Having grown up during the import car explosion, I’m pretty darn excited that the Acura Integra is back for 2023. But a few fans are taking longer to warm up to the resurrected hatchback. Some point to the standard CVT while others argue that it’s not different enough from its platform sibling, the 2022 Honda Civic Si. However, sharing guts with the latest Si isn’t necessarily a bad thing. And as automotive YouTuber Doug DeMuro shows in his latest video, the 2023 Integra is plenty different from the sporty Civic.
Mechanically, the 2023 Acura Integra seems like a 2022 Civic Si hatchback
|2023 Acura Integra|
|Engine||1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder|
|Transmissions||CVT Six-speed manual|
You can’t get the 2022 Honda Civic Si as a hatchback, only as a sedan. But you can get its powertrain in another Honda-built hatchback: the 2023 Acura Integra. Yes, as some pre-reveal leaks claimed, the new Integra has the same engine as the current Si. And the same platform, six-speed manual transmission with a helical limited-slip differential and automatic rev-matching, and fully-independent suspension. So, it’s the unofficial Civic Si Hatchback, then?
Well, not exactly. Firstly, the 2022 Si is manual-only, while the Integra comes standard with a CVT. If you want a stick in your new Integra, you’ll have to pay extra. Secondly, Acura’s hatchback has a unique exhaust setup, so it won’t sound exactly like the Civic. Thirdly, the 2023 Integra’s design is similar to but distinctly not the 2022 Civic Hatchback. That’s because while the cars share platforms and overall shapes, they don’t share any body panels, MotorTrend says.
They do, however, share some interior parts and features. However, that also highlights something else that separates the 2023 Acura Integra from the Civic Si. Namely, it’s not just a sporty hatchback, but a luxury one, too. And as Doug DeMuro points out, that distinction matters more than you might think.
But Doug DeMuro shows the 2023 Acura Integra offers more luxuries, features, and space
It’s worth noting that the US-spec 2022 Honda Civic Si already misses out on a few premium features. The Canadian-spec Si, for example, offers things like a TFT gauge cluster, heated seats, front and rear parking sensors, and dual-zone automatic climate control. But you can get some of these luxuries on the 2023 Acura Integra. The TFT cluster, for instance, is standard on all new Integras.
Admittedly, some of these luxury features are reserved for the Integra A-Spec and Technology Packages. LED fog lights? A-Spec. Wireless charging pad? A-Spec with Technology Package. And while the 2023 Integra offers adaptive dampers—something the Civic Si dropped for 2022—they’re only standard on the highest trim. Still, it’s clear that, at least in the US, the revived Integra is being treated as a luxury car, albeit an entry-level one,
Officially, Honda didn’t ‘de-content’ the Civic Si to leave room for the new Integra, DeMuro says. However, he personally has some doubts on this matter. And you can see where he’s coming from when you realize the 2022 Si doesn’t have a sunglasses holder but the Integra does. Though to be fair, the 2023 Integra has some unique luxury upgrades, such as memory functions for the driver’s seat on the highest trim. Plus, you can’t get synthetic leather in the Si, but it’s standard on all Integra models.
In addition, remember that earlier bit about the Integra and Civic not sharing body panels? Well, the 2023 Acura Integra is longer, lower, and wider than the Civic Hatchback. Thus, it has more cargo space and a roomier interior, MT notes.
So, even though it’s based on the current Civic, the Integra carves out its own identity apart from it.
Will it be just as fun to drive?
Still, even if the 2023 Acura Integra shares its bones with the 2022 Civic Si, it’s not the end of the world. The 2022 Si isn’t the fastest compact sports sedan, but it’s certainly no slouch in the handling department. And while it’s too soon to tell if the Integra will handle exactly like it, it almost certainly won’t drive worse.
In the end, though, the 2023 Integra isn’t just a simple Civic Si clone in a hatchback body. It’s related, but it’s its own hatch.
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