Is the 2023 Acura Integra a Letdown? The Good, the Bad, and the Luxury

When Acura announced the return of the legendary Integra, there was no shortage of excitement. However, as more details came out surrounding the car, more people became a bit disappointed with the decisions Acura made. Much like the Civic Si, there is no coupe version available, which immediately caused some backlash. Realistically, the Integra is just a repackaged version of the Civic Si. Interestingly, that has a lot of people upset despite the fact that that’s what an Integra has always been.

The 2023 Acura Integra is a luxury take on the 2022 Civic Si

Ohio factory worker putting the finishing touches on an all-new 2023 Acura Integra
2023 Acura Integra | Honda

According to The Drive, the Integra’s shared commodities with the 2022 Civic Si is nothing to be upset about. After all, the Si is a phenomenal car that delivers a great driving experience. Surely, the Integra will not leave that on the table as it leaves for canyon roads.

According to The Drive’s Victoria Scott, who spent some time behind the wheel of the new Integra, it is, in fact, quite good. Scott reports that the Integra offers a more inspiring cornering feel and steering response than other competitors. She cites the BMW 328i as an example. However, Scott also notes that it doesn’t quite deliver the same grip levels as the Civic Si due to the Integra’s factory all-season tires vs. the Si’s grippy Goodyears.

Scott goes on to confirm what the automotive enthusiast world already suspected. If you want to enjoy yourself behind the wheel, buy the manual. The manual transmission becomes a must-buy as the only other option is a dreaded CVT automatic.

2023 Acura Integra overhead blue
2023 Acura Integra overhead view in blue | Acura

“Despite possessing the same power on paper as the row-your-own option, the CVT model I tested felt vastly slower, and the engine sounded vaguely like it was choking. Not only was a lot of the driving enjoyment dulled, but it felt significantly less premium,” wrote Scott.

Overall, Scott confirms that the Integra is effectively a Civic Si with a little bit of extra relaxation rolled into it. While that may be a source of frustration for many nostalgic Integra fans, it’s important to put it in perspective. It’s so easy to immediately associate the Integra with the legendary Type R.

However, the vast majority of Integras were exactly the new ones are; luxury Civics.

Expectations were a little too high

2023 Acura Integra colors
2023 Acura Integra | Acura

It’s also easy to understand how looking at the new Integra can incite some ill feelings toward it. It’s big, it looks like every other Acura model, and it’s a four-door. Additionally, it really pushes the limits of what you can consider a “hatchback.”

According to Car and Driver, though, despite the luxurious additions compared to the Civic Si on which it’s based, the Integra still feels nimble and playful. Additionally, it comes in hundreds of pounds lighter than the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA it takes aim at. It’s much cheaper, too.

So, while there isn’t a handful of specific little details that Integra fans wanted, and there’s no coupe version, the new Integra does what Integras do. It’s a luxurious step up from a Civic with great handling characteristics that offers the finer things in life without touching the price point of its German counterparts.

If it’s not for you, nothing’s stopping you from buying an older one and modifying it to run circles around the new one. Scroll down to read more about that concept!

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