2023 Acura Integra debuts – upmarket Honda Civic fastback with 200 hp, CVT, 6-speed manual; fr RM126k

This is it, the all-new Acura Integra. The return of the iconic nameplate was first announced last August and was later followed by a prototype a few months later. Now, the luxury division of Honda has revealed the production version of the sports sedan, which will start at around USD30,000 (RM125,760) – reservations are now open, and deliveries will start this spring.

If you liked the look of the prototype, you’ll be glad to know that Acura did not make any major changes to that design. Based on the 11th-generation Civic, the reborn Integra sports a fastback shape with five doors (counting the rear hatch) and swooping roofline. Having that number of doors isn’t surprising as past Integra models were also available in that form, and Acura says its new offering was inspired by the original that helped launch the brand in 1986.

Acura’s frameless Diamond Pentagon grille, first seen on the Type S Concept, takes centre stage at the front and is flanked by the brand’s Jewel Eye LED headlamps that feature “Chicane” LED daytime running lights.

Further down, the lower apron has a hexagonal-shaped intake that extends into the fog lamps as well as vertical air vents at the corners of the front bumper. Also retained from the prototype are the crease lines on the bonnet, which is a staple of other Acura models.

2023 Acura Integra debuts – upmarket Honda Civic fastback with 200 hp, CVT, 6-speed manual; fr RM126k

Viewed from the side, you’ll notice the distinctive character line that progressively rises from the front wheel arches to the rear quarter windows. Those wheels are also familiar in their design, although the funky paintjob for the brake calipers on the prototype is now gone in favour of a more subdued hue. Acura offers 17-inch alloys as standard, with other choices being 18 and 19 inches in size.

Moving to the rear, there’s an upswept decklid that forms a small lip, which can be further emphasised with the A-Spec variant that adds on a spoiler, along with gloss-black window surrounds and specific badges.

Single-piece LED taillights (with the “Chicane” graphic) are another nod to past Integra models, and so is embossed Integra script under the driver’s side lighting clusters. Rounding up the exterior cues are a rear diffuser and dual exhaust finishers, which, like the brakes, are without yellow paint.

On the inside, the Integra’s interior is certainly reminiscent of the Civic Si, albeit with a few notable tweaks. For starters, the air vents do not span the width of the dashboard and they have a diamond pattern for their inserts instead of honeycomb – ditto the vents at the top.

2023 Acura Integra debuts – upmarket Honda Civic fastback with 200 hp, CVT, 6-speed manual; fr RM126k

This redesign results in a more layered dash overall, and there’s a piece of trim ahead of the front passenger that traces its way down to the centre console, creating a more pronounced divide from the driver. Zoom in a little closer and you’ll also notice the shift knob has a different shape and gear pattern design on top.

Fitted as standard is Acura’s Precision Cockpit, a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster that is accompanied by a seven-inch touchscreen head unit with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and an eight-speaker sound system – an ELS Studio 3D 16-speaker setup is available too and includes two Highline speakers above the front passengers.

Customers who spring for the Technology Package will get a larger nine-inch touchscreen, wireless connectivity for the mentioned smartphone apps, Alexa support, a Qi wireless charger as well as a 5.3-inch head-up display.

Other available kit includes an ambient lighting system, powered front seats, leather upholstery, AcuraLink telematics, keyless entry and start and a powered sunroof. The AcuraWatch suite of safety and driver assistance system is standard across the range and consists of autonomous emergency braking, Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR), Traffic Jam Assist (TJA), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS).

2023 Acura Integra debuts – upmarket Honda Civic fastback with 200 hp, CVT, 6-speed manual; fr RM126k

Keep in mind that TJA will only work for variants of the Integra equipped with a CVT, which is standard across the range. Those that want the promised six-speed manual will need to step up to the A-Spec, which gets a close-ratio gearbox with rev-matching and a limited-slip differential.

Regardless of variant, the Integra’s engine is a 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo four-cylinder petrol unit that serves up the same outputs as the Civic Si – 200 hp at 6,000 rpm and 260 Nm of torque from 1,800 to 5,000 rpm. The Integra has MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link rear suspension, with adaptive dampers being reserved for the decked-out A-Spec with the Technology Package.

There you have it, the next-generation Integra has arrived, and Acura even got AlphaTauri-Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly to be part of its marketing campaign. The last Integra was the fourth-generation, two-door DC5 (known as the RSX in the United States), which was produced from 2001 to 2006, so the wait an all-new Integra has been a long one – we’ll disregard the China-only special for now. Does it live up to your expectations?