2010 Acura ZDX
In an attempt to compete in a niche currently filled only by the wildly puzzling BMW X6
crossover, Acura has added an all-new model to its lineup and is calling it a ‘four-door sports coupe’. The 2010 ZDX features a unique coupe design – unlike the X6’s four-door body style – and a potent 3.7-liter V-6 engine. Standing at 192.6 inches long, 78.5 inches wide and 61.8 inches tall the ZDX won’t exactly be mistaken for an agile compact car, but the angular lines, sloping rear deck and hidden rear door handles give the appearance of a much smaller and more aggressive coupe without sacrificing space and usability. Acura has also added a mass of technology, exceptional performance and a dose of its SH-AWD all-wheel drive system to create a perfect blend of versatility, style and performance that BMW didn’t quite manage to achieve.
What's to Like
The full-grain leather seats and luxe interior design are well done, as is the exterior styling – all sensuous shapes and curving design cues. The large panoramic glass roof has dual automatic sunshades that open and close at the touch of a button. The price, while not in everyone’s budget, will significantly undercut the X6.
What's Not to Like
The rear seat ingress and egress takes some getting used to, as it’s a tight squeeze and at an odd angle. We hoped against hope for a V-8 that never came, but maybe one day. We wish there was more rear legroom, as especially for a vehicle of this size, it’s somewhat cramped.
We think the Acura MDX is one of the best full-sized SUVs on the market, a perfect combination of smooth ride, large capacity and good looks. The SH-AWD system and powerful V-6 make brisk progress possible in the full-size SUV, er, four-door sports coupe, and the all things considered the vehicle manages to be a relatively entertaining drive. That said, you won’t forget you are in MDX-based car. Smooth, comfortable and capable, the ZDX provides everything most buyers want in a modern SUV.
Engine and Drivetrain
The ZDX’s dynamic 3.7-liter V-6 produces 300 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, and is the same V-6 found in Acura’s MDX. Acura’s very capable Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive is capable of delivering up to 100 percent of the power to the wheel that needs it most. The transmission is a six-speed automatic with Acura’s Sequential SportShift and is controlled with either the shifter or wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
The ZDX comes equipped with a healthy amount of standard features that include an all leather interior, SH-AWD and a rear-mounted camera. If money isn’t part of the equation we would recommend the technology package with a voice activated navigation system complete with real-time traffic and weather updates and ELS surround sound. Additionally, adaptive cruise control and blind spot warning systems can be added for those worried about vehicles hiding behind the massive, sloping D-pillars.
The ZDX is saturated with technology no matter what trim level is chosen. The aforementioned SH-AWD delivers high performance on sinuous mountain roads by sending up to 100 percent of the power to the outermost rear wheel for enhanced handling characteristics. A 435-watt ELS surround-sound stereo is a powerful option that plays music in any format. The Song by Voice system helps find music from the 15GB audio hard drive, six-disk CD player or USB connected iPod thanks to a simple voice command system.
Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
Like other vehicles of this size, the ZDX won’t win over anyone at Greenpeace, but we doubt that’s the targeted market. At 16 mpg city and 23 on the highway, it’s only slightly more efficient than the equally powered MDX on which it’s based. This is a full-sized SUV, don’t let the coupe shape fool you.
A Closer Look: Vehicle Details
The high-quality interior is immediately reminiscent of other Acura models with brushed aluminum, hand stitched leather and a dash that seems to sprout from the center console. A few unwanted carryovers include the inexplicably complicated steering wheel and navigation controls. Natural light is plentiful with a large panoramic glass roof.
The sleek exterior is accented by sharp lines, a tapered cabin and wide hips that mimic smaller coupes. Hidden rear door handles continue this coupe-like look and feel while the sloping rear deck and D-pillars make for a swift profile appearance.
Market Segment and Pricing
Pricing for the ZDX has not been released, but Acura plans to wedge it right between the MDX
at around $42,000-$44,000. Acura hopes that the design will steal sales from a broad range of competitors like the Infiniti FX
($41,000), the more expensive BMW X6
($66,650) and sportier sedans like the Jaguar XF
What We Think
Does the world need another large coupe-shaped full-sized SUV? Not really, but we like the fact that Acura has made the unpalatable, palatable, and somewhat affordable too. Acura has mixed it up with what could have been a stodgy extension of the MDX and created an interesting and fun-to-drive four-door sports coupe. Good work, Acura.