Numerous fit and finish issues, some bad they required a body shop to correct.
Continually warping rotors.
Interminable rattles and squeaks.
Failed seat belt retractor.
Poor engine idle.
This is my second Acura, purchased largely because my '91 Integra had been flawlessly built and ran for over 100,000 miles before needing any service (other than scheduled maintenance. The differences between the two couldn't be more pronounced.
First, the fit and finish of the CL, both interior and exterior, was miserable. My right door could not be aligned to the rear fender by conventional adjustments, and had to go to a body shop at a cost of $800 to me. There was a crease in the right rear fender that I though came from someone hitting the metal with their car door. After having it fixed at a cost to me of $100, I found out that this was a panel mounting defect common to this model.
The rotors (another known issue) continue to warp, but Acura will only authorize resurfacing. Each time they do this, they warp faster than the last time. The clutch, a $1500.00 repair, is going out. Even though the car is under warranty, Acura won't cover the clutch since it's a wear item. I'd understand if it was the clutch friction plates that were failing, but it's the clutch spring.
Dealer service has gotten terrible since my last Acura. Three different dealerships in three states have seen this car for various issues, and have addressed them poorly. One refused to replace the rotors even though they had already been machined twice, and despite the fact that each time you machine a warping rotor, it will only warp again, but sooner. Same dealership acknowledged that the door alignment was not to spec, but refused to repair it. Another dealer refused to address a rattle problem, saying they couldn't hear it during the drive. I demonstrated that all they had to do was pound the door liner with a hand and they'd hear it. Again they claimed not to hear it. Finally took off the panel myself and in less than five minutes had located and repaired the problem. Demonstrated to the third dealer that my belt retractor was all, but useless. Their response was to lubricate it. It's still does exactly the same thing as before (not retracting properly).
Many people have reported similar and other unique issues about the 01-03 CL. It's a blessing that Acura has stopped making them. From my own experiences, and from my extensive reading about the experiences of others, it is evident that Acura misrepresents itself as being the luxury brand it once was. In my opinion, it has become a profiteering outfit, determined to trade on a reputation it once deserved, but does not any longer.
I will never buy an Acura product again.