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    Two Personalities in Sport Sedans

    By Philip Ruth–

    So, I canceled my Castro gym membership. With 25 years between us, it felt like a front-page breakup. 

    Quitting the gym is unheard-of for a longtime single guy like me. The gym has been described as our tribe’s church, the de facto non-alcoholic collective. 

    Post-pandemic, things have changed. The communal feel has been replaced by patrons focused on their phones, which at one point was illustrated by all the squat racks being occupied with guys deep in their scrollings. It’s the opposite of the tribal feel. 

    These realizations hit hard the weeks I had this Acura and Genesis waiting for me after the workouts, and I was grateful for these machines rising up to meet me when feeling the gym’s absence.

    I was surprised that the as-tested prices of $53,595 Integra Type S and $57,100 G70 RWD 3.3T were so close in price, because the Acura clearly has close ties to the front-wheel drive Honda Civic, while the rear-wheel drive Genesis feels like a step up in features and finish. 

    Yes, but Genesis doesn’t offer the Acura’s six-speed manual transmission, which is as slick-shifting as ever. Rowing your own gears is the best way to extract all the fun from the Integra Type S’s 320-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, as it loves to rev.  

    It’s in the upper revs where the Acura makes the most power, and it hits your ears with a glorious wail. All your senses are provoked to go faster, making the Integra Type S a rabble-rouser of the first order. 

    The peaky slant to the Acura’s performance means the lower registers are a bit milder than you’d expect, and around San Francisco, where there’s less opportunity to unleash the revs, the Civic comparisons come to the fore. There is nothing wrong with that, as the Civic is a fine car in its own right, but going from stop sign to stop sign keeps the Integra Type S’s enhanced personality a touch out of reach. 

    Not so with the Genesis G70 3.3T, which pulls 365 horses from its twin-turbo V6 engine. The larger engine and ready-fire turbos jump this G70 3.3T off the line as if it had spent its downtime doing deadlifts. It’s bold from the word “go,” and its available torque feels abundant, even when you’re just tootling around the Mission on your errands.

    Inside, the tested Integra Type S was dressed with vivid red accents that complemented the rev-me-up engine exhortations. The instrument panel has structure and trim that’s very similar to the Civic and Accord, which again is more than adequate and might not be a factor if you haven’t had much wheel time in the Hondas. 

    The Genesis contrasted that with the brand’s convincingly upscale furnishings, with diamond-patterned coverings on the seats and door panels. Before you is a control layout presented in simple shapes and clear displays. 

    So, the Acura and Genesis are athletic in their own ways; the choice depends on how you want to flex and express.

    Philip Ruth is a Castro-based automotive photojournalist and consultant with an automotive staging service.

    Published on April 18, 2024