Start Your Year Right With This Mint 2000 Acura Integra GS-R

2000 Acura Integra GS-R 16 photos
Photo: kginsberg/Bring a Trailer
2000 Acura Integra GS-R2000 Acura Integra GS-R2000 Acura Integra GS-R2000 Acura Integra GS-R2000 Acura Integra GS-R2000 Acura Integra GS-R2000 Acura Integra GS-R2000 Acura Integra GS-R2000 Acura Integra GS-R2000 Acura Integra GS-R2000 Acura Integra GS-R2000 Acura Integra GS-R2000 Acura Integra GS-R2000 Acura Integra GS-R2000 Acura Integra GS-R
Japanese cars have exploded in value in the past few years. Their huge success can be accredited to several things, but even so, we are looking at exaggerated figures for cars that might be overhyped. Let me explain.
I want to start by saying that I will address the whole spectrum of Japanese cars. I felt the need to make this clarification as we tend to narrow down our JDM pallet only to the popular kids - the Skyline, the Supra, Nissan S-chassis, you know, the models we see plastered everywhere on social media.

It's really easy to label Japanese cars as overhyped, and for good reasons. While yes, they are easy to mod, that doesn't justify the insane price tags that these have - I mean, six figures for an MK4 Supra? That's a lot. And that's a lot, especially when you take a look at the poor interior quality and their love for rust.

But, to be fair, the story doesn't end there. As I said earlier, the Japanese spectrum is vast. We have a lot of different cars, cool cars, coming out of Japan. We have off-roaders, luxury sedans, small trucks, sports cars, you name it; Japan probably built it.

The point I'm trying to make is that yes, we can say that Japanese cars are overrated, but we can’t generalize. There are a lot of cool options out there if you steer away from the popular, overdone picks.

2000 Acura Integra GS\-R
Photo: Bring a Trailer
So, that begs the question, what Japanese cars are cool and still reasonably priced? Well, I might have the answer. This 2000 Acura Integra GS-R is up at auction in Lebanon, New Jersey, just in time for you to start the year right with a brand-new driving machiine on your driveway.

This particular Integra is on the pricey side, but you can get them for lower all day long. This is priced a little high thanks to the condition that it’s in. It’s stock, which is rare for one of these, and it only has 58,000 miles (93,300 km) on the clock.

The GS-R variant means quite a few things, but the stars are the 1.8-liter inline-four VTEC engine that you can rev to the 8,000 rpm redline and the 5-speed manual gearbox. With 170 horsepower (172 ps), it's most certainly not the fastest, but the chassis and suspension setup will ensure that you will have a lot of fun. And this is what makes Japanese cars, particularly Honda and Acura, so great.

They rev high, they have precise gearboxes to row through, and the suspension and the chassis will make you feel connected to the roads while going 50 mph (80 km/h) on some back roads. These cars are all about fun and the pleasure of driving. You will have a dumb smile on your face and feel like a teenager who just got his license.

2000 Acura Integra GS\-R
Photo: Bring a Trailer
As I said, this fun-having attitude is a fundamental trait for these cars. Hondas and Acuras always had one simple, yet winning recipee: lightweight, balanced chassis and rev-happy engines. The Civic might be the more popular option, but the Integra is the more grown-up, mature brother that is still just as fun.

The first-generation Integra is almost forgotten in the automotive history pages. It looked kinda funky, and the driving dynamic was pretty disappointing, but the second-gen is where the fun starts.

The 1990 to 1993 generation had a pretty short run, but it stuck around more than enough to make the Integra name stick in our minds. It finally achieved that sporty yet luxury-oriented look, and it got the holy grail VTEC engine.

From 1994 to 2001, we got the most popular generation of Integra. Known as the DC2 featured a bug-eyed face with four round headlights. But, despite the, let's say, questionable looks, it is a blast to drive. The legendary B18 engine was fun to rev to the moon, and the way it cornered made you feel like a racing driver, especially in the extremely sought-after Type-R variant.

2000 Acura Integra GS\-R
Photo: Bring a Trailer
There was one more Integra in the mid-2000s, also known as the RSX in the U.S., but it grew heavier and a little more sluggish than its older siblings. Nowadays, the Integra is back, and it looks promising, but we have to wait and see what enthusiasts think about it.

Circling back to what I said earlier, there still are cool Japanese cars that you can buy, and I think this one strikes a pretty good balance. It’s fun, relatively cheap, reliable, and easy to maintain. No, it won’t win any popularity contest when you put it next to an R34 Skyline, but it will provide you with tons of fun and a lot of aftermarket support if tuning is your thing.

While yes, this Integra GS-R is front-wheel drive, not the fastest nor the prettiest, it will provide you with a lot of fun without giving you any major headaches, and that's what Japanese cars should be about.
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About the author: Călin Iosif
Călin Iosif profile photo

Călin’s origin story is being exposed to Top Gear when he was very young. Watching too much of Clarkson, Hammond and May argue on TV turned him into Petrolhead (an automotive journalist with a soft spot for old pieces of... cars, old cars).
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