2003 Acura CL Type S 3.2 from North America


Does most things well, but nothing great


Bought my CPO '03 3.2 CL S in March of '07 with 40k miles. No issues until around 60k miles. Then the wheels came off...

60k - front suspension passenger side had to be replace, including new bushings and bearings. All covered under CPO warranty.

62k - radio controls on steering wheel crapped out and had to be replaced. Again, covered under warranty.

65k - Driver side headlight and inverter replaced, $649, OUCH.

71k - Passenger side headlight and inverter replaced, $649 AGAIN!!!

Decent car, but I bought it for that " Honda Quality". At least it's not a Toyota :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd March, 2010

2003 Acura CL 3.2 Vtec from North America


It's the car I told my wife I would drive all year round, then she got one


Passenger side headlight went out soon after purchase. It seems to have a constant wobble of the steering wheel, even after rotations and balances.

General Comments:

Excellent car. It is my 3 Honda product and my wife's first. She absolutely loves it compared to her neon. It has great power, reliability and usefulness.

The headlight was covered under our extended warranty (after I had to point out that them that I had a warranty, again and where it should be covered).

Handles great, accelerates well, has tons of options and looks great when it is clean (black paint).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd July, 2008

2003 Acura CL Type S 3.2L V6 from North America


This car is an overpriced, under-engineered and poorly assembled piece of junk


Numerous fit and finish issues, some bad they required a body shop to correct.

Failed strut.

Continually warping rotors.

Lousy paint.

Interminable rattles and squeaks.

Failing clutch.

Failed seat belt retractor.

Poor engine idle.

General Comments:

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.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th August, 2004

17th Aug 2004, 15:36

I also own the same Acura and have had many problems. Honda should give full refunds on these cars!

26th Oct 2004, 19:51

My 2001 CLS transmission just died on the way home. I had to park it and walk home. I have less than 15K miles on it. What happens next, do they give me a new car?

2003 Acura CL Type S 3.2 from North America


Great value for the performance buck


Cabin squeaks and rattles - to be fixed at dealer..

General Comments:

Great driving car - fast, responsive, comfortable, quiet, good mileage IF you keep your foot out of it :)

Fit and finish very good, materials and interior good, if styling a bit plain.

Styling is ho-hum, but Acuras look good over time.

Car is a wolf in sheep's clothing - can blow the doors off many "performance" cars, but looks plain.

Stereo is good, but could use a graphic equalizer instead of bass and treble controls.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th April, 2004

19th May 2005, 18:29

I agree with all 5 comments. You are right on the money.

8th Nov 2005, 08:23

I also moved up from a 2001 Prelude to a 2003 CL type S with the 6 speed manual transmission. Needless to say I am very impressed with the car. It is without a doubt a sleeper. I pulled up beside a convertible M3 at a red light the other day and when the light changed we both punched it. I pulled on him all the way to 155 mph. The only things that I have added to the car are a Comptech Air Box, and a set of BF Goodrich G-Force T/A KDW Tires (245/45ZR17).

I am very satisfied and will buy another Acura when it is time to retire this one!!!