2003 Acura CL Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Acura CL

Acura CL Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.2 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 225 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2003 Acura CL

  • If you are looking for a luxury coupe for about $30,000, you'll be hard-pressed to find anything better.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Powerful V6 engines, lavish standard features list, comfortable cabin, great value.

  • Cons

    Average interior materials, lacks the panache of some competing luxury coupes.

  • What's New for 2003

    Acura has made a number of changes on its already highly competent luxury sport coupe. The biggest news is the availability of a…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (157 total reviews)

11 years and counting

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Vehicle: 2003 Acura CL 3.2 Type-S 2dr Coupe (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

My CD player just died and I had to consider whether to pat $400 to have it fixed or possibly getting a new car and going with getting the CD fixed. After 11 years and 150,000 miles, it's showing its age externally, but it still drives great. I just had the manual transmission fluid changed for the first time. With no radio for a couple of weeks I could appreciate how great the engine purrs. If you can find a used one with a manual, I would recommend it. It sounds like it should be good for another 100,000 miles and only an Audi or a BMW might seem like an improvement.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Great blend of touring comfort

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Vehicle: 2003 Acura CL 3.2 Type-S 2dr Coupe (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

Bought the car new after having had Honda Acuras and Preludes for a decade, and I wanted to move up. Was struck immediately by its spirited performance, good handling and comfort for long drives. The styling is refined and understated, but clearly not head turning. Interior is well finished, and mechanically the car has been excellent. Straight line acceleration is faster than it feels, and it's a blast to drive in the curves. The manual six speed is smooth, and perfectly matched to the engine and car... RECOMMENDED!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

You want quick and reliable?

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Vehicle: 2003 Acura CL 3.2 Type-S 2dr Coupe (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

By a large margin, the best car I've owned in more than a half-century on the road. Impressive response to throttle inputs, smooth shifts, excellent torque, even in 5th gear, pretty decent mileage (22 with a lot of stop-and-go 25-mi commutes into DC and back). Virtually no shop time other than for reg maintenance, brakes went 60K before replacement. Finish holding up very well despite outside parking at home. The kid wants to know when I'll be too old to drive it so she can have it, even tho she's not sure why there are three pedals. When they pry my cold, dead fingers from the shift knob, that's when. Or when Acura builds me a suitable and acceptable successor.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Great car

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Vehicle: 2003 Acura CL 3.2 Type-S 2dr Coupe (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

Bought this car new. After 140K I still love it. One repair (about a month ago) other than normal maintenance. Fast (enough), quiet, comfortable, reasonable mileage for this type of car. Build quality is excellant. Styling still looks good. If they still made them I'd buy another in a skinny minute. I do NOT like the newest generation TL even though the mechanicals are pretty much the same. If you're looking for a great used car, the CL-S should be on your list. You'll have to get another one though, I'm keeping mine!

Not bad for price

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Vehicle: 2003 Acura CL 3.2 2dr Coupe (3.2L 6cyl 5A)

Ive owned this car for about 4 months and am enjoying. I use to own a 01 Altima so I consider this a real upgrade. Although I love this car I have had quite a few problems with it in just these 4 months of ownership. I have already had to replace the transmission and starter. I have an exhaust leak so my check engine light is always on. Acura says it will take time to find the leak ($105 an hour just to diagnose and see where the leak is coming from). The 2003 automatic CLs are also known for transmission problems. Luckily mine was 2 months away from the warranty expiring so I did not have to pay a cent. Other then those things I am pleased with this car and would recommend for the price.

Nicest car we've ever owned

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Vehicle: 2003 Acura CL 3.2 2dr Coupe w/Navigation (3.2L 6cyl 5A)

Our daughters were off to college so we didn't need our 1993 Roadmaster Estate Wagon with 240k mi it earned a rest. Found and purchased a one owner used Acura CL with 68k mi for $9500. Transmission mis shifted 94K mi. Honda replaced with new 5 speed auto - free of charge. Turns out that first owner had transmission serviced but not with Honda Z1 ATF, Car gets almost 26 MPG on regular gas. Excellent power and stable handling predictable steering. GM has miles to go to get close to this car. I will buy Acuras from now on. I most highly recommend this car.

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2003 Acura CL Review

What's New for 2003

Acura has made a number of changes on its already highly competent luxury sport coupe. The biggest news is the availability of a six-speed manual transmission on the Type-S trim. If that doesn't interest you, there's certainly more. On the outside, the CL gains new wheels, updated headlights and taillights, a revised grille and new exhaust tips. Inside, Acura has added LATCH child safety seat attachments, a dual-stage and dual-threshold driver's front airbag and an auto-up driver's window. Cars with the optional navigation system also gain OnStar, the vehicle communications service.

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