Auto review by Veeno Dewan

The famous Integra model is back in the Acura performance lineup. For the uninitiated, the 1980s and 1990s Integra  was an  iconic performance two- door coupe. Highly anticipated and sure to sell out fast, the 2023 version of the legendary Acura Integra is a new Sportback four -door sedan with the sporty Honda Civic Si underpinnings. No retro styling, only the distinctive  “Integra” lettering stamped into the front and rear bumpers. The upper -level A-Spec model has more accentuated  sportier bodywork, and 18-inch wheels. The  new Integra is  a distinctive looking car with its pentagon grille and sleek light treatments.

The Integra is powered by; a 1.5-litre turbocharged inline-4 with VTEC producing  200 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and Torque at 192 lb.-ft. @ 1,800 – 5,000 rpm. The transmission choice is either a  Sport-tuned Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with Paddle Shifters or an optional  six-speed manual (Hooray!)with a mechanical limited slip differential. There is also optional adaptive suspension.

There are four trim levels to choose from in the model line up: base Integra, ($34,350), A-Spec ($37,050), Elite A-Spec Package ($42,550) and the as tested Elite A-Spec Package with 6-speed manual. The A-Spec model adds an Individual drive mode to the Integra’s drive-mode selector switch which allows drivers to save a customized setting. The A -Spec Elite model is the most desirable with its body kit,  18-inch wheels, and   the availability of the six-speed manual transmission..  The Elite A-Spec (as tested) has the adaptive dampers set up,  re-tuned  suspension and a 5% stiffer chassis.

Standard features across the range include heated sport seats and steering wheel, sunroof, power driver’s seat, and a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster which provides reconfigurable information for the driver. The Integra comes with a 7.0-inch infotainment display as standard with a larger 9.0-inch unit available as an option. There is also  blind-spot monitoring, and forward-facing driver assist technologies, such as adaptive cruise control, that uses a  new camera system. All models feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Technology package adds features such as an adaptive suspension system, a 10.2-inch digital gauge display, a 16-speaker ELS stereo system, suede seat inserts, wireless smartphone charging, wireless connectivity,  a 5.3-inch head-up display, and three USB-C charging ports in the cabin.

The A-Spec Elite also has an “individual” mode to customize throttle response and steering feel, and also transmission mapping if  equipped with the CVT.

Based on the Honda Civic Si performance model, the Integra  shares much of its interior with just a few minor changes around the  air vents. Added is premium materials, and revised  extra safety airbags. There’s also a decent amount of legroom in the back, but less headroom due to the sloping roof. However, there is a stellar  680 litres of rear cargo space.

The Integra A-Spec Elite trim adds a more premium interior  with high class leather- look sports seats, imitation leather door trim, faux  carbon fiber on the dash, along with chrome and metal accents and  cool  speaker grilles for the  ELS premium audio  system. The optional Technology package also  adds faux-suede inserts to the seats as well as 12-way power adjustments for the driver and four-way power adjustments for the front passenger.

On the road,  the 2023 Integra, much like the original  version is satisfyingly sporty to drive.  Its turbocharged 1.5L engine likes to rev and offers quick acceleration in a smooth, linear manner.  A stand out feature is the optional six-speed manual transmission as equipped on our test car. The clutch action is well modulated, while the  short- throw shifter snicks into up and down shifts with a satisfying engagement. . the manual transmissions auto rev-matching function  is wonderfully accurate and precise in operation.

The steering is well weighted and direct erring on firm for excellent cornering with controlled weight transfer. Meanwhile, the adaptive dampers set up can switch from normal to driver preferred comfortable cruising mode or a performance-oriented firmer setup for more precise cornering. Ride and handling is also good with a tuned  nicely engineered chassis. The three-stage adaptive dampers have driver selectable   Comfort, Normal and Sport modes. Each of the Adaptive suspension settings combine with throttle and steering parameters when used. Comfort offers looser steering, and throttle control and a more relaxed ride. Sport sharpens throttle response; firmer steering and a firmer road feel for more driver feedback.

Downsides are few, the lack of  rear headroom being one weakness in particular.  All in all, the 2023 Acura Integra is a very engaging, fun to drive sports coupe  and can be had with one of the best manual transmissions  around.  A very competent and highly recommended sports car for the demanding fun orientated driver.

2023 Acura Integra priced from: $34.350. A-Spec Elite model as tested priced from: $42,550.

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