We'd like to see some brighter paint schemes, though.
It's rather refreshing to see a resurgence of well-priced, exciting sports sedans and hatches. For around $30,000, you've got an assortment to choose from, including the newly-launched Subaru WRX, the Honda Civic Si, and the Golf GTI and Jetta GLI. Joining the fray very soon is the Acura Integra.
Hotly contested, the newcomer has been met with divisive reaction, but Acura is adamant the 200-horsepower, turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder will provide performance to live up to its famed predecessor. While a standard CVT gearbox doesn't sound promising, a six-speed manual transmission will ship standard on sportier models.
There's no denying it's quite the looker, with sleek fastback styling. So far, we've only seen the Integra in Tiger Eye Pearl but, according to the Integra Talk forum, Acura is going to offer the sports compact in several color/upholstery combinations.
The base Integra will be offered with a total of seven combinations. Majestic Black Pearl and Platinum White Pearl can be paired with an Ebony or Graystone interior, with Liquid Carbon Metallic, Performance Red Pearl, and Lunar Silver Metallic available only in conjunction with an Ebony-colored cabin.
Opting for an A-Spec or A-Spec Tech derivative unlocks far more paint and upholstery combinations. Majestic Black Pearl and Liquid Carbon Metallic are now available with Ebony or a racier Red interior scheme, although Graystone doesn't appear as an option. Apex Blue Pearl is exclusive to these models, with a choice of Ebony or Orchid upholstery.
As with the base model, Lunar Silver Metallic is only available with an Ebony interior. Performance Red Pearl is also available for the two plusher models, but only in combination with Ebony or Orchid innards. Lastly, Platinum White Pearl is privy to three choices: Ebony, Orchid, or Red.
It's strange that Acura has made no mention of the Tiger Eye Pearl yellow available as a $500 on the MDX, so perhaps it will be available as an optional extra. Additionally, we'd like to see the brand introduce Honda's eye-catching Blazing Orange Pearl; it would certainly suit the Integra's modern, avant-garde design. While enthusiasts were hoping for Acura to implement its ten-speed automatic transmission in the compact sports sedan, the manual will, at least, appease customers.
What's more, the brand's Super Handling-All Wheel Drive system will also be made available, hopefully in conjunction with the six-speed manual. Previously, Acura has said pricing will start at around $30,000, positioning it slightly higher than its mainstream Civic cousin. The segment will only get more exciting and competitive as more models join.