2003 Acura CL Reviews

2003 Acura CL Type S 6 speed 3.2 from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 3.2 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired18 miles
Most recent distance132000 miles
Previous carAcura Integra

Summary:

I was going to buy a new TL, but I bought a new truck. Love this CL Type S 6 speed manual

Faults:

ZERO. None. Nada.

I had to put brakes and tires on it.

I wish they would have put a dark primer on... dings from the road show up pretty good on a blue (dark blue) car.

General Comments:

This is the greatest car I have ever owned. One of the best audio systems, BOSE; why can't Acura stick with BOSE?

Fast... managed 132 MPH... and still had pedal left.

Black with beige interior and wood grain.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th July, 2012

2003 Acura CL Type S 3.2 from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 3.2 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance158000 miles
Previous carHonda Accord

Summary:

Fantastic car that I will keep until I can't economically repair it

Faults:

The radio volume control is no longer linear in its action at low volume (it dithers up and down a little as you advance it). That's it.

General Comments:

I'm adding my experience with this car after reading all of the negative reviews. I have had nothing but excellent results with Honda products, having driven four since 1986, and put 1,000,000 miles on those four cars (my '86 Accord alone - 337,000 miles). I have never worn one out; the Accord I just mentioned was not burning significant oil. They were all American made, by the way. I do all of my own work, ALL of it. The worst failure on all of them was a head gasket on a 1998 Civic at 260,000 miles.

As for my CL, it has been the best of the bunch so far (it has 158,000 miles), with zero failures. Mine has a 6 speed, and it is on the original clutch. The rotors were a little warped when I replaced the front pads for the first time (110,000 miles), so I went ahead and replaced them with high quality after market rotors, which are smooth as silk still.

Why is my experience so much different then the others? One reason may be I know how to drive and maintain a car for durability.. I have proven that. I know that my CL was one of the last ever built; maybe they had it together by then. Or, maybe people that get too emotional about cars (i.e. die-hard American car enthusiasts) just want to defame a great car.

I love this car. It's unique (they only made about 3,500 of them). I like the styling a lot. I like Hondas, as I have said. I like manuals; I have only owned cars with manuals my whole life (I'm 54). My wife likes leather, and this was the only Honda product that year with a manual and leather. And finally, I love the power it has. At the time, it was one of the fastest front wheel drive cars available.

For the most part, Acura CL Type S's are a footnote in history now, because they are getting old, and there are so few. But, for those who have read these reviews and are now leery of Honda products... don't be. Look at the reliability numbers from Consumer Reports; they don't lie. Even excellent brands have a few problems, and you can bet those that suffer the problems will be quick to write a bad review... maybe even an exaggerated one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th May, 2010

7th May 2010, 09:28

I like your review and the points you've mentioned. Why aren't owners of the same vehicle having the same luck? Are your driving habits different. How do you drive manual, do you skip gears when you drive a 6 speed?

Thank you,

S.

9th May 2010, 06:02

You are safer with a manual vs an automatic. I had a new TL Type S nightmare with an automatic. There are plenty of reviews on here. I learned the hard way and sold mine at 41000 miles.

26th Jul 2012, 15:05

How people drive their cars is really important.

I find that people who don't know how to drive cars smoothly, drive automatics, and as bad drivers, drive those cars WAY harder.

Manual drivers aren't all that better; beware the manual car driven by a young male...

9th Nov 2013, 00:24

Totally agree. My CD player crapped out at 146000 miles, but I figured it was worth the $400 to get it fixed to still FULLY enjoy this fun vehicle. I'd have to spend 50-60K on an Audi or a BMW to have as much fun, and neither has the trunk space for 3 sets of golf clubs like my CL. Gotta love the manual transmission.

Average review marks: 8.3 / 10, based on 6 reviews