Honda’s Integra fills a vital gap in its model range. It’s a pleasantly styled, competent car without being a class leader. Some of the components are already familiar, like the transversely mounted four cylinder, sohc, 12 valve, 1488cc engine which gives 84 bhp at 6,000 rpm and 93 lb ft torque at 3,750 rpm.
Performance is quite fair, with a top speed of 104 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 11.3 seconds. While it has no sporting pretensions at all, it will achieve decent A to B times and is a relaxing motorway car for it will maintain a high cruising speed with low noise levels. The driving position is very comfortable and one can put in a lot of mileage without fatigue. I got a fraction better than 30 mpg overall.
The exterior is well finished with a good standard of panel fit while the interior is smart and roomy and is on a par with its rivals so far as equipment is concerned. The rear seats split for extra luggage capacity and the Integra’s ergonomics are up to Honda’s usual high standard.
The unassisted rack and pinion steering and the ventilated disc/drum brake system are likewise on a par with its rivals, that is to say effective without being extraordinary. At £7,150 it is competitively priced.
Like the Civic eries, the Integra has lower wishbone, torsion bar and struts front suspension at the front with, at the rear, beam axle located by trailing arms, a Panhard rod and coil springs. It handles competently though is weak on turn-in and when pressed hard it understeers too much for this driver’s taste.
On the whole, its a well made and finished car which should be on the shopping list of anyone looking at a medium-sized car. It’s the sort of sound basis which makes us look forward to the new performance version which has a 125 bhp 16-valve engine. ML