2000 Acura 1.6 EL Premium 1.6 litre engine from North America


A somewhat reasonable compromise between performance/fuel efficiency/creature comforts.


* One day during the summer, the power door locks began to mysteriously lock and unlock themselves -- lasted for a few weeks until one day it mysteriously stopped. Very annoying when driving, or returning to a car that you had previously locked!

General Comments:


Good fuel economy (7.44 litres/100 km).

Operating air conditioning doesn't seem to significantly affect fuel economy.

Simple and easily accessible controls (heating, stereo, etc.)

Included features (e.g. power sunroof/moonroof, heated seats/mirrors, power doorlocks, power windows, fold-down rear seats, alarm system, cruise control, etc.).

Attractive exterior styling.

Aside from power door lock bugaboo, I have had no problems with mechanics or body integrity.


Not a lot of horse power (need to get to the upper RPMs to get performance out of engine).

Bugaboo with speedometer during cold climates (sometimes needle will temporarily "stick")

Leather is not supple (lower grade leather, in my opinion).

Handling (steering and cornering) below that of older Integra models (e.g., 1991).

Imperfections in the road can be a little unsettling for the car (lessening my confidence in it's handling ability).

My knee hits the steering wheel column when I applying the brakes (maybe not the greatest, ergonomically-speaking, for tallish drivers).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st October, 2006

19th Apr 2008, 23:24

Update: I have now reached 144,000 KMs on the car, and since my previous report I have not had any new issues with the car. On thing of note, my overall fuel economy has improved. After putting on roughly 50,000KM, my overall cummulative fuel consumption average reached a low of 7.34L per 100KM. After looking back at my spreadsheet, the only things I have done on this car have been oil changes, brake pads/rotors, air filters, spark plugs, coolant replacement, wiper blades. I have yet to replace the muffler!

When I look at other luxo-car reviews, I think it might be difficult to give up this EL when the time comes (baby just arrived, but so far I have been able to install child seat rear-facing in rear seat, passenger-side... however with that said, I don't think I can have a front passenger sitting beside me while the baby is in the back (and my wife is 5 ft 2.

2000 Acura 1.6 EL Premium 1.6L SOHC Vtec from North America


Nice blend of luxury and economy


Check engine light came on at about 60K, engine computer had to be replaced as it was not spitting out readable codes. Done under warranty.

CEL came back on at 100K, O2 sensor, got awful gas mileage at that time, like 300k per tank. (not covered)

Clutch squeek started to appear, and never went away at about 100K as well.

Driver seat is noisy and squeeks when turning and shifting weight.

At around 140K, I started to get a very odd 'ticking noise' when driving slowly, paired up with a nasty friction, metal on metal noise when downshifting. Major transmission job was needed, bunch of tranny bearings had to be replaced, and the clutch bearing. $1,300 repair job, not covered. Did not replace clutch, still lots of life on it. Car drove great after that was repaired. The car NEVER drove as smoothly after that repair job, even when it was much newer, seemed like there was a problem for a while.

Two burnt out side indicators (not covered)

Bubbling of the speedometer face. Was told it was due to sunroof and heat caused by it.

Very weak driverside window motor, have to lubricate rails constantly. Passenger side not much better. Rear windows are OK.

Bubbling clear-coat on rear bumper.

Very difficult to move temperature slider from hot-to-cold, got worse with age.

4-way flasher button gets stuck when cold outside.

Really odd squeaking noise coming from rear seats when hitting bumps. Other 'noises' start to emerge as the car gets older.

Engine seems to almost stall when braking heavily.

Clutch squeaking once again at about 150K. Dealer says clutch bearing again.

Heat shield rattling started at about 150K, totally fell off the car about a week later.

I'm at about 165K now, 160K, transmission ALWAYS grinds when selecting reverse now, and has a very hard time going into first gear when cold. I fear my transmission problems have resurfaced.

Accessory belt squeals occasionally in the cold now.

CEL has re-appeared. Knock sensor this time. Have not gotten repaired yet.

Car has now begun to slowly burn oil for some reason. To my shock, I had NO oil appearing on the dipstick after only 5K. Passes emissions test with no problem whatsoever though. I have to top off my oil every 2K or so now.

At 165K now, engine seems strained, and transmission has all sorts of issues. I have given up, and drive with the CEL on all the time now.

I have had my car dealer serviced, and I am very careful to get ALL regular maintenance done on the car. Clearly my diligence has not paid off : (

General Comments:

There are many things I love about the car. It is a good compromise between luxury and economy. Great gas-mileage, but for some odd reason, insurance for this car is far too high for what it is.

The interior is nice, and the front seats are comfortable. The floor mats, dash and standard features really set it apart from any civic. Heated seats, mirrors, and power windows, sunroof are really nice. Many adjustments can be made to the driver seat, and the leather is nice too.

Exterior styling is nice. 15" alloys, 195/55/15 tires (similar to Integra/SiR). More aggressive looking front end.

Performance for this car is not typical of any other luxury cars. I would consider this car 'underpowered' in the low-rpm range. You have to really get the RPM up to extract much power from the engine. Some people like this, but the low-end power is far too weak. With the air conditioning turned on, the car feels like it wants to stall unless you gas hard on take offs. Honda would have been better off adopting a 1.8L motor in this car, or something with a smoother power band.

The car handles quite good; Better than my previous 96' civic. It has good front discs (same front brakes as the Integra). It has rear drums, would have been nice to have rear discs. The stock tires are terrible in the snow, and I'd recommend replacing with different models as soon as you can if you live in Canada.

I have had a ton of problems with my EL, however I don't believe this is the norm. Everyone else I have spoken to has had minor problems, and things like power-train issues are rare. I was unlucky I suppose. I have not been pleased with Acura's service in my area. They seem unfriendly, slow, and on numerous occasions, my problems were not fixed properly (i.e. my transmission).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 11th May, 2005

16th Aug 2005, 17:00

I feel awful for the issues you have had with your car. I was having disappointing issues with my transmission and I was told it was a common issue with the Honda manual transmissions. I went to a Shop in Brampton where they told me that taking the transmission apart and then putting it back together is always questionable. I asked what a better option would be and Bang! I got a used transmission from Japan from a GS-R Integra with low kms on it. The good news is that the transmission is now stronger than stock and I can sustain longer shifts. This is especially good since the V-TEC is only usable above 5000rpm. In any event the cost of the new transmission install was under 1000. I find the car runs smoother and is more apt to both city and highway. It burns less fuel and I am getting mixed city/highway 580kms before low fuel light (leaving still 9-10L) in the tank. I can't complain since my EL has over 200,000kms.

Hope it works out for you.

24th Apr 2006, 20:03

Put your transmission in 4th gear (with the clutch still depressed) before you put it into R, then go. It alleviates most of the grind in 5 speed Honda trannys when going into reverse.

2nd Mar 2008, 15:56

I have had a lot of the same problems.

11th May 2010, 11:34

Mine just hit 200k, still runs great. Very fuel efficient and haven't had any issues at all with it. Had the timing belt replaced last year. Transmission seems to be shifting a little harder now, but the car is very old by today's standards.

I'm 6'1" and find the car a little small, but the seats are so comfy that they make up for the smallness of the car.

Overall, great inexpensive luxury car, super cheap on gas and cheap to maintain.