The most popular baby names of 2021 were Liam and Olivia according to the federal government. But among Acura aficionados, it’s most certainly Integra and Legend. But for two decades, management has turned a blind eye towards its customers’ desires, naming its cars with an irrational combination of letters that’s ludicrous at best.
It’s still going on of course; they just briefly paused the marketing suicide to label the newest version of their compact sedan the Integra. And the obstinance continues. They still won’t revive the Legend nameplate of course, preferring to revive the ZDX nameplate, one remembered only by Acura staffers. So yes, they are still using letters. It’s like naming your newborn baby HMN. That said, no one is asking for a revival of the Vigor nameplate.
Nevertheless, the 2023 Acura Integra replaces the aging, unloved ILX that, like the ILX, is nothing more than an upscale Civic with airs. So, why do we love the new 2023 Acura Integra so much more?
Well, for starters, it’s not a decade old. The iconic heart of the Acura brand returns as a four-door hatchback that shares its architecture with the all-new 2022 Honda Civic, and its engine with the Civic Si. It’s offered in base ($32,495), A-Spec (S33,895) and A-Spec Technology ($36,895) trim, which undercuts its class rivals on starting price with the possible exception of the Audi A3.
Walking around the 2023 Acura Integra shows this is no exercise in nostalgia, although its design direction was influenced by past Integra models. This explains its four-door hatchback configuration and sloping rear backlight, although it’s more extreme than those of its forbearers.
But elsewhere, there’s much that’s new stylistically. Consider its frameless Diamond Pentagon grille. Inset with a new diamond pattern, it was first seen on the TLX-related Type S Concept, and is the first Acura production model to wear it, but certainly not the last. It’s bookended by Acura’s distinctively shaped LED headlights. There’s generous side glass as in the original Integra, and an overall sportiness to its demeanor that’s noticeable but not too aggressive. A mix of new and classic, the new Integra’s performance message is there but understate in the finest Honda/Acura tradition without the juvenile excess that mars the Civic.
If the Integra’s Civic lineage is apparent anywhere, it’s the cabin. While it is somewhat upgraded from the Civic, it’s minimal. Nevertheless, it’s well finished and easy to use, with the possible exception of the clumsy infotainment user interface. Front seat space is roomy while rear seat space seems adequate.
Faux suede inserts are added to the seats on A-Spec models with the Technology package, which also adds 12-way power adjustments for the driver and 4-way power adjustments for the front passenger. As is typical of all Honda vehicles, there’s a fair bit of road and tire noise at speed, so this is not a quiet ride.
Regardless of trim level, all Acura Integra models receive the same powertrain, a 1.5-liter, 16-valve, double-overhead-cam VTEC turbocharged 4-cylinder engine used in the Honda Civic Si. It generates 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. Unlike previous Integras, a continuously variable automatic transmission is standard; a 6-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential are optional on A-Spec models. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is not offered. An adaptive suspension is optional.
Safety and Technology
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the 2023 Acura Integra five stars for rollover protection, but hasn’t rated it overall, nor for front or side crash protection. But the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates it a 2023 op Safety Pick Plus, one of only 48 models in 2023 to merit the designation. So, it’s a very safe choice in a collision.
The Acura Integra comes equipped with an extremely impressive array of standard driver assistance safety systems, including collision mitigation braking system, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, lane-keeping assist, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot information, rear cross-traffic monitor, low speed braking control, traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, pedestrian detection, and automatic high beams.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, although opting for the Technology Package trim brings with it wireless integration as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless charging, AcuraLink Connected Services, additional USB ports, a 5.3-inch head-up display, a 9-inch infotainment touchscreen with integrated Alexa (a 7-inch display is standard), and a 16-speaker premium audio system with Sirius XM satellite radio.
The Integra seems fast enough without being outrageous, with a 0-60 mph time of about 7 seconds. Those wishing for more should wait for the Type S slated to arrive this summer. But for the rest of us, the Integra doesn’t disappoint. It proves to possess the lively, nimble, tossable personality we expect.
The steering is nicely weighted, possessing a direct feel that makes the Integra satisfying to drive. Yes, there should be less road noise; there’s far too much for a premium sedan. But the same could be said of the Civic. The difference is somewhat more premium experience. It’s a far better vehicle than the ILX, and wears a nameplate that means so much to so many.
2023 Acura Integra A-Spec Specifications
|Dimension||L: 185.8 inches/W: 72 inches/H: 55.5 inches/Wheelbase: 107.7 inches|
|Powertrain||1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, CVT and front-wheel drive|
|Fuel Economy||29 mpg city/36 mpg highway/32 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $36,300; As tested: $37,495 including $1,195 destination charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
The Integra returns as the upscale Civic it always was, and possesses enough differences to make the slight price premium worthwhile. It’s a welcome return of an old friend.
2023 Acura Integra A-Spec — Frequently Asked Questions
Will the 2023 Integra be AWD?
No, as the Integra has always come solely with front-wheel drive.
What engine will 2023 Integra have?
It comes equipped with a 1.5-liter, 16-valve, double-overhead-cam VTEC turbocharged 4-cylinder engine used in the Honda Civic Si. It’s rated at 200 horsepower.
Is the Integra just a Civic?
Since its debut in 1986, the Integra has been a heavily massaged Civic, and that doesn’t change for 2023.