If we’ve learned anything over the last 42-years here at MotorWeek, it’s that numbers on spec sheets don’t make great cars.
Vehicles like this 2023 Acura Integra A-Spec, which we’ve had the pleasure of driving for the last 2-months, may not boast big numbers of any kind, but the high revving 200-horsepower turbo-4 and the short-shifting 6-speed manual transmission help make this car much greater than the sum of its parts.
There is a little turbo lag from this tiny 1.5-liter, but that just seems to make it even more fun. It really is just a blast to drive; and don’t say we didn’t warn you; this car does make you want to drive fast.
That’s mostly due to this 6-speed manual transmission, which raises the question, why would anyone settle for an Integra A-Spec Tech with CVT? Rhetorical questions aside, I’m liking this car more and more. Now that I’ve got the high engagement point of the clutch figured out, I’m really starting to appreciate how dialed in the suspension is. At this rate, on the next update I might upgrade my “likes” to “loves.”
All this and great fuel economy too, with our current average sitting at 33.6 miles-per-gallon over 5,500-miles. Plus, the Integra’s hatchback practicality delivers storage space that rivals many small crossovers.
While it may not boast quite the refinement as most of the Acura lineup, everything inside looks and feels sporty too, and hey, that’s why they call it entry level.