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Would You Rather a 2017 Chevy Volt or a 1997 Acura Integra


oldshurst442

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The strangest of thoughts came to me today when I went to pick up my daughter from the bus stop this afternoon. 

It wasnt at the bus stop per se that this vision and thought popped into my head, but rather at the grocery store parking lot when we stopped to pick up a few items. 

What I saw is this:

A shiny new fiery red Chevy Volt

Image result for 2016 chevy volt

And parked right behind it, was an Acura Integra. Dont know what year it was as miniminal changes were made during its lifetime, I know the front clip was refreshed, and this particular car was of the pre-refreshed front clip...but my memory eludes me to when this happened so that is why I went with 1997. Sounds good when I wanna compare it to a brand new 2017 model Chevy...

It was just a regular Acura Integra, with the regular 1.8 liter 4 cylinder. Black. It too was shiny. In very good condition taking in account that it is a 20 year old car from Quebec. Some rust. But nothing major. 

Image result for 1996 acura integra se

 

This is a stark contrast between two very different cars and vocation. But, I saw similarities that I thought would be fun to talk about and compare and contrast and ultimately choose one over the other for whatever reason you fancy. 

One car is a very sporty 2 door "entry level" luxury car based on a very very econobox car that is very very econobox itself despite its mid-level luxury name plate even for then, but its a joy to drive, even in regular trim while the other is an econobox car for today that has luxury features that even the high end Acuras of the 1990s did not have. Also, the Chevy Volt has an interior that could pass off as a mid-level luxury car branded model as where the Integra...does not.  Its also an electric car that has 4 doors. It also does not drive sporty like the Integra but it does have its own driving thrills. 

This will be fun as this is a GM site. But this GM car has the workings of the devil for some of us as its an electric car. Also, EVs of the future are gonna be autonomous so choosing the Volt is somehow choosing a future for autonomous vehicles...

The Integra...well...Its Japanese. Its a rice burner. 4 cylinder glory that ricers loved to rice up with huuuuuge fart cans and huuuuuge rear spoilers with their baseball caps on the side while boring us to death telling us how VTEC just kicked in bro! 

But it is a pure enthusiast machine and by golly, if we are to get autonomous cars for the future, the Integra may very well be THE last car to best represent, in the future for the future, the way cars used to be...fun to drive for everyone....  

Discuss. And choose. 

 

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I really had no clear image that the integra was either luxury OR sporty OR a 'driving thrill'. Plus, no other brand do I encounter that is driven so uniformly slowly, not even Buick. The impression of actual observed use is that they are boring appliances.

You also lost me with this :
>>"EVs of the future are gonna be autonomous so choosing the Volt is somehow choosing a future for autonomous vehicles."<<

Where did that come from?

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Well, I dont know if you ever driven an Integra before...if you havent, you missed out.  

An Integra was anything but an appliance.  From its high revving 4 banger that could be revved to no end, to its 4 wheel independent suspension...yes...all around independent with front unequal length  control arms rather than struts on a small econobox of a car that weighed not a whole lot makng it a very tossable little car in the corners. 140 horsepower. The GS-R had 170 and the Type R had 190. Not a whole lot of torque, about 130 ft.lbs but that was not what the Integra was engineered for.  It was meant to be a fun car to drive hard to rev it high and to toss it into corners. And it was all that despite it being FWD. 

Add to that a very precise 5 speed manual transmission and a super smooth engine and you got yourself one very fun car to drive daily.  My cousin used to own one. A 1995 "special edition" which he later traded it in for a 1999 GS-R model. I hated both then. Now I reminisce and say to myself...wow! What was I thinking dissing this???!!!

Remember, in the mid-1990s...

This was GM's answer to that

Image result for 1994 Grand Am GT

The 3.1 liter V6 out-torqued the Integra, and maybe had 15 horses more, but the Grand Am only looked the part that it was sporty...I know, I bought a 1994 4 door GT with my dad.  

The Quad 4 version? Yeah....let us NOT go there!!!! Especially when we are talking about Honda 4 cylinder engines of the 1990s...

Hey...I LOVED that Grand Am...it was OK for what it was from GM in 1994 that was NOT a Corvette or F-Body or Northstar STS. GM lacked a lot in the mid 1990s. Even a supercharged 3.8 Grand Prix did not match the sportiness of that Integra...4 wheel independent suspension...front unequal length control arms to maximize tossability...good luck in finding a set-up like that in the 1990s at GM from ANY car let alone at that price point...

Maybe a Vette? Maybe an STS? I dont think the F-Bodies had that kind of corner carving inspired suspension set-ups...

The Cavalier Z-24? Or the Beretta GTZ?  As I said....not even the division the builds excitement could match a lowly Integra...There was a Lotus tuned suspension from Asuna in Pontiac dealerships that GM Canada peddled in Canada that might come close though...

As for the second part...the EV autonomous part..\

There is some loosely based truth to what I said...but I posted that mostly as shock value to spark up conversation...

Take that part with a grain of salt...laugh or get agitated by it...just talk about it and mostly choose a car. 

Pick a side.

:D

 

 

I think me defending the Integra the way I just did, the way I remember driving it, the way my cousin thrashed it...I think my mind is made up.

Acura Integra GS-R

Edited by oldshurst442
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In a little car, I much prefer to shift for myself.  Plus I really like 2-door cars.  Honda products, when they were suspended by wishbones, were special.  On top of that, a person I had very deep feelings for had an Integra like the ones pictured.

So I'm going with a 2018 Volt in Green Mist Metallic with the rear doors welded shut.  And black bowties for extra horses.

ea10d4f7-8b8e-4dff-9d0d-8f515bcd2611.png

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I wonder if there are many stock, original Integras left...seems most of them (in the West, at least) got tarted up F&F style by the kiddies...a stock Integra seems as much a unicorn as a stock Mustang LX 5.0.   As far as Acuras go, I really like the Legend coupe, both generations.   My sister had a '91 Legend coupe that I drove occasionally, was a sweet car.  

As far as the choice--it's apples and oranges--comparing a 20 yr old car w/ a new car.  I wouldn't want an old car except as a toy, a new car would be a daily driver.   So I'd go with the 2017 equivalent of the Integra--a Civic coupe (maybe the only sport compact 2dr left?).   Problem is, Civic coupes target the 25 yr old demographic..I'm probably too old to drive one. ;)

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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The Acura would definitely be the more entertaining car for the driving enthusiast. But I would be concerned about the reliability of it. I'm personally not a fan of the volt but I would probably take it simply for reliability. 

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2 minutes ago, Scout said:

The Acura would definitely be the more entertaining car for the driving enthusiast. But I would be concerned about the reliability of it. I'm personally not a fan of the volt but I would probably take it simply for reliability. 

Back when they were new,  I wouldn't haven't worried about the reliability..Hondas had a good reputation.  But a 20 yr old car is another story..

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I still see plenty of them in Montreal. Surprisingly stock. There are a couple of Type Rs roaming around in my neighbourhood.   The way these local yokels still scoot around in them...Id say there wouldnt be any issues regarding reliability.  Keeping in mind these are cars from a very wintery surrounding.  Usually Id agree with these sentiments about 20 year old cars and reliability issues especially ones that come from the North... North East.

Honda built these things right. And tough. The Honda Civic cousin of that same time period is also seen quite regularly around these parts. 

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8 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

Sadly, I can't recall the last time I saw an Integra in clean, original condition.  Around Phoenix that last decade I pretty much only saw clapped out Fast & Furious kiddie tuner versions...

I saw where you guys were coming from and I dont blame you guys for having this opinion at all. I just wanted to tell you guys that in my area, there is a subset of Integras (and Civics) that have survived the Fast and Furious trend, the abuse that comes with that, and the weather of a Northern North American climate and the abuse that comes with that and that these survivors are exactly that. Survivors. And yes they exist. Its rare in Quebec that 20 year old cars still roam our roads. Sure there are beaters. But beaters are literally beaters in Quebec. Ill be honest about those 20 year old Civics that are still around. Even the Si ones. The Civics that old are beaters in every sense of the definition of a beater. The Integras that I see near my home, and there is at least 10 of them, are all well kept and in good running condition. And no, these were not and continue not to be garage queens. OK, maybe at some point in their early lives, a couple of the Type Rs that I see were not driven in the winter probably, but now they definitely are. 

 

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4 hours ago, Scout said:

The Acura would definitely be the more entertaining car for the driving enthusiast. But I would be concerned about the reliability of it. I'm personally not a fan of the volt but I would probably take it simply for reliability. 

You should go test drive one, they actually handle real well and are pretty tight when you throw them around. Much better than many would realize and I think is the reason for why 93% of Volt owners buy another one.

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7 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

If the Integra is at least a GSR and a manual, the Acura all day.

Otherwise, Volt hands down. It's actually a quite nice car.

Amazing the number of Integra's listed on Autotrader. I did a search within 500 miles of me and found two that are actually GSR, unmolested as the pictures show them to be stock, with high miles, 171K and 174K both 2001 models under 4K.

Autotrader Search

Autotrader GSR Search Only

The second search with no limit on distance from me shows 10 matches and if you are willing to pay 6 - 10K can get one from 88K miles on up. One for $2,500 with 370K miles on it, original owner. Amazing they actually drove it that long as it is a 1994.

 

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14 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

If the Integra is at least a GSR and a manual, the Acura all day.

Otherwise, Volt hands down. It's actually a quite nice car.

Nah...it was just a regular Integra.  :(

The Volt is a nice car, Id still choose a regular Integra over it as I would drive the snot of the Integra. This Integra that I saw was a manual, and I hate manuals, but Id still drive it as I would make up for lost time hatin' on manuals and hatin' on Integras!!!

 

 

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14 minutes ago, oldshurst442 said:

I too, like that generation of Eclipse.  And the previous gen too.

I havent seen either generation in my neck of the woods in a long time.  

There is a very specific reason for that.  They are interference engines, so a timing belt going usually takes the engine with it.  That means that if people don't keep up with maintenance... (see the thread on turbo engine longevity for my opinion on that), a simple belt failure can cause catastrophic engine failure.  

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