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2024 Acura ZDX First Drive: Like a 500-HP Lounge

The ZDX is powerful, but not a sporty EV

2024 Acura ZDX Type S
  • The 2024 Acura ZDX is Acura's first EV and will go on sale in spring.
  • Built on top of General Motors' Ultium battery platform, it also shares some interior design elements with GM EVs.
  • The Type S variant delivers 499 horsepower, the most of any Acura SUV.
  • With the single-motor powertrain, the ZDX is good for 313 miles.

The 2024 Acura ZDX is the brand's first electric vehicle. Now, Acura history buffs might recall that Acura first applied the ZDX moniker to a quirky coupe-style SUV that ran from 2010 to 2013. But this reborn ZDX is a more conventionally styled SUV that sets the tone for Acura's electric future. It's nearly as long as Acura's three-row MDX SUV but it has more of a wagon-like profile and seats five passengers.

As with most Acura vehicles, the new ZDX shares a mechanical lineage with a related Honda product. In this case, it's the similarly new Honda Prologue. Which, hmm, is also based on something else — the Chevrolet Blazer EV. Which is related to the electric Cadillac Lyriq. Does this matter? Not necessarily; the ZDX is a reasonably compelling luxury electric luxury SUV. But the General Motors connection does play a part, both good and bad.

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2024 Acura ZDX Type S

Choose your motor(s)

You can get the Acura ZDX with a single electric motor that powers the rear wheels or a dual-motor setup that has an additional motor up front, giving the ZDX all-wheel drive. Both draw power from a 102-kWh battery pack. That's part of the platform (powertrain + chassis) that Acura shares with the Cadillac Lyriq. The base ZDX A-Spec with a single motor produces 358 horsepower. A dual-motor version is also available, and it produces a more substantial 490 hp.

The more expensive ZDX Type S only comes with dual motors and cranks out 499 hp. That's awfully close to the dual-motor A-Spec's 490 horsepower, though the Type S does make substantially more torque (544 lb-ft as opposed to 324 lb-ft on the A-Spec) and it should be quicker to accelerate.  

OK, what about range?

The Type S, which is only available in all-wheel drive, gets an EPA-estimated 278 miles of range when fitted with its available summer performance tires. The most economical ZDX, the rear-wheel-drive A-Spec, gets 313 miles. Overall, these range figures are on par with other midsize luxury EVs such as the Lyriq or BMW iX. We'll know more once we put the ZDX through Edmunds' independent real-world EV Range Test.

The ZDX can handle DC fast-charging power of up to 190 kW, which Acura estimates will add about 80 miles in 10 minutes.

2024 Acura ZDX Type S badge

How sporty is the ZDX, anyway?

Power comes easily in the ZDX Type S, which is the only version of the electric vehicle we've driven for now. It doesn't deliver the face-melting instant torque you get on the quickest Teslas, but once its hulking body gets up to speed, it's quick. The dual-motor ZDX is about 1,600 pounds heavier than an all-wheel-drive MDX, and that extra weight is noticeable when tackling curvy roads and making sharp turns. The ZDX doesn't lack for grip, but both driver and passenger will feel the shifting weight when utilizing the SUV's sporty potential. 

Make yourself comfortable

Both front seats are quite comfortable and offer generous side-padding. The seat heaters turn on quickly and provide comfortable warmth, and the automatic climate control system doesn't struggle to maintain your preferred temperature. There's some hard plastic on the driver's side, toward the center console, that may prove bothersome for taller drivers when on long drives. 

Legroom in the second row is ample and headroom is fine, too — only the tallest passengers are likely to feel headroom is compromised. The back seat is a bit flat, though, and only the Type S comes with heated seats. 

Acura ZDX Type S front interior

A luxury-ish interior

The Type S offers some flash, including either an all-red or all-white leather interior. But otherwise the interior is nice, if a bit subdued. The dashboard has a mixture of materials that is nice to look at but not all that noteworthy. Getting in and out of the rear seats may be challenging for some passengers, as there's a bit of a lip that must be stepped over. One particularly uncoordinated passenger (uh, your reviewer) tripped stepping out of the back seat. 

But the ZDX is very quiet, even on highways. Wind and traffic sounds do not seep into the cabin, which makes for a very pleasant drive when combined with the silent electric powertrain. 

2024 Acura ZDX Type S dashboard

Google built-in comes to Acura's infotainment

The ZDX is the first Acura to feature Google built-in as part of its infotainment interface. Google built-in means that a significant amount of the touchscreen interface is powered by Google. The ZDX's onboard navigation system, for example, is effectively Google Maps, just like you'd have on your phone or PC. It also includes the Google Assistant voice system and the ability to add a variety of third-party apps through the Google Store, such as Spotify. It's a pretty slick interface, and you can still use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wireless!) if you prefer.

However, we found the ZDX's touchscreen to be a bit glitchy during our initial testing. There were moments when it ceased to respond to any inputs, which was frustrating. It's also potentially concerning because we've experienced a lot of technical glitches with Edmunds' long-term test Blazer EV. Which, as we noted above, is significant because the two EVs are related.

Thankfully the ZDX also offers many physical inputs for features like climate control and volume. You can also increase or decrease the volume using buttons that rest under your hand when holding the steering wheel. 

The Type S also utilizes hands-free driving that is nearly identical in form and function to General Motors' Super Cruise. The system, which Acura calls Hands Free Cruise and is part of AcuraWatch 360+, functions on most major mapped U.S. highways and freeways. Combined with the ZDX's adaptive cruise control and lane centering systems, Hands Free Cruise allows you to take your hands off the steering wheel when activated. However, you still have to be paying attention in case a situation arises where the vehicle needs you to resume control. In our limited testing, the ZDX was able to change lanes autonomously and provided impressive hands-free capability. 

Is there anywhere to put my stuff?

The ZDX provides 28.7 cubic feet of storage behind its second row. That's the same amount you'll find in the Cadillac Lyriq but less than you'll get in the BMW iX. Small-item storage is just OK and its certainly lacking if you're looking for places to throw your keys and wallet. But the front cupholders can fit a wide water bottle and the center console is cavernous, but there's no tray so you'll most likely be dumping your keys, wallet, etc., into the abyss. 

Edmunds says

The Acura ZDX isn't as face-meltingly quick as some Teslas and it's not quite as luxurious as a Mercedes-Benz. But it hits a nice balance between sporty driving, an upscale interior and a reasonable starting price to be worth a look.

2024 Acura ZDX Type S