1989 Acura Integra LX 1.6 DOHC from North America
One of the most enjoyable cars to drive fast, yet still very easy to drive as a daily driver
At 15 years old and over 166,000 miles on the body there are bound to be some repairs, as with any car that old.
-Axles at 170,000
-Shocks/Struts at 165,000
-Suspension Bushings at 165,000.
This is the second 1989 Integra I have owned. The first was an automatic transmission with 135,000 miles on it. I have since sold it and moved on to a manual transmission and a "new" used engine.
I purchased a relatively clean body and placed a "new" used engine in it (after rebuilding it). All told I spent less than $1,100 for a car with a new engine in it.
As the car's body continues to age, I am seeing the need to replace the steering rack, tie rod ends, and perhaps the ball joints. These repairs are par for the course on a body with over 150,000 miles on it, though.
The only dilemma is the cost of parts for this car. Finding affordable service for this car (Acura, DOHC) can also be challenging and expensive. That's the only reason I didn't give the cost of ownership rating more points.
As a result, this car has kindled my interest in maintaining my own vehicles and really developed my taste for aggressive driving.
One problem owners should be on the lookout for is a starting problem that's hard to pinpoint. Check the main relay before replacing anything else.
This car is surprisingly fast and nimble.
It is probably the easiest car to handle at it's limits (which are very fun to push) that I have ever driven.
The suspension and frame combination in this car make for a very nimble, yet easily controlled drive.
With further tweaking of the suspension (upgraded shocks/struts/springs) this car has pr oven to handle much better than most cars built today.
The engine is only a 1.6L, but it is DOHC and redlines at 7200 rpm. With the curb weight just over 2200 lbs, that's a good match to the third generation of Integras.
Gas mileage is excellent, considering the spriteness of the motor. I have recorded over 30mpg on longer trips.
I would highly recommend the manual transmission over the automatic for two reasons: 1. honda's older auto trannies were prone to rough shifting 2. this engine needs to be pushed over 4,000 rpm (which it loves) to really fully enjoy driving it.
Overall, one of the most enjoyable cars to drive fast, yet still very easy to drive as a daily driver.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th February, 2004