Sedans and hatchbacks are losing their popularity to the herd of SUVs. But that hasn't stopped automakers from providing us with wholesome cars. The compact sport sedans are one such section that has quite a few interesting offerings.

This is that section of automotive fun that also has an affordable side. Cars like the Hyundai Elantra N, Subaru WRX, and Honda Civic Si manage to put a grin on your face without making a hole in that wallet. The newest entrance of this bunch is the 2023 Acura Integra that adds a bucketful of nostalgia to the sporty package.

While it is technically a Honda Civic Si in fancier clothing, we will have to wait and see if Acura has managed to rekindle the Integra's magic again. We, in the meantime, are putting the upcoming Integra against the established like of Volkswagen Jetta GLI. This face-off is diverse and interesting.

We pitch the nostalgia-driven Acura Integra against the practical Volkswagen Jetta GLI in this compact sports sedan face-off.

Pricing And Trims

2023 Acura Integra accelerating front third quarter view

The 2023 Acura Integra is expected to start around the $30,000 mark and top out at under $45,000. It comes in three trim levels - Base, A-Spec, and hopefully a Type S. It shares a lot with the Honda Civic lineup. On the other end, the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is an aspiring competitor that starts with an MSRP of $30,995.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta GLI in one frame

It is offered in a single trim called Autobahn. This is because the GLI is more like a performance iteration of the sober VW Jetta. Nevertheless, the single trim is still packed with features, and the pricing matches that of the base Acura. But, the Integra surely gives you more choices.

Related: Who's The Daddy: Tuned Honda Civic Takes On Acura TLX Type S

Engine, Performance, And MPG

2023 Acura Integra cruising rear third quarter view

Underneath all that nostalgia-driven design, the 2023 Integra shares heavily with the Honda Civic Si. It packs the same 1.5-Liter turbocharged inline-4 motor that churns out 200 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. All trim levels are FWD and come with a CVT as standard.

But you can also have the A-Spec trim with an optional six-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip differential. Being similar to the Civic Si, it ought to share the same MPG figures - 27 MPG in the city and 37 MPG on the highway, which are quite nominal.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI front third quarter accelerating view

The humbler-looking VW Jetta GLI packs more power with a 228 hp 2.0-Liter turbo inline-4. It gets notably more torque as well at 258 lb-ft. Here, a six-speed manual is standard, and you get a seven-speed DCT as an option. Power is sent to the front wheels only. Efficiency figures are neck-on-neck, with 26 MPG in the city and 37 MPG on the highway.

Exterior Features: Sharp Or Sporty

2023 Acura Integra front third quarter view

The 2023 Acura Integra is a gorgeous-looking machine. It gets the distinctive sharpness that we have been seeing in other new Acura offerings, and design cues on the side and rear profile that take us back to the iconic Integra days.

It is also getting a fair share of bashing for not being a worthy revival of the iconic 80s Integra. But no doubt, its reincarnation is going to turn heads. Our favorite portion would be the rear third quarter and side profile that reminds us of the oldie.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI hits 60 mph in about 6 seconds

The Jetta GLI looks quite sober when compared to the Integra. Don't take us wrong, it sure has a more muscular stance, but the fact that it still is based on the humble Jetta takes the uniqueness away from this sporty sedan.

The blacked-out wheels and sportier accentuated bumpers are where the sportiness in this Jetta lies. And as we always say, looks are subjective, and the picture would be different for you. Both of these are sporty sedans, but the Integra manages to be the sportier of the two.

Related: The Most Fun Daily Driver: 2022 Honda Civic Si Vs Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Interior: Seating Comfort And Features

2023 Acura Integra vs Volkswagen Jetta GLI steering wheel close-up view
Via: Press Releases

Both these sedans have sporty-looking interiors, but the Acura Integra takes it up a notch when it comes to looking cool and quality materials. Talking lessons and bits from the Acura TLX and RDX, the Integra's cabin looks classy and dense. The quality of materials is top-notch, and the sports seats come wrapped in faux leather.

The cabin is quite spacious, but its second-row seats are narrow on the headroom, because of the sloping roofline. The Jetta GLI aces it when it comes to comfort and space, as it is, after all, a standard Jetta inside. But the material quality takes a toll. The only different bits for the GLI include red trimming to add "sportiness" to it.

2023 Acura Integra vs Volkswagen Jetta GLI dashboard comparison view
Via: Press Releases

On the technology front, Acura gives the 2023 Integra a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster. A 7.0-inch infotainment unit is standard with a larger 9.0-inch coming in as an option. The 9.0-inch unit is bundled with a wireless charger, a 5.3-inch head-up display, and three USB-C ports.

The Jetta GLI comes with a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment unit. It gets all the bells and whistles, including a 400W eight-speaker BeatsAudio music system. But looking at the bigger picture, the Integra takes the podium here.

2023 Acura Integra Vs Volkswagen Jetta GLI: Which Sporty Sedan Leaves A Mark?

2023 Acura Integra vs Volkswagen Jetta GLI front view side-by-side comparison
Via: Press Releases

On paper, the 2023 Acura Integra looks promising in all aspects, except for performance. The Jetta GLI has more horses under its hood and its more athletic DCT gearbox ought to be sportier than the lousy CVT in the Integra. But then again, it is a thin line, and performance doesn't decide the complete picture.

For about the same price, you get a car that looks way cooler, has more tech, and gives you a nostalgic run with the 2023 Integra. The Jetta GLI, despite its perks, doesn't make a mark against its upcoming rival. And if Acura nails the driving dynamics of the new Integra, it will be the final nail in the sporty Jetta's coffin!


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