2003 Acura TL Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Acura TL

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Acura TL 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 TL

  • Jack-of-all-trades but master of none, the TL provides an impressive mix of luxury, sport and affordability.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent value, comfortable front seats, impressive power from the Type-S engine, long list of standard equipment.

  • Cons

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

  • What's New for 2003

    For 2003, all TL models equipped with the navigation system receive OnStar as standard equipment.

Full 2003 Acura TL Review

What's New for 2003

For 2003, all TL models equipped with the navigation system receive OnStar as standard equipment.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Pretty bummed with acura

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Acura TL 3.2 Type-S 4dr Sedan (3.2L 6cyl 5A)

Bought this TL with about 60,000 miles on it and was very impressed.....for about a year then it started falling apart. A/C needed to be completely replaced. Transmission never shifts down in town, so it hardly ever runs below 2500 RPMs even at low speeds. The exterior trim is faded, the heat controls inside have a mind of their own...you can turn the system off and still have hot air blasting out. The wiring on the steering wheel stereo controls is fried and never worked right. I thought Acura made a quality product but I was very wrong. Disappointed with this car...it's kind of a piece of junk.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great car with a few

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Acura TL 3.2 4dr Sedan (3.2L 6cyl 5A)

As with most of the 2003 readings, my TL lost its transmission at about 90K. As the warranty was shot after 10 years I had to pay 3K+ for a new transmission, DON'T GO TO THE DEALER or you will pay 5K+ with a lesser warranty. The airbag sensor light went on and the dealer asked $650 to fix it, I figure I went most of my life without ever even wearing a seat belt until it was made a law, I can live with out airbags for awhile. So after 100K that about sums it up the major repairs. The comfort of the drive is the best I ever had, the engine is great; it can throw you back in your seat. Gas mileage is surprisingly good. The leather interior is average at best.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Great car despite the tranny

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Vehicle: 2003 Acura TL 3.2 4dr Sedan (3.2L 6cyl 5A)

I bought the car in a dealer's auction with 149 k. I learn about the transmissionrecall and was scare when the car would occasionally shake during gear shifting. Took it the dealer and they stated I needed another transmission asap. Went to my local mechanic and he state transmission is good just had a broken motor mount and fluid need to be flush. Car drove good ever since, I love the speed. I pass newer car with ease. I hit 90 on the road easily going to Atlanta. I would definitely buy one again. My car is till operating but I gave it to my girlfriend since she dented the doors and bumper in an accident.

1 of 7 people found this review helpful

My last acura

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Vehicle: 2003 Acura TL 3.2 Type-S 4dr Sedan (3.2L 6cyl 5A)

I bought this car new in 2003 and have had it serviced at the dealer religiously. I kept it washed, waxed and cleaned inside and out. The car is a lot of fun to drive. It's a little noisy on the inside, though. The transmission went out (second gear recall defect) at 70k miles. The dealer replaced it for free. I spent about 5k to replace motor mounts, timing belt and other major maintenance at 100k. At 101k the clearcoat began failing. At 110, the drive train started wobbling and/or slipping at certain speeds and power settings. At 150k, the car looks awful and isn't worth further repairs. I'm done with Acura.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

120,000 miles

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Vehicle: 2003 Acura TL 3.2 Type-S 4dr Sedan (3.2L 6cyl 5A)

Bought the car in 06 with 20k on it! Flawless until 120,000. At 120k the coil went, 4 weeks later transmission dead. I drove it to the dealer and traded it in on an 09 MDX!

5 of 17 people found this review helpful

What a disappointment

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Acura TL 3.2 Type-S 4dr Sedan w/Navigation (3.2L 6cyl 5A)

This car was my first Honda product after owning nothing but American built cars, I had very high hopes. At first I was very impressed with the Acura, I loved driving it, great for road trips, very powerful and sporty handling. But then I learned of the transmission problems. I felt like I was driving a ticking time bomb..........then mine needed replaced just like so many others. Count on spending about $5000 from Acura. This happened at 90K, then at 113K the engine started making internal ticking noises. Dealer recommended new engine. Really? Entire drive train replaced by 113K with a perfect maintenance record? Sold the car that day. So turned off by Honda now.

Talk About The 2003 TL

2003 Acura TL Discussions See all Started By

I am looking into buying my next car and my budget is around $10,000. I like both cars, the 2002-2003 Acura TL and the 2001 Lexus GS 300. I am wondering which car is sportier, handles better, and is o...

I'm adding this discussion because most of the messages in the "Older Tls" discussion are about the '04-'08 generation....

just recently had trans oil changed in my 2003 acura tl. prior to changing it, i had slight delay when shifting from 2nd to 3rd. new oil seemd to help but didn't cure it completely. my mechanic didn'...

Gas Mileage


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