drove the computerized-transmission Integra way too. The CVT is just as inoffensive right here as it is in the Civic, effectively taking care of the turbo engine’s broad torque curve and giving simulated shift points to avoid far too substantially droning beneath major throttle. But devoid of the more engagement that the stick shift brings, the Integra’s relative absence of refinement gets to be much more apparent. When we value the emphasis on lightness above audio deadening, the Integra could use additional isolation, as there is certainly a honest quantity of road sounds at freeway speeds. The additional racket could make it tricky for Acura to win more than Audi and Mercedes buyers on a test generate, even at a decrease month to month lease payment.

This carries in excess of to the inside, as effectively, which is pleasant and simple but not particularly richly trimmed. The A-Spec motor vehicle has some interesting upholstery choices, together with a crimson leather-based-and-faux-suede combo and a white-and-black two-tone set up. But in any other case, the environs sense significantly like the Civic’s thanks to comparable mesh coverings for the air vents and piano-black trim on the center console. Granted, which is additional of a compliment to the Civic’s course-higher than components than it is a knock against the Integra. The cargo location is generous, and the Integra’s hatch setup is special amongst entry-luxury models. The rear seat, far too, is roomy but lacks specifics this sort of as air vents that we be expecting in a top quality car.

This sort of interior is satisfactory at the Integra’s very low starting off price tag of $31,895, but the variation you actually want—the manual-transmission car that will come only in fully loaded spec—stickers for $36,895. Even while the Integra is significantly superior equipped than the Civic Si, we continue to uncover it really hard to abdomen paying a lot more than $8000 further specified the similarities concerning the two vehicles. And while the Integra seems to be like a good deal as opposed to the aforementioned Audi and Mercedes-Benz entries, Acura also has to look at out for other pseudo-luxury styles this kind of as the turbocharged Mazda 3, which presents appreciably much more electrical power than the Integra and arguably a much more upscale expertise in phrases of style and refinement.

And so we return to the thought of the Integra in context. Considered on its individual, we like the new Integra. It can be pleasurable to generate, gasoline productive, sensible, and first rate to look at. But it can be not all that significantly far more compelling than the Civic Si, or even the Activity Touring hatchback, in spite of costing fairly a little bit more. And it can be not as magnificent as its German rivals. This is also not the Integra that the Acura devoted ended up hoping for. To satisfy them, Acura is heading to have to conjure up a Style S version with far more horsepower and grippier rubber. These kinds of are the perils of substantial anticipations.

Requirements

Requirements

2023 Acura Integra
Auto Type: front-motor, entrance-wheel-travel, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback

Price tag

Foundation: $31,895 A-Spec, $33,895 handbook, $36,895

Motor

turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, immediate gas injection
Displacement: 91 in3, 1498 cm3
Ability: 200 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 192 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm

TRANSMISSIONS

6-speed guide, repeatedly variable computerized

Proportions

Wheelbase: 107.7 in
Duration: 185.8 in
Width: 72. in
Peak: 55.5 in
Passenger Volume: 96 ft3
Cargo Volume: 24 ft3
Control Fat (C/D est): 3100–3200 lb

Overall performance (C/D EST)

60 mph: 7.1–7.4 sec
1/4-Mile: 15.4–15.7 sec
100 mph: 17.2–17.5 sec
Leading Velocity: 130–135 mph

EPA Gasoline Economy

Mixed/Metropolis/Highway: 30–33/26–30/36–37 mpg

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