Acura EL

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Acura EL
'99-'00 Acura EL.jpg
1999–2000 Acura 1.6EL
AssemblyAlliston, Ontario, Canada
Body and chassis
ClassSubcompact executive car
Body style4-door sedan
LayoutFF layout
Transmission4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
PredecessorAcura Integra sedan
SuccessorAcura CSX

The Acura EL is a subcompact executive car that was built at Honda's Alliston, Ontario, plant, and also the first Acura built in Canada. The EL is a badge-engineered Honda Civic with a higher level of features.[1] There is no Type-S trim offered on both Acura ELs.

The Acura EL was a sales success. Representing 51% of Acura Canada's annual new-vehicle sales in its first full year, the EL remained Acura's top seller in Canada from 1997 to 2003.[2] The Acura EL was replaced for the 2006 model year by the Acura CSX which, like the EL, was available only in Canada.[3]

First generation (1997–2000)[edit]

'97-'98 Acura 1.6EL (Orange Julep).jpg
1997–1998 Acura 1.6EL
Chassis Code MB4
DesignerDon Herner, Kouichirou Fujii[4]
Body and chassis
RelatedHonda Domani
Honda/Acura Integra
Honda Civic
EngineD16Y8 1.6 L I4
Wheelbase103.1 in (2,619 mm)
Length176.3 in (4,478 mm)
Width67.1 in (1,704 mm)
Height54.9 in (1,394 mm)
Curb weight2,379 lb (1,079 kg)
1999–2000 Acura 1.6EL

The first generation of the EL was a rebadged version of the Japanese market Honda Domani, a somewhat altered version of the 1997–2000 Honda Civic with differing front end, trunk, lights and various interior pieces. Honda sold the upscale Domani at Japanese dealership sales channel called Honda Clio that sold large, or well equipped luxury sedans like the Honda Legend and the Honda Inspire, and sold the more affordable Honda Civic at Honda Primo locations. Sold in Canada as the Acura 1.6EL, Seeing that sales within Canada for the four-door Acura Integra were extremely low, Honda decided to replace it with the four-door-only Acura EL. Its 1.6 L VTEC engine produces 127 hp (95 kW) at 6600 rpm and 107 lb⋅ft (145 N⋅m) at 5500 rpm. It has features not available on the similar Civic such as amber-lit LED interior dash display, tachometer, power trunk (no keyhole on the trunk), alarm, 15-inch (195/55/15) wheels, antenna in the rear window glass, chrome interior door handles, extra pocket underneath centre console, paint-matched mirrors, side moldings, and door handles, slightly stiffer suspension, 12 mm rear sway bar and 26 mm front sway bar, heated mirrors, and an amplifier. From 1999 all 5-speed models had a leather-wrapped shift knob, similar to the one in the Acura Integra GSR.

Model configurations[edit]

In addition to the above:

  • Base: CD player, air conditioning
  • Sport: 15-inch alloy wheels, CD player, air conditioning. From 1999: folding heated mirrors, a sunroof, and an upgraded grill on the front end.
  • Premium: in addition to the Sport, leather seats, and decorative spoiler.

Second generation (2001–2005)[edit]

2004-05 Acura EL
Acura 1.7EL.jpg
2001-03 Acura 1.7EL - Chassis Code ES3
Also calledAcura EL (2004-05)
Body and chassis
RelatedHonda Element
Honda CR-V
Honda/Acura Integra
Acura RSX
Honda Civic
EngineD17A2 1.7 L SOHC I4 (127 hp)
Wheelbase103.1 in (2620 mm)
Length2001–03: 176.7 in (4488 mm)
2004-05: 177.4 in (4505 mm)
Width67.5 in (1715 mm)
Height56.7 in (1440 mm)

The EL was completely redesigned for the 2001 model year and was then based on the seventh-generation Civic. In addition to the slightly more powerful and torquier VTEC-equipped 1.7 L 4-cylinder SOHC engine with 127 hp (95 kW), headlight and taillight designs and available leather interior trimmings set it apart from the Civic. Other differences include 15-inch multi-spoke alloys, heated power mirrors, cruise control, and rear disc brakes. The badging was changed to Acura 1.7EL and was dropped altogether for 2004.

The second-generation was available in touring and premium trim levels. The latter added leather seats, heated front seats and a power sunroof. Automatic climate control was added for the premium trim in 2003, and for the touring trim as well in 2004. All second generation EL models came with ABS anti-lock braking, but in 2003 an electronic brakeforce distribution system was made standard. For 2003 and 2004 a special dealer-installed 'aero package' was made available for both trims levels which added unique front and rear lips, side stills and a rear spoiler. In 2004, the EL underwent a slight exterior makeover with restyled headlamps, front bumper and grille, taillights, trunk lid, and rear bumper. The new look came with standard fog lights, a restyled steering wheel, new woodgrain trim patterns, and two additional tweeters powered by two amplifiers to complete the 6-speaker audio system.


Despite being Acura Canada’s best selling vehicle, Honda announced that it will discontinue the EL. In 2006, the Civic-based CSX was confirmed to be a replacement for the EL. Like the EL, the CSX was sold only in Canada. The CSX was discontinued in 2011.

The Civic-based CSX was confirmed after the car is discontinued and is sold only in Canada until 2011.


  1. ^ "1997 Acura 1.6EL". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Honda Media Newsroom Release: North America Sales - Honda/Acura Vehicle Sales in Canada". Archived from the original on 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  3. ^ Arrais, Pedro (2012-06-19), "2013 Acura ILX dressed to impress", Times Colonist, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada: Postmedia Network Inc., archived from the original on 2012-06-22
  4. ^ "USD399173S US Design Grant".