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  • Writer's pictureMitchell Weitzman

2024 Acura Integra Type S review: Outstanding

A stupendous, upscale offering of the Civic Type R, the Integra Type S is one of the best daily driving performance cars.

2024 Acura Integra Type S Review

2024 Acura Integra Type S Review with The Road Beat.

Words and pictures by Mitchell Weitzman

I adored the Honda Civic Type R, but I won't be the first to admit it's a rather stiff and uncompromising car. I'm young and can still put up with such a thing, but many others will want a creature that is, for lack of a better word despite the cliché, more grown-up. Re-enter the Integra, this time with a Type S badge slabbed on the back and front fenders, complete with ferocious flares and three exhaust pipes to separate it from it's more mundane A-Spec iteration. When I drove the Integra initially last year in that basic form, I thoroughly enjoyed the car, but found it lacking for speed. By no means an affordable car, carrying a hefty premium over a Civic Type R, the Integra Type S is my favorite of the two and one of the most enjoyable everyday performance cars maybe ever.

Yes, it's over 50 grand, for front-wheel drive and what is essentially a Honda. Does it really matter when it's this good and involving? Not really. Changes (improvements) over the Civic Type R include a handsome, sharply tailored body bereft of any silly wings, an upscale and comfortable (also quieter) interior, and suspension that doesn't punish your backside each day on your way to work. This will sound crazier than it actually is, but do we all remember when BMW M3s cost only just this much? It's really not all that dissimilar from one when all things are considered like the size, levels of power, a hospitable cabin, and six-speed manual that shifts far more fluidly than a BMW stick ever could aspire to. I'm not calling this a replacement to an M3, but as a modern day performance sedan occupying that price point of old, it convinces admirably.

2024 Acura Integra Type S review | The Road Beat

What else is so great about the Integra Type S? This is simply a car that is a joy to drive in any real-world scenario, from highway commuting to your local backroads. 320 horsepower is produced by the two-liter engine, featuring a big wallop in the way of turbocharged forced-induced boost. It's a unit that enjoys being worked hard and loses little even at the top of the rev range. Sounds decent, too. Turbo lag is present at lower engine speeds, but this flaw only adds character to the experience as you wait for the rush and surge of energy. 0-60 MPH takes a 5.2 seconds, which is hardly going to set any records, but this is a car that rarely leaves you wanting for more power as it's mightily exploitable on public roads and to great satisfaction; If anything, it feels quicker than that benchmark number suggests. Add in the previously mentioned and excellent manual transmission, with well-judged ratios that mechanically glides through the gears with pronounced precision, and you have one involving machine. If anything, it's almost too easy to drive, with a clutch that could require increased effort, but great things don't always have to be difficult. The fact that this car is as easy to drive smoothly as it is owes more testament to the engineers for making a car that simply works.

Sure, there is torque steer and easily-induced wheelspin due to the front-wheel drive layout, but only from low speeds in first or second gear, and I can kind of like the extra work needed to learn the car and its characteristics, knowing when to gently squeeze onto the throttle verse mashing it like a game of whack-a-mole. Understeer is rarely understood by the Integra, with grip and poise being dished out in euphoric doses around the bends. 265-width Michelin tires at each corner certainly contribute to this, but it's also the manner in which the Teggy can plant its nose right into the asphalt leaving corners and just kind of pulls you along in ferocious fashion. There will be times you do need to tread lightly when getting back on the power, but that only adds to the nuance and involvement. Yes, there is a fancy and wickedly capable front limited-slip differential that does wonder to make life easier, but it still needs input from its user, you, to make it work correctly.

2024 Acura Integra Type S interior

Aim the Integra Type S at a series of bends and there really aren't many cars that are faster than it from point A to point B on public roads. A supercar can't be fully used while the Integra can, and a good driver in the Acura can really quite embarrass a naive GT3 or 458 owner. Handling remains impossibly neutral as corners are negotiated with foresight. And, unlike the Civic Type R, the Integra Type S deals with bumps in a controlled way, rather that the Civic's desire to beat the asphalt back into the ground, which can become, well uncomfortable. The seats here don't do as much for support, but they do a decent enough job away from the race track. The brake pedal also gives a reassuring confirmation of stopping each time. For driver customization, there are separate settings for the throttle, steering, and suspension firmness, finding that I liked having the most aggressive throttle, medium steering, and soft or middle suspension for use on my roads. If there's anything I wasn't fully fond of, it is the steering, as each mode still just feels slightly off or unnatural at times. The heaviest setting was artificially weighted, and the standard too light at times and with a delay to inputs right off-center.

As you could guess from a car wearing the Acura badge, it's considerably more well-furnished than its Honda corporate sibling. Soft-touch materials are abundant and the faux-suede on the seats gives a premium feel to your body. Just looking around the cabin, let alone when your hand touches any part of it, you do quickly appreciate and understand that this is a considerably nicer car than a Civic Type R. What's most appreciated, though, is the increased sound deadening in the Integra, helping make this sports sedan a consummate cruiser on the highway and a very relaxing car to drive when on a long haul. A road trip in a Type R might be met with some skepticism, but in the Integra Type S? Comfier seats, relaxed suspension, and the lower road and wind noise mean it's much easier to live with day-in and day-out. Despite all the added creature comforts, Acura says the Type S is only 31 pounds heavier than a Type R. Also of incredible note is then fuel economy, where I averaged an impressive 26 MPG overall throughout the week.

Acura Integra Type S

There's very little to dislike about the Integra Type S. I said in my original review of the Integra A-Spec I drove last year that Acura needed a high-performance variant, and perhaps that the fast version should maybe be the only Integra even offered. The DC2 Integra Type R is a celebrated champion for very good reason, and it's the model most think of and picture when the name Integra enters their mind. This new Type S captures the spirit and nostalgia magically well, and even if it's turbocharged rather than a 9,000 RPM screamer, this is one of the most analogue performance vehicles available today and an incredible driver's car. The only thing I really don't like is the price; It's not cheap. Even the Civic Type R at seven or eight grand less is still pricey when you remember Hyundai sells their exuberant and excellent Elantra N for under $40,000, which can't be beat for value.

However, the truth of the matter is that I loved each drive in the Integra Type S. I loved walking up to it and seeing those swollen arches. I loved seeing the name Integra embossed into the front bumper. I loved each gear shift and the way this turbocharged power plant attacks revolutions. I also loved sitting on the highway on cruise control, soaking up the miles in comfort knowing the feral creature awaiting underneath. If you can get past the entry fee for one, this is a brilliant car and one of the best sports sedans on sale today.

2024 Acura Integra Type S review

As-tested price: $52,595

Pros: Almost everything

Cons: Sticker price


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