2023 Acura Integra Review: Can it possibly fill an icon's shoes?

2023 Acura Integra Review: Can it possibly fill an icon's shoes?

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Pros: Civic Si performance with greater refinement; sweet manual transmission; thrifty fuel economy; versatile hatchback

Cons: Underwhelming base equipment; cramped rear headroom; some cheap interior bits in back; a CVT, really?

For those of a certain age and/or certain automotive fandom, the 2023 Acura Integra represents the return of an icon. Yes, the Integra is back, and as it was in the very beginning, it’s a four-door hatchback that can be both an enthusiasts’ darling or just a well-made, well-equipped compact car for those who want something a little more premium than a Honda Civic.


And that last comparison is key, because the Acura Integra is basically a Honda Civic that’s been thoroughly worked over with a totally different body, stiffer structure and different(ish) interior. Admittedly, the Civic is a great place to start, as it’s a terrific little sedan/hatchback that arguably outpaces its competition and does a pretty good job of being a well-made, well-equipped compact car itself. There really wasn’t that much for Acura to do to rework the cabin for luxury duty, though it’s certainly best realized with the optional Technology package and there are some areas (like the back seat) where the luxury touches could have been further applied.

From a mechanical perspective, the Integra specifically builds off the Civic Si. It has the same 200-horsepower turbocharged engine and front-wheel drive, but with a saucier exhaust and CVT as standard. A six-speed manual is available, but only on the range-topping A-Spec with Technology package. The A-Spec’s adaptive dampers also do a better job of both road-holding and ride comfort. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong at all with seeing the Integra as a more refined Civic Si.

As it was in the past, the new Integra is both a luxury-adjacent sedan and a sport compact car. That means it can be a ritzier alternative to the Civics of the world, a more budget-conscious alternative to the Audi A3s, or Acura/Honda’s answer to the Volkswagen GTI and GLI. No matter what you compare it to, though, we think the new Integra is a winner. Welcome back, old friend.

Interior & Technology   |   Passenger & Cargo Space   |   Performance & Fuel Economy

What it's like to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Levels   |   Crash Ratings & Safety Features

What's new for 2023?

The Integra is an all-new model. It technically replaces the ILX, however, which was similarly a Civic-based compact Acura.

What are the Integra interior and in-car technology like?

The best way to describe the Integra interior is Honda Plus. Almost everything you touch, from the buttons and knobs, to the squishy door tops and touchscreen interfaces, are plucked from the Honda parts bin. Specifically, they’re shared with the Civic. Now, that parts bin features a lot of nice bits and pieces, which we’ve routinely praised as being exceptional for the compact car segment. A luxury car is a different story, however, and the Integra interior looks and feels more competitive with a VW GTI than an Audi A3. This is most notable in the back seat, which lacks air vents, has hard plastic door trim and, in the A-Spec, leatherette upholstery instead of the micro-suede up front.

As previously mentioned, the infotainment system uses the same 7- or 9-inch touchscreens as the Civic, and therefore not Acura’s True Touchpad interface that has drawn few fans over the years. Well, besides our road test editor. Although it’s lame that the bigger screen isn’t standard on an Acura, both are generally easy to use, quick to react and have graphics that are easily read, if a tad plain. And if we are comparing the Integra more to a GTI than various luxury-branded models, Acura gets a big advantage here as VW’s latest tech interface is a mess.

How big is the Integra?

Unlike past Integras, there is only one body style: four doors with a fastback hatchback trunk lid. Basically, just like the first-generation four-door model. It’s quite a bit larger than that, though, as the Integra functions similarly to a 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback, meaning it offers loads of adult-friendly legroom front and rear. The standard eight-way power driver seat also provides abundant adjustability, and you should even have sufficient room for a rear-facing child seat. Unfortunately, that racy roofline really chews into rear headroom, and even those of average height will find themselves grazing the roof.

On paper, the Integra trunk wows with 24.3 cubic feet, which would in theory be equivalent to a small SUV. It’s also a far better figure than the 14.8 cubic-feet of the Honda Civic Si and its conventional trunk. In practice, however, we found that the Civic sedan has more cargo-carrying capacity than the Integra — by a surprisingly large margin, too. It’s wider, longer and nearly as tall despite Integra benefitting from a hatchback. Basically, it’s definitely not SUV-like, but expect it to be superior to an Audi A3, Mercedes CLA or BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe trunk.

What are the Acura Integra fuel economy and performance specs?