: Honda Integra Type R DC2Length of ownership
: 1 year+Performance:
I'll hit you with the general text book specifications first - Inline 4 cylinder, 1797cc hitting 187bhp @ 8000rpm standard, with maximum torque of 131lb/ft @ 7300, 5 speed, coil springs wrapped around gas filled dampers front and rear, with double wishbone set up all around. Front and Rear strut braces as standard, Recaro seats, Discs/pads front and back, PAS, 195/55/15 with 173bhp/ton officially (mine has the air-con delete option so you can bump an extra few BHP/ton on for scene points), knocking on the door of 137mph with a 0-60 of 6.2sec.
Now that's over and done with I can tell to what I think. Power wise, it is great fun. Low down it's just like any normal car, but past the 5000rpm mark things really get interesting, and then once Vtec engages shortly after 6000rpm and the cam profile changes (very distinct change of sound), you just feel like you’ve engaged an 'ickle' turbo, especially in 1st, 2nd and 3rd. it’s a magical feeling and great fun. The limiter kicks in at 8700rpm officially, but on the speedometer it reads over 9000, which just adds to the fun even more in my opinion as it always feels like it is a bit wild every time you 'go there' !
Handling wise, it is pretty sharp – the turn in is pretty impressive and the Torsen LSD really helps the front end bite into the corners which brings the back end out to play even more than it needs to which is great fun – You can feed the throttle a little and make slight steering adjustments to just keep it in the zone really easily. It’s a credit to how well they’ve set up the car (perfectly corner weighted when a 75kg person is in the driver’s seat apparently – snazzy!).
I’ve been in cars with “coilovers” that have been softer than how the ITR is, which is great when pushing it on all but the worst condition B roads. Comfort isn’t on the priority list for this car… But I will come to that shortly. The PAS is just right, with great steering and road feel – it tells you more than you need to know, but it is not over the top.
The brakes feel identical to my previous Peonage 306 Gti-6 in terms of performance though the Integra picks up and accelerates faster so I assume the brakes are better, though all I know is that they’ve held their ground perfectly (pun – sorry!) and have never left me needing more aside from when I have gone past their limits for testing purposes, which has proved to me how well the ABS copes.Comfort and Daily Use:
Well this is where the DC2 Integra Type R fails to a degree. No sound deadening, no aircon (in my model anyway), however you do get firm and huggable Recaro seats as standard. Rear passengers = no.. Just no. It’s really not designed for long journeys as you just can’t relax sitting at 4000 doing 70 in 5th although saying this you do get used to it eventually.... - the car requires a lot of concentration at all times as the LSD will find any bumps in the ground and keep you on your toes.
It sits quite low as standard so you need to watch your head as you simply get in to the car (or struggle to get out if you're my Mum!) or further more doing simple things like opening the boot and remember to not stand straight otherwise you will smash your face on the edging - painful times.
Which reminds me that the boot is MASSIVE – which is obviously useful. It is so firm suspension wise that it really isn’t something a lot of people would put up with as a daily drive if they have long journeys to do (gluten for punishment depending on your circumstances) and the British roads add to the “joy” at times. It really does depend what mood you are in with how you can take it. Personally I am fine with it now, until someone gets in and reminds you about it's lack of creature comforts, or you drive someone else's car and realise what you are missing. Firstly the comfy seats, cruise control, climate control and then when actually want to or have to put your foot down, Vtec! Then you will most probably come to terms with the fact that mod cons cannot compare to the feeling that this car can give you.
To blabber on, aluminium gears knobs are 'fun' in Winter and Summer, the rear spoiler is perfectly suited to just align with the cars bonnet behind you so that from various distances you can’t tell if it’s a generic Ford KA or a Skoda Octavia police car behind you. The windscreen washers are just a squirt and have no mist or spray to them at all which is wasteful, I reverse park like a girl (Apologies to the women who can drive) because I have no bearings of how far back the car goes due to rear view issues and how low you sit in the car along with how high the rear interior slopes up. Don’t get me started on the abysmal sound system! Tinny is not the word, and mines been uprated with components and tweeters from the previous owner already. I hope you see where I'm coming from though – Basically it's not a girly car – You can tell by the lack of mirrors in BOTH sun visors.
However there are some bonuses for the mod con lovers! It has electric windows. It has 2 cup holders that slide out from under the head unit. It has a rear heated window, which is great, though what use is it when the rear view is naff I say. At least I get reminded that I have a sporty spoiler sitting in the way… The boot is huge as mentioned... I am struggling here, but don't let anyone tell you they are totally without mod cons as that is a lie!Reliability & Running Costs:
For me, after owning a Ford for nearly two years and then three 90’s French cars (Peugeot's) I expected to have the continued luck with barely no running costs – Sadly mistaken! I mean it's not been hell.. No, no... I'm not being over the top but.. – It actually has. It's gobbled up just over £3.5k in parts and repairs alone since I've had it. Granted the parts I have replaced although costly and won't need replacing again. I mean I'm driving a car that's done 100k and it's still on it's original wishbones and bushes on the front. That would never happen with any of my previous cars. However when engines for these cost anywhere between £1500/2200 and when a rebuild is not much less, then it is not fun. I've opted for the cheaper lower specification engine from a Civic MB6 VTi as I'm going the turbo route as I won't miss 10bhp and a slightly lower compression ratio in the meantime, but if I hadn't then the car would now have set me back around £5.5k in a year. Depressing, isn't it?Safety & Security:
Thatcham Cat 2 alarm and immobiliser as standard. It has 2 front air bags. That's all folks! So, onto the...Summary:
Overall, owning a DC2 Integra Type R has been a fantastic experience and after a year of the best and worst times of car ownership in my life so far, I can honestly say I am more into it than ever before.
The greatest 90's FWD car ever made? Possibly..
A rival to the newer wave of sporty hatchbacks and coupés? Maybe..
The most enjoyable and insanely fun car I have ever had the pleasure of owning? An unequivocal YES.