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  • 2023 Acura Integra A-Spec Test Drive

  • 2023 Acura Integra A-Spec Test Drive

    For car enthusiasts raised in the 1980s and 1990s, the Acura Integra nameplate hearkens back to an era before SUVs became the default vehicle platform. Now, after a 22-year hiatus, the iconic name returns as a replacement for the Acura ILX sedan. Like the original, the 2023 Acura Integra rides on a compact platform shared with the Honda Civic, which won the prestigious North American Car of the Year award for 2022. By winning this title for 2023, the all-new Acura Integra has followed in the Civic's footsteps. 

    But don't think this is just a fancy Civic. The new Integra delivers equipment not available on the Civic Si, including the hatchback body style, leather seats, and an automatic transmission, all of which come standard. Fortunately, I got to Acura's new sport compact with a manual gearbox, which is a no-cost option on the A-Spec w/ Technology trim level. 

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    2023 Acura Integra A-Spec Exterior

    2023 Acura Integra A-Spec Test Drive

    The overall styling of the 2023 Acura Integra isn't all that different from the ILX sedan it replaces, but the key difference is the sleek, tapered hatchback roofline. With the aggressive, chiseled lines of the front end, Acura's bold design language is at its best on this Integra. The fastback roofline gives this car a sporty profile, which is amplified by the upswept tail and concave taillight area.

    In an era of luxury cars adorned with alphanumeric naming systems, this luxury compact shows off its throwback name with the Integra lettering stamped into the front and rear bumpers, and the A-Spec spices up the appearance even more with its blacked-out window and bumper trim, 18-inch alloy wheels and the subtle rear spoiler. The Integra is offered in an array of premium colors (each a $600 option) including the flashier Performance Red Pearl and Apex Blue Pearl, but this tester was painted in the Integra's signature color, Liquid Carbon Metallic.

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    2023 Acura Integra A-Spec Interior

    2023 Acura Integra A-Spec Test Drive

    Open the doors and it's easy to spot the similarities between the Civic and the 2023 Acura Integra, but Acura has done a great job differentiating this car for luxury buyers. While the standard 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster and optional nine-inch infotainment screen are from the Civic, the entire instrument panel has been redesigned with more dynamic lines and better integration with the center console. 

    With metallic trim and speaker covers, Acura also gave the door panels a more premium look. But the best spec of this interior means opting for the A-Spec w/ Technology package, as it adds red leather seats with black accents and suede inserts. This package also upgrades the cabin tech with a 5.3-inch head-up display, 16-speaker ELS Studio audio system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging, and three charging ports (one USB-C for the front seats, and two USB-A ports for the rear passengers).

    The seating position feels the same as a Civic, and it also feels appropriate for a sporty compact like the Integra. In normal driving, the 12-way power driver's seat with memory and four-way passenger seat (part of the A-Spec w/ Technology package) provide ample comfort, yet these seats still offer plenty of side bolstering to keep you in place during hard corners. Similarly, the rear seats feature modest bolstering for the outboard occupants, which leaves the rear seat best suited for just two adults. The sportier shape gives the Integra a taller lift-over height than the Civic hatchback, but with 24.3 cubic feet of cargo space available behind the rear seats, the cargo volume is practically identical. Notably, that's more than double the amount of space the Audi A3 or Mercedes-Benz CLA offers. 

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    2023 Acura Integra A-Spec Powertrain

    2023 Acura Integra A-Spec Test Drive

    The Integra name evokes memories of fun-to-drive sport compacts, so in that spirit, the 2023 Acura Integra is powered by the same 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder as the current Honda Civic Si. This engine produces 200 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. 

    But if this isn't enough power, Acura has confirmed that the 2024 model year will add a more powerful Integra Type S, which, like the 2022 MDX Type S I recently drove, will deliver sharpened performance and handling. Now, the Integra is available with a spectacular six-speed manual gearbox, but this transmission can only be equipped on the most expensive A-Spec w/ Technology trim level. With this transmission, the 2023 Integra has EPA-rated fuel economy estimates of 26 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, which is a drop of 3 mpg city compared to the CVT. After a week of real-world driving, this tester's gauge cluster showed 34.6 mp, which is pretty impressive for a car this fun to drive.

    Using the Civic Si as a starting point for the base Integra ensures this car is fun to drive in all configurations, but in addition to the available manual gearbox, the A-Spec w/ Technology package adds an Adaptive Damper System allowing drivers to fine-tune the chassis feel with a trio of toggle-controlled driving modes. Whether you're putting around town or pushing it hard through the twists and turns, the 2023 Acura Integra feels like a true sports luxury car, and it's exactly what Acura needed to spice up its lineup! One thing that makes the Integra feel special is its low curb weight. At just 3,073 pounds (as tested), it's several hundred pounds less than anything else in this segment. 

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    2023 Acura Integra A-Spec Safety

    2023 Acura Integra A-Spec Test Drive

    Being so new to the market, the 2023 Acura Integra has not yet been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

    All Integras are equipped with the AcuraWatch suite of safety features such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, Forward Collision Warning, Pedestrian Detection, Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and Traffic Sign Recognition. Other safety features include a Blind Spot Information System, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, Automatic High Beam Headlights, and a Multi-View Rear Camera. 

    The A-Spec w/ Technology trim adds front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and low-speed braking control.

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    2023 Acura Integra A-Spec Overall

    2023 Acura Integra A-Spec Test Drive

    The return of the Acura Integra follows the trend of other revived monikers, including the Toyota Supra, Chevrolet Blazer, and Ford Maverick. But like the Ford Bronco, the 2023 Acura Integra truly recaptures the spirit of its namesake. Because while this sporty, high-tech hatchback might be a nod to Acura's origins, it's also an engaging car that doesn't break the bank.

    In base form, the $31,300 Integra is aggressively priced, and comes in at thousands of dollars less than rivals like the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA. Even decked out with the sportier A-Spec w/ Technology trim level, this car's as-tested price of $37,395 was still commendable, especially considering how high car prices have climbed in recent years. And if that's not enough? The Integra is the only car in its class that offers a manual transmission. 

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    Jeffrey N. Ross | February 6, 2023

    2022 Acura Integra




    Turbo 1.5L I4
    200 hp, 192 lb-ft
    6-speed manual


    26 / 36 mpg
    City / Highway

    NHTSA Rating


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