Motor Authority Greatest Automobile To Purchase 2024 finalist


What number of occasions and in what number of completely different varieties can the Honda Civic Kind R be named Motor Authority Greatest Automobile To Purchase? That’s one of many questions the Acura Integra Kind S poses on this yr’s competitors.

The long-lasting Acura Integra nameplate returned in 2023, and it was sharp sufficient to change into a Motor Authority Greatest Automobile To Purchase 2023 finalist. However ultimately it wasn’t highly effective sufficient and didn’t deal with sharply sufficient to win. The brand new Acura Integra Kind S mannequin simply might need sufficient of each.

With extra energy, a retuned suspension, additional cooling, greater brakes, and revised aerodynamics, the Acura Integra Kind S performs effectively with youngsters and adults

Acura Integra Type S

Acura Integra Kind S

The center of the matter is the engine swap. The bottom Integra’s turbo-4 is changed with the Honda Civic Kind R’s 2.0-liter turbo-4 huffing as much as 25.2 psi of enhance for 320 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. For these with the sharp pencils within the room, that’s 5 hp greater than the Kind R because of a barely completely different tune, although you’ll by no means really discover the facility distinction. Bragging rights are one other matter. 

The Kind S solely comes with a short-throw 6-speed guide transmission that picks off satisfying shifts. Energy solely goes to the entrance wheels, however the limited-slip differential helps management the facility supply with solely a touch of torque steer.

Its engine is a gem that gives a excessive giggle issue. Senior Editor Kirk Bell famous the Kind S’s engine is even chattier than within the Kind R, at the very least from exterior the automobile. The Kind S options the Kind R’s exhaust system with triple shops, however lacks the Honda’s entrance resonator, leading to a louder exhaust word.

Acura Integra Type S

Acura Integra Kind S

If the Kind R scores a ten for pugnacity, the Kind S has been dialed right down to an 8. The softer suspension has no Race drive mode. Nevertheless,  as we discovered throughout Greatest Automobile To Purchase testing, it’s nonetheless as much as monitor responsibility with out falling throughout itself. The Kind S stays composed on the monitor because of its beefier stance. It is 3.9 inches wider up entrance and 1.9 inches wider within the rear. Kind S fashions get a 2-mm bigger entrance stabilizer bar over customary Integras, and the strong rear stabilizer bar can also be 2 mm wider than the Integra A-Spec mannequin. Acura really slowed the Kind S’s steering system over the usual Integra with a variable ratio that ranges from 11.62:1 at full lock to 14.9:1 on heart. 

On the monitor with repeated use, the bigger brakes by no means pale. They develop 1.5 inches up entrance to 13.8 inches and 0.9 inch within the rear to 12.0 inches over customary Integras. The fronts additionally use Brembo 4-piston calipers. They did smoke initially, however the pedal by no means obtained squishy. We advocate high-test brake fluid and completely different pads for longer monitor days. 

One among our favourite facets of the Integra Kind S is that it’s an undercover Civic Kind R. The delicate physique equipment flares the fenders, slight rocker extensions are barely noticeable, the rear lip spoiler is small, and each entrance and rear diffusers exist however aren’t visually loud. It’ll take a eager eye and greater than a look to know this isn’t an ordinary Integra. The triple exhaust shops are the biggest tell-tale signal. 

Acura Integra Type S

Acura Integra Kind S

Acura Integra Type S

Acura Integra Kind S

The inside solely seats 4 reasonably than 5, however the Integra’s 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster and 9.0-inch touchscreen carry over. The game seats up entrance do as effectively, although with firmer bolstering. The Kind R’s comfortable bucket seats weren’t ported over, which bigger Individuals will respect, however they had been missed throughout our monitor day. The seats are good wanting, and whereas comfy, they don’t make the inside really feel particular just like the seats within the Kind R.

All the Integra’s flaws exterior of energy carry over to the Kind S mannequin. They embrace a compromised rear seat with restricted headroom and a knees-up seating place, a tile-based infotainment system that already seems dated, flaky Apple CarPlay, and a price ticket that feels $10,000 too excessive at $51,995. It’s additionally $10,000 greater than a Civic Kind R, which doesn’t appear justified, and itself is about $5,000 too costly. 

Is a extra civil, grown-up Civic Kind R the perfect automobile for our competitors? Is a $10,000 premium an excessive amount of to ask for Acura’s sizzling hatch? Will the Kind R’s powertrain in an under-the-radar bundle be sufficient for the Acura Integra Kind S to clinch the win and be named Motor Authority Greatest Automobile To Purchase 2024 over an American supercar, a German sport coupe, America’s authentic muscle automobile, and a excessive efficiency electrical sedan? Examine again on Jan. 3 after we reveal the winner, together with the champs from our sister websites, The Automobile Connection and Inexperienced Automobile Experiences.

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