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RUNN1N

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Now that demo models and customer allocations are starting to hit dealerships, I thought it'd be smart to make a place to compile takeaways after test drives. Please feel free to contribute!

I checked out the Liquid Carbon/Red demo that just arrived at Acura Columbus and was extremely impressed--this thing felt every bit as capable and premium as I hoped, and I'm even more excited for my allocation:

  • Seat Materials - I admit I'm not an expert in fabrics or anything, but if I didn't know the seats were synthetic leather, I wouldn't have been able to tell. They're soft to the touch, natural-feeling, and didn't seem prone to nail scratches. It's soft on the elbow points, and didn't seem prone to showing grease. The suede is surprisingly plush--they're softer than what I remember the Alcantara parts being in the Civic Type R. I wasn't sold on the suede, but it's a nice touch. It provides a nice grip in corners, and helps aid the bolsters with keeping you in place. The red isn't nearly as vivid in real life--don't let the photos fool you, it's not overwhelming. In short, I was pleasantly surprised by both the leather and suede, hopefully they both age well.
  • Seat Adjustability - This part was awesome. One of the reviews (SavageGeese, perhaps?) said this was a car you had to "fall into", and I experienced that at first. The seat was set to basement-level, evidently, but it didn't take much to adjust everything very nicely. I'm not usually one to adjust much, and I'm not too picky--if I drove your car, I'd probably leave your seat right where I found it, whether you were 4'5'' or 6'8''--but I can get used to a perfectly customized seat.
  • Car seat Attachments - If you own a child, or plan to make/borrow/buy one, the car seat attachment points in this car are a game-changer. If kids aren't your thing, perhaps they can be used for other things, even. There's plenty of room for 2 forward or backward-facing seats. I didn't think to look if there were attachments for 3, but that'd be a tough squeeze, regardless.
  • HUD - I've never had one before, and I could live without it, but I'll use it. The speed limit sign reminders seems handy. Fair warning--you won't be able to use it with polarized lenses, so I've heard.
  • ELS Audio - This car has a fantastic sound system. My wife and kid both wanted it turned down rather quickly, but I put it in the high 30's for a bit just to check it out. I can't wait to leave them at home!
  • Shifter - Ugh. So great. If you like a shifter that's stiff left to right with VERY short throws, this is it. My 2007 Si shifter felt very good. My 2012 CR-Z had a shifter that was wide and wobbly in comparison. I was surprised to test drive a 2020 Si that had a shifter that felt eerily similar to the CR-Z's--just a little too wide and disconnected. This feels just like i remember the 2019 Civic Type R's shifter feeling like. Very short throws, clear gates, totally connected to the car. Nicely done Honda/Acura. The right shifter makes rowing your own a joy.
  • Clutch - It's ample-feeling, for sure. The engagement was slightly on the high side, but the car also had a whopping 35 miles on it. Assuming there's a little break-in play, I think it'll be great.
  • Power/Torque - First off, no, you won't have to call ahead to pass other cars. I'll spare you any comparison against the CR-Z, and will say it felt more capable way down low than my 2007 Si, and even more capable overall than the 2020 Si, in my brief experience. it's not a Civic Type R, and it's not trying to be. I can say with no hesitation that the Integra didn't once beckon me to do anything stupid, whereas I genuinely felt a level of overconfidence in the Civic Type R that verged on dangerous. I fully believe the Integra is more than sufficiently capable for everything short of the track, but it wasn't begging me to prove it. (I also had my wife and toddler in the car, and i wasn't about to do anything stupid that might land me in a Fit.) It got going in 2nd gear just as easily as 1st (this is something I try intentionally), but I didn't try 3rd. I doubt it would've had an issue, wheres the 2007 and 2020 Si's REALLY bog down.
  • Hill Assist - I only had the chance to stop on one hill, and I did get it to roll back... I didn't feel any assistance, at least I don't think I did, but I might've been more focused on trying to make it roll back and I missed it. That, or it's a setting that wasn't turned on. Hopefully someone with hills can weigh in.
  • Adaptive Dampers/Drive Settings - Honestly, it didn't even cross my mind to feel my way around after I set it to Sport. Oof.
  • Backseat Space - I'm 6' and mainly legs, and I could sit behind myself with no issues--I had plenty of extra legroom and could get size 13 shoes under the seat with some room to spare. I had to slouch to put my head back on the headrest, but I also didn't think to look if it could be adjusted up. My head could graze the headliner, but I'd have to be sitting at church-level attention to do it. I took advantage of a few sales guys who were around as dummies--both were 6'2''+ and fit in the back without issue. One (~30) said he was comfortable, the other (~50) said he could ride in the back but wouldn't be happy about it. A sales guy who was ~6'5''+ and 280lb or more was the one who handed the car over, and he seemed genuinely thrilled about the car overall. I wasn't about to push him to get in the back, I have a feeling that dude is nobody's dummy.
  • Trunk Space - Cavernous. My kid climbed right in. I'm not sure why, but he seemed pleased.
  • Sounds - The exhaust sounds great from outside the car, and/but it's not offensively loud. The car doesn't drone, in my opinion, and I was comfortable with what I could hear from the car and the general outside environment at all speeds. I'm bummed there isn't a boost gauge, but can attest to clearly feeling the turbo kicking in at VERY low RPM, and, while I did have the windows down, could easily hear it in a good way.

Clearly, I thought it was great. I was also relieved to see my wife was impressed/pleased with it too. Where I'm all about function, she cares about form. She came along when I test drove the 2020 Si, and immediately brought up how er... cheap utilitarian the Si felt in comparison to the Integra. Both cars will do pretty much everything you need them to, but this is where you get the best of that function and form... at least until there's a Type S.
 
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Juddtastic77

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I test drove mine today as well. Originally went down to look at mine and test their demo( Serra Acura in Akron). Dealer said may as well drive mine, just waiting on the invoice. I should be able to pick it up Monday/Tuesday. You wrote your review so eloquently, I feel I don’t have to go into that kind of detail😇. But coming off my 2019 Si, I don’t feel as “engaged” with the car with the MT. I may just well be that this is considered luxury, as the civic is “utilitarian “. Granted, it has the pep and excellent driving feel, just the manual felt basically that you’re more or less “ going through the motion “ of a stick, but with an automatic feel. The rev match was definitely new to me, but welcomed. Sound system definitely gets it! Obviously didn’t go crazy on the driving, since it’s actually mine😂. Can’t wait to hear other’s experiences! Here’s a few pics including the window sticker

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Integra23

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I just test drove one in Louisville,KY. They have the Carbon/ manual as a demo which is what I ordered. The seats do automatically move back when you turn off the car and after you start it up they move forward. Sounds good but high rpms I took it up to 85mph and it was over 4k rpms.
Had a friend with me who said it sounded really good in the cabin even though I didn't put it in sport mode.
The heads-up display is pretty cool and radio display is very clear. Though I'm coming from a 15 year old vehicle so..
 
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EasyPickins

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It's nice to see that they're finally rolling into the dealerships. These are by far the best black interior pics I've seen on an A-Spec. I like the white contrast stitching with the black leatherette and the black microfiber looks good too. Those rear headrests are bit huge though and might obstruct the rear window visibility. Thoughts?
 
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TheRas900

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Great info - thanks for sharing. Any thoughts on steering weight?
 

DipTheoryA

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Have to admit, I'm really liking the suede inserts. I've always been a sucker for a good set of cloth seats... and this makes a great balance. I'm waiting to see this in person and hopefully in silver.

My only other frivolous wishes would be to have an Advance trim that adds all the extras (heated rear seats/vents, the expanded moonroof from the Euro Civic hybrid, and the trim and seat surfaces extended into the back seat) and a sport-hybrid drivetrain option. The gas mileage is better than I'd expected, but a sporty hybrid in the age of $5+/gal gas is almost becoming a necessity for me in my next purchase. I guess I'm saying that I like this car and hope Acura keeps it freshened each year (via colors and content) and keeps expanding its reach for the brand (hybrids, not just BEVs) - even in these crazy times.
 

lauren01

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but a sporty hybrid in the age of $5+/gal gas is almost becoming a necessity for me in my next purchase.

I’ve read that Honda re-upped their trademark registration of “CR-Z” which is the sporty hybrid made from 2010-2016. They sold a reported 35,037 of the cars worldwide during those model years. Comes in 5MT and CVT. All are 2-door hatchbacks and the coolest little cars, around 40mpg, and turned out to be among the most reliable Hondas to date (made in the revered Suzuka, Japan factory). I’m driving a 2013 EX CVT and love my tiny sort of zippy hybrid. They were near to Acura in tech in those days. I hope they bring one back. Maybe it will be an electric car. It’s tiny, fun AF, would be perfect. Hope it would remain a coupe hatch.
 

Xhilr8n!

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So I drove the demo our local dealer has. Blue/orchid manual. I’m no car reviewer but have had experience with a bunch of vehicles, and we had some good open winding roads on a clear perfect morning. Nice blue sparkle in the sun.

Parked our Gen 9 Si by it. I took no pictures because we were in a dealership parking lot in bright sun, would have been frustrating. These are both sedans, the Integra 10 inches longer, three wider, surprisingly only about 180 pounds heavier. Main difference is that long windshield and lower angled nose of Gen 9. The Integra shares that same bird beak front end of all Acuras.

Like every car there are nice surprises and some dissapointments, and we have to decide how those fit with our needs. This Gen 9 Si has been remarkable in how well it has served our real life needs.

Power level is what everyone wants to know. It’s not slow, but there will be times when it feels underpowered compared to my Gen 9. Once today I turned into a slow climb (we are in a mountainous area) and third gear failed where it would have easily pulled it in our Si. Just had to use a lower gear but this shows how it will be. In real life we will need some skill to move along briskly through traffic. But that’s the idea. If I wanted faster I’d buy faster. We have them. But this car offers more entertainment, we have a little work to do to keep it moving well.

Shifter is small for such a big car. It works like it’s hardly hooked to anything, as we expect from Honda. So smooth. Not perfect but very good.

Connected the phone and ran high def Tidal through Carplay and was very pleased. Bass way boomy even when reduced a bunch but the overall quality was there in highs and mids. Brushes on jazz cymbals was surprisingly accurate. Just a brief listen today but aftermarket is probably not needed. I can tell you for sure this is better than the premium McLaren Bowers and Wilkins. A lot of that the acoustic difference. A sedan just sounds better than a sports car. Better than the standard Bentley system too.

The seats disappointing. For me, 6’1” 184, there was just about no lateral support. My bottom would have thought we were in any cheap old car. And it seems they made them to look dirty from the beginning. Not a fan.

The Goodyear Summer tires felt nice. The 19” wheels look like hub caps. The new Si wheels look much better, to my eye.

There is one clear way that I know I enjoyed driving this car. As we swooshed along some backroads there were times when my fingers reached instinctively for paddles to put down some dual clutch shifts, muscle memory from truly fast cars. Point is this car was covering ground in an exciting way. So much that my instincts were at times from fast cars. I like.
 

math4scher

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So I drove the demo our local dealer has. Blue/orchid manual. I’m no car reviewer but have had experience with a bunch of vehicles, and we had some good open winding roads on a clear perfect morning. Nice blue sparkle in the sun.

Parked our Gen 9 Si by it. I took no pictures because we were in a dealership parking lot in bright sun, would have been frustrating. These are both sedans, the Integra 10 inches longer, three wider, surprisingly only about 180 pounds heavier. Main difference is that long windshield and lower angled nose of Gen 9. The Integra shares that same bird beak front end of all Acuras.

Like every car there are nice surprises and some dissapointments, and we have to decide how those fit with our needs. This Gen 9 Si has been remarkable in how well it has served our real life needs.

Power level is what everyone wants to know. It’s not slow, but there will be times when it feels underpowered compared to my Gen 9. Once today I turned into a slow climb (we are in a mountainous area) and third gear failed where it would have easily pulled it in our Si. Just had to use a lower gear but this shows how it will be. In real life we will need some skill to move along briskly through traffic. But that’s the idea. If I wanted faster I’d buy faster. We have them. But this car offers more entertainment, we have a little work to do to keep it moving well.

Shifter is small for such a big car. It works like it’s hardly hooked to anything, as we expect from Honda. So smooth. Not perfect but very good.

Connected the phone and ran high def Tidal through Carplay and was very pleased. Bass way boomy even when reduced a bunch but the overall quality was there in highs and mids. Brushes on jazz cymbals was surprisingly accurate. Just a brief listen today but aftermarket is probably not needed. I can tell you for sure this is better than the premium McLaren Bowers and Wilkins. A lot of that the acoustic difference. A sedan just sounds better than a sports car. Better than the standard Bentley system too.

The seats disappointing. For me, 6’1” 184, there was just about no lateral support. My bottom would have thought we were in any cheap old car. And it seems they made them to look dirty from the beginning. Not a fan.

The Goodyear Summer tires felt nice. The 19” wheels look like hub caps. The new Si wheels look much better, to my eye.

There is one clear way that I know I enjoyed driving this car. As we swooshed along some backroads there were times when my fingers reached instinctively for paddles to put down some dual clutch shifts, muscle memory from truly fast cars. Point is this car was covering ground in an exciting way. So much that my instincts were at times from fast cars. I like.
Thank you so very much for your extremely thorough review - very well done! Please tell me what you thought of the Blue/Orchid combo?
 

IntegraAgain

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TL:DR Guys (and Girls), the pics and video we have all seen do not do this car justice, in my opinion. I got to test drive “my” car today, and it is glorious. Luxury married to practicality, this is the perfect car to be my last Integra.

-------

My dealer called me today around lunch time, and left a voice message that their ‘demo car’ was ready and in their showroom area. He also told me that since this was the exact car I had reserved (A Spec w/Tech, Platinum White Pearl, manual) as the second reservation they received, this car was being set aside as mine and would not be driven!??!

The rest of my afternoon was shot after that. I could not concentrate on work (full time remote), so shortly the wife and I headed out.

Evidently, the sales manager was dead serious. There were 8 miles on the odometer, and he said that I could drive it if I wanted, but they would not be letting anyone else test drive the car for the next month until it was sold to me. Pretty amazing gesture, and he blamed the delay on “Acura messing up the allocations” in March/April. Whatever it was, this timing works fine for me with getting the finances in order.

We walked around and checked it out, and the window sticker is only missing the added weather mats and mudguards they have installed, which will boost my Out The Door by about $800 (plus tax/tag/title). The weather mats including the trunk liner are A Spec branded and look way better than the stock (blank gray fabric) mats, so I am fully satisfied. The sales manager reassured me multiple times that there would be no other dealer add-on surprises or other costs.

My wife had not seen the pics of this car, or anything about it, and she kept saying how “sexy” the car was, over and over. She loved the exhaust sound when we started it up, and was raving about the hatch trunk space.

My initial impressions of seeing the car in person were that the Platinum White Pearl is absolute fire in sunlight. My "indoor" pics have a slight cream tint to the paint, but I am blaming my Pixel3a or the lighting. Car is white, indoors or out. The red interior, looking at it in real life, is this a crazy deep brick red that is very understated. Sitting in the car there is ample space and the driver’s seat and wheel are not cramped, but I’m not feeling untethered in a wide open space like my old 2nd gen Integras, obviously. Cluster looks pretty awesome (wtf, I can tell which passengers don’t have their seatbelts on!?) and I didn’t go into modes or blast the ELS sound system or anything but there will be time for that. The 18” wheels seem to be perfect for my preference and driving style, plus the shark gray is close to a gunmetal in my opinion and looks tight AF. I even crawled under the rear end to inspect the tailpipe/muffler loop situation. Seems legit.

Driving this car is fun as hell. The rear view is just right, and the rear window edge to edge is basically all you can see in the interior mirror. Short-throw feels small and powerful in my hand (I have been driving a manual Mazda6 for about five years), and the pickup left me speechless with a huge grin on my face, glued to my seat as my wife gasped. LOL, we are sold. I stopped for a quick photo session before we returned to the dealership. White flake was stunning. When we got back they let me repark it inside the showroom area, so I got to use the mirrors and backup cam to see how it feels. Very nice.

Overall, I am ecstatic. This car is absolutely worth the wait, and in my opinion it is a striking mix of simplicity, practicality, and power. I don’t have the time, budget, or desire for a raunchy new super Corolla, a scandalous BRZ, or a drift missile Z-rebrand. Also, my days of laying on my garage floor wrenching for hours on an Integra are mostly over, and this 2023 Integra cool dad car is more than I ever expected it to be. Counting down the days to drive it home!

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