I was excited to learn that I would be road testing an Acura 2023 Integra, any vehicle with an Acura name means quality and speed.
So it was that an Acura Integra A-Spec model was delivered by the factory representatives to my driveway.
My delight dimmed, however, when I settled into the sleek sports model for the first time and discovered that it was a stick-shift.
Wow, I haven’t had a manual transmission to drive for several years.
But, growing up with manual transmissions, the shifting is no problem, but city stop-and-go with a manual transmission can result in considerable clutching and gear-shifting. So be it, and I warmed up to the manual transmission after a few days enjoying the power of lower gears with a six-speed transmission, 200 horsepower, and a turbo engine. This Integra could fly if it only had wings.
The internal cab was “Red” and the outside of the sleek, low base design, was “Liquid Carbon Metallic.” A smoker outside a restaurant commented to me about the attractive interior. “Thanks, I replied.”
Sleek styling with the Acura emblem lighted, with “Jewel Eye” LED lights cut through the dark stormy nights. The longer that I drove this sports model the fun factor increased. The interior seats were heated with 12-way power controls and a leather covered steering wheel. The floor pedals were metal to withstand the shifting wear and tear.
The six- speed gear choices matched the four-drive modes of sport, comfort, normal or individual. I spent most of my driving time in the sport mode. That reduced the fuel mileage, but the average was around 30 mpg. Driving in sixth gear on the freeway the mileage could exceed 37 mpg. I found out that the fuel tank only contained 12.4 gallons of gas as I added fuel after a mountain drive.
Acura provides a “Collison Mitigation” system that warns the driver of frontal objects and will stop prior to striking a forward object, depending upon distance and speed. The Integra was loaded with windshield safety, speed signs, and engineer efforts were made in the design to keep more of the eyesight on the roadway, rather than the dashboard.
The center console was simple to use, and the UBS smart phone charging pad was quick and easy to use. The sound system was lit up with 16 premium speakers. This matched up with the younger generation with the stick shift, superior sound system, and the bright red interior. The 19” black “matte” wheels gave the car a likeable appearance of speed and performance.
Where this Integra really shined was coming down U.S 70 through the mountain breezing along at high speeds with perfect road control, almost like a jet fighter. No matter the speed there was always some driver passing. The MacPherson front shocks and real multi-link suspension working with the electric steering gave excellent control to the driving experience. This was where the six-speed transmission worked so well, going to fifth gear on some hills and driving in the sixth gear on the downslopes.
I would prefer this model with an automatic transmission that is available. The price on the test model was $37,395 with all options included. They didn’t charge extra for the lighted “Diamond Pentagon” grill emblem.
This model is assembled in Marysville, Ohio with a U.S. engine and transmission made in India with a power train warranty of 6/YR/70K. Stick shifts are hard on clutches with teenage drivers.
This is a car to be driven and enjoyed.