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2010 Acura ZDX SH-AWD Review

2010 Acura ZDX SH-AWD  (select to view enlarged photo)
2010 Acura ZDX SH-AWD

SEE ALSO: Acura Buyers Guide

"The 2010 Acura ZDX "four-door coupe" Design Has People Double-taking on the Road."



Model: 2010 Acura ZDX SH-AWD
Engine: 3.7-liter V6
Horsepower/Torque: 300 hp @ 6,30 rpm/270 lb.-ft.@ 4,500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with manual mode
Wheelbase: 108.3 in.
Length/Width/Height: 192.4 x 78.5 x 62.8 in.
Tires: P255/50R19
Cargo volume: 26.3/55.8 cu. ft. (rear seat backs up/down)
Fuel economy: 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway/14.2 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 21.0 gal.
Curb weight: 4,400 lbs.
Sticker: $45,000 (est.)

The Bottom Line: With a near-excellent exterior design and adequate power and interior comfort, there isn't a lot to dislike about the Acura ZDX. This "four-door coupe" design has people double-taking on the road. The only flaw is in the rear entry; I must have hit my head every time.

When two cars come out at approximately the same time from what is essentially the same manufacturer, you have to wonder what's going on. But the Acura ZDX and Honda Accord Crosstour, while they may look alike, are two distinctly different automobiles. We'll go into the Crosstour at a later time, but suffice it to say that it's smaller, less powerful, and offers less luxury than the Acura, which is to be expected.

The ZDX is a definite head-turner. I don't know how many "thumbs-ups" we received and comments that were told to us from fellow shoppers at the supermarket about how striking the design is. Like the Mercedes-Benz CLS, the ZDX is in a new class of "four-door coupes." That is to say, it is a four-door sedan that looks like it's a coupe. The ZDX also has rear door handles that are high-mounted on the C-pillar, adding to the ruse.

Entry is somewhat disconcerting. To get into the front, you must step up slightly. This may not actually be a step up, but it seems that way. The rear is equally disconcerting; I hit my head on the sharply sloping roof every time I entered the rear, and most of the time I knew I was going to do it.

Under the ZDX's hood is a 3.7-liter V6 that pumps out 300 horsepower. This is enough for a car that weighs 4,400 pounds, and feels like it weighs that much. Power reaches all the wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission that has a manual mode. However, we used the manual on our favorite hillclimb and found the automatic to be just as responsive.

The ZDX is equipped with Acura's Super Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) that puts the power to all four wheels as needed.

Ride quality is excellent. There is the option of switching to "comfort" or "sport" mode. Sport makes the suspension a bit stiffer and the steering tighter to enhance the driving experience. Comfort just makes for a smoother ride. We drove the ZDX in comfort mode most of the time and still enjoyed very good handling on most of our tougher test roads.

I liked the cockpit design, with coffee-colored leather to match the exterior. The ZDX has pushbutton start and stop, with keyless entry. This is great if you own the car, but if you switch between cars every week it can be annoying if you forget how the car you're driving is configured.

Front seats are heated and cooled, and offer very good side support. In addition, the heater was a dream in some very cold weather.

Once you get into the rear seats they offer some side support and a flat floor so a center passenger can ride in relative comfort.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Instruments consist of two large round gauges for the speedometer and tachometer with a smaller water temperature gauge on the left and fuel level on the right. there's an information center between the big gauges.

The ZDX has a nice navigation system that is easy to input your destination. It also has a screen that shuts off if you aren't using it or if you haven't used it in a while. This greatly reduces the glare on the windshield and the distraction to the driver.

The steering wheel is very smart, with audio, cruise control, Bluetooth and information controls, besides the shift paddles behind it.

Two sunroofs offer light to the front and rear passengers, although the rear one is fixed.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The rear hatch is powered and offers easy access to the cargo area. Besides expanding to 55.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, the cargo area also has a flat floor when extended, greatly adding to its usefulness. There's also a hidden cargo area under the cargo floor, with smaller hidden areas to the right a left. The jack is located forward of the general cargo area.

Despite some minor snags associated with rear seat entry, the Acura ZDX is a beautiful car with good power that should prove popular.

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