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2010 Acura ZDX Review – Innovation in art and automotive performance

Tuesday June 15th, 2010 at 12:66 PM
Posted by: hollyrrr

2010 Acura ZDX

By Holly Roberts

Pros:

  • High commanding view high like an SUV
  • Seriously comfortable seats
  • Excellent handling ability
  • Really fun to drive
  • Roomy interior
  • A place for everything and everything in its place
  • Massive panoramic glass moonroof
  • Gorgeous styling

Cons:

  • Back seats aren’t really geared for tall people
  • Manual and automatic shifting from 1st to 2nd was sluggish (that could just be a tuning issue)
  • I felt like the rear-view mirrors could have been a *bit* larger


Wow. The ZDX is one gorgeous automobile. Whether you wan to call it a car, a crossover, or a luxury sports coupe, it’s really easy on the eyes. The ZDX has a few, unique distinctions: it was the first vehicle to be completely designed at Acura’s Southern California design studio.  Also, it was engineered in Ohio, making the ZDX the most American made Acura.

Even though the ZDX is a 5-passenger vehicle, the emphasis was clearly geared more towards the driver and the front passenger.  The front seating area had tons of room.  Plenty of room to move around freely. The back seating area felt cramped to me – headroom wise.  While I had no trouble getting my bicycle to fit, the human comfort component was lacking a bit.  I felt like maybe the sloping of the roof contributed to feeling as though the rear-seating ceiling was really low.

2010 Acura ZDX

Fuel Economy:
Advertised: 16 mpg in the city, and 23 mpg highway (19 mpg combined)
Actual: 19.6 mpg (had I driven more highway miles, it would have been better.  The city driving really pulls the mileage down, down, down).

Driving Impressions:
The ZDX is an impressive ride. Even though it sits up higher like an SUV, the seating is low to the car floor, giving the distinct impression of sitting in a sports car. And it handles almost exactly like a sports car. Once you slip it into “sport” mode and drive with the paddle shifters (which are really nice in this car), you feel just like you’re in a hot little sports car. It was a blast to drive! The turning radius was pretty tight, given the size of the car. While it doesn’t have the turning radius of a true sports car, it’s better than a lot of cars, SUVs and crossover vehicles.

Even with the transmission in automatic mode, you can utilize the paddle shifters to drop the gear a bit when climbing, passing someone, or just getting yourself slowed a bit approaching a tight corner, traffic light or stopped traffic. The ZDX was zippy and fun in either manual (sport) or automatic mode.

The panoramic moonroof is simply stunning.  It seems like nearly the entire top of the car is glass. While it isn’t the same as driving a convertible, it seems to be about as close as you can get to driving one — without the sunburn and bad hair.

Acura ZDX w/bike in cargo area

Build:
Not a peep out of the ZDX which would indicate anything other than quality construction.  Doors closed easily and felt solid, not heavy.  Manually opening and closing the rear hatch required minimal effort and the power liftgate was a welcome luxury when your hands/arms are wrapped around multiple packages.

Everything on the interior was like “buttah” and slid open easily and then closed back in place nicely. Solid, quality construction is evident throughout the cabin. Interior and exterior door handles were easy to grasp and well-placed. As far as the exterior, I felt like every section of the ZDX was perfectly blended into the next piece, for a flawless, and sexy line. With the door handle for the rear doors positioned above the door, the flow of the rear beltline is smooth and uninterrupted.

Interior Comfort and Ergonomics:
2010 Acura ZDX interior

The good:
Very unique in that you feel like you’re climbing into an SUV (tall!), but when you sit down, you’d swear you’re in a sports car. The seats are low to the floor once you’re inside the car, so it really does feel like you’re sitting in a sports car! And the seats are really, really comfortable!  Sitting in the driver’s seat, felt like sitting in your favorite chair at home, only way nicer leather!

LOVE the push-button ignition controls and proximity keys. Nice to not have to insert a key into the ignition, unless you really want to, or fumble for your keys when you approach the car to get in.

Everything in the interior area of the vehicle blended and matched perfectly. Compartments and cubbyholes all over the place, but none of them stood out as unsightly. I wasn’t sure if I’d like the two-tone leather interior, but it really grew on me. The coloring was nice and offset the vehicle color perfectly.

Acura ZDX center storage/armrestAcura ZDX front seatsAcura ZDX view of cockpit

The bad:
The back seats.  While they were comfortable to sit in, I felt like my head was really close to touching the ceiling (it wasn’t). I’m not tall by any stretch of the imagination (5’6″), so if I felt cramped back there, anyone taller might feel more uncomfortable just trying to fit back there, or get in.  I also nearly hit my head exiting the back seat. Had I been in a hurry, I’d have slammed the side of my head pretty good. One guess though: if you did it once, you’d probably not do it again. But given that, it’s safe to say that the back seat would be strictly for small adults or kids (or a bike).

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