The return of the Integra nameplate to the Acura lineup spurred lots of discussion. Is this a real Integra? Can it live up to the reputation of its predecessors? And, perhaps most relevant, how does it measure up to the Honda Civic upon which it's based?
We decided to answer that question by comparing the 2023 Integra and 2022 Civic's specifications, features, and results in our various tests. There are many similarities between the two in terms of their mechanical components, but there are important differences in their market positioning, pricing, and configurations.
Engine and Transmission
The Integra's sole engine choice is a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four. While the Civic comes standard with a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four, the same turbo engine as the Integra is found in the Civic's EX, Touring, Sport Touring, and Si trim levels. The Acura's tune is identical to the Si's engine, as both make 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque.
Where the Integra differs from the Civic is in its transmission choices. Both offer a six-speed manual transmission, but the Acura is unique in combining the 200-hp version of this engine with a continuously variable automatic transmission. The Civic Si sedan is manual only. The automatic is standard on the Integra, while opting for the manual requires adding the A-Spec and Technology packages Among non-Si Civic models, the manual is only available with the hatchback model's Sport and Sport Touring trims.
As you'd expect with two cars that are mechanically similar, the Integra and Civic performed within just a few ticks of each other in our various performance tests. The Integra manual accelerated to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds, which fits neatly in between the Civic Si's 6.8 second sprint and the Civic Sport Touring hatchback manual's 7.3-second run.
The more performance-oriented Civic Si separated itself from the Acura in our skidpad test, however, largely thanks to its optional summer tires. It gripped to the tune of 0.94 g, while the Integra A-Spec could only manage 0.88 g on its all-season tires. The Civic Si's braking performance was also significantly better than the Integra's, as it stopped from 70 mph in 160 feet to the Acura's longer 178-foot result.
According to the EPA, the most efficient versions of both the Civic and Integra are the models equipped with the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine and continuously variable automatic transmission. The Civic is thriftier, earning up to 36 mpg combined, while the Integra is rated at up to 33 mpg combined. Opting for the manual transmission drops those figures by a few mpg.
If you compare the Civic's higher trim levels with the Integra's lower ones, the equipment lists look quite similar. But the Acura does offer a few optional features that can't be had on the Civic, including a head-up display, an ELS premium audio system, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. These are all included with the Technology package. Mechanically, the Integra also offers adaptive dampers that aren't available on the Civic; these offer more adjustability for the suspension as you select different drive modes.
The Civic's $23,645 base price and the Integra's $31,895 base price are $8250 apart. But the Civic you get for that low starting price is an LX sedan without much equipment and the base 158-hp engine. The more comparable model is the Civic EX-L hatchback, which has the same turbo engine as the Integra and starts at $28,345.
The Civic hatchback in its fully loaded Sport Touring trim level costs $31,145, no matter whether you choose the manual or the automatic transmission. The Integra's price rises if you add either the $2000 A-Spec or $3000 Technology package; both are required if you want the six-speed manual transmission, making that car's price $36,895 to start.
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