For the 1997 model year, the CL was offered with either a 3.0L J30 V6 producing 200hp (150kW), or a 150hp (112kW) 2.2L (F22B1) I4 engine. The 1998 and 1999 models featured a 2.3L (F23A1) with 152hp (113kW).
Both the 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder CL offered a "Premium" trim level which offered leather upholstery (with heated front seats in the 3.0), and in the 3.0, an Acura/Bose stereo. For the 1999 model year, the "Premium" trim level was eliminated, and leather upholstery became standard on all models, as did a trunk cargo net. The alloy wheel design was different on the 3.0 for each year, moving from a five-spoke design (1997) to a seven-spoke design (1998), to a different multi-spoke alloy design for the 1999 model year. The 3.0 premium CL used a six-spoke design for 1997, then moved to a 5-spoke double-prong design for 1998 and 1999. Only the 4 cyl model was offered in a manual or standard shift transmission.
Driver side window concerns
The 1997-1999 CL suffered from repeated failures of the driver side window. The manufacturer replaced the motor both under warranty and after warranty expirations, however no mass recall was ever issued.
For the 2000 model year, the Acura CL's sibling, the TL, was redesigned. The CL, however, was never produced as a 2000 model and instead in March 2000 the completely redesigned Acura CL was released as a 2001 model featuring a 3.2L SOHC VTEC J-series V6. A navigation system was also available along with the Type-S model, denoting Acura's 'Sport' edition. While the regular CL featured a 225hp (168kW) V6, the Type-S boasted a 260hp (194kW) V6 with 17" wheels, a firmer suspension, slightly larger brakes, and firmer seats.
In 2002, the CL Type-S was offered, as a 2003 model, with a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission with a helical limited-slip differential. The 6-speed CL deleted some minor interior features from the automatic, such as a center console light. Also, the heated seats only featured one heat setting (vs. high and low in the auto). VSA and TCS were also not found on the 6-speed car, and as such, a 3-channel abs unit was used. One of the main criticisms of the CL was that a manual transmission had been dropped when the car was redesigned for the 2001 model year. Very few manual transmission models were built; there were 2,691 without navigation and 820 with navigation, for a total of 3,511. Despite such small numbers of manual transmissions, there was still a greater demand than Acura had expected. However, with the CL's sister car, the TL, coming up on a redesign for the 2004 model year, the CL was dropped from Acura's lineup due to declining sales, and to this day Acura has no mid-size luxury coupe replacement. Total Acura CL sales from 2000 until 2003, when the last new model was sold, is less than 31,000 units. The CL's manual transmission survives in the 3rd generation TL and 7th generation Honda Accord.