The new Acura Integra is one of the most affordable luxury compact sedans in the market, but it has something interesting that makes it fun to discuss.
The Integra brings a name that we love back to the market. This name reminds us of a sports car that has been gone from the market for several years, giving us an exciting new version to drive. Strangely, the only way to get the most fun out of this car is to use some old-school driving technology, which makes this car a doctor vs. monster car.
Standard won’t be the choice of enthusiasts
For most people that love cars and want to enjoy the ride, the CVT automatic transmission found in the base version of the Integra won’t crack the top five transmission options. That said, this CVT is used to give the Integra a smooth ride while maximizing fuel mileage. If you’re looking at this luxury compact sedan to be an efficient daily driver, this transmission could be what you want, but it holds back the potential of this Acura, making it a lot less enjoyable to drive than it should be.
What will enthusiasts choose instead for this Acura
The top choice of most driving enthusiasts is the Mr. Hyde of transmissions, which is perfect for the new Acura Integra. This transmission is a six-speed manual model with a short-throw shifter to make this car as sporty as it can be. There’s also a rev-matching feature for the downshifts that make the move toward lower speeds smoother during your time behind the wheel. This car also has a helical limited-slip differential to maximize traction. When you want real fun, you’ll go for the menacing monster that is the Integra A-Spec, which is the only way to get the manual transmission.
Does this new Integra hit the right notes?
The point where sportiness, luxury, and practicality meet is where you’ll find this new Acura.
This impressive car is light, tipping the scales at only 3,100 pounds, and it brings enough power to be fun to drive. No, this car won’t blow the doors off anything at the track, but it’s ideal for carving corners on a mountain pass or rocketing off the line while you shift gears and go through the progression on your way to your desired speed.
To find the luxurious qualities of this new Acura, you’ll want to open the doors and step into the seats. These seats are covered in high-end leather and are made to be comfortable for a long drive. The interior trim is visually appealing, and the tech makes this car show off the upscale feeling you want when you’re behind the wheel. Of course, if you choose the A-Spec model, you’ll find the sporty influence in the cabin with red gauge needles, stainless steel pedals, and contrast stitching on the steering wheel, seats, and shift boot to give this car a bit more appeal for you.
There’s only one powertrain offered for every model of the new Acura Integra. This engine is the same one as the Honda Civic Si, which is a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 200 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. Couple this power with the light weight of this car, and you’ve got a vehicle that should be relatively efficient on the road. In addition to being efficient, the Integra is one of the most affordable cars in the entire luxury segment. The starting price hovers around $33,000, which makes it an easy car to afford when you’re looking for something you can easily fit into your budget.
Sights and sounds that make the Integra more interesting
The gauge cluster in this Acura has a color-changing function to give you the look you want. These colors marry up with the different driving modes to set the mood during your ride. Put the car in comfort mode, and you’ve got blue gauges; white is for normal mode, and red is for the sport mode. These colors make a lot of sense, but so do the sound effects used for the various driving modes as well. As expected, the sport mode offers the most aggressive sound effects, making this car one of the most intense-sounding small luxury cars offered.
Does the tech get in the way of the old-school feeling?
Driving the new Acura Integra A-Spec comes with the desire to have a car that really does feel like an old-school sports sedan. With electronic gauges, can it be possible to have the desired driving feeling while using the manual transmission? Yes, it can. The tachometer in this car allows the interface between you and the car to feel great and gives you that reading required to know when you should shift gears while rocketing to high speeds on an open road.
The Technology Package makes a lot of sense
If you’re looking for a great way to add more equipment to the Integra, other than choosing between a CVT and a manual transmission, the Technology Package has what you’re looking for in this car. This package brings:
- Puddle lights
- Front/rear parking sensors
- Adaptive suspension
- Head-up display
- Low-speed automatic emergency braking
- Ambient LED cabin lighting
- Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- Three USB-A ports
- 9-inch infotainment touchscreen
- Amazon Alexa
- Wireless device charging
- 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
- 4-way power-adjustable passenger seat
- 16-speaker ELS Studio audio system
Will you choose the Jekyll or Hyde version of this car?
If you don’t know how to drive a vehicle with a manual transmission and aren’t willing to learn, you’ll likely look at the basic version of the Acura Integra with the CVT. On the other hand, when you’re looking for a bit more fun from behind the wheel, the A-Spec model with its six-speed manual is the car for you. These differences make the new Integra one of the most unique and fun to discuss cars offered for 2023.
Before you decide which type of Integra is right for you, head to your local Acura dealer and check out the differences and the features offered that might push you to learn how to use that third pedal and row your gears.
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