First Drive: The 2022 Acura Integra

The 2022 Acura Integra

by Michael Satterfield -07/28/20223

Integra is a storied name in the automotive world, for many of us growing up in Southern California car culture in the late 90s and early 00s Integra Type R was a unicorn. I remember the first time I saw one in person, my friends and I were hanging out working on a Civic with a swapped B18 engine for our local "unsanctioned impromptu drag races" when another friend pulled up in a white Type R, it was a beautiful car and while I was never a big Honda guy, you knew the Type R was special. A small, two-door, with a wing, and a big Type R on the lower rocker. Sport Compact Car Magazine reported 6.1 second 0-60 time, which for a front-wheel-drive car of the time, was amazing. 

The next generation would be called the Acura RSX in the US, but in Japan, Australia, and other markets it was sold as the Integra, another great two-door sports car now powered by the mighty K-Series engine. So for 17 years, the Integra nameplate has been in mothballs, so when there were rumblings of the Integra being reintroduced back in early 2021, enthusiasts of a certain age were excited.

The 2022 Acura Integra

A few months later, Honda pulled the wraps off the Honda Integra in China, a four-door liftback twin of the Honda Civic, which dashed the hopes of us getting a small, two-door sports car. June 2022, it was confirmed when the new Acura Integra was unveiled as a 2023 model as a four-door only. 

A replacement for the ILX sedan the new Integra shares a chassis with the new Honda Civic and comes with the same 1.5-liter 4-cylinder Turbo that is offered in the Civic Si. My test vehicle is an A-Spec and has been ordered with the optional six-speed manual transmission which features the same rev-matching technology as the Civic Si. The Technology package is an additional $3,000 but for that, you get the adaptive suspension, premium sound system, wireless charging, and a larger screen. There is a CVT transmission for those of you who don't want to shift. 

The first thing I notice with the Integra is it does feel a lot like its Civic Si cousin, and not in a bad way. It is solid and thoughtfully designed, all the materials you interact with are top-notch, and it just feels well made. Inside the seats feature a leatherette and microfiber upholstery, the back seat doesn't exactly match which is disappointing. While it has a nice sound system, heated seats, and Apple Carplay/Android Auto, I don't know if it is really worth the premium over the Civic Si which starts at the sub $30,000 mark and offers nearly an identical experience.

The 2022 Acura Integra

The Integra doesn't really deliver on the expectation of being a true luxury hot-hatch, it is luxurious enough or sporty enough to really take home the gold in any category. You would have to forget that the Golf GTI Autobahn exists, also offers a 6-speed manual, packs in an additional 41 horsepower, and only costs a few grand more. 

When you start looking at the competition in the luxury/performance compact hatchback/sedan arena it is pretty stiff, even with it being a shrinking segment. An A-Spec with Technology package has an MSRP including destination of $37,395, compared to other entry-level luxury sedans it is on the pricey end. The Mazda 3 Premium AWD comes in at $30,760, the BMW 228i Gran Coupe starts at $36,600, and the Mercedes Benz A-Class AMG Line comes in at $37,700, drop the AMG Line package and you have a starting MSRP of $35,000.

The 2022 Acura Integra

The Integra strikes me as just a slightly nicer version of the Civic Si, but I am not sure it would be enough for me to choose it over the Civic, or another competitor. If you are looking for a sporty luxury car with an actual manual transmission, be sure to drive it, but if you can live without the badge engineering and you don't require a luxury nameplate in your garage, drive the Civic Si too.