Two years have passed since Acura dropped the ZDX crossover into our market, and we're still trying to figure out how best to describe it. The ZDX uses essentially the same platform and powertrain as the more conventional MDX, but it wraps them in a rakish, coupelike body. Although the so-called power plenum grille continues to incite debate, many of the ZDX's design cues -- including a steeply raked roof, hidden rear door handles, and a panoramic sunroof -- lend it the character of a sport sedan. In many ways, the ZDX actually drives like a sport sedan. The 300-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 provides plenty of power, and the standard SH-AWD system does a commendable job of shuffling all 4400 pounds through corners. The available Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) tosses in adaptive dampers and provides a surprisingly firm sport setting that is best suited for spirited driving. Sadly, that shapely form comes with some sacrifices. A tall floor and a low-slung roof encroach into headroom for both front and rear passengers, and the fastback tail means that cargo space is a meager (for a crossover) 26.3 cubic feet. Acura also limits the ZDX's tow rating to 1500 pounds. Buyers looking for a little more versatility should perhaps consider the MDX, which offers more seating, cargo space, and towing ability than its stylish sibling.
Trim Level: ZDX
Body style: SUV/crossover, 5-passenger
Engine: 3.7L V-6, 300 hp, 270 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Passenger volume: 91.2 cu ft
Capacities: Towing 1500 lb; cargo (rear seats up/down) 26.3/55.8 cu ft
Acura tweaked a few color and trim combinations on the ZDX, but little else changed for the 2012 model year. The ZDX debuted as an all-new model for 2011 and received some of the mechanical upgrades -- including the six-speed automatic transmission -- that were later applied to other models.
Dual-stage front, side, and side curtain air bags, ABS, and traction and stability control are standard. Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are lumped into the technology package. Blind-spot detection, radar-based cruise control, and a collision-mitigating automatic braking system are included with the advance package.
EPA Fuel Economy
All: 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway
- Drives and looks like a tall TL
SH-AWD and IDS aid handling
Packed with technology
You Won't Like
- Very little headroom
Small cargo hold
Sizable blind spots
A sport sedan on stilts.
If You Like This Vehicle
- BMW X6