Used 2003 Acura TL 3.2 Type-S

2003 Acura TL
List price range
2003 Acura TL


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


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

Used 2003 Acura TL 3.2 Type-S for Sale

Acura TL 2003 3.2 Type-S 4dr Sedan (3.2L 6cyl 5A)
159,288 miles
Used 2003
Acura TL
3.2 Type-S
Fairfax Hyundai
15.3 mi away
ListNot Listed
View Details

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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

vehicle overview

Introduction: Acura's torchbearer into the burgeoning near-luxury sedan market is the 3.2TL. Last redesigned in 1999 and updated rather frequently, the TL competes against a wide variety of vehicles, including the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Lexus ES 300 and IS 300, Infiniti I35 and G35, Mercedes C-Class, and Volvo S60. Acura hopes to exceed what those cars have to offer while simultaneously keeping price in check.

Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options: There are two trim levels to pick from: the base TL and the high-performance TL Type-S. Both TLs offer near-luxury equipment without a hefty price, and you get more than just air conditioning and a smattering of leather on the seats. You snag lots of standard equipment, including a power sunroof, a 180-watt sound system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer, heated front seats, two-position memory system for driver seat and mirrors, steering-wheel audio controls, rear heat/air vents, a micron air-filtration system and high-intensity discharge lights. A super-simple DVD-based navigation system with a smudge-free touchscreen is the only option, and this year it also comes with OnStar, the vehicle communications service. In addition to these items, the TL Type-S comes with a more powerful engine, a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch wheels and minor cabin trim upgrades.

Powertrains and Performance: The front-drive TL features a peppy 3.2-liter V6 that utilizes VTEC technology to produce 225 horsepower and 216 pound-feet of torque, while still getting 19/29 mpg in city/highway driving. The V6 remains strong in every gear, and it can scoot from 0 to 60 in under 8 seconds. The standard five-speed automatic transmission is quite user-friendly, thanks to a shift gate located close to the driver and an intuitive shift pattern for the SportShift sequential-shift manual function. Most people should be satisfied with this configuration, but for those who aren't, there's the Type-S. Thanks to special engine modifications, such as a dual-stage induction system, increased compression and performance-oriented camshafts and valves, the 3.2-liter V6 in the Type-S makes 260 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque. The five-speed automatic is still the only choice for this car.

Safety: The TL is equipped with side airbags; the front passenger seat has a system to prevent the side airbag from deploying if a small child or adult leans into the deployment path. Other safety items include traction control, antilock brakes and, on Type-S models, a stability control system. NHTSA has given the TL a four-star rating for front-seat side-impact safety and five stars for rear-seat side-impact safety.

Interior Design and Special Features: Inside, standard leather covers the comfortable front seats. Type-S cars also have deeply bolstered, perforated leather seats; a Type-S shift knob; and a metallic face instrument cluster. Though certainly functional, the TL's interior isn't as opulent as those of other cars in this class.

Driving Impressions: Both the TL and TL Type-S are satisfying to drive. The Type-S, in particular, is entertaining thanks to its prodigious horsepower. However, being a front-drive car has its disadvantages; the TL's handling isn't as dynamic as that of other rear-drive cars in this class.

2003 Highlights

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

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 Acura TL.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Best car I've ever owned
I research my cars thoroughly before I buy. As an engineer I appreciate good design and the Acura is excellent. I buy on performance, reliability, and styling in that order. What attracted me most was that it was the best performing car in it's class according to Consumer Reports and it has not disappointed. Great acceleration with top mileage of about 30 mpg on the highway. Like many others it has had a new transmission but Acura covered the entire cost including an Acura loaner from the dealer. I've had lots of good comments about the deep blue metallic color. 130,000 miles and going strong. On my second set of brakes and third set of tires.
Love the Type-S!
We bought our TL Type-S 6 months ago with 76,000 miles on it and we absolutely love it! It's fast and sporty, yet big enough for the whole family. The exterior is beautiful...(dual exhaust adds a ton!) and the interior is flawless. The only problem we had was that something went majorly wrong with the air conditioning system. Many of the parts were worn out and the air was completely warm. The whole system needed to be replaced to the tune of $860. Keep in mind that this car has been in Wisconsin its whole life so it's not like the A/C gets used very often. Other than the crappy A/C we have no problems and no regrets. The Type-S does require premium gas but the extra power given is worth it!
The best car ever
Sandra G,11/05/2015
I purchased the 03 Acura TL S in 08. I paid $7,500. Worth every cent. I have had a Nissan Maxima / Mitsubishi Galant / Honda Accord/ Chevy Blazer/ Toyota Celica/ Ford Explorer just to name a few. This is by far the best car I have ever had. It had 70,000 miles when I purchased it. It now has 180,000 miles on it and still going strong. I keep up with the oil changes and tune ups. Just regular mantaince and it is as smooth as glass to drive. The acceleration smooth speed awesome just a fun & comfortable car to drive. My son is now driving it and loves it over the new 2014 Nissan Rogue. Was a great car sorry report transmission needs to be rebuilt or sold as is.
Pretty good all around car
I bought this car in 2005 with about 75,000 miles. Unfortunately, about one year or 6,000 miles later my transmission failed. Acura did not cover my specific transmission problem for whatever reason so I ended up spending about $3500 to replace. Other than that, I did replace the timing belt just as a precaution but nothing else major. I still love my car and plan on buying another Acura when this one goes. However, beware of the transmission!
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Features & Specs

N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
260 hp @ 6100 rpm
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
260 hp @ 6100 rpm
See all Used 2003 Acura TL 3.2 Type-S features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2003 Acura TL
Used 2003 Acura TL 3.2 Type-S Overview

The Used 2003 Acura TL 3.2 Type-S is offered in the following styles: 3.2 Type-S 4dr Sedan (3.2L 6cyl 5A), and 3.2 Type-S 4dr Sedan w/Navigation (3.2L 6cyl 5A).

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Find a used Acura TL for sale - 8 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $21,670.

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Should I lease or buy a 2003 Acura TL?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Acura lease specials
Check out Acura TL lease specials