I figured I would greet the holiday season with a sore neck and a welt on my head from banging it every time I got into the vehicle I was assigned this week.
Gift shopping, errands, airport runs to pick up family and last-minute treks to the grocery store – all would happen, not from the comfort and civilized height of a cute ute or practical minivan, but in… a sedan!
Who is still making sedans, anyway? Well, Acura is.
And the Integra, the supposed bane of my holiday shopping existence, proved to be a comfortable, easily accessible, sporty, and dare I say, sexy little runabout.
Ok, so it’s not the Integra that all the cool ’90s kids wanted. Acura is obviously trying to feed their nostalgia addiction by reviving the legendary nameplate that had been dormant since 2006.
When the Integra first appeared in 1986, as a slicked-up, more refined Civic, it was heralded, as MotorTrend says, “… as one of the finest-driving front-wheel-drive sport compacts money could buy.”
Well-balanced dynamics and a peppy 1.5-litre turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that makes 200 horsepower and 192 lb.-ft. torque make the 2023 Integra fun to drive. It feels like a larger sports car.
It has lovely, fluid proportional lines, although Integra purists would probably demand a more edgy design.
Inside I found the seats to be immediately comfortable. In many vehicles, this is not always the case, no matter how much adjusting I do.
The cockpit is driver-centric and filled with techie touches. The carved-out front of the centre console lid looks elegant and allows for more cup holder space.
I also love the hatchback proportions and the liftback that opens to reveal a gargantuan rear cargo area – perfect for larger and bulky holiday gifts.
The Integra is quick, nimble and a snap to park in the jammed parking lots at this time of year.
Yes, Acura still believes in the compact sports sedan. And kudos to Acura for holding onto another fast-disappearing feature – the manual transmission. Choose the Integra’s top trim (Elite A-SPEC) and you can feel like your old ’90s self again with three pedals and a six-speed manual transmission!
Long-live the Integra, the perfect Christmas shopping buddy. Why? Well, because it’s red, of course!