2024 Acura Integra Type S Review: First Drive
|Engine:||2.0L I4 Turbo|
|Output:||320 hp, 310 lb-ft|
|US fuel economy (MPG):||21/28/24|
|CAN fuel economy (L/100KM):||11.2/8.4/9.8|
|Starting Price (USD):||$51,995 (inc. dest.)|
|As-Tested Price (USD):||$53,785 (inc. dest.)|
|Starting Price (CAD):||$58,195 (inc. dest.)|
|As-Tested Price (CAD):||$58,695 (inc. dest.)|
For those who initially questioned the validity of Acura reviving the Integra: here is the 320-horsepower response.
Meet the 2024 Acura Integra Type S. The third Type S in as many years sits atop the reborn ‘Teggie lineup, but approaches performance and fun in a subtly different way from its Civic Type R sibling. Acura is pitching this more as a softer, rounded, everyday driver. So the inevitable question: has it gone too soft? Or has Acura struck gold? I spent a day tracing the canyons around Ojai, California to find out.Get a Quote on a New 2024 Acura Integra
The reborn Integra debuted almost exactly a year ago. If you’re the sort of person that thought it borrowed too much from the Honda Civic hatchback, then this might not change your mind. It nicks a 2.0-liter turbo-four, dual-axis front suspension, adaptive dampers, and more from the Civic.
The Civic Type R, that is—the best (semi-)affordable performance car out there right now. We just said as much in our four-car shootout. That’s a hell of a starting point. Like its big-winged brother, the Type S also uses a six-speed manual. In fact, it only uses that, and it’s the only choice in the premium segment to offer one. More on that in a bit.
Horsepower sits at 320 (5 hp more than the CTR, all located high in the rev range), whereas torque plateaus from 2600 to 4000 rpm at 310 pound-feet. That’s double the torque of the old Type R or RSX Type S, and new Type S boasts the best power-to-weight ratio of any Integra. Give it enough space, and it’ll run to 167 mph (269 km/h). These are better numbers than the first-gen NSX.
To harness all this additional oomph, the Type S sprouts a quartet of fender flares, increasing width by 2.8 inches (71 millimeters). Sticky 265/30ZR Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires wrap around 19-inch alloys that are lighter than the 18s on the A-Spec, and contribute to track increases of 3.5- and 1.9-inches (89 and 48 mm) front to back. All the bodywork ahead of the A-pillar is new too, with a focus on functional lift reduction. There’s the vented aluminum hood, new side sills, and hidden cooling vents in the lower bumper—the latter of which keep the enlarged front Brembo brakes cool.
From the factory, the lip spoiler is the same as the one on the A-Spec, but dealers will offer the more aggressive carbon item found here. They’ll also provide some sweet bronze wheels, too.
Softer is relative
As a parade of blue and white Integras leave Ojai, it’s clear that the Type S means business. Even in its friendliest drive mode, the Integra’s ride is stiff: not punishingly so, but more than any of the German trio Acura name-dropped in its pre-drive presentation. Those rubber band tires provide a lot of road noise, too. The Integra is keyed in, sniffing out the road ahead, and while its around-town ride is tolerable, its clear that the car wants to run off leash.
The first windy road hits, and the Integra finds its rhythm here. Flick the Integrated Dynamics System IDS) toggle to Sport and the steering gains a welcome bit of weight, the throttle responses sharpen, and the damper profile becomes more aggressive. The Integra is in its element here, the relatively light curb weight (3,219 pounds) and unburdened rear axle allowing for sharp turn-in. Grip is nearly endless on the road: the Teggie will easily pull a solid g around tighter corners.
Ratchet things up to Sport+ and it gets better still. The Type S scythes through the noodly canyon roads, the trick front suspension and standard limited-slip differential ensuring every last one of those 320 ponies hit the pavement. In a straight line the setup allows for a bit of torque steer, just enough to remind you this is a serious vehicle. The engine is so tractable that the Integra could easily dispatch the entire road without ever leaving third gear.
Not that you would, because this is one of the best manual ‘boxes in the business. Short, accurate throws combined with a friendly, perfectly-weighted clutch pedal to have me running up and down the gears for the sheer joy of it. Marvel at how quickly the yellow needle—the color a nod to the vaunted Integra Type R—swings around the digital tachometer. This shines a light on another unique Integra feature: its exhaust system. There’s over a foot’s worth of triple tips out back like the CTR, but the Acura skips the front resonator. The result is a richer exhaust note, and Sport+ mode overlays all manner of crackles and pops.
According to an Acura engineer, the Integra’s drive modes fill in the space between those in the Civic Type R. A half-step softer, if you will. It’s a smart approach: a quick recon run in the CTR a week earlier shows me it’s sizzling, but needs smooth tarmac to shine. The Type S breathes better with the road, yet is nearly as rapid point-to-point.
Not to be overshadowed, the Integra Type S’ brakes are strong and wilt-free, hauling up the car after lengthy downhill runs without issue. The front discs now measure 13.8 inches and are clamped by four-piston Brembo calipers; the rear discs have grown to an even 12.0 inches.
In keeping with the subtle approach of the Type S ethos, there aren’t many changes to the Teggie cabin here. There are three interior color schemes (black, red, and orchid), much like the A-Spec, though the trim piece anchoring the passenger side of the dashboard now comes in the contrasting hue. The wheel now comes wrapped in perforated leather, while the shifter is a mix of leather and suede. The rest of the cabin is the same as before: well laid out and well screwed together. The clickity-clackity climate controls have been making their way into ever more Hondas, but that’s fine. They’re still a tactile joy to use here.
The Type R comes with de facto touring car seats; they look ace and provide superb support, but the bolstering is wholly extra for daily driving. In contrast, the Type S seats are near-identical visual matches to the ones found in the A-Spec. Only additional Ultrasuede in the upper shoulder area gives them away, but inside the bolsters, Acura has swapped in stiffer foam to better hold drivers in place through the corners. There’s also more head (or helmet) room, since all Type S Teggies ditch the moonroof.
Hop into the back row and the Integra offers a class-leading 37.4 inches of legroom. There’s also the added flexibility of the liftback layout, providing a capacious 24.3 cubic feet of storage space.
Straightforward tech suite
If there’s one area the Integra can’t match the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35, BMW M235i Gran Coupe, or the Audi S3, it’s infotainment. The Integra’s 9.0-inch touchscreen is a definite step up from the infuriating trackpad in other Acuras, but its basic design and features feel a generation behind the pack.
Yet I doubt buyers will care too much. Picking the Type S is a very conscious decision, where performance matters more than a voice assistant or programmable mood lighting.
Besides, buyers get the single best audio system in the segment. The ELS Studio 3D packs 16 speakers into the Integra, making for a crisp and powerful aural experience. If you tire of that exhaust note, this is the next best thing.
Other useful kit includes the digital instrument panel—something even big brother TLX doesn’t have—a wireless charger, and a head-up display. You’ll find just two USB ports up front, however. Sorry, backseat passengers, no charging for you.
One stop shop
Acura is keeping pricing very simple with the 2024 Integra Type S. There’s one package, and it rings in at $51,995 including destination. The only additional costs are premium paint ($600, and all but one of ’em), and any dealer accessories you might want. I’d do the titanium shift knob, no question.
Is fifty-two thousand an outrageous number for an Integra? Sure, the same way it’s lot for an uglier Mini sedan (M235i, $48,595 before options), or a fancied-up Jetta (S3, $47,895 before options). Taking inflation into account, it’s only a little more than vaunted Type R was over two decades ago. And the Type S is quicker, safer, and better equipped.
Canadian pricing is, comparatively, even better. Last year, we criticized the A-Spec for being too pricey in poutine-land. The Type S lists for $58,195 CAD including destination—a smaller gap—making it a much more appealing offer.
Is there room for an even more extreme Type R? I pitch the idea to Acura’s Andrew Quillin. He says there’s no hard rule that the badge can’t exist on an Acura, but that currently, Type S is more consistent with the brand’s goals. He also reminds me that the Type R was an anomaly in America: typically there’s only one at a time, and every other one was a Honda.
Final Thoughts: 2024 Acura Integra Type S First Drive Review
With every snap, crackle, and pop from those three exhaust tips, you can almost hear the Acura engineers saying “I told you so.” Almost. The 2024 Acura Integra Type S is a riot in the canyons, while maintaining its composure when you’re not thrashing it.
Where does it fit in the performance car landscape? Well, if the Civic Type R is the Porsche 911 GT3 of the sport compact world—and it is—think of the Type S as the GTS. It’s a wee bit softer, with better amenities. This top Integra is very nearly as quick when you’re hustling it, but so much more liveable when you’re not. It’s the sweet spot. Enthusiasts should celebrate this car while it still exists.
How much does the 2024 Acura Integra Type S cost?
The Integra Type S comes in one flavor, ringing in at $51,995 ($58,195 CAD) including destination. Only the paint color can impact that price.
How fast is the 2024 Acura Integra Type S?
Acura says the Type S will do 167 mph (269 km/h). We estimate a 0–60 mph (0–96 km/h) time of around 5.0 seconds.
Does the 2024 Acura Integra Type S come with an automatic trasnmission?
No it does not; the Type S is manual-only.
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- Well-judged performance balance
- Involving, incredible manual
- Low-key muscular looks
- The $52k Integra
- No auto ‘box limits appeal
- Can feel scrappy compared to AWD options