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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For The Integra is brilliant to drive, has a fantastic rev-hungry engine and amazing handling

Against It's noisy and there are few creature comforts

Verdict Hard to beat as an affordable road-legal racer

Go for… Type R

Avoid… Not applicable

Honda Integra Coupe
  • 1. The cabin is that of a stripped out, uncompromising road racer, so there are few creature comforts
  • 2. Routine servicing needs to be carried out every 6000 miles, which can be costly
  • 3. The brakes and suspension need regular work. Clonks and uneven tyre wear are sure signs it needs it soon
  • 4. Watch out for spots of rust, particularly on the inner wings and the boot
  • 5. Officially, it's a four-seater, but don't bank on being able to carry more than one friend at a time
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Honda Integra Coupe full review with expert trade views

It's noisy, it's expensive to run and there's only a very basic provision of equipment, so why do we award four stars to the Honda Integra? Well, once you've driven one, you'll understand.

If you're after an affordable racecar for the road, and you're prepared to make a few sacrifices in comfort to get it, then look no further.

There's seemingly endless grip and traction, which is especially impressive from a front-wheel drive car, and the precision and balance of the handling give any driver the confidence to really push on. The deft touch of the steering and the slick action of the gearshift only add to their enjoyment of the experience.

The cabin is that of a stripped out, uncompromising road racer, so there's none of the creature comforts and extravagant interior design of less serious sports cars. Officially, it's a four-seater, but don't bank on being able to carry more than one friend at a time.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Nice ones don't come cheap. Most have seen track use. Enthusiasts' car

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

There's only one version to choose - the Type R (R stands for Racing, if you hadn't already guessed). But, when it's this good, another version would be pointless.

The main reason behind the Integra's talent is a frantic 1.8-litre engine developing 187bhp. But, the sheer power on its own is only reasonably impressive - 0-62mph is dealt with in 6.7sec and it has a top speed of 145mph.

Up to 6000rpm, it feels only moderately quick. Beyond that, the VTEC variable valve timing goes to work, and all hell breaks loose. Maximum power is delivered at a heady 8000rpm, making for a dramatic, raw and exhilarating driving experience.

You pay the price in noise. There's next to no soundproofing, so there's nothing to protect you from the engine's war cry. Still, that's not the point of the Type R, though - if you care about refinement, you won't consider one.

Kit provision is basic, but you'll get alloys, electric windows and a CD player.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Specialist market so needs to be mint and unmodified

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Considering the talent that you'll be getting for your money, it's surprisingly affordable. The Integra cost just over £20,000 new, and even for a 2001 example, the youngest you'll find, you'll be paying well under half that at your local dealer.

Running costs won't be cheap, though. The Integra's manic engine may be a lot of fun, but even a sensibly driven car will only provide an average fuel consumption of 32.1mpg. If you can't resist the temptation to drive it harder, that figure will fall dramatically.

The Integra is very expensive to insure, too. An insurance grouping of 18 will mean that you'll part with a massive wedge of cash each year to cover your car.

Servicing costs have the potential to hurt your wallet even more. The Integra's hard-working mechanicals need a lot of TLC, and routine servicing needs to be carried out every 6000 miles.

If you drive it hard, be prepared to get through a lot of tyres and brake pads.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Nice ones don't come cheap. Most have seen track use. Enthusiasts' car

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

As car manufacturers go, there aren't many more reliable than Honda. The Japanese firm has topped our regular Reliability Surveys in the past, and even when it doesn't win, it's never very far from the top of the table.

However, despite Honda's excellent reliability record, you will need to keep an eye on your Integra. The reason it needs to be serviced so often is that the engine is put under high stress if it's driven to its full potential.

The brakes and suspension also need regular work. Listen out for clonks from underneath, and check for uneven tyre wear.

Watch out for spots of rust, too. Small areas of corrosion can eventually turn into a much bigger problem, particularly on the inner wings and in the boot.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Specialist market so needs to be mint and unmodified

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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