We Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura Cl Type - S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan - Based Coupes


We Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based CoupesSedan-based coupes from mainstream brands have largely gone out of favor with consumers and over the past few years we've seen a number of models get the axe. The last Nissan Altima Coupe rolled off the line in 2013, while the Honda Accord Coupe was killed when the tenth-generation model was introduced last year.
While it’s unfortunate that these models have fallen by the wayside, we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to take a short spin in the 2003 Acura CL Type-S during our trip to Ohio to check out the 2019 ILX and NSX.Also Read: We Drive The Updated 2019 Acura ILXLoving taken care of by Acura, the 2003 CL Type-S looks like it just rolled off the assembly line. The model is in such pristine condition, that it still features its original window sticker which reveals the model came fully loaded when it was built nearly 15 years ago.Styling trends have changed significantly since then and the model is devoid of the gentle curves and aggressive fascias which dominate many of today’s coupes. Despite this, the car still looks pretty good as it features clean lines and a sporty dual exhaust system with chrome finishers. The front and rear fascias are slightly generic, but this isn’t too surprising as the model was based on the conservative looking second-generation TL.The old school styling is pretty obvious in the cabin, but the car is surprisingly high-tech considering how old it is. Among the highlights are heated leather seats, an automatic climate control system and a Bose audio system with a six-disc CD changer. The real star of the show is the CL’s DVD-based navigation system which features a 6-inch display. It looks comically dated nowadays, but it sure beat using paper maps or printed directions from Mapquest.What’s it like driving a new 15 year old car?Power is provided by a 3.2-liter V6 engine that produces 260 hp (193 kW / 263 PS) and 232 lb-ft (314 Nm) of torque – 35 hp (26 kW / 35 PS) and 16 lb-ft (21 Nm) more than the standard CL. It is connected to a five-speed automatic transmission which enables the coupe to return 19 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.So how does it drive? Unsurprisingly, like a brand-new 15 year old car. The steering is heavy and the model is definitely geared more towards comfort than sport. That wasn’t necessarily the case with the CL Type-S equipped with the six-speed manual transmission as that particular model had a short-throw shifter and a limited slip differential.Getting back to the automatic model I drove, the car had plenty of power and that isn’t too surprising as the old timer has 52 hp (38 kW / 52 PS) more than the base 2018 Infiniti Q60. The model is also lighter as it tips the scales at 3,525 lbs (1,599 kg) compared to the Q60’s 3,727 lbs (1,690 kg).Of course, the CL is front-wheel drive while the Q60 is rear- / all-wheel drive. That limits the fun factor and Acura’s old press release reveals the car has a front to rear weight distribution of 63 / 37.While the car isn’t necessarily tons of fun to drive, it’s remarkably comfortable and everything is still in working order. In fact, it would be a perfect daily driver and one that I wouldn’t mind at all.What would it cost today?The 2003 Acura CL Type-S had a base price of $30,550 before adding the $2,150 navigation system and the $480 destination and handling charge. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator shows the model would cost nearly $42,445 in today’s money and that’s relatively close to the $39,950 base price of the Infiniti Q60.As for used examples, there’s a handful of CL Type-S’ on Craigslist for under $5,000. They’re in much worse condition than the model I drove, so buyer beware. 




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We Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based CoupesWe Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based CoupesWe Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based Coupes

We Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based CoupesWe Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based CoupesWe Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based Coupes

We Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based CoupesWe Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based CoupesWe Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based Coupes

We Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based CoupesWe Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based CoupesWe Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based Coupes

We Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based CoupesWe Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based CoupesWe Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based Coupes

We Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based CoupesWe Drive A Brand New 2003 Acura CL Type-S, A Fun Throwback To Sedan-Based Coupes