2003 Acura TL Type-S with Navigation 3.2 Liter VTEC from North America


High-performance and conservative looks, typical Honda-Acura problems


Eight months after purchasing what was at the time Acura's top-of-the-line TL, a 2003 Type-S with Navigation, I am experiencing the following problems:

The vehicle is driven daily, but has occasionally had difficulty starting on for no apparent reason. I currently live in Southern California where climate is not as issue.

The vehicle sometimes will lurch forward at a stoplight, as if it were in second gear while stopped, and settling back into first gear. This causes the vehicle to shoot forward about one foot or so.

With clean hands a given, the navigation screen becomes greasy easily, resulting in difficulty seeing the screen clearly during the day. The system also seems to re-route itself quite often without any change in course or direction.

Rapid acceleration after deceleration, but not coming to a complete stop will sometimes cause the car to shift jumpily instead of in its normally smooth manner.

Lastly, while the car's performance is pretty good, the tires do not match the capability of the rest of the vehicle. The tires fail to grip on a right-turn at 37mph into the far fifth lane of a five-lane expressway.

General Comments:

This is the second Acura I have owned. In Acuras past, the problems have always been with window rattling and a/c vent noise. In general, this vehicle has been a pleasure to own and drive. However, as small problems become apparent, I still question the quality control element at Acura, especially since this top-of-the-line TL model was purchased at the very end of its product cycle before a new model was being introduced-- with a full four years prior for any problems to be pinpointed and eradicated!

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

Review Date: 30th July, 2004

2003 Acura TL type S 3.2 from North America


A 4-Door Rocket!!


I purchased my TL in November of 2003. Ever since then I've taken the car back quiet a few times. First, when I came to pick up my car the ground effects weren't in yet, so I had to comeback for that. The day they came in the front air dam wasn't in, had to come back for that. Came in three different other times for my rims. I got a bad batch of chrome wheels (all were fading and peeling)!! Took care of the rim issue and had to come back because a someone in the service area scratched my front quarter panel, so that had to be sanded down and sprayed again!! I just took it back again because the rubber seals on the front windshield began to bubble and the inside seal of the right rear door was coming off. Acura had to re-glue the inner lining. I have no complaints in the transmission yet, Acura told me since it is a later model don't worry, we'll see?! I'm just disappointed with the fit and finish of this car. I paid a pretty price on this one! Nothing is missing: OEM body kit, spoiler, factory chrome wheels, navigation, 7yr/100k warranty (0 deductible, which I might need later).

General Comments:

Other wise, this car does have ample room! A lot of power under the hood. I'm surprised how well this car scoots for how heavy it is! The exterior is an eye catcher, especially with the OEM body kit! Plus, I purchased the nighthawk black color, makes it look really stealth-like. The interior is a plus 10. Acura did spend some time on the way the car looks inside and out! Until the I have problems with the transmission (knock on wood), I'll be keeping this one for awhile!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th March, 2004

2003 Acura TL -S V6 standard from North America


Good price, fun to drive, but flaws


Beginning at approx. 8,000 miles, the transmission began to upshift and downshift on flat streets from 45mph and below. Upon regular service, I mentioned this to the dealer and "they re-programmed the computer to the transmission". From this point on, the transmission kept doing this plus hard jerking in shifting modes in normal city traffic. The manual states to drive "normally" in 5th gear. At approximately 18,000 miles the transmission had to be replaced. For approximately a month since the new transmission has been replaced, the replacement is doing exactly the same thing.

General Comments:

The general design and performance is exceptional. I believe that there is a design flaw in this transmission type.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th March, 2004

17th Apr 2004, 07:54


As of this week, the 3rd transmission has been put in this 2003 TL-S. Shall be very interesting to see how this works out...

23rd Jun 2004, 12:45

I refer to the transmission problem (s) you had/are having with your TL. I believe that Acura knows there is a transmission problem and they've extended the original warranty a number of years. Therefore, you should not suffer any out of pocket costs. However, you still have to experience the inconvenience. All said and done, the 3.2TL is a great car.