After an absence of more than two decades, a true successor to the vaunted Acura Integra Type R of the 1990s has arrived.
Borrowing its mechanical bits from the hottest Honda Civic around, the 2024 Acura Integra Type S arrives as one of the most exhilarating yet balanced cars that money can buy.
Whether sitting in traffic or snaking through canyon roads, the Integra Type S showcases its aggressive styling very well. While there’s a lot happening, the lines and attention to detail lean more towards a premium hot hatch than immature boy-racer.
Compared with the regular Integra, the Type S gets a significant wide-body treatment, and this test car’s Platinum White Pearl paint popped all too well against the optional 19-inch bronze wheels. Red is the only interior colour offered with the white exterior. It’s paired with synthetic suede seating surfaces up front, with a look that’s a proper throwback to the original Integra Type R.
Standard features include four-piston Brembo brakes up front, a variable exhaust valve, 10.2-inch digital instrument display, wireless phone charging, an upgraded stereo, dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and 12-way power adjustability for the driver’s side.
Compared to the less performance-oriented Integra Elite A-Spec, the Type S skips out on some creature comforts. The passenger seat is manually adjustable, for example, while the rear seats aren’t heated, there’s no sunroof, and seating capacity drops from five to four. There’s also no built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.
Driving Feel: 10/10
If there’s an area that defines the Acura Integra Type S, it’s driving feel. In the ’90s, the Acura Integra Type R was considered to be (and still is) one of the best-handling front-wheel-drive cars; and this new version isn’t far behind. Simply put, this is as good as it gets for any new car on sale today.
The steering is well-weighted and very responsive, and there’s grip for days from the 265-mm wide Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. Brake feel is excellent, with a firm pedal that inspires confidence. No front-wheel-drive car should have this much traction, but the dual-axis front suspension and limited-slip differential turn that theory on its head. In dry weather, accelerating out of corners can be done as aggressively as an all-wheel-drive car.
The six-speed manual transmission is simply lovely, with precise throws and defined gates that makes driving fun at any speed. The automatic rev-matching works well, while the clutch is on the lighter side despite the sporty overtones.
With a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine under the hood, the 2024 Integra Type S packs a fire-breathing 320 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Throttle response is snappy despite the high boost setting on the turbocharger, and there’s plenty of oomph on hand for low-rev city driving.
While many modern turbocharged engines – including the 1.5L unit in the Integra’s A-Spec trim – tend to run out of breath as they approach redline, Acura has employed its famed variable valve timing and valve lift electronic control, more commonly known as VTEC, to ensure that the Type S pulls strongly right up to the 7,000-rpm redline.
User-friendliness comes almost naturally in the Acura Integra due to its humbler Honda Civic underpinnings. For such an aggressively performance-oriented car, the Type S is shockingly easy to live with every day. It’s easy to get in and out of, visibility is excellent throughout, and the climate and infotainment controls have ease of use and ergonomics baked into their design. The gauge cluster is nice and clear, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto worked reliably during this test. The liftback format helps with practicality, but the hatch itself isn’t power-operated.
For a compact car, the 2024 Acura Integra Type S excels when it comes to practicality. While it’s held back a bit by its four-passenger seating capacity, four adults can travel comfortably with a decent amount of leg- and headroom thanks to the lack of a sunroof. The 688 L of cargo volume behind the 60/40 folding rear seats will swallow luggage with ease.
Despite this much performance on tap, the Integra Type S stays comfortable enough for daily driving. The adaptive suspension can be set between somewhat firm and washboard stiff with multiple configurable driving modes. While the soft setting is adequate for coarse surfaces in the city, the stiff suspension tune should only be reserved for spirited driving on smooth roads.
Noise, vibration, and harshness are also well controlled: even with the active exhaust valve letting more sound through, the turbo engine’s snarl stays satisfying without getting too obnoxious. The sportier drive modes have more cracks and pops, so some attention needs to be paid in terms of not attracting the attention of local law enforcement.
Even with its manual transmission, the 2024 Integra Type S gets a full suite of advanced safety features. Forward collision warning with automatic braking and low-speed braking control, adaptive cruise control (albeit one that doesn’t work in stop-and-go traffic), lane-departure warning and keeping assistance, road departure mitigation, and automatic high-beam headlights are all included.
There’s also a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert, and traffic sign recognition. In practice, the systems worked well without being too intrusive, although the adaptive cruise control was a little slow to respond to vehicles speeding up or moving out of the way ahead.
Fuel Economy: 7/10
Official Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) fuel economy figures come in at 11.1 L/100 km in the city, 8.3 on the highway, and 9.9 combined. Premium fuel is required, with 93-octane or better recommended.
Over approximately 460 km of mixed driving, including lots of turbo boost, observed consumption came in at 10.5 L/100 km.
While the base Integra Type S starts at just over $55,000 before taxes and fees, some cosmetic extras will set you back a bit more. The $1,953 carbon-fibre rear decklid spoiler and $2,670 bronze wheels look great but can be skipped to keep costs down.
Don’t let the front-wheel-drive powertrain fool you – the 2024 Acura Integra Type S means business and is easily one of the most fun-to-drive vehicles on sale today at any price. It’s also a great package that can serve for family duty without sacrificing performance and overall feel.
|Engine Cylinders||Turbo I4|
|Peak Horsepower||320 hp @ 6,500 rpm|
|Peak Torque||310 lb-ft @ 2,600–4,000 rpm|
|Fuel Economy||11.1 / 8.3 / 9.9 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb|
|Cargo Space||688 L|
|Model Tested||2024 Acura Integra Type S|
|Price as Tested||$63,775|
$5,480 – Premium Carpet Floor Mats, $357; Platinum White Pearl Paint, $500; Carbon Fibre Rear Decklid Spoiler, $1,953; 19” Bronze Wheel, $2,670