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Comparing the 1996 Acura Integra LS and GSR Models

Comparing the 1996 Acura Integra LS and GSR Models

The 1996 Acura Integra stands as a celebrated icon of the 1990s car scene, blending reliability, performance, and style. Within this lineup, the LS (Luxury Sport) and GSR (Gran Sport Racing) models offer unique takes on the Integra’s potential, catering to different kinds of driving enthusiasts. This blog post delves into the distinctions between these two models, highlighting their unique features, performance, and overall appeal.

Engine and Performance

Acura Integra LS

Under the hood of the 1996 Acura Integra LS lies a 1.8-liter DOHC 16-valve inline-four engine, coded as the B18B1. This engine produces 142 horsepower at 6,300 RPM and 127 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 RPM. While not a high-performance powerhouse, the LS offers a balanced and reliable driving experience, making it an excellent choice for daily commuting and long-term ownership.

- Horsepower: 142 hp

- Torque: 127 lb-ft

- Engine: B18B1, 1.8-liter DOHC 16-valve inline-four

Acura Integra GSR

The GSR, on the other hand, is built for those who crave a more spirited drive. It features the renowned B18C1 engine, a 1.8-liter DOHC 16-valve inline-four with Honda’s VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) system. This setup boosts the GSR’s output to an impressive 170 horsepower at 7,600 RPM and 128 lb-ft of torque at 6,200 RPM. The VTEC technology provides a surge of power at higher RPMs, delivering an exhilarating driving experience.

- Horsepower: 170 hp

- Torque: 128 lb-ft

- Engine: B18C1, 1.8-liter DOHC 16-valve inline-four with VTEC

Transmission and Handling

Both models offer a 5-speed manual transmission as standard, ensuring an engaging driving experience. However, the LS also has an optional 4-speed automatic transmission for those who prefer the convenience of an automatic gearbox.

The GSR’s handling benefits from a sport-tuned suspension, which includes firmer springs and shocks (the internet claims this but we believe the springs and shocks to be the same between the 2 models), providing better road feedback and improved cornering capabilities. The LS, while still competent in handling, is tuned more for comfort, offering a smoother ride over rough surfaces.

Interior and Features

Acura Integra LS

The LS trim is equipped with a host of features aimed at comfort and convenience. Standard amenities include power windows, power door locks, air conditioning, and a tilt steering wheel. The interior materials are of good quality, with comfortable cloth seats providing adequate support for daily driving.

Acura Integra GSR

The GSR model builds on the LS’s features with a focus on enhancing the driving experience. It includes sport seats with more bolstering for better lateral support during spirited driving. Additionally, the GSR comes with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, adding a touch of sportiness to the interior.

Exterior Design

Both models share the sleek, aerodynamic design characteristic of the Integra lineup. However, the GSR can be distinguished by its unique badging and alloy wheels, which enhance its sporty appearance. Both models also feature pop-up headlights, a signature design element of the 1990s Integra.

Fuel Economy

Fuel efficiency is a strong point for both models, thanks to their lightweight design and efficient engines. The LS model achieves an estimated 25 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with the manual transmission. The GSR, despite its higher performance, maintains respectable fuel economy figures, with an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

Price and Value

When new, the GSR commanded a higher price due to its enhanced performance and additional features. However, in the used car market, the value of each model can vary based on condition, mileage, and maintenance history. Generally, the GSR holds its value better due to its desirability among enthusiasts and its performance-oriented attributes.

Conclusion

The 1996 Acura Integra LS and GSR models each offer unique advantages. The LS is a practical choice, providing a reliable, comfortable, and fuel-efficient ride suitable for everyday driving. The GSR, with its higher performance engine, sport-tuned suspension, and VTEC technology, caters to those who seek a more dynamic driving experience.

Choosing between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference and intended use. For daily commuting and long-term reliability, the LS is an excellent option. For those who crave a spirited, engaging drive and appreciate the thrill of higher performance, the GSR is the clear winner.

Both models, however, share the Integra’s legacy of reliability, making either choice a worthwhile investment in automotive excellence.


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