Just about every car manufacturer that’s withstood the test of time has at least one namesake they’re best remembered for. In Acura’s case, one of those names is Integra; and after a roughly 15-year hiatus, it’s back. We had a chance to drive the 2023 Acura Integra and see how well it honors that cherished badging.

Alright, so the big elephant in the room is that a lot of people are disappointed the new Integra is only offered as a four-door liftback. And I get it; some of the most beloved Integras of all time were 2-door liftbacks. But I urge you to look past that.

All Integras utilize a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four; the same that's seen in the Civic Si sedan. It displaces 200 horsepower on the nose and 192 lb-ft of torque, sent to the front wheels through either a CVT automatic or, in our case, a 6-speed manual transmission. That combination makes this an enticing offer for many.

"Acura says the initial response or the initial number of reservations for the new Integra has “exceeded expectations.” Which is good news, but some really cool news is that apparently 65 percent of those are for the manual transmission. And I have to say for the 65 percent of people that are getting the manual, I think you’re really going to like what you get. The clutch is smooth, it’s lightweight, and the pick-up point is… on point. The shifter itself is notchy, the throws are relatively short for a stock car. I gotta say the only thing about the shifting experience I don’t like is the knob itself-- it’s just a little bit of an oblong shape. It’s-- it’s not really my favorite, but if that’s my biggest gripe with the manual transmission, I’m gonna say Acura kinda knocked it out of the park."

Now’s the time to say that the manual transmission is only available on top-trim Integras: that’s the A-Spec with the technology package, which offers the third pedal as technically a no-cost option, along with a Limited Slip Differential. Other additions include a heads-up display, a 9-inch color touchscreen, wireless smartphone integration, and these super adjustable leather and microsuede seats. The base Integra isn’t barren, however, coming with a 10.2-inch instrument panel, wired smartphone integration, and heated synthetic leather seats. And thanks to the wide opening hatch and 60/40 split folding second row, the Integra remains a practical, yet engaging experience.

To reiterate an earlier point, the Integra is reminiscent of the latest Civic, but not a one-to-one comparison. Perhaps a little more precise, but certainly more refined or mature. It’s sporty when you want it to be, though, thanks to the available adaptive dampers, the rev-matching, and that limited slip diff. And the exhaust coming from this VTEC, believe it or not, ain’t half bad.

All of this is wrapped up in a bespoke exterior design. Our A-Spec model came with 18-inch wheels wrapped in all-season tires, the obvious A-spec badgining, LED Fog lights, and various black trimmings. My personal favorite bit has to be the stamped Integra moniker on the front and rear bumper covers. Too cool.

Fortunately, another carryover from the Civic is its pricing; still relatively attainable with a starting MSRP of $30,800 or $32,800 with the A-Spec appearance pack. The Integra with the technology package, which we demoed, starts at $35,800. And seeing as it’s the first Integra to be built stateside, we hope it’s a little easier to physically obtain, too.

An Integra press kit from 1986 referred to the first-gen models as “sophisticated sports sedans designed for spirited driving. They’re sporty as well as practical.” And to level with you, that’s what the new Integra is. Sporty, practical, and it’s more sophisticated than its Civic cousin. Woulda two-door liftback have been cool? You bet; but was it necessary? For the Integra’s main mission, maybe not.

Either way, this is just our first taste of the new Integra, but stay tuned to MotorWeek for our full test… coming soon.


  • Engine: 1.5L I4 Turbo
  • Horsepower: 200
  • Torque: 192 lb-ft