Car Review: 2023 Acura Integra — iconic nameplate returns

By: Brian Armstead, WTOP Special Contributor

With the 2023 Integra, Acura reprises an iconic nameplate. Before it was renamed RSX, Integra was built across five popular generations, starting with Gen One in 1986. Will we also see a return of other popular names from the past like Legend? During a chat with an Acura executive, a return to “legendary” names wasn’t ruled out, but there was no formal confirmation from the brand.

Swinging for the fences

The all-new Integra, in baseball parlance, bats cleanup. Yes folks, this “Home Run” from Honda’s luxury brand swings for the fences every time you get behind the wheel. The 2023 Integra is built on the same platform as Honda’s popular Civic.

Integra Exterior

If you are a fan of sedans, you’ll love the low-slung, performance-oriented look of the new Integra. Up front, LED headlights sweep inward from the left and right fenders toward a large, blacked out, frameless “Diamond Pentagon” grille with the Acura “caliper” logo. Side views are clean, with lower panel sculpting that portends forward motion. The rear hatchback deck sits high, with a molded in spoiler and LED taillights as dramatic in style as the headlights. Twin, chrome plated exhaust tips are set in a lower diffuser panel.

“Shark Gray” 18-inch wheels finished off the super sporty look of my A-Spec trim tester.

Integra Interior

The new Integra wears dual personalities. The drive experience in my test A-Spec is super sporty, while the interior is what you’d expect an Acura to be — premium.

Standard features include a 10.2-inch all-digital Acura Precision Cockpit instrument cluster and available heads-up display with user-selectable content (standard on my test A-Spec with Technology Package). Available options include Qi-compatible wireless charging, 9-inch center touch screen, and 16-speaker Eliot Shiner ELS Studio 3D audio system.

During a recent Acura full-line drive, in addition to a seven-day test loan on which this review is based, assembled media met with Eliot Shiner, a noted recording studio engineer hired by Acura to fine tune their vehicle audio systems.

Why Shiner?

He explained that when musicians record tracks, they usually take their demos straight to their cars to see how the music sounds. Makes sense, as many folks like myself, listen to music as we drive. The ELS system is one of the best I’ve ever heard in a production automobile.

Integra Drive Experience

For the first time in the nameplate’s history, Integra features a factory turbocharged four cylinder, 1.5-liter VTEC engine producing 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. Choose from a CVT or segment-exclusive 6-speed manual transmission.

If you are a fan of manual transmission cars, then the new Integra is for you. The close-ratio six-speed tranny is silky smooth, and Integra offers enough “ommph” across the 6500 rpm band to accelerate when needed, even if you are in sixth gear. Get a little happy with the go pedal, and the tachometer will flash a red led ring light to let you know you’ve exceeded the redline. The six-speed manual is a no-cost option offered on A-Spec trim levels with Technology Package.

Integra ride quality is firm when needed, and supple when you just want to chill. This combo personality is what made previous generation Integras so popular. It’s great to have this personality trait back. My A-Spec with Technology Package was equipped with an Adaptive Damper System that allows for driver control of damper settings. Choose from Sport, Comfort, Normal and customizable Individual mode.


Cost: Prices start at $30,800. A-Spec trim starts at $32,800. Add $3,000 for A-Spec with manual transmission and Technology Package ($35,800). Destination and Delivery charge is $1,095.

Safety: The 2023 Integra features standard advanced safety features including driver and passenger air bags designed to control head rotation in a crash, rear seat air bags and a new single-camera AcuraWatch system; capable of detecting cars, pedestrians, and bicycles, with enhanced Traffic Jam Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition.

Things to Know: All 2023 model year Acuras are covered under the new Acura Maintenance Program, which covers select factory-scheduled maintenance, as indicated by the vehicle’s Maintenance Minder system, performed at a participating Acura dealership for the first two years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. The complimentary program includes standard oil and filter changes, tire rotations and multi-point inspections and is also fully transferrable to subsequent owners while active.

Pros:

  • Available six-speed manual transmission
  • Well thought out interior with ample room front and rear
  • Premium features, affordable price

Con:

  • Road noise is high on rough road surfaces

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up