2001 CL New Car Test Drive
Acura boldly asserts that, by the end of the 2001 model year, its all-new 3.2 CL will be the best selling import-brand coupe in the luxury car market. That prediction sounds brazen when you consider the competition: The Volvo C70, Mercedes-Benz CLK320 and BMW 328Ci aren't exactly lightweights. The 328Ci in particular has long been a favorite among enthusiast drivers, and at this writing remains the best-selling car in the class. Undeterred, the engineers at Acura claim their new CL is as smooth and quiet as cars costing $10,000 more.
We can tell you that, based on published figures, the CL has more horsepower than the competition. After driving the CL on the best roads central Texas has to offer, we can also tell you that the 3.2 CL is built like a fine watch and is more than pleasant to drive. Finally, we can tell you that, similarly equipped, the CL costs several thousand dollars less than the least expensive car among the competitors named above.
Maybe the folks at Acura aren't just blowing smoke.
The CL is available in two distinct models, 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.
At $27,980, the standard 3.2 CL coupe has virtually all the features buyers expect in a more expensive luxury car.
At $30,300, CL Type S comes with a higher-revving V6 engine that makes 35 horsepower more than the standard CL's V6. The Type S suspension is tuned for more responsive handling, and it features Acura's anti-skid stability electronics.