The 2023 Acura Integra rolled onto dealer lots in late spring. With the new model, the luxury automaker attempts to play into the nostalgia of previous generations beloved by drivers in the ’80s and ’90s. Though its predecessor, the ILX, was based on the Honda Civic, the 2023 Acura Integra soups up the Civic Si. Though the new luxury compact sedan has a few pros to recommend it, Consumer Reports found several disappointing features.
1. The 2023 Acura Integra basically has the same spec engine as the Civic Si
The engine in the 2023 Acura Integra’s engine isn’t a problem per se. It provides good power off the line. For passing, the stop/start system restarts quickly with a minimal amount of shudder. And the button to control the ignition is conveniently located on the center console next to the gear selector.
The issue lies in the fact that the Integra’s base engine is essentially identical to the one in the Civic Si. It’s perplexing that engineers couldn’t find a way to generate more power for the Integra, especially considering the luxury car’s starting price of $30,800 is over $3,000 more than the Si.
2. The 2023 Acura Integra’s CVT does not perform the way it should
The 2023 Acura Integra comes standard with a CVT (continuously variable transmission) to appeal to most drivers rather than the niche audience that prefers a manual transmission. Unfortunately, the CVT in the Integra isn’t compatible with the rest of the car.
Consumer Reports testers say it doesn’t simulate shifts unless you really hammer the gas pedal, and even then, the shift doesn’t take place until you reach 6,000 rpm. Also, the rubber-band effect, where the power initially hides before making itself known suddenly, is more noticeable than it should be.
CR sums up the problem thus: “Unlike the Si, where you felt encouraged to access the top of the powerband, it feels more like a punishment here.”
3. Rear visibility is poor
It’s hard enough to create a high level of visibility in cars with a hatchback body style like the Integra. It’s even worse in this case because the third side windows are so small that they serve no real use. The rear window, which slopes down sharply, and thick rear roof pillars magnify the problem.
Thankfully, the Integra comes with a standard backup camera and blind-spot warning system. You’ll rely on those components regularly if you drive this vehicle.
4. The standard infotainment system is lacking
The 2023 Acura Integra is priced like a premium vehicle, but the infotainment system is pretty basic. Though the Civic Si has a 9.0-inch screen across all trims, the Integra provides only a 7.0-inch screen unless you pay extra for the range-topping A-Spec Technology package. Two inches of screen size is a strange thing to place behind a paywall.
5. Most of the interior materials feel cheap
The Integra’s interior design isn’t overwhelmingly bad. Some details, like unique accent pieces and soft materials on the upper dashboard and upper door panels, differentiate the 2023 Integra from the Civic Si. But other elements feel cheaply made.
The back-door window sills are made of hard plastic, the center brim still has rough edges from the mold used to make the piece, and the center armrest is somewhat flimsy, CR testers note.
Considering the Integra’s price, consumers would be reasonable to expect better quality in these areas.
6. The standard suspension is overly stiff
Last, Consumer Reports testers say the standard suspension is too stiff for a sedan. When driving on rougher terrain, you’ll feel the impact of each bump to a frustrating degree. The Civic Si is actually stiffer than the Integra, but the difference isn’t big enough, even with the latter’s adaptive suspension.