Is the Acura Integra a good first car?

I’m buying my first car and have been looking at a used Acura Integra. Is it a good car for someone who’s a new driver?

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Andrea Barrett · Answered on Dec 30, 2022
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
If you’re not deterred by the price of an Acura, the Acura Integra is a decent option for a first car—but there are newer and better alternatives.
There are relatively few compact sports cars with the same degree of longevity, style, and popularity as the Integra, though. It was produced from 1986 to 2001 and underwent several redesigns before departing from the U.S. market—but it’s making a comeback in 2023.
However, the decades-old Integra may be a below-average choice for a first car for several reasons:
  • It’s old: Older cars have fewer safety features, and finding replacement parts can be tricky.
  • Sub-par gas mileage: Its fuel efficiency was good at the time, but newer vehicles have much better gas mileage.
  • Higher maintenance costs: While Acura and Honda still exist, finding replacement parts on older models is more difficult.
  • Expensive insurance: It’s an outdated model still popular with thieves, translating to higher insurance costs.
  • Moderate power: The 130- to 140-horsepower base engine is good enough for young drivers, but it won’t thrill those looking for performance.
Despite its age, the Integra still has a lot going for it—like its excellent reliability and build quality. And you can get your hands on one for relatively cheap, sometimes less than $2,500.
That said, some model years are more reliable than others. The 1990–1992 and 1995–1996 models were given a 4/5 NHTSA safety rating but had more recalls than other years.
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