2010 Acura ZDX Review

Pros & Cons

  • Luxurious interior, high-tech features.
  • Cramped backseat, compromised cargo capacity, unimpressive power from V6.
Other years
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List Price Estimate
$9,003 - $12,605

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2010 Acura ZDX is a head scratcher -- a hefty crossover SUV that's about as practical as a compact hatchback. Maybe you'll like the styling.

Vehicle overview

The 2010 Acura ZDX begins life as the MDX crossover, a vehicle we've long admired for bringing capable handling and three-row crossover functionality under one roof. Then things start getting weird. Due to its rakish exterior design, the ZDX has neither the third-row seat nor the roomy second-row seat of its family-minded sibling. Yet the ZDX doesn't get any additional sportiness in the bargain -- it has the same V6 and similar driving dynamics. Is this new Acura a savvy marketing decision, or an answer to a question nobody was asking?

Beyond its dramatic exterior, the ZDX offers some notable exclusive features, principally, its sumptuous interior layout. The dashboard features expansive swaths of soft hand-stitched leather -- a first for an Acura product -- and there is also a unique "Monolith" center stack that fades to black when powered off. The ZDX's standard six-speed automatic transmission further distinguishes it from other Acura models. Less impressive ZDX distinctions include just 56 cubic feet of cargo space (about the same as a Honda Fit), a meager 1,500-pound towing rating (the MDX can tow 5,000 pounds) and a cramped, coupelike backseat.

There's nothing particularly distinctive about the mandatory V6, either. It's the same 3.7-liter unit that powers the MDX and the TL SH-AWD sedan. There's a healthy 300 horsepower on tap, but the ZDX has 4,400 pounds to haul around. We've timed the MDX at an unremarkable 8.1 seconds from zero to 60 mph; we don't expect the ZDX's six-speed transmission to shave many tenths off that number. Nor does the ZDX raise the handling bar much, as it generally has the same underpinnings and all-wheel-drive system as the MDX.

Of course, much of the ZDX's appeal is going to be based on what your expectations are. If distinctive styling and a modicum of practicality are your only requirements, the 2010 Acura ZDX could be just the ticket. Plus, the ZDX undercuts the price of the similarly conceived BMW X6 xDrive35i by about $10,000. Yet we're not really fans of the X6, either. Meanwhile, regular crossovers like the MDX, BMW X5 and Land Rover LR4 all work better as daily-use vehicles. While the ZDX's existence proves it's possible to make a distinctively styled MDX with far less functionality, we're pretty sure no one was asking for that.

2010 Acura ZDX models

The 2010 Acura ZDX is a midsize five-passenger crossover SUV. Standard equipment includes 19-inch wheels, automatic xenon headlights, heated outside mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, ambient cabin lighting, a back-up camera with a rearview mirror display, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, heated eight-way power front seats, leather seat upholstery and interior trim, a trip computer, Bluetooth and a power liftgate. An eight-speaker stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack is also standard.

There are two significant options packages for the ZDX. The Technology package adds keyless ignition and entry, a navigation system with real-time traffic and weather, a multiview back-up camera, and an upgraded Acura/ELS surround-sound stereo with a built-in 15-gigabyte hard drive. The Advance package includes these features plus electronically adjustable suspension dampers, a blind-spot warning system, adaptive cruise control, heated and ventilated front seats and a sport steering wheel.

2010 Highlights

The 2010 Acura ZDX is a new style-driven midsize luxury crossover.

Performance & mpg

The 2010 ZDX features the same Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system found in many Acura products. It is capable of transferring different levels of power to individual wheels to maximize traction and grip through turns and in inclement weather. Power comes from a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 300 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control is standard. Fuel economy is a factory-estimated 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway. The ZDX's maximum towing capacity is 1,500 pounds.

Safety

Standard safety equipment for the 2010 Acura ZDX includes antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

Driving

The 2010 Acura ZDX tracks capably around corners, thanks to the SH-AWD system that mitigates understeer by sending torque to the wheels that need it most. Even so, the ZDX drives pretty much like an MDX, which is to say sporty as crossovers go but not exactly grin-inducing. The Advance package adds adjustable dampers, but we haven't found them to make nearly enough of a difference to justify the package's pricey premium.

The 3.7-liter V6 is familiar from other Acura vehicles. It's an adequate but not particularly memorable engine, with lackluster torque at low engine speeds. The six-speed automatic transmission does provide quick and smooth upshifts, but downshifts aren't always crisp.

Interior

The ZDX's cabin is one of its most appealing aspects -- for front passengers, that is. The control layout shares elements with other Acura products, notably the MDX, but the fade-to-black Monolith center stack is unique, as is the sumptuous hand-stitched leather trim on the dashboard, center console and door panels. Even the base model has its fair share of electronic toys, and the Technology and Advance packages add even more goodies, though the associated addition of extra buttons clutters up the look of the instrument panel.

For backseat passengers, it's a different story altogether. The cramped rear quarters are the sole way in which Acura's marketing designation of the ZDX as a "four-door sports coupe" makes sense. The ZDX's rakish rear roof line means even average-size adults may find themselves tilting their heads forward or sideways or slouching to fit. Furthermore, rear legroom is tight, and the seat cushion is mounted uncomfortably low to the floor. As for cargo capacity, the ZDX is considerably worse than just about any other crossover SUV -- a total of only 56 cubic feet of cargo space is available with the rear seatbacks folded (versus 83.5 in the MDX).


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2010 Acura ZDX.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

This car is a beast!
Eichler34,11/03/2010
First my disclaimer: I've taken this car on 2 lengthy test-drives and because we are a family of 5 we decided on the MDX over this. That being said, this car made me want to force the issue and try to cram 3 people in the back. The over-the-top bold and modern design inside and out must be seen in person to appreciate. The car drives incredibly smooth and quiet even in sport mode. The speed and handling are top notch, it has the most comfortable car seats I've ever used, and they are heated and cooled seats, and the cooled seats are what luxury is all about, they work really well. The blind spot warning system is a must and works to perfection.
Love my ZDX but NOT loving Acura
Roseanne Nadeau,07/20/2017
Advance Package 4dr Hatchback AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)
The advance package on Acura cars have a known damper issue requiring all 4 struts to be replaced at a cost of around $4000!!! Acura extended the warranty but refuses to honor it. Acura Client Relations leaves a lot to be desired, they are awful. They give you no information and when you give them information their only answer is, "Sorry, there is nothing we can do". That's the response to everything. Under TSB B16-021 and B16-022 expiry 7 years after original purchase date (Feb 2011 according to the title) I'm well within the time frame. "Sorry, there is nothing we can do". "If you had another Acura or Honda product maybe we could support you on goodwill. But you don't, so we can't support a case for goodwill, you can try the dealership. Sorry, there is nothing we can do." I asked the dealership to call Acura on my behalf, guess what they were told. Yep. "Sorry, there is nothing we can do". So I love my ZDX, the look, the performance, the comfort, everything, but Acura? No. Because of Acura Client Relations I won't purchase another Acura, its a shame because I love the cars, but I can't support a company that doesn't stand behind its product. I guess we both lose out.
This is truly a driver's car
Bob,07/28/2010
I love the fact that with SH-AWD the more gas you give it the better it hugs the turns. You really can feel it working and shuffling power around as needed when driving enthusiastically. I spent a few weeks with it in the snow and actually tried to make the tires slip by jumping on the gas. All the electronics went to work and I briskly took off with no drama. The ZDX easily has one of the best interiors of any vehicle in its price range or even above it, and with the advance package you get the adjustable shocks to smooth things out when the wife is in the car. Switching from “Comfort” to “Sport” mode feels like going from a Lexus RX to a BMW X5 but with even better handling.
Great in the Snow!
rgj21,01/27/2011
I have had the ZDX for six months and I do like it quite a bit. There are a couple of negatives but overall it is a very fine vehicle--well designed and built and great to look at. I particularly want to note that it is outstanding in the snow. Acura has been running commercials featuring its SUV line capering around on ski slopes. It is all true! This car performs extremely well in snow. When a very ugly 6 inches hit here in the Mid Atlantic, the ZDX handled it like a champ when others failed. The technology package is spectacular. The only criticisms are 1) seat comfort--very stiff, not luxurious, promotes fatigue IMHO 2) gas mileage: not good at all. That is disappointing

Features & Specs

MPG
16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6300 rpm
MPG
16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6300 rpm
MPG
16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6300 rpm
See all Used 2010 Acura ZDX features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2010 Acura ZDX
More About This Model

You can find a buyer for just about anything in the good ol' USA, but the 2010 Acura ZDX might be a hard sell. Acura started with the capable and practical three-row MDX crossover, removed the third-row seat and added a rakish fastback roof line that makes the second-row seat as cramped as a coupe's. ZDX buyers also get exclusive leather-wrapped dash panels and a nifty center stack panel that fades to black when it's not in use. Perhaps that will be enough to win the hearts of empty nesters in search of something more daring than a typical luxury crossover.

This is not a new formula. BMW did something similar with its X5, replacing the optional third row with a fastback shape and calling it the X6. The X6 offers a choice of two turbocharged engines that you can't get in the X5, and its two remaining rear seats (the middle position is omitted) still have room for lanky adults. The ZDX, conversely, shares the MDX's 3.7-liter V6 and six-speed automatic gearbox, so it has no performance edge to justify its less functional design.

Accordingly, the 2010 Acura ZDX's distinctive aesthetic will likely determine its fate. Shoppers with $45,000-$60,000 in their pockets tend to appreciate individuality, and there's certainly nothing on the road today that could be mistaken for Acura's new creation. However, they also appreciate performance and practicality, and there are many vehicles that outdo the ZDX on these counts. You can get an X5 for this kind of coin, or a Mercedes-Benz M-Class or a Porsche Cayenne -- or, at the rough-and-tumble end of the spectrum, a Land Rover LR4. And if the fastback-SUV concept appeals, note that the quicker and sharper X6 starts at the same price as our loaded ZDX tester.

Still, the ZDX starts at thousands less than that BMW, and it promises to announce its driver's independent streak like few vehicles of this sort. That just might be enough reason to take a 2010 Acura ZDX for a spin.

Used 2010 Acura ZDX Overview

The Used 2010 Acura ZDX is offered in the following submodels: ZDX Hatchback. Available styles include Technology Package 4dr Hatchback AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A), 4dr Hatchback AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A), and Advance Package 4dr Hatchback AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2010 Acura ZDX?

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Should I lease or buy a 2010 Acura ZDX?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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