Let’s address the elephant in the room before anything else. The new Acura Integra is nowhere near the same car as the iconic Integra Type-R gearheads drooled over back in the ’90s, but just because it’s not the same, doesn’t necessarily mean it deserves all the hate.
The new Integra has a base price just north of $30,000, then it comes fitted with a 200-hp turbo-four with 192 lb-ft of torque also found in the Honda Civic Si. And if you feel that 200 ponies is just too tame for your taste, rumor has it that an Integra Type-S is in the works and that we can expect its announcement later in the year. Many people can’t seem to justify its hefty price tag in comparison to its rivals, but we say there’s much more to the Integra than just a spreadsheet full of numbers, the Integra is meant for driving enthusiasts. So let’s dive into some remarkable traits that make the new Integra one of the coolest new cars you can buy. And if you feel that 200 ponies is just too tame for your taste, rumor has it that an Integra Type-S is in the works and that we can expect its announcement later in the year.
8 It’s Stickshift With An LSD
You heard that right folks, in its top-spec, the A-Spec, the Acura Integra gets treated with a notchy 6-speed manual transmission with automatic rev-matching, as well as a limited-slip differential. For some, that’s just some fancy words with an empty meaning behind them, but if you know your stuff, you know what a huge difference a limited-slip diff makes in a front-wheel-drive car.
Once a front-wheel-drive car – especially one with as much grunt as the Integra – is fitted with both an LSD and a stickshift, it takes corners sharper, and more stable than ever before… and of course, this makes doing burnouts a breeze as well.
7 It’s A Reskinned Civic, Just Better
Like we said in our introduction, the Integra is fitted with the same turbocharged inline-four found in the Civic Si, but that’s not where the similarities end quite yet. It’s actually based on the Civic too, which means it shares the same platform and basic components.
See, the Civic Si is already a brilliant car to drive, but the Integra improves on some attributes the Honda failed in. It might be heavier than the Civic, but that’s because it’s roomier on the inside, has a bigger trunk, and is sculpted out of much more luxurious materials than the Civic, not to mention even more technology as well.
6 Blissful noise
Modern cars’ sounds are all neutered to death because of stricter emission and noise laws, but somehow Acura managed to allow their Integra to bless our ears with a raw, raspy engine song that doesn’t feature any crackles or pops.
We’re still not quite sure if they fell victim to artificial pumped-in engine noise like BMWs do nowadays, and if they did, we’re impressed with its natural sound. If you’d like, here’s a 10-minute video to give you just a little taste of what we’re talking about.
5 Adaptive Dampers
We can’t stress this enough: If you want to buy an Integra, spend some extra money to get the A-Spec trim level! Not only will you be receiving the aforementioned standard transmission and limited-slip-differential, but you’ll also be getting sports seats, a rear spoiler, and most importantly, adaptive dampers too.
These dampers allow the Integra’s suspension to stiffen, or soften with just the press of a button. Not only does it change the ride quality, but it transforms how the car feels when being thrown into a corner… speaking of.
4 Chuckable Personality
They say it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is driving a fast car slow, but the Integra takes things a step further and almost begs you to throw it into corners as hard as humanly possible – it wants to be trashed.
We wouldn’t go as far as calling the Integra slow, since it has a 7-second 0-60 time, but there are cars from the same segment which perform better in a straight line. But one thing they don’t have, which the Acura excels in, especially in its A-Spec, is tackling tight little corners, just as the original Integra did.
3 Cabin Quality
Once again, it all comes down to the A-Spec Integra. Not only does it come fitted with faux-leather sports seats accentuated by suede inserts – which are heated and electrically adjustable – but its technology is on par with other luxury cars as well.
The A-Spec comes fitted with a crisp 9-inch touch screen display that has Alexa built-in, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and other amenities include wireless charging, as well as a heads-up display, adaptive cruise control, and countless safety features. The cherry on the cake, however, is its ELS Studio 3D sound system; on paper, it might sound like a gimmick, but it truly is one of the best sound systems fitted in any car.
Just look at it. The Integra’s 19-inch wheels fit perfectly into its fastback-inspired design, and we’d argue that its frameless grille is a perfect size. Not only is it stunning from afar, but the magic lies in the details.
Its front and rear lights both have special names, its LED tail lights are called Chicane lights because they resemble a 3D model resembling a racetrack, and its headlights are called Jewel Eye LED lights since they too follow the rear’s race-inspired aesthetic, only more vividly detailed – and it even has the Integra name engraved underneath one of its headlights, and one of its tail lights. If that wasn’t enough, the Integra has a vast array of accessories also that elevate its design even more like an illuminated front emblem, blacked-out emblems, carbon fiber mirror caps, a carbon fiber rear spoiler, side skirts, and a rear diffuser.
At the end of the day, the new Integra is much more than just a fun little car with an iconic name; it has top-of-the-line technology, and a stunning design, and is one of the best daily drivers for those with a family with a tight budget.
When the seats are up, its trunk has a capacity of 24 cubic feet, but since the Integra has 60/40 fold-flat rear seats, your cargo area can be even greater. It is worth mentioning though, that some say the rear headroom can be slightly tight for adults who are over 6 feet tall. Nonetheless, a brilliant daily driver.