2010 Acura ZDX
2010 Acura ZDX. Click image to enlarge

Related articles on Autos
Long-term ZDX, Part one
Long-term ZDX, Part two
Long-term ZDX, Part three

Manufacturer’s web site
Acura Canada

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Review and photos by Grant Yoxon

Photo Gallery:
2010 Acura ZDX

Our 2010 Acura ZDX long term tester has been with us now for eight months. With 12,000 kilometres on the odometer, the car gets a lot of use. For a family that has three other owned vehicles and typically another road test vehicle from which to choose, it remains the vehicle of choice. It would not be breakfast in our household without a discussion about who will get to drive the ZDX today.

To recap, the Acura ZDX is a crossover utility vehicle that leans more toward the sport coupe end of the crossover spectrum than toward the utility side. In fact, its utility is somewhat compromised by its style and design. Cargo carrying capacity is considerably limited compared to the MDX and rear-seat passengers must overcome certain physical challenges to get into the vehicle, although once inside, the rear seat, with its contoured buckets and heated leather seating surfaces is a comfortable place to be.

2010 Acura ZDX
2010 Acura ZDX. Click image to enlarge

It is intended for empty nesters, a family of two who want a stylish vehicle with all-wheel drive, sport sedan handling and the occasional need for extra passenger space and cargo carrying capacity. With the rear seats folded, cargo space expands enormously. This describes our family perfectly. With three adult children and two still at home, it is a rare occasion that the whole family travels together. In fact, it hasn’t happened in eight months!

Getting in and out of the front seats can be a bit of a challenge too, as the LED-illuminated running boards, an accessory on our vehicle, add quite a bit of distance between the seats and the ground. Though attractive, I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone considering a ZDX.

As well, visibility to the rear of the vehicle, when reversing or driving, is compromised by the slope of the rear deck and limited glass behind the driver. Although intimidating at first we have adjusted well, using properly placed mirrors for lane changes and making use of Acura’s excellent rear-view camera. This latter feature is so good in fact that both my wife and I routinely back into parking spots.

2010 Acura ZDX
2010 Acura ZDX. Click image to enlarge

The camera display features a normal view, wide view and overhead view that allows you to reverse into tight spots and move the vehicle within inches of an object behind. With the camera I can get closer to another parked vehicle than I can with our two seat convertible.

Other features of the ZDX that we like include the power available from its 3.7-litre, 24-valve, SOHV VTEC V6 – 300 hp and 270 lb.-ft. of torque – its extremely comfortable and confident ride, as well as handling that is the match of or possibly even better than the aforementioned two-seat sports car. Handling is greatly enhanced by Acura’s Super Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). Despite its high SUV ride height and weight, the ZDX handles like a sports car.

During our eight months with the ZDX, we have had the car in for service just once – for a required oil change at 8,000 km. There have been no mechanical or warranty issues. The service was performed at Camco Acura in Ottawa and completed in less than an hour while I waited in Camco’s comfortable lounge watching TV. When completed, Camco’s service advisor came to me in the lounge, explained what work had been done and provided me with the key.

During my visit, another customer worked while waiting, using the dealership’s wireless connectivity to access the internet. A computer is also available for customers.

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

With its first service completed, I didn’t expect to be back at Camco for another 8,000 km, but as it turned out I would not be so lucky.

While attending the Automobile Journalist Association of Canada’s TestFest – the annual event held in Niagara-in-the-Lake to drive and judge new models for the Canadian Car of the Year Awards – the ZDX received a rather large door ding. As you can see from the photos, this was not your average close encounter of the parking lot kind, but a ding that might be better described as a dent.

Sometime overnight, while the car was parked in a hotel parking lot, someone probably driving a truck, judging by the height of the damage, hit the ZDX. I was infuriated. How could anyone do this much damage and not have the courtesy to own up to it?

In reality, it was a hit and run and if anyone had seen the incident and reported it, the driver could have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

That the car did not belong to me, but to Acura Canada, didn’t make the damage any easier to take. The estimate from Camco came in at over $1,500 – a new fender and paint repair to the bottom leading edge of the passenger door. The cost could have been much more as repairs took four days to complete. For other people, the cost of a rental vehicle would have been added to the tab.

2010 Acura ZDX
2010 Acura ZDX. Click image to enlarge

If I owned the ZDX, it would have been $1,500 out of my pocket. With a $1,000 deductible, there is no point in putting this kind of repair on insurance.

Camco did a good job with the paint work and I can’t tell any difference between the fender and the factory paint work on the rest of the car. But I know the car has been repaired and that is a fact that an owner would have to reveal when trading in or selling the car in the future. A “door ding” like this has not only an immediate cost, but also affects the future value of the vehicle.

As I write this in later November, we have already had a dusting of snow and a day of freezing rain in Ottawa. In our next report we hope to relate how the ZDX performs in a typical Ottawa winter.

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