The best feature of the 3.2TL Type-S is its smooth and responsive engine, which combines rapid acceleration with respectable fuel economy. It also handles nicely in everyday driving, but can get slightly unpredictable at its limits. Additionally, the ride is not as settled as one would expect from a car in this class.
Alerts
There are 7 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
NA
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side air bags standard from 2000. ESC optional from 2002, standard from 2004. Head protection air bags standard from 2004.
Road Test

The best feature of the 3.2TL Type-S is its smooth and responsive engine, which combines rapid acceleration with respectable fuel economy. It also handles nicely in everyday driving, but can get slightly unpredictable at its limits. Additionally, the ride is not as settled as one would expect from a car in this class.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3.2-liter V6 (225 hp)
  • 3.2-liter V6 (260 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2002 Acura TL owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

"Burned out, 2nd time in 2 years"

Curtis C., PA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Left HID light failed 2 times and replaced at a cost of approx $900. Right HID failed 3 times and replaced at a cost of approx $900"

John M., CA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Headlights failed. Igniter and ballast failure. Very expensive repair ~$2000. ~$2000/headlight. Told this is a engineering defect that is not uncommon"

Greg B., OR (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Headlights not coming on. They are HID headlights which required expensive lamp, ignitor and ballast replacements"

Anonymous, VA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Headlights burn out and are very expensive to replace"

Edward G., CA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Both headlights burnt out and because they had a special computerized system embedded in them, they cost $2000 to replace"

Anonymous, MD (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"I have burned out 3 light bulbs in the regular lights. now only using the brights for light"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"headlights wouldn't work...I cant remember the name of the part but it had something to do with the volts and I think it cost 900 to replace it"

Anonymous, GA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Ballast for the headlights are not waterproof and fail due to moisture buildup"

Anonymous, UT (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"Headlight replacement over $900 due to need for dealer repair and involvement of other parts, etc"

Anonymous, GA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)
Heated or cooled seats

"Neither front heating seats are operable. Indicator lights appear however seats never warm up"

Garrick T., IL (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)
Wiper motor or washer

"Valve in windshield washer line plugged. Dealership estimated ~$200 repair. Independent garage repaired for $10"

Greg B., OR (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Wipers would not return to parked position. Replaced wiper motor"

Anonymous, GA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"It wasn't during the past 12 months it was prior to that so it didn't impact drivability during the last 12 months"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"Original transmission failed during warranty and was replaced under a recall. The new transmission failed in 2014 and Acura replaced for a "mere" $2500 vs normal $4200"

John M., CA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Transmission total failure that required replacement"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"first time with a transmission issue"

Anonymous, MO (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Transmission had to be rebuilt again after only 90000 miles because the previous rebuilder had not replaced all of the hard parts, one of which failed causing transmission failure"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"Transmission rebuild in 3rd year"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"Transmission would not shift. Unit was replaced at about 75000 miles. No problems since"

Anonymous, SC (2002 Acura TL 3.2-L V6)

"This is the fifth transmission in the 11 years I've owned this car. It's the first I've had to pay for. With the prior history I didn't feel I should have had to pay for the last one either. It is starting to shift funny again. I've told the deal"

Joseph W., CT (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"none"

Don M., TN (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"These transmissions were junk"

John B., BC (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"slippage in 1stgear, will be taken care of soon"

Anonymous, ME (2002 Acura TL 3.2-L V6)

"The transmission rebuild was done locally, supposedly with some better, more durable parts. The rebuild was much cheaper than the factory rebuild but comes with only a year warranty (in contrast to a factory warranty of 3 years)"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"Car is old enough that it was necessary to find a rebuilt compressor which too time, and most of the leaks were in the old compressor"

Anonymous, CO (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"Compressor stopped working and the entire A/C system had to be replaced"

Anonymous, GA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)
Automatic climate control

"Replaced mixing box motor"

Anonymous, FL (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

"Stopped working; needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, NY (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Blower stopped working"

Dixon B., CA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"An electrical resistor needed replacement"

Anonymous, SC (2002 Acura TL 3.2-L V6)
Electrical failure

"Control resistor for fan burnt out. Very common problem"

Lee P., PA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)
Heater system

"The blower motor failed, resulting in no heat"

Anonymous, MD (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

"Most of the leaks were in the compressor, but they replaced a couple of hoses to get a good seal"

Anonymous, CO (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"Turned off automatically by car when VCS went out"

Anonymous, NC (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)
Calipers

"Binding; heat buildup, warping"

Anonymous, NY (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Rear calipers seized requiring replacement and discs regrounded"

Anonymous, VA (2002 Acura TL 3.2-L V6)

"all the brakes and brakelines had to be replaced because they were deteriorated because of age and rust"

Gary H., NL (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"Corroded brake lines, needing replacement"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)
Premature brake wear

"Brake pads wear out much too quickly"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)
Rotors

"The brakes wear and wheels shake when applying the brakes. The rotors have been turned"

Alan B., FL (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"worn down and needed replacement"

Anonymous, MO (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

"The CD player has been inoperable for several years. Numerous disc have become stuck in the player. Currently I cannot eject the current disc. friends owning same TL model have similar complaint. Dealership advised very expensive to repair, so don't"

Garrick T., IL (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"Multidisc changer refused to unload discs when requested"

Anonymous, IL (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"wouldn't play cd-R disks"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Thecd player is locked up and so the stereo will not work at all because of it"

Anonymous, NY (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)
Radio

"system jammed with a CD in the device, player would not play. had to have it professionally repaired"

Anonymous, GA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"button for bass/treble/fader/balance doesn't work correctly"

J S., NC (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)
Steering wheel controls

"when changing VOLUME on the radio with the steering wheel controls, the channel changes instead"

J S., NC (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

"Sometimes, when weather is very hot (90's), the door sticks. The door panel seems to stick, and comes loose when opened"

Carol L., CA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Clear coat is peeling"

Anonymous, NJ (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Paint has completely faded on large sections of the roof and trunk primarily but also on the sides too now. The car looks terrible"

Foley K., CA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"Peeling paint required reprinting of roof and rear deck lid. Problems are now beginning on the hood"

Larry B., PA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"Paint fading, white patches showing on exterior roof. Paint chipping away around tire areas"

Anonymous, IN (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Paint is fading on top and on spoiler. The car color is dark blue; the fading is gray (matches my hair!!)"

Carol L., CA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)
Rust

"Rust around tire areas as well as the solid metal that tires attach to on the car"

Anonymous, IN (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Slipping transmission

"Occasional erratic shifting and slippage"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"Does not shift into reverse or 5th gear when warm"

Robert M., CO (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"Crap"

John B., BC (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"I have learned from an Acura service manager that the 2002 TL (don't know about other years or models) has a defective design that fails early, unlike what I would expect from Acura/Honda"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)
Transmission leaks

"Where transmission meets the engine, dealer said the seal is leaking. No evidence on the garage floor, so I declined to spend ext $1300 to replace the seal. Still no evidence of a leak and transmission fluid levels seem fine"

James C., SC (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"Rear Main Seal Leak"

Robert M., CO (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Trunk fills with water after a rain storm."

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"Leaks at sunroof so much that have to take everything out of the back to scoop water out of."

Anonymous, GA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"Sunroof drain tube disconnected, poured water onto driver floorboard. Difficult to determine cause"

Anonymous, NJ (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"Trunk filling with water when it rains"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"Suspension squeaks and moaning from front suspension and steering areas"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Power steering leaks

"Leak around a seal"

Anonymous, TX (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"Dealer services my car and says the power steering pump is leaking. Wants $800 to fix it. I declined since dealer said it was a slow leak and not a safety issue. I have monitored power steering fluid levels. Cannot find evidence of a leak"

James C., SC (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"Pipe failed. Made car undrivable. It took a month to secure pipe and dealer played some awful games regarding securing the pipe and only selling it if they could install it"

Anonymous, WI (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)
Steering wheel vibration

"Vibrated excessively when driving above 50 mph"

Anonymous, NY (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"THis is not the first time for steering vibration repair in the past 2 years. Haven't taken it in yet"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"internal weld failure. $600 to replace at an independant shop."

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

"When leaking took it in for repairs on two occasions but the problem remains"

Anonymous, BC (2002 Acura TL 3.2-L V6)

"Internal Rattle in Cat converter. Not fixable"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)
Exhaust leaks

"Rust from age, repairs will be more expensive than value of car, and I agree with repair shop to trade or donate, ge new car"

Anonymous, MD (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine mounts

"2 front engine mounts broken"

Anonymous, VA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)
Oil leaks

"Oil seals were leaking."

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Not a significant leak. No action taken."

Anonymous, AR (2002 Acura TL 3.2-L V6)

"Oil pressure switch leaked"

Anonymous, WI (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"the purge cannister and several other components in the emmissions had to be replaced, the engine light on the dash kept lighting up"

Gary H., NL (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Vapor cannister needs replacing"

Peter H., QC (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"the code on the engine sensor shows an emission problem. i was told to replace the filler cap first, then i was told it probably was the emissions cannister. when these 2 steps didnt rectify the problem i gave up because of the cost and the problem would only be fixed by trial and error"

Gary H., NL (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"the sensors which control the shifting of the drive gears had to be replaced. i initally thought the transmission had failed"

Gary H., NL (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveline vibration

"The right drive axle developed a vibration at 50 to 50 mph"

Anonymous, NY (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)
Stability control (ESC)

"The car jerks to the left then the stability control error light would turn on."

Anonymous, ON (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

"Varible Stability Control went out (lights on), that turned off ABS. All lights are on, my mechanic says dealer has to fix. Have not yet taken to dealer. Car is driveable."

Anonymous, NC (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)
Transfer case

"Transmission failed at 85000 km. Warranty had expired. Acura replaced the tranny with anew one with a severely discounted price. Very satisfactory conclusion."

Peter H., QC (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Coil

"Spark plug fouled and coil had to be replaced. Tune-up and replacement of all plugs cost $1,000US"

Ross H., SK (2002 Acura TL Base 3.2-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Timing belt or chain

"Oil leak caused timing belt to slip off, causing valve damage to engine"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Windows

"Two window regulators have failed in two doors"

Foley K., CA (2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

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