The Acura CL, a midsize two door, four passenger coupe, was the first Acura vehicle designed and built in the United States. Manufactured at Honda's Marysville, Ohio facility starting with the 1997 model year, the CL was produced with the front-wheel drive platform as the Honda Accord on which it was based.
The CL was positioned in Acura's lineup between the Integra and the TL. Both models offered a keyless entry system, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, and dual airbags as standard features. Both also offered a premium trim level that added leather upholstery and Acura's Bose Sound System. In 1998 the 2.2 CL became the 2.3 CL as the engine was upgraded to a 150 hp, 2.3-liter 4 cylinder. Both models also received new wheels, a revised grille and audio controls on the steering wheel. For 1999, the premium trim was eliminated as leather upholstery became standard for both models. The CL was not produced for the 2000 model year as a new, revised CL was in the works.
Standard features on both included leather upholstery, heated front seats, Xenon headlights, power sunroof, automatic climate control, heated mirrors, and a six-disc in-dash CD changer. A touch-screen navigation system was optional. The Type-S CL upgraded the tires from 16 inches to 17 inch wheels and offered firmer suspension tuning and an antiskid system.
For the 2003 model year, a 6-speed manual transmission with limited-slip differential became available for the CL Type-S in addition to the standard 5-speed automatic. Also in 2003, the chrome door handles and outer grille were replaced with those matching the body color. The headlights, taillights, side mirrors and inside trim were also slightly revised. The CL was discontinued due to poor sales after the 2003 model year.