2010 Acura ZDX
2010 Acura ZDX. Click image to enlarge

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Acura ZDX

Manufacturer’s web site
Acura Canada

By Grant Yoxon; photos by Grant Yoxon and Chris Chase

Photo Gallery:
2010 Acura ZDX

For the past eight months, Autos.ca has been conducting an extended test of the 2010 Acura ZDX. We’ve checked out everything – from summer to winter driving, its unique, provocative styling, its functionality and, yes, dis-functionality – to form a conclusion about what it is like to live every day with the Acura ZDX.

The Acura ZDX is unlike any other vehicle on the market today, although comparisons could be made to the BMW X6. With its sensuous curves, sharply raked roofline, bold fender flares and large 19-inch, 7-spoke aluminum alloy wheels, the ZDX blurs the distinction between coupe, sedan and sport utility vehicle.

It treads warily into uncharted market territory – one that is designed to meet the needs of a growing market segment. They may be childless couples or people whose children have left home, but they are financially well off, with more time and money to enjoy personal pursuits, vacations, second homes and luxury products. We may call them empty nesters or baby boomers, but they are an important market for luxury car makers.

2010 Acura ZDX
2010 Acura ZDX
2010 Acura ZDX. Click image to enlarge

Market research shows these people want the versatility and all weather capability of an SUV, but no longer need the passenger or cargo space that an SUV provides. At the same time they want the driving pleasure of a sports car and the well-appointed accommodations usually found in a luxury sedan.

However you see it – sports coupe, hatchback or SUV – reactions have been anything but ho-hum. This is a vehicle that grabs attention and elicits opinions like sushi served in a hockey arena. Love it or hate it, people don’t hold back their thoughts.

This was apparent even amongst our small team of writers. While we were impressed with how the ZDX drove and handled, most were less than fond of the compromises that came with the package – difficulty getting in and out, particularly for rear seat passengers, limited side and rear visibility and limited cargo space. In his review, Chris Chase summarized it well: “There’s nothing new about combining sportiness with practicality, nor is it that novel to build a sporty crossover or SUV, but one that tries to look like a sports car is a new development, and not one that works all that well, in my opinion… The first problem has to do with getting in.”

Personally, I don’t think my colleagues gave it a chance. It takes more than a week to appreciate the Acura ZDX.

Get behind the wheel for the first time and the ZDX can be intimidating. Despite its high SUV proportions, the seating position is very low, very sedan like. One looks out over a long, wide hood that disappears from view below a high dash top. To the rear, the view is obscured by narrow rear side windows, long wide C-pillars, high rear seat headrests and by the dramatic slope of the roof line that narrows rearward visibility. This is different, I thought. It will take a bit of getting used to.

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