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The Honda DA6 vs DA9 Integra – What’s The Difference?

If you are a fan of the Honda Integra, you might be quite familiar with the DA6 vs DA9 debate that has been raging for about 15 to 20 years now. The Honda Integra originally came out in 1986 and ran until about 2006/2007 before it was put on hiatus and ultimately returned to the Honda drawing board this year. There will be a new 2023 Integra sometime next fall.

It is not surprising that Honda wanted to revive one of its most popular lines as it was always a strong seller. But out of all the Integra’s they did release, which should be crowned king? We could sit here and compare a dozen different models but that would take months off of our lives. Instead, let’s focus on two. The Honda Integra DA6 and DA9- What’s the difference and which is better?

Summary Of The DA6 Integra

The Honda Integra DA6 ran from 1989 until 1993 both internationally and domestically in Japan. It came with a 1.6-liter B16A engine as standard and also came with VTEC. It produced a staggering 113 brake horsepower and about 111 lb-ft of torque. What a beast.

It was pretty good going for the early 90s but you can see why the DA6 was subsequently replaced. The DA6 came with folding mirrors, climate control, and an inbuilt cassette player, and typically comes with a rear spoiler and pale smoke grey window tent. It was pretty snazzy for the time. The DA6 also comes with a YS1 transmission case but not YS1 gears. Why? Good question.

Summary Of The DA9 Integra

The DA9 thrives in very similar ways to the DA6 and it achieved success in a lot of ways yet it also sees a few drawbacks in some areas. The DA9 comes with a 1.8-liter B18A1 engine which is already a bit of a step up.

The B18A1 engine could produce 160 brake horsepower if you are using the VTEC version. Otherwise, it is a simple 130-horsepower engine with 111 lb-ft of torque. The DA9 did not come with folding mirrors though it did have an inbuilt stereo system and climate control. Naturally. The DA9 has an S1 transmission in either 5 or 4-speed gears and S1 gears.

What Is The Difference Between The DA6 and DA9 Integra?

Despite the DA9 sounding like it should have come after the DA6 the DA6 actually released in 1993 while the DA9 was around from 1990 until 1991. This means that despite having a better engine in the DA9 the DA6 was actually quite a lot more modern. As you can tell from the little details such as folding mirrors.

The DA9 made use of an older three-spoke steering wheel and used old 50/50 tail lights. The DA6 is a lot smoother around the edges both in handling and the actual aesthetics of the vehicle.

The DA9 was a lot boxier and more square-ish as was popular at the time. The DA6 was designed for the JDM while the DA9 was designed for the USDM and EDM. However, over different variants of the Integra, the DA6 ended up in the US too.

Which Is Better The DA6 Integra Or The DA9 Integra?

Objectively, the DA6 Integra is quite a lot better than the DA9 Integra. However, if you were to compare the more common VTEC-less DA6 against the more common VTEC DA9 there is quite a glaring difference in performance and power.

If you want a straight-up comparison you may need to separate the two into separate comparisons. Which is better a VTEC DA6 or a VTEC DA9? Or, which is better, a basic DA6 or a basic DA9? The answer likely depends on whether you value those little “modern” add-ons that give the DA6 a slight edge. Or, is speed the priority?

Is it the shape that matters to you in which case do you prefer straighter edges or the more modern curved body? It depends on what you value most when determining which is better.

Which Is Better Value For Money The DA6 Integra Or The DA9 Integra?

They are pretty similar in cost but the DA9 is slightly cheaper. It is older so that’s only natural. However, the DA6 has much greater fuel consumption efficiency that actually over time probably costs less to run. It is also going to be far easier to find a DA6 that has fewer miles on the clock as it is potentially anywhere as much as three years younger.

While the DA6 may cost more right off the bat over time it becomes the better move financially and is more likely to be a reliable vehicle for the years to come. If you are planning on making upgrades and tricking your car out, then actually the DA9 provides a slightly better platform for doing so.

It is easier to work with and if you are working off the assumption that most things are going to need to be rebuilt or replaced then the DA9 chassis and skeleton is going to be more cost-effective. But only slightly.

The DA6 Integra And The DA9 – Should I Care About Choosing One Over The Other?

We have spent the first 80% of the blog post lining the two up and trying to decide which is better one way or the other. But unless you are specifically going out of your way to pick a D series Integra from the early 90s you are probably fine with either car.

They are super similar in looks and in expectations regarding what you are going to get if you buy one of these bad boys. Sure, they edge each other out slightly in certain areas but unless you are dead-set on choosing a specific D series Integra you are probably better of buying whichever of the two you manage to find for the best deal.

Conclusion

Now you have a good idea about the many similarities and differences between the DA6 and DA9 Integra, hopefully, you have managed to form a strong opinion one way or the other if that’s what you were hoping to achieve.

If you were simply curious then hopefully you found it interesting to stack up these two dinosaurs and see which comes out on top 20 years later. It is a never-ending battle with two sides that are quite dug in. Even today you might stumble upon people going for blood in an ancient online forum over which is better. Thanks for sticking with us during this battle of the bangers and goodbye for now!

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