2003 Acura TL Consumer Review: My Last Acura

2003 Acura TL - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

458 Total Reviews

3.2 Type-S Sedan (3.2L V6 5-speed Automatic)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
2 of 8 people found this review helpful
My Last Acura
By tcross on


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.

Best Features

It's fast and fun to drive. The engine has been reliable and strong. Handling is nice. Exterior design is ok, if not thrilling.

Worst Features

The clearcoat failed at 100k, and the car was looking awful by 110k. Other antracite TLs of the same vintage all have the same clearcoat failure. It's really inexuseable for a car of this class. So are the transmission/drivetrain problems. Ordinarily, I'd spend the money to replace the transmission or the CV joints, but with the bad paint, it's not worth putting any more money in the car. The sound system (Bose) is just ok. Not as good as the JBL that I had in a Camry XLE. The interior noise level is higher than the Camry as well.
Recommend (2) (6)

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