The 1997 Acura CL classifies as an entry-level coupe in the near-luxury market. The CL provides the coupe version of the Acura TL, finding a good middle ground between price, performance, and luxury. As a result, the Acura CL serves as a well-built coupe that offers good reliability at a good value. The CL also provides enough power and maneuverability to be a fun vehicle to drive.
Despite the large amount of competition, the Acura CL does well against other near-luxury coupes competing in the same niche. Any buyer looking to get a luxurious coupe would be remiss to not at least check out the CL. Despite the similar design to the Honda Accord, the Acura CL provides a luxurious vehicle that can fulfill the needs of many drivers interested in this segment of the market.
Body Styles: coupe
Engines: 2.2-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Acura CL 2.2, Acura CL 2.2 Premium, Acura CL 3.0, Acura CL 3.0 Premium
The Acura CL starts as an all-new model in 1997.
Measuring at 190 inches long, the Acura CL serves as a relatively large coupe, fitting into the territory more commonly associated with full-size sedans. The wheelbase measures 106.9 inches long. The larger body size seems typical of many near-luxury vehicles, since it allows a similar increase in the size of the cabin. However, within the near-luxury market, the 1997 Acura CL remains a fairly average size coupe. The styling of the CL looks conservative, with crisp angles, but it features a bit more rounded look than many other Acura models.
Standard features on the base model include power heated mirrors, but a power moonroof remains optional.
Similar to most near-luxury coupes, the 1997 Acura CL includes many luxury features as standard equipment, even in the base model. Power seats, power windows, power locks, air-conditioning, automatic climate control, a cassette player, a CD player, and an AM/FM radio all come standard on the base model. The Premium also adds leather seating, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and an anti-theft alarm system as standard equipment.
Performance & Handling
All Acura CL provides excellent performance and handling. The smaller 2.2-liter, four-cylinder engine still provides decent acceleration and speed, while the three-liter, six-cylinder engine moves even faster and offers even more power. The 1997 Acura CL has good acceleration and reaches a high top speed, regardless of the engine it houses. Steering and handling prove excellent, allowing the CL to nimbly move along the road under most driving conditions.
Dual front airbags and four-wheel anti-lock brakes come standard on the 1997 Acura CL. These seem fairly standard compared to other near-luxury vehicles, but better than most 1997 passenger vehicles.
EPA Fuel Economy
Acura TL 2.2-liter four-cylinder: 20/28 mpg city/highway
Acura TL 3.0-liter six-cylinder: 18/26 mpg city/highway
- Luxurious interior
- Good performance
- Reliable design
- Powerful base engine
You Won't Like
- Looks like a much cheaper Honda Accord
Reliability, great performance, and style—a winner!
If You Like This Vehicle
- BMW 3 Series
- Mercedes CLK-Class
- Audi A5