Under the Honda lineup, the Integra was near the middle, slotting above smaller cars such as the Honda City, the Honda Civic, and the Honda Logo. The Honda Integra was considered to be mid-sized car by Japanese standards.
As of 2007, the fourth-generation Integra has been discontinued in North America and Australia, but is still sold in its home market of Japan. It was assembled in Sayama, Japan.
This vehicle debuted in Japan in 1985 as the Honda Quint Integra before going on sale a year later in North America as part of the then-new Acura lineup. Three and five-door hatchback bodies were available, with a 1.6L DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine powering both. The engine was the vehicle's most publicized feature, as DOHC, multi-valve engines were anything but commonplace in entry-level models at the time. The 5-door hatchback model was also sold in Australia but was rebadged as the Rover 416i.
The Integra was based on the less-sporty Civic, although it featured a small list of key upgrades over its lesser stablemate to help merit a price increase over the CRX Si, which was otherwise the sportiest compact vehicle being offered by Honda/Acura; enlarged 4-wheel disc brakes replaced the small front-disc/rear-drum setup used by the Civic and CRX, suspension calibration was re-worked, better tires were used and a 113hp DOHC fuel injected 16-valve engine was used in place of the SOHC unit from the CRX Si. Combined with sleeker styling and a nicer interior, buyers were effectively convinced that the Integra was worth the extra money, and nearly 228,000 units were sold during the four year run of the first generation model.
The first generation Integras actually came with two different engines. Although they shared the same engine code (D16A1), there were a few differences. The engine differed in the years 1986 to 1987 and 1988 to 1989. The two engines are commonly called the "Browntop" and "Blacktop" due to the color of their valve covers. The "browntop" came in 1986 and 1987 Integras while the "blacktop" came in 1988 and 1989 models. The improvements in the "blacktop" engine included lighter rods, domed pistons for slightly higher compression, and an electric advance distributor (the "browntop" came with a vacuum advance distributor). The overall gain in performance was about 5hp (3.7kW) for 118hp (88.0kW).