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2023 Acura Integra M/T

Starting from CAD $41,578

It’s 2023, and Acura has finally brought back the Integra. But here’s the thing: it feels a lot like the Civic, just a little fancier and more expensive. If you want the Integra with a manual transmission, it will cost you an extra $10,000 compared to the Civic SI. However, there are some nice upgrades inside, making it feel a bit more upscale. Plus, it’s a hatchback, which means it’s more versatile.

With its blend of sportiness and practicality, the Integra is a compelling alternative for those who aren’t big fans of how the new Civic looks. And because Acura is the luxury division of Honda, the Integra comes with some neat stuff that you won’t find in the Civic.

Performance & Handling

The new Integra uses the same engine as the Honda Civic SI, which we praised before. All Integra models, except the Type S, have a 200-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. While the engine is not necessarily impressive, it provides enough power to make your daily drive more enjoyable. You also get two transmission choices: a CVT with paddle shifters or a 6-speed manual with rev-match control. We tested the manual, and honestly, that’s the one we’d go for. It’s a lot of fun, and it might not be available in a few year’s time as more automakers are going the electric route.

The Elite A-Spec model, which we tested, has some great features not found in the regular model. First, there’s the Integrated Dynamic System (IDS). It lets you customize certain performance settings, and save them for later use. This trim also includes adaptive suspension dampers, which let you adjust the ride to be either more comfortable for city driving or firmer for more excitement when taking corners. Lastly, it has a limited-slip differential, which improves traction and reduces individual wheel spin.

Now, let’s talk about the price. The base Integra starts at around $41,000 with a CVT. But if you want the manual, you’ll need to get the Elite A-Spec trim, which costs approximately $6,000 more than the Base A-Spec trim. This raises questions about its value proposition, and one might consider the Civic SI, which offers similar performance at a lower price.

Interior & Comfort

When comparing the interior of the fully loaded Civic with that of the Integra, most people will have a hard time spotting significant differences. Acura seems to have copied Civic’s interior and pasted it into the Integra, with a few subtle tweaks here and there. These tweaks become more noticeable after spending ample time in both vehicles. In the Civic, you’ll notice a honeycomb mesh pattern across the dashboard, which is absent in the Integra. Additionally, the regular Civic’s center console, excluding the SI model, differs slightly in terms of cupholder and gear shifter placement. There’s also some extra leather padding on the passenger’s side, extending from the dashboard to the center console. Finally, the Integra gives you the option of different colour schemes not found in the Civic. Aside from these minor differences, the Integra’s interior is essentially a replication. Now, don’t get us wrong; the Civic’s interior is impressive and punches above its weight. But because the Integra costs a bit more, we thought Acura would do more to make it stand out.

Our tester, the Elite A-Spec trim came with a 12-way power adjustable driver’s seat, allowing you to find the perfect seating position and be comfortable on long road trips. Speaking of comfort, the Integra also offers a smooth and enjoyable ride. And thanks to adaptive suspension dampers on the Elite A-Spec, you can switch between a comfortable ride for everyday driving or a firmer ride made for spirited driving.

In the cabin, the Integra does a good job of minimizing road and wind noise, ensuring a relatively peaceful ride for most driving conditions. However, at higher speeds, there is a bit more noise compared to some other luxury vehicles. That said, it’s not overly disruptive and is unlikely to bother potential buyers.

Finally, the climate control system is easy to operate thanks to the physical buttons that can be used to adjust the temperature and climate settings. The climate control system in the Integra resembles what you find in other Honda vehicles, as it’s essentially carried over from the Civic. One thing to note is the lack of rear vents, which is disappointing given the vehicle’s price tag.

Technology & Connectivity

As with other Honda and Acura vehicles, the Integra shines when it comes to tech. Our tester, the Elite A-Spec trim came with a 9-inch infotainment touchscreen display which is 2 inches bigger than what you get on the base A-Spec. However, all Integra’s do get an impressive 10.2-inch digital speedometer. The infotainment system is both user-friendly and highly responsive to touch inputs, contributing to a less distracted driving experience. For the most part, it operates much like its counterpart in the Civic but has some minor differences. One of them is the cool animation that shows on the infotainment when you switch between driving modes. This is present on the other Acura models, so we are glad it comes in the Integra as well. Finally, the digital speedometer not only looks good but is also reasonably customizable, giving you the flexibility to tailor it to your preferences. The fact it’s offered on the base trims is great.

Another area where the Integra separates itself from its Civic counterpart is the speaker system. Unlike the Civic, which comes with Bose speakers, the Acura comes equipped with the ELS Studio 3D audio system. Without a doubt, it’s better and one of our favourites in the segment. The Integra also offers a Head-Up Display on the Elite A-Spec trim, a feature not available on the Civic. The Head-Up Display and traffic sign recognition feature work together to enhance safety by ensuring you can easily see your speed and stick to speed limits in clear sight.

Similar to other Honda and Acura cars, the Integra has lots of useful driver-assist features that come standard. But, if you opt for the manual transmission, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow is not included. This means it won’t be available for stop-and-go traffic but will work at higher speeds. This makes sense considering the car would likely stall if it came to a stop without the clutch engaged. Additionally, the Lane Keep Assist in the Integra works well. It helps the car stay in its lane on straight roads.

Cargo Space & Storage

Hatchbacks are known for their practicality, and the Integra certainly lives up to that reputation. With an impressive cargo capacity of 688 litres, the Integra stands out in its segment by offering more storage room than many of its competitors. If you ever require more space for transporting longer items, the rear seats can be easily folded down as well. When it comes to storage and utility in the small luxury car segment, the Integra truly excels.

The cabin shines when it comes to storage space, with ample storage solutions to make your day-to-day life easier. In fact, the Integra’s interior storage is superior to that of the TLX, despite the TLX’s larger size. There’s a decently sized slot located conveniently in front of the gear shifter, providing an ideal spot for stowing smaller items. Additionally, if you get the Elite A-Spec trim, you get a wireless charging pad in that slot. This allows you to charge your phone while you have it stored there.

Fuel Economy

The Integra with the manual transmission is rated at 8.9/6.5/7.8 (City/Hwy/Combined). In our week-long test, we averaged 9.1 L/100km combined. However, we were pretty heavy on the throttle and did a lot of testing in sport mode.

If you want better fuel economy then you can always opt for the CVT transmission that’s rated at 8.1/6.5/7.4 (City/Hwy/Combined).

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