The all-new Acura Integra is about to arrive in dealerships. The new Integra will resume its former role as an entry-level “aspirational and attainable” model designed to bring in new buyers who will forever be brand-loyal to Acura. That is a big job. One we think the car can handle due to an interesting option.
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Instead of dropping the stick shift for its new Integra, Acura is planning to build 65% of them with stick-shift manual transmissions. That is an amazing departure from the current trend of almost no buyers asking for a manual in any four-door car.
The Integra is a sporty, fun, premium car with a lot to like. Like all Integras, past and soon to be present, it is a lot like the similarly-sized car from Acura’s parent brand we all know and love. You know the one we mean. It’s a top-seller and the very definition of affordable fun.
We tested the new Integra, and it was indeed equipped with a stick shift transmission. We found that it shifts just like an enthusiast will want it to. The shifter itself is quick, has a short throw, and the shifts are smooth and satisfying. You’re gonna love it.
The Integra matches downshift revs for you. Unless you decide to turn off the feature. Interestingly, you don’t really need to. If you wish to do that yourself, the car is cool with it and will “fix” any goof-ups you make. So, although I matched the revs on a lot of my downshifts myself during my test time behind the wheel, I left the feature enabled.
Unlike older Acura/Honda cars, the new generation all have turbochargers. This means you don’t have to rev the Dickens out of the engine to get it to wake up. Rather, peak torque is available from just 1.800 RPMs. You can still redline every shift if you like, but it’s just for fun, not out of a need to wring power out of the car.
The superb torque curve means that in traffic you can skip shifts all day long. Shifting 1-3 or 1-2-4 or 3-5 is fine. The engine won’t lug because it can pull from such low RPMs without bogging down.
Related Story: 2023 Acura Integra - What Makes It Special?
If you are looking for a fun-to-drive midsize premium car with a stick shift, Acura has a new Integra for you.
Image of Integra stick shift courtesy of Acura.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin
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