New Acura ZDX Review

2012 Acura ZDX 4dr Hatchback Exterior

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The Acura ZDX is an automotive oddity. Depending on your perspective, it either answers a question no one asked or serves as an extreme exercise in vehicular form over function. Essentially a rebodied Acura MDX, the ZDX has a fastback style that cuts deeply into the rear passenger and cargo compartments. That sloping roof eliminates more than 3 inches of rear-seat headroom, making the rear seating suitable only for shorter adults or kids. Maximum cargo space suffers, too, measuring only about two-thirds of the MDX.

With its swoopy styling and much shorter stance (it's 5 inches lower than the MDX), the ZDX would seem to have a handling advantage over the MDX. Sadly, that's not the case. In our testing the MDX either equaled or beat the ZDX in every performance category, making the ZDX an impractical curiosity and a hard vehicle for us to recommend.

Current Acura ZDX
The midsize luxury crossover Acura ZDX is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 with 300 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic with manual shift control is the only available transmission. The ZDX does come with Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system that seamlessly transfers power to individual wheels to maximize handling and grip through turns in fair or foul weather conditions.

Standard equipment includes 19-inch wheels, xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a back-up camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, power heated front seats, leather upholstery, Bluetooth and a power liftgate. The standard audio system features an in-dash six-CD changer, satellite radio and a USB/auxiliary audio jack. Optional equipment highlights include keyless ignition and entry, ventilated front seats, a navigation system, a multiview back-up camera, an upgraded audio system and an electronically adjustable suspension.

Despite its sportier, rakish appearance, the Acura ZDX isn't really a better performer than the already athletic MDX. The SH-AWD system provides impressive levels of grip and control, though the available adjustable suspension doesn't offer enough of a performance upgrade to justify its added cost. The 3.7-liter V6 sounds inspiring and boasts a strong midrange, but lacks low-end grunt. The ZDX also comes up short in useful cargo space. Behind the rear seats, up to 26 cubic feet can be stuffed to the glass. With the seats folded flat, maximum cargo space only increases to 56 cubes, well short of other midsize luxury SUVs.

Read the most recent 2013 Acura ZDX review.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used Acura ZDX page.

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