1 Aug 2001
Honda’s Civic-derived front-wheel drive three-door hatchback “coupe” enjoyed a renaissance thanks to the Mk3 1999 Integra Type R, one of the rawest and best-handling cars of its genre ever marketed.
But the Mk4 model was a huge disappointment despite worthwhile advances in comfort, refinement, safety and utility.
The problem was two-fold – the Type R (now a 147kW/192Nm 2.0-litre six-speed manual) used a detuned version of the engine it should have had and it was all too refined.
After a flurry of early activity, interest in the Type R withered, with Honda dropping the model altogether when the facelift arrived in late ’04.
Meanwhile the less-pretentious “Coupe” made virtues of its new maturity and eager 118kW/191Nm 2.0-litre VTEC four-cylinder engine, and remains the better car as a result. It comes in five-speed manual or automatic models.
From early ’03 the Luxury added leather upholstery and a sunroof.