There has been a lot written about Acura’s new Integra. Angry people on the internet claim that the Civic based Integra isn’t what it should have been. However, that’s what the Integra always was, and we here at Hooniverse like it. We’ve driven the regular Integra and Jeff noted that the “2023 Acura Integra is exactly what it’s supposed to be“. Like, that was literally the title of his article! I drove it this past summer as well and really enjoyed my week with Acura’s new sedan. However, I ended the article opining that I wish that it felt a bit more special. Well, the Type S is here, and I’ve been driving it. So, let’s get into the weeds to find out if this $52,000 Integra is special enough to be worth of it’s elevated MSRP.
2024 Acura Integra Type S – Overview
Building your Integra on Acura’s website is an interesting experience. They basically start by asking “hey, you there, how much power do you want”. If you’d like 200 horsepower, you can opt for one with a CVT, or if you’re an intelligent person, one with a manual. I sort of wanted a bit more pizzaz when it comes to the Type S. It’s like “if you want more power, a lot more power, there’s this one I guess”.
“This one” does cost a lot more than the others, the better part of $20,000 more than the cheapest Integra. I’m curious how the average buyer will react to all this, especially since they all say “Front-Wheel Drive” and other than the obvious power difference, there isn’t much differentiation between the models.
Anyway, select the bigger engine and you are taken to “Select an Integra Package” which is basically just the Type S. Then select your color, everything but silver add $600 to the bottom line. Our tested was shorn in the gorgeous Apex Blue but I also really dig the Tiger Eye Pear yellow. Our tester also has the “Orchid” interior, which is sort of an off-white. I think for long-term ownership you go with the Ebony option though, it’ll show less wear.
As you can see by our window sticker, this built-in-Ohio Integra Type S doesn’t have anything else added (since there isn’t really much to add) and rings in at a final MSRP of $52,595. That’s more than twice as much as the two cheapest 2023 Honda Civic trim levels and $15,200 more than the Integra A-Spec w/Tech that I drove earlier this year.
Just look at it though.
2024 Acura Integra Type S – Inside & Out
While the Integra is a solid looking car, particularly in A-Spec guise, the Type S looks like something else altogether. Park them next to each other and that sticker shock starts to wear off. The Type S is a wide boi, so very wide, and that width allows for the front track to be 3.5 inches wider than the normal Integra. And unlike those tacked on widebody kits you see on a GT 86, this one looks great. Almost like it was done in a factory.
The design is aggressive without being ridiculous, the front end has deep lower air intakes on either side and the overall look is just fabulous. The “Diamond Pentagon” grille (which sounds like a strip club in DC) is also larger than it is on the non Type S for better cooling and the aluminum hood has a functional vent. The profile is still “hatchback Integra” but it looks lower and longer. Which it is. Out back Acura has a nice looking gloss back diffuser and triple-outlet exhaust.
It’s a fantastic looking thing.
On the inside, the changes aren’t quite as dramatic, which is OK. The regular Integra builds off of an already very solid Civic interior and Acura manage to make you feel reasonably good about sitting in a $50,000+ car. You get a bunch of “Type S” badging and embossing and a fantastic set of seats. They have “ultrasuede” inserts and a bit more side bolster than in the regular Integra. The ELS Studio 3-D system is fantastic as always and adds to the premium feel. It’s incredibly dynamic and honestly is an underappreciated stand out in the market right now.
Like the base Integra, they left some of the Civic metallic honeycomb trim splashed across the dash. Still it looks good, particularly with pixelated gray trim next to it. I really liked the white lights behind the central HVAC dials, as well as the detail on the dial itself. Criticisms were minor, the blank black section next to the door handle belies the fact that there are no seat presets. Which is something you can have on the cheaper Integra. Overall though, it’s comfortable, ergonomic, and feels just premium enough.
The Type S is also a practical hatchback, with loads of space and pretty impressive legroom. So, from a power and practicality perspective, it’s about perfect. But this is the Hooniverse, so we’re going to spend some time talking about performance.
2024 Acura Integra Type S – On the Street
What you really want to know is what the Type S is like to drive. Well, with 320 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque and a just over 3,200 pound curb weight it’s freakin quick. That’s five more horsepower than you get in the new Type R of which it’s based, more on that in a bit. Max power hits at 6,500 RPMs (VTEC yo!) so you’ve got to wind it out to get the most of the engine, although max torque hits much lower (2,600 to 4,000 RPMs) so it’s no slouch off the line. As you would expect, the manual transmission is typical Honda, which is to say it’s just about perfect. Plus, the brake hold feature is always welcomed on a manual, makes it a lot easier to live with in traffic.
It also sounds fantastic, the Type S actually doesn’t have a front exhaust chamber (where the Type R does) and Acura added an active valve system to really let you hear the soundtrack. Having driven it back-to-back with the Type R, it sounds better with more pops and bangs and personality. The drive modes are pretty well tuned for sound as well, in comfort mode the exhaust valve only opens at high RPMs, while in Sport+ it’s always open.
The drive modes work well to customize suspension settings as well. I love the “Individual” setting which lets you have the engine and exhaust in hoon-mode, while having the suspension on comfort. Unlike in some cars, it’s actually noticeable too. On a rough road I went from Sport+ to Individual and I noticed a difference in ride quality immediately. The safety systems are a bit omnipresent. On a newly paved road the lane departure kept wiggling me around in the lane, perhaps it couldn’t sense where the lines were since they hadn’t been sprayed yet. So I had to turn it off. Also, on a curvy street with cars parked along the side I kept getting the brake-alert warning but thankfully it was just a light and a noise vs. actually braking for me. Fairly minor criticisms if I’m honest, the Type S is a joy to drive.
When Honda announced that the Acura Integra was coming back, people said “yay”, then some said “no not like that, needs more power”. Now that there is a more powerful version, those same people are saying it’s too expensive. Likely people who weren’t going to buy one regardless, but whatever. I can say with certainty that its really good, and definitely worth the sticker price.
I ended my week in the Type S feeling a bit sad. Sad that it had to go. Sad that I couldn’t keep it forever. It’s that good. Sure, you’ll find a few things missing at $52,000 that you might expect. There’s the lack of seat presets, and there’s no sunroof (though that gives you more headroom to don a helmet and get some track time) but you’ll forget about all of that when you’re driving the Type S. If you comb through all of the changes the engineers have added over the normal Integra, it’s more than worth the premium. It’s one of the best daily drivers I’ve ever daily driven. And I drive a lot of cars. Just curious how it stacks up to the Type R…
Oh wait I’ve been doing just that. Stay tuned…