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Worthy Revival? Can the $30,000 2023 Acura Integra Compete with WRX, GTI and Civic Si?

When Acura teased that it was going to bringing back its legendary “Integra” nameplate plate a few months ago, there was plenty of hype to go around.

After all, the Integra was a beloved sport compact car and tuner icon from its birth in the 1980s through the Type R models of the late ‘90s and into the 2000s when it was rebranded into the RSX.

2023 Acura Integra Front View

But along with the hype, there was also some questions about what exactly the new Integra would be, where it would fit in to the Honda/Acura lineup and what it’s primary competitors would be. Now that Acura has unveiled the 2023 Integra and prototype form, some of those questions have been answered.

Look Who's Back

First off, the '23 Integra it's a five-door liftback, falling in line with previous generations which were offered as three and five-door liftbacks or four-door sedans depending on the model year. 

2023 Integra Side View

For most of its history, the Integra was closely related to the Honda Civic, using the same bones but with higher performance, more features and in the US market at least, a semi-luxury nameplate. And the next gen Integra looks to carry on that tradition.

2023 Integra Wheels

Although still technically a prototype without any full specs, Acura announced some key details about the '23 Integra. It will be powered by a 1.5 liter turbocharged four-cylinder VTEC engine, just like the 2022 Civic Si. And like the Si, it will be available with a six-speed manual transmission and have a limited-slip differential. 

2023 Acura Integra Rear View

It in the '22 Civic Si this engine makes 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque, and we'd expect the Integra to have more than that though it likely won't be a massive jump, given the small displacement. 

Turbo + Manual = Fun?

The use of the smaller 1.5 liter turbo engine may disappoint some who were expecting the larger 2.0 turbo engine used in other Acura and Honda products, but there could very well be a higher performance Integra model lurking in the future.

2023 Acura Integra Headlight

Likewise, the lack of Acura's Super Handling AWD may also disappoint enthusiasts who were hoping the Integra would differentiate itself from its cheaper, front-drive Honda Civic counterpart.

2023 Acura Integra Rear View

Acura didn't release any exact pricing info for the Integra, but it does say the car will start "around $30,000" when it goes on sale in the first half of next year.

2023 Acura Integra Front View

That should put the 2023 Integra right in the midst of the crowded hot hatchback/entry-level enthusiast sedan market occupied by cars like the Subaru WRX, Volkswagen GTI and the aforementioned Civic Si.

2023 Integra vs The Competition

When compared to the upcoming 2022 WRX, it's looking like the Integra will be rather outgunned when looking at the Subaru's 2.4 liter 271 horsepower turbocharged engine and all-wheel-drive system. It may however, have the edge in refinement and style when compared to the more nerdy Subaru. 

2022 Subaru WRX Orange

The new Mk8 Volkswagen GTI also starts right around $30,000. It doesn't have AWD (you'll need to upgrade to the Golf R for that), but it does have a larger and what should be a more powerful engine than the Integra with 241 horsepower on tap from two liters.

2022 Volkswagen GTI Mk8

Finally there's the Integra's corporate relative, the '22 Honda Civic Si. It's got the same engine, the same transmission, a similar platform and it has a starting price just over $28,000. 

2022 Honda Civic Si Orange

Chances are there will be plenty of buyers cross-shopping the Integra and Civic Si, but we'll have to wait for the full specs and details to see what the Integra's few extra thousand dollars get you.

2023 Integra Rear View

Integra Type S or Type R To Come?

We'll have to withhold full judgement on the new Integra until next year when the cars get out in the real world, but it's hard not to feel a little underwhelmed at these initial specs given how beloved the Integra nameplate is, but we are certainly glad to have a new option in this segment.

2023 Acura Integra Taillight

It should also be said that this version of the car might only be the entry-level Integra before a higher performance Type S model is added to the lineup along with a possible return of the hardcore, track-bred Integra Type R.

In other words, this comeback story might just be getting started. Stay tuned. 

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