Return of a Beloved Icon or Just a Fancier Civic? Acura Fully Unveils the Reborn 2023 Integra
Last year, Acura announced that it was bringing back one of its most popular nameplates ever: the Integra. The last time an Integra was sold in the US was 2001, although the Acura RSX that followed was still a Honda Integra rebranded for the American market.
More Than Nostalgia?
But now the Integra is officially back, and today Acura fully announced all of the specs and details on this five-door hatchback that will serve as the new entry point into the brand.
It was clear back when Acura first showed the prototype that the new Integra (or at least this initial variant of it) wasn't going to be a fire-breathing reincarnation of the Integra Type R the '90s. In fact, the 2023 Integra is basically a luxury-trimmed Honda Civic Si right down to an identical powertrain.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing though. So let's take look at exactly what the new Integra brings to the table. The car looks almost identical to the yellow prototype Acura teased last year, and Acura has done a pretty good job distinguishing the Integra's styling from its Civic cousin.
Under the hood will be the same 1.5 liter turbocharged engine from the Civic Si. At 200hp and 192 pound-feet of torque, its output is also identical to the Si. One thing that differentiates the Integra from the Si is that a CVT transmission is standard on the Integra while the Si is manual-only.
You can however get the six-speed manual as an option on the A-Spec model Integra, and it comes with the same limited slip differential as the Civic Si. The automatic Integras will go without the LSD.
Looking inside the new Integra, you can tell that the car is based on the Civic, but it's also clear that the improved materials and technology are where most of the upcharge from the Honda version comes from. It comes standard with a 10.2 inch digital instrument display, and audiophiles can opt for a 16-speaker ELS sound system.
Acura didn't announce pricing for the Integra lineup, but it did say once again that it will start with an MSRP "around $30,000". Keep in mind that the manual transmission is only available on the higher grade A-Spec model, so a reasonable guess would be the mid $30,000s for a manual Integra, or around $6,000 more than a Civic Si with the same drivetrain.
Better Versions to Come?
From a pure enthusiast standpoint, that seems like a tough sell for those looking for a sporty sedan or hatchback, with cars like the aforementioned Civic Si, Subaru WRX and Golf GTI available.
There may, however, be a lot buyers willing to pay the premium for the nicer interior and luxury branding. It's also important to remember that back in the day most of the Integras on the road weren't the high performance GSR or Type R models, but the less powerful LS version, which this is basically equivalent to.
The question is that in an era where fewer people are buying sedans and hatchbacks than ever, how many buyers will be won over by what's essentially a Civic Si with some premium trimmings and no performance advantage?
Hopefully Acura is working on some high performance of the variants of the Integra to recapture the enthusiast market and this is but an appetizer for modern versions of the beloved Integra GSR and Type R to come.
Look for the 2023 Integra to start hitting dealerships later this spring.
More From Driving Line
- We don't know if we'll ever see a new version of the Integra Type R, but we do know a new version of the Civic Type R is coming shortly.