Honda and Acura have brought back the sport compact car in style. The latest iterations of the Civic Si and the all-new Integra have sparked a new sense of excitement in import enthusiasts like myself as of late. Fortunately, I have been able to test both of these spritely sedans this year and put together a short comparison for anyone that is thinking about shopping for either of them in 2023.
The powertrains in both the 2023 Honda Civic Si and 2023 Acura Integra are the same
Let’s address the elephant in the room first. Under the hoods of both of these cars is a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine that produces 200 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. Yes, they are the same, and they perform similarly in both cars, as you might expect. I was even able to average around 34 mpg in both cars with a similar mix of city and highway driving.
The main difference is that with the Acura Integra, you’ll have the option for a CVT in its lower trim levels (only the highest A-Spec trim has a stick) – with the Honda Civic Si, you don’t have a choice. Both cars have the same six-speed manual transmission equipped with a limited-slip differential. They feel supremely sublime compared to any other shifter on the market – including the Toyota GR86.
Case in point, when it comes to the powertrains in both of these cars, it’s a win-win scenario.
The 2023 Acura Integra has a slightly more comfortable interior than the Civic Si
When comparing these two cars, it quickly becomes apparent that they are the same car. After all, the Integra is based on the Civic platform, so go figure. However, the biggest difference between them, aside from the exterior styling, is their interiors. The Acura Integra has more comfortable seats than the Civic Si. They provide better bolstering and come standard with an 8-way power adjustment.
My Integra A-Spec tester came with 12 ways of power adjustability, including lumbar support. There were also seat warmers, which came in handy during the cold winter days I drove it in. I also enjoyed the dual-zone auto climate control and ELS 16-speaker sound system that the Integra was equipped with.
Both cars offer wireless Apple Carplay/Android Auto. However, the Civic Si has a Bose 12-speaker sound – which is good, but not as good as the Integra’s audio – and only a single-zone climate control. Its cabin is comfortable and gets the job done, but the Integra’s is a little nicer.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to these two cars
When it comes to exterior aesthetics, the Civic Si and Acura Integra look pretty different. They both have four doors, but the Integra has a fastback shape to accommodate its hatchback architecture. The Civic Si takes after its lower-trim counterparts with its traditional sedan shape and trunk, with the exception of a small decklid spoiler and larger wheels.
As for determining if one looks better than the other, that’s up to any prospective buyers. I personally like the Acura Integra’s look a little more because it’s more aggressive.
If you need more cargo space, the Acura Integra is the one to pick
Speaking of the Integra’s hatchback shape, its liftback style gives it more cargo room than the Civic Si. According to Acura, the Integra has 24.3 cubic feet of cargo volume compared to the Civic’s 14.4. The difference is apparent when cramming golf clubs and groceries into each car, as there was definitely more room in the Integra.
How does each car drive?
Both cars feel the same on the road. The steering is light, and they handle corners at speed with the agility of a rabbit running through a dense forest. The Integra has a leg up in the handling department, though, because it’s equipped with an adaptive suspension that can be put in “comfort, normal, and sport” modes.
However, I didn’t notice a huge difference between each mode. I actually like the Civic Si’s non-adaptive suspension, as it provides a lot of comfort in normal driving situations and is stiffly sprung to handle tight corners without beating you up or exuding too much body roll.
2023 Honda Civic Si vs. 2023 Acura Integra: It mainly comes down to price
When it comes to shopping between the 2023 Acura Integra and the 2023 Honda Civic Si, the pricing between the two is a major deciding factor. Considering they are essentially the same car underneath all of the sheet metal, buyers will need to decide which car presents a better value.
The Integra A-Spec (with the manual transmission) costs around $37,000, while the Civic Si retails for around $28,000. Are fancier seats, dual-zone climate control, a better sound system, and more cargo space worth an additional $10,000? Maybe to some.
But for my money, I would choose the 2023 Honda Civic Si. However, you can’t go wrong with either of these sport compacts.