I admit my reaction to the initial launch of the 2023 Acura Integra was lukewarm at best. As a longtime Honda and Acura enthusiast, I expected the new Integra to be a little more reminiscent of the round-eyed entry-level car that held a special place in the import scene at the time. late 90s. However, Acura didn’t do that.
Instead, the 2023 Integra looks a lot like its current stablemates, only comes in a four-door body style, and is essentially a new Civic Si in Acura clothes. None of this is bad, but I wish the Integra had a few more nostalgic touches.
Gone is the old, make way for the new 2023 Acura Integra
OK, so I can forgive Acura for not making the 2023 Integra look like the old model. At least the Japanese automaker included the “Integra” logo on the front bumper like the old car. He also made it a five-door facelift, which essentially merges the old Integra sedan and coupe into one car. It’s good enough for me. Beyond that, I think the car looks sporty and sleek in person.
Acura has done a great job of incorporating the same subtly sophisticated styling you’ll find on the TLX but in a smaller package. The Diamond Pentagon grille looks great, and although the Jewel Eye LED headlights aren’t round like before, they work well with the overall look of the car. There’s even an “Acura” logo engraved on it. Nice touch.
The interior is spacious and comfortable
Considering the Acura Integra is the brand’s entry-level car, you’d think it would feel cramped inside. Not so, at least for someone like me who is only 5ft 8in tall. I guess anyone over about 6ft 2in would have trouble, though, especially in the back seat.
Otherwise there’s plenty of head, leg and shoulder room in both rows, and the red Alcantara suede seats offer enough support without feeling too tight – I just wish they had more support for the thighs. Visibility is good from all four corners of the car and, of course, the driver’s position can be adjusted perfectly with the electric seats.
Design-wise, the Integra A-Spec version I’m driving this week borrows much of its technology from the Honda Civic Si and TLX. There are retro-style grilles on the vents and plenty of soft-touch materials. Luckily, the 9-inch infotainment screen that sits on the dash is a touchscreen as opposed to a remote-controlled display like it’s in the RDX and MDX.
It’s easy to reach and works well with the ELS premium audio system. All other buttons are also clearly laid out.
The Integra’s 200hp engine is smooth and provides ample power
Under the hood of the 2023 Acura Integra is a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that develops 200 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. It’s hooked up to a six-speed manual transmission, which has one of the nicest shifters I’ve felt in a while—the Honda gods smile at this one.
As for driving impressions, I think the Integra drives very well and the engine provides plenty of grunt in the middle of the rev band. This is great for climbing hills and overtaking slower cars. The clutch is really light, so expect some jerky starts at first when trying to figure out the point of engagement.
Otherwise, looking at the 2023 Acura Integra for what it is — as opposed to what it was — I can say it’s a comfortable-to-drive commuter car with sporty driving characteristics. Technically speaking, that’s exactly what its predecessor was. Go figure.
I’ll be spending the rest of the week with the Acura Integra A-Spec, so be sure to check out the full review coming soon.