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The 2023 Acura Integra has been subject to harsh yet possibly misguided criticism from enthusiasts. These enthusiasts cite the four-door layout of the new Integra, along with the 200-hp 1.5L turbocharged engine it shares with the Honda Civic Si, as the main reasons for their distaste.

Interestingly enough, the more pedestrian Integra trims from the 1990s did not meet the performance numbers of the 90s Civic Si either. So, in some ways, the new Integra is more impressive than it ever was. U.S. News seems to agree, rating the 2023 Integra at a 9.0 out of 10. With the Integra Type S coming later this year, let’s see why the base Integra received such high marks from the outlet.

The new Acura Integra is simply a good car

Whether or not you feel the new Acura Integra lives up to its well-loved predecessors, the new car is excellent. U.S. News looks at each vehicle its team reviews as objectively as it can. So what did the site like about this new generation?

To start, the handling is superb. This may be unsurprising to those that keep up with automotive news, but the 2023 Integra is essentially mechanically identical to the 2023 Honda Civic Si. It has the same punchy 1.5L turbo, making a healthy 200 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. The Civic Si is manual, while the non-A-Spec Integra is only available with a CVT. That said, if you opt for the $5k A-Spec package, you get that sweet six-speed manual transmission. This means that you get the excellent driving dynamics of the Civic Si along with the efficient yet powerful engine to make for quite the fun little package.

The Integra has great standard features

A side profile shot of a red 2023 Acura Integra A-Spec luxury liftback sedan model parked near a twisting road
2023 Acura Integra A-Spec | Acura

The Acura Integra, unlike the Honda Civic, is very well equipped. The $30,800 non-A-Spec gets features you’d expect in a luxury vehicle. That includes heated seats, a moonroof, adaptive cruise control, and, of course, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Integra models also come standard with heated side mirrors, eight-way adjustable seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and synthetic leather seats. All this comes in addition to a host of excellent safety features, including lane-keep assist and blind spot monitoring. If that isn’t enough, you can opt for the A-Spec trim and get another boatload of excellent safety and convenience features and the aforementioned six-speed manual—a must-have for enthusiasts.

Why did the Integra score higher than other Acuras? 

The biggest reason is the model’s interior. The 2023 Acura Integra benefits from an interior design language adapted from the Civic. The Civic’s interior was already a class above, but things really came together with the additional features and higher-quality materials used in the Acura. U.S. News reports the seats as being particularly comfortable, but do note that headroom in the rear is slightly compromised. The interiors of the other Acura models certainly aren’t bad. In fact, U.S. News was fairly positive in its assessment of the MDX. It’s just that the other Acura models don’t seem to have interiors that meet the quality of most rivals. 

The other reason is infotainment. The Integra gets a similar infotainment setup to the Civic. It has buttons and knobs that are easy to reach and intuitive to operate safely on the road. Other Acura models were heavily critiqued for their clunky non-touchscreen infotainment touchpad. U.S. News noted this as a con for every Acura model except the Integra. Hopefully, given the positive feedback on the easy-to-use 7-inch touchscreen in the Integra, Acura will ditch the touchpad, as Lexus has done in recent years. 

The Integra is the best Acura model

The Integra hasn’t yet found its way into the heart of every automotive enthusiast, but there is no denying to many it’s the best Acura. It isn’t the most powerful, but it has a great list of standard features, an optional manual transmission, a great interior, and an excellent infotainment system, all at a very affordable price point. True to the Integra heritage or not, let’s just be thankful Acura is making a great manual daily in 2023. 

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