2002 Acura CL Reviews and Ratings

Coupe 2D 3.2 Navigation

Consumer Reviews

Own this vehicle? How would you rate it?

My Rating

Fuel Economy
Interior Comfort
Ride Quality
Overall Rating

My Review

Type your review and click the Submit button
600 of 600 character remain

Customer Review

Be the first to review this 2002 Acura CL.

Expert Reviews ( 1 )

2002 Acura CL
Albert Hall

The Acura CL is designed for drivers who want the comfort and quality of a luxury car but the handling, power, and sporty image of a coupe. The CL achieves all of this with a cabin that's comfortable, convenient and luxurious, a smooth, quiet ride, agile handling, and plenty of power. Though it won't draw stares from kids on skateboards, it is attractive and sporty.

The CL Type-S adds power to this picture and backs it up with a sports suspension and anti-skid control. Model Lineup
The 2002 CL is available in two versions, both of which are very well equipped. In fact, only one option is available: Acura's $2,000 DVD-based Global Positioning Satellite navigation system.

3.2 CL ($28,030) comes with all the features buyers expect in a more expensive luxury car. Standard equipment includes antilock brakes, traction control, front and side airbags, auto-on Xenon high-intensity discharge headlights, remote keyless entry, heated outside mirrors, leather seating with eight-way power for the driver and four-way power for the front passenger, wood trim, automatic climate controls, Bose audio with a six-disc CD changer in the dash, an adjustable steering column and a power moonroof.

CL Type-S ($30,380) comes with more horsepower, a suspension tuned for more responsive handling, and an electronic stability program.

Both models are powered by Honda's 3.2-liter V6. The standard CL makes 225 horsepower, which is a lot of power for this class. The Type S, thanks a number of subtle engine tweaks, makes an even more impressive 260 horsepower.

New equipment for the 2002 model year includes "diffuser" side mirrors, thicker moonroof glass to reduce wind noise and three new exterior colors. Walkaround
A coupe is supposed to look sexy, or at least a bit racy compared to the typical sedan. The CL may not be avant-garde in its styling, but it's clean and attractive. Sexy? We'll let the buyer decide.

The CL shares mechanical components with Acura's mid-size TL near-luxury sedan, but none of the TL's body panels. The coupe is lower, with a longer hood and shorter rear deck than the sedan.

Measured by finish quality, the 3.2 CL is a gem. Panels and seams on our test car matched flawlessly, and the paint had a deep luster.

The CL follows Acura's proven chassis layout: front-wheel drive with wishbone-type fully independent strut suspension and disc brakes at all four wheels.

Structural enhancements inside the CL's body shell are designed to reduce noise, vibration and harshness. There's a fiberglass liner under the hood, asphalt sheeting in strategic areas around the cabin and electrically controlled hydraulic engine mounts that vary dampening rates at different engine speeds. Even the new glass in the moonroof contributes to a quieter interior. Acura's engineers claim the 3.2 CL is quieter than the Volvo C70, Mercedes-Benz CLK.

Type-S gets larger 17-inch aluminum wheels with Michelin all-season tires. Its springs and shock absorbers are stiffer than the standard CL's. Acura's Vehicle Stability Assist system, exclusive to the Type S, automatically applies the brake at one corner to tighten the trajectory of either the front or rear end in skid-inducing driving conditions.

Both CLs feature a five-speed automatic transmission with a sequential shift slot that allows a driver to manually click through the gears. A manual transmission will be available on 2003 models.

Every CL comes with features that aren't always expected below the $40,000 barrier. Both front seats feature seat-position memory; the mirrors are linked to this system as well. All CLs have heated front seats, a sunroof, Xenon headlamps and a six-disc, no-magazine in-dash CD changer. Interior
By design, coupes put an emphasis on front passengers. The CL's front seats are comfortable and supportive in all circumstances, with fore-aft, height and recline power adjustment for the driver, fore-aft and recline for the passenger. There's enough side-bolster to keep people of small physical stature firmly ensconced during a spirited drive, and enough space to accommodate those of larger stature.

The CL's instrument panel is identical to the TL sedan's. It is clean in appearance and efficient in design, with high-grade switches that work with a soft, satisfying click. The no-magazine CD changer is handy: simply load up to six discs, one at a time, into the slot.

Standard safety features include dual-stage front airbags that deploy at different rates depending on the severity of a crash, and a position-detection system for the passenger side airbag, borrowed from Acura's big RL sedan. Six sensors determine the stature and position of whoever is sitting in the passenger seat; so the airbag won't fire if a child happens to be leaning against the door.

While the focus in the CL falls toward the front of the cabin, there's a surprising amount of space in back. All interior dimensions are larger than those in Acura's 2000 3.0 CL (and among the largest in the class), for an overall increase of 4.6 cubic feet in cabin space. The two-place back seat leaves enough room for medium-sized adults, and it's easy to climb into. The electric sliding mechanism on the front passenger seat works more quickly than any we've encountered, yet the seat stops sliding back with any hint of obstruction for improved safety.

The CL's trunk is impressively roomy, too; with 13.9 cubic feet of space it's one of the largest among similarly sized coupes (the C70 has 13.1 cubic feet, the CLK 11.0). Acura's engineers claim the CL's trunk will hold four golf bags. We can't vouch for that, but we can tell you that the CL will handle more suitcases than two people will need for a one-week trip, with room left for most of a professional photographer's shooting gear. Driving Impressions
The 2002 Acura CL is smooth and tight, with a single-billet feel to the unibody. The ride is firm, and well-suited to a driving enthusiast's tastes. The CL delivers better brake pedal response than most Acuras we've tested, and it stops in short order, without jitters or swagger in full-on, panic-type braking.

At least in the Type-S, there's minimal understeer (a front-end push that puts an element of safety into a car's handling, but can become excessive with the typical front-drive layout). Driven aggressively, the Type-S bears up well, and its tail tucks in nicely when the driver lifts from the throttle.

There's plenty of acceleration-producing grunt in the engine, although it is biased toward higher rpm. You might never know how quick the Type-S actually is if you don't keep your foot on the gas pedal. The sequential shifter works well, even if it's more conservatively programmed than some from other manufacturers. It won't allow the driver to repeatedly bump the rev limiter in low gears without shifting up on its own.

The standard VTEC V6 revs freely with dual-overhead cams and multi-valves. It is rated at 225 horsepower. The Type-S delivers 260 horsepower. It gets its extra power from a higher volume intake system, less restrictive exhaust pipes, higher compression (10.5:1 vs. 9.8:1) and a higher redline (6900 rpm vs. 6300 rpm). Summary
The Acura CL is built like a fine watch and is very pleasant to drive. It offers a good value among luxury coupes. Similarly equipped, the CL costs several thousand dollars less than the least expensive car among the competitors named above.

Model as tested
CL Type-S ($30,380)
Basic Warranty
4 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in
Marysville, Ohio
Destination charge
Gas guzzler tax
Base Price
Price as tested
Options as tested
Acura Navigation System ($2000)

Model Line Overview
Model lineup
CL ($28,030); Type-S ($30,380)
Safety equipment (standard)
dual-stage front airbags, front-passenger side airbags, ABS standard; traction control, Vehicle Stability Assist skid-control standard on Type-S
Safety equipment (optional)
3.2-liter sohc 24v V6
five-speed automatic

Specifications as Tested
ABS, traction control, Vehicle Stability Assist skid-control electronics, power moonroof, power windows, remote keyless entry, automatic climate control with micron air filter, auto-dimming rearview mirror, adjustable steering wheel with fingertip cruise and audio controls, six-speaker AM/FM/ cassette with six-disc in-dash CD changer, heated eight-way power driver's seat with position memory, heated four-way adjustable front passenger seat, leather upholstery, speed-sensing intermittent wipers, two accessory power outlets, rear center console with locking compartment, locking trunk pass-through, Xenon HID headlights with auto-off feature, HomeLink garage-door remote

Engine & Transmission
3.2-liter sohc 24v V6
Drivetrain type
front engine, front-wheel drive
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
260 @ 6100
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm)

Brakes, front/rear
disc/disc with ABS
Suspension, front
Suspension, rear

Seating capacity
Head/hip/leg room, middle
Head/hip/leg room, front
Head/hip/leg room, rear

Fuel capacity
Trunk volume
Turning circle
Towing capacity
Track, front/rear
Ground clearance
Curb weight

J.D. Power Rating
Overall Quality Not Available
Overall Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Powertrain Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Body & Interior Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Features & Accessories Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Overall Quality - Design
Not Available
Powertrain Quality - Design
Not Available
Body & Interior Quality - Design
Not Available
Features & Accessories Quality - Design
Not Available

Overall Dependability Not Available
Powertrain Dependability
Not Available
Body & Interior Dependability
Not Available
Feature & Accessory Dependability
Not Available

J.D. Power Rating Legend
Among the Best
5 / 5
Better than Most
4 / 5
About Average
3 / 5
The Rest
2 / 5

* The J.D. Power Ratings are calculated based on the range between the car manufacturer or car model with the highest score and the car manufacturer or car model with the lowest score. J.D. Power generates a rating of a five, four, three, or two. If there is insufficient data to calculate a rating, a dash (—) is used in its place.

J.D. Power Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards, visit the Car Ratings page to learn more about awards and ratings.

Search car listings & find the right car for you
Click here for 2002 Acura CL Coupe 2D 3.2 Navigation local listings

Vehicle History Report

Get answers to buy with confidence
  • Check for accidents
  • Confirm the reported mileage
  • Purchase multiple reports and save

Car Buying and Selling Resources