|Assembly||Alliston, Ontario, Canada|
|Predecessor||Acura Integra sedan|
|Class||Entry-level luxury car|
|Body style(s)||4-door sedan|
In 1996, the Acura EL was born as a compact entry-level luxury car developed by Honda as an entry-level vehicle (the EL in the car name), and sold only in Canada. It replaced the Integra sedan in the lineup, while the Integra sedan continued to be sold in the United States until 2001. The car had two different generations, and was sold from 1997 to 2005. The first generation was a subcompact car, while the second generation became a compact car. The Acura EL was the first B-segment luxury car in North America. All ELs were built at Honda's Alliston, Ontario, Canada plant (home of the Civic), and also the first Acura built in Canada. 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. The Acura EL was replaced for the 2006 model year by the Acura CSX. Like the EL, the CSX is available only in Canada.
First generation (1996-2000)
|Class||Subcompact luxury car|
|Engine(s)||D16Y8 1.6 L I4 (127 hp)(108 Tq)|
|Wheelbase||103.1 in (2620 mm)|
|Length||176.3 in (4478 mm)|
|Width||67.1 in (1705 mm)|
|Height||54.9 in (1395 mm)|
The first generation of the EL was a rebadged version of the Japanese market Honda Domani. Sold as the Acura 1.6EL, it was introduced in 1996 as a 1997 model. It was a replacement for the 4 door Acura Integra sedan whose sales were discontinued in Canada after 1997. The designation was based on engine displacement, indicative of its 1.6 L I4 engine(D16Y8), with power reaching Template:Convert/hp at 6600 rpm Template:Convert/ft.lbf at 5500 rpm, thanks to the use of Honda's VTEC valve timing control (VTEC kick at 5600 rpm) (having a redline of 7200 rpm) . Only available as a four-door sedan, it featured luxury trimmings not available on the similar Honda Civic.
Second generation (2001-2005)
|Class||Compact luxury car|
|Engine(s)||D17A2 - 1.7 L SOHC I4 (127 hp)|
|Wheelbase||103.1 in (2620 mm)|
|Length||2001-03: 176.7 in (4488 mm)|
2004-05: 177.4 in (4505 mm)
|Width||67.5 in (1715 mm)|
|Height||56.7 in (1440 mm)|
The EL was completely redesigned in 2000 (as a 2001 model) and was based on the seventh generation Civic. In addition to the slightly more powerful and torquier VTEC-equipped 1.7 L 4-cylinder SOHC engine (badging correspondingly changed to Acura 1.7EL; engine size was dropped from the model name for 2004) with 127 hp (95 kW), distinctive headlight and taillight designs and available leather interior trimmings noticeably set it apart from the Civic. Other differences include 15” multi-spoke alloys, heated power mirrors, cruise control, and rear disc brakes.
The second generation EL was available in two trims levels - touring and premium. 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, trunklid, and rear bumper. The new sportier look came with standard fog lights, a restyled steering wheel, new woodgrain trim patterns, and two additional tweeters to complete the 6-speaker audio system.
Acura, a division of Honda — road car timeline, 1986–present