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2003 Acura TL Consumer Reviews

Take a pass

By on Wednesday, October 31, 2007

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"It look like all 00-03 TL's have a defective transmission design. The problem is 2nd gear does not get enough oil and the 3rd gear clutch pack does not get enough oil... It is a poor design that Acura cannot fix. The NEW factory extended waranty is 7yr 9months OR 109,000 miles... My tranny was replaced at 80,000 in 7/04-- Although I have no problems,-I have no faith in it & panic everytime I have to drive out of town... The rest of the car is typical excellent Honda quality.... Cost of a rebuilt replacement tranny (once out of waranty) is appx $3500-$4000 from Acura.... It would be worth fixing if the rebuilt tranny would go for 100K miles... but the rebuilts only last for 40-50k miles---- What a shame.... Although new Acura's do not have this problem, I will not buy another Acura, based on principle."

22 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Good Practical Car but Acura going wrong direction

By on Saturday, September 11, 2010

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

"Bought my TL-S new in 2002. Has been dealer maintained since day one. i've owned 89 Integra (best car for the money I've ever owned/had a blast driving it on the Autobahn for three years), 98 Accord, 2000 Odyssey (worst car I've ever owned from a reliability standpoint), 02 TL-S, and 05 MDX (good car except now that the rotors have been turned, it pulsates terribly when braking and the transmission is starting to act-up). My 02 TL-S (72000 miles now) has been a good car and inexpensive to operate (except scheduled maintenance at dealership is in my opinion overpriced). Having owned primarily Honda's/Acura's for the last 20 years, I perceive that the quality of the product has gone downhill. Acura/Honda have been excellent in addressing issues to maintain customer loyalty (I doubt that other companies would have bent over backwards like Honda/Acura to stand behind their product) but it would just be nice if there wasn't the inconvenience of having to deal with problems in the first place. I've often wondered why the engineers at Honda can't design a reliable tranny. The fact that I had tranny problems on two consecutively purchased Honda/Acura products and my suspicion that I am having similar problems with my MDX has significantly affected my customer loyalty (despite Honda/Acura's excellent responsiveness to problems) and has made me question whether or not I will buy another Honda/Acura product. Customer service at local dealership has been hit and miss. Sometimes great and sometimes terrible. Problems with 02 TL as follows: Rotor turning needed at 1100 miles, minor recall issues, problem with a heat shield in climate control fan early on (heat shield was supposedly removed as solution but now fan is starting to make a noise that just doesn't sound good, new tranny at around 50K, finish of exterior trim pieces between front and back doors is cracking/peeling; sun roof squeeks terribly when closed most notable in cold weather. Having been a long-term loyal Acura/Honda customer I have found that the two most common problems that I have encountered are transmission problems and brake problems. Seems that once the rotors need to be replaced (something that I think happens too early), the dealerships just cannot get them turned properly and it opens a can of worms. This has happened on every Honda/Acura that i have owned including most recently my MDX. i would like to find a local mechanic to work on my MDX and TL now that they are out of warranty because dealer maintenance costs are high (albeit not as high as the luxury German brands) I still like the styling of my TL and it has maintained a nice visual presence over the years. I like the styling much better than the new models and I feel that Acura has left my demographic behind. I prefer the more traditional body styles and for this reason, I would not purchase a new TL. I recently bought a new 2010 BMW 550i and gave my TL to my son. Looked at the RL before buying the Beemer but didn't feel like paying $50K for a car that looked like a larger, older model Accord. Even though I love my Beemer, I still enjoy driving the TL and sometimes wonder (even though the Beemer is in a totally different class) why I didn't just keep the TL with its much lower cost of ownership as my primary driver. Made me sick when my son informed me that one of his friends backed into it a few days ago. I guess I still feel an attachment to my TL. Overall, the 02 TL has been a good, reliable car that would be a good value if purchased used. However, if purchasing a 02 TL now, I would consider the cost of replacing the tranny in the cost of ownership equation considering the history of this vehicle."

14 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Great car after bugs worked out

By on Thursday, March 06, 2008

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"I have had my TL for 7 year and it has 160k miles. The transmission has been replaced 3 times. Each time the dealer has replaced it at no cost to me. Acura has finally put out a fix for the transmission. Other then that it still runs like new. Over time the rotors will begin to warp and cause the steering weal to shake when breaking. This can be fixed by replacing them with higher end rotors."

11 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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