The 2023 Acura Integra offers more versatility and better handling than the related Honda Civic Si. Dusting off a nameplate last used in the early 2000s, Acura resurrects the Integra as a five-door hatchback. It shares many mechanicals with the Honda Civic Si, but rivals range from the Volkswagen GTI to the BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe. The Integra marks a return to form for Acura’s compact car after the underwhelming ILX sedan. It’s now fun to drive, and reasonably quick, and more spacious. First launched in 1986, the Integra phased into the RSX for the 2002 model year, before the RSX was shelved in 2006. Even though Acura still uses similar three-letter naming conventions across the lineup (TLX, RDX, MDX, NSX), the Integra stands on its own historic name.
Acura is honing in on good styling, and the family look works well on the compact hatchback Integra. The Integra’s look definitely runs in the family, with the brand’s five-sided grille up front and familiar creases along the body. The rear end pays homage to the RSX and previous Integras, but the hatch’s gradual slope gives the car a fastback look rather than the pure hatchback styling of the past. Dubbed a liftback, the five-door hatchback is shaped like a sedan with a distinctive rounded end, like a smaller take on the Kia Stinger and any number of cars from Audi. Like the Acura TLX, the Integra sports a longish dash-to-axle ratio with a low cowl and a long hood that dips low into its crest-shaped grille. The front end is busy with creases and cuts, and the running lights sport a distinct kink in the corners that Acura calls “Chicane.” The grille flows outward into the LED headlights before wrapping around the body to the short deck lid and LED taillights. The rear end distinguishes the Integra from other Acuras. A squat hatch sits over dual exhaust pipes, and matching Chicane LED taillights hug the rear. It’s about the same height as the redesigned 2022 Honda Civic, but it’s slightly wider and an inch longer than the Civic Si sedan.
The Integra has a connected, substantial feel on the road that teams with agile moves and is modestly quick. The only engine is a 1.5-liter turbo-4 that makes 200 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. Acura won’t quote a 0-60 mph time, but it’s likely in the mid-6-second range. That power is easiest to tap with the 6-speed manual transmission offered in the top model. Like other Acura/Honda manuals, it has short, positive throws through its light-touch shifter, and the clutch is light but easy to modulate and is better weighted than it’s Si donor. The other choice is a CVT with seven simulated gear ratios. The transmission slurs during its stepped gear changes when pushed, though a Sport mode for the transmission makes the slurs seem three drinks in rather than five. In normal commuting, however, the CVT fades into the background and will neither annoy nor delight drivers.
The feel behind the wheel is the Integra’s greatest strength, especially in the A-Spec with Technology Package model with its adaptive dampers. Acura gets the balance between ride quality and agility right. The Integra feels planted, so much so that it seems heavier than its sub-3,100-lb curb weight would suggest. The adaptive dampers smooth out bumps, even in their Sport setting while contributing to the car’s agility. While it’s fun to toss the Integra around on a twisty road, even with the lighter, less-connected feel of base cars without those dampers, the Integra isn’t a performance car. The 235/40R18 tires have only decent grip in spirited cornering, and the brakes are too small for long periods of canyon carving or track driving.
The Acura Integra goes easy on gas while still offering good power. The Integra gets just one engine with a choice of a CVT or manual transmission. It gets 30 mpg city, 37 highway, 33 combined EPA rating for the CVT. A-Spec models with the CVT drops fuel economy slightly to 29/36/32 mpg in the A-Spec model. Opt for the manual and the ratings fall to 26/36/30 mpg. Acura outfits the Integra with plenty of safety features and expects top crash-test ratings. So far no crash tests have been performed by the IIHS or NHTSA, but we don’t doubt it will get top safety ratings. In the meantime, it comes with lots of safety features. They include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, road-departure mitigation, traffic sign recognition, and traffic jam assist that can control the steering, brakes, and throttle in some low-speed situations.
The interior merges Acura’s stylish layered dash and snazzy 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster with aluminum mesh vents that work so well in the Civic, underscored by climate control dials. Rejoice, for the Integra has a touchscreen rather than Acura’s somewhat frustrating trackpad infotainment interface. The base screen is small and even the 9.0-inch screen feels like it’s on the small side these days. Both screens are set close to the driver and are simple to control. We like it so far and it works well with Apple CarPlay. The look is subdued in Ebony, but Graystone, Orchid, and especially Red add contrast and visual vibrancy. Interior materials fit the class. Soft-touch surfaces cover the armrests, door panels, and dash, but nothing here goes the extra mile to indicate pure luxury.
The switch to a hatchback body style is a boon for the Integra’s interior space. The Integra’s cabin benefits from comfortable front seats and a spacious rear cargo area, but the rear seat is compromised despite plenty of leg room. Acura outfits the Integra with nicely bolstered seats with standard 8-way power adjustments for the driver. The A-Spec adds 4-way lumbar adjustments for better back support, and basic 4-way power passenger seat adjustments. The front row has good room in all dimensions for larger or smaller drivers. The rear seat boasts a generous 37.4 inches of leg room, but the seat bottoms sit too low to provide the thigh support needed for long trip comfort. The Integra seats five, but the Integra isn’t wide enough for three adults tol fit in the back comfortably. Switching from a sedan body style in the ILX to a hatchback for the Integra pays dividends in cargo space. Though set low, the rear hatch area offers 24.3 cubic feet of cargo volume, almost twice as much as the ILX. The rear seats fold down, too, making the Integra a viable alternative to a crossover.
The 2023 Acura Integra is a good entry-luxury value outfitted with the right features. Every Integra comes with a healthy set of features and represents a good value for a premium car. Add in an easy-to-use infotainment system and a good warranty. Acura offers the Integra in base, A-Spec, and A-Spec with Technology Package models. The $31,895 base model comes standard with synthetic leather upholstery, an 8-way power-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, an 8-speaker audio system, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The $33,895 A-Spec model adds 18-inch wheels, LED fog lights, and an A-Spec Appearance Package with matte and gloss-black exterior trim, including a rear spoiler, and stainless steel pedals and contrast stitching inside.
The best driving car is the $36,895 Integra A-Spec with Technology Package. The A-Spec bits include a 6-speed manual with a front limited-slip differential as a no-cost alternative to the CVT, and a sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers. The technology features consist of a 9.0-inch touchscreen, wireless smartphone charging, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, built-in Amazon Alexa commands, a head-up display, and an ELS Studio audio system with 16 speakers and 530 watts of power. It also gets synthetic suede seat inserts, a 12-way power driver seat with memory, a 4-way power passenger seat, remote starting with the CVT, ambient lighting, and front and rear parking sensors. A fully loaded Acura Integra is the same price as the A-Spec with Technology Package model. Acura offers no options but does have a full range of dealer-installed accessories for the Integra. Every Integra comes with a 4-year/50,000-mile new car warranty with complimentary scheduled maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles.
We finally feel that Acura has returned to its lauded past of impressive vehicles such as the original Legend and NSX with the all-new 2023 Integra. Acura’s new Integra brings together all that it has learned and wrapped it into a near-perfect package with a strong powertrain, edgy new styling that looks fresh and moves the styling needle, and blends it with cutting-edge technology. In the end, the new Integra blends the best of Acura’s hallmarked past with a fun small sedan that lives up to its name.