2011 Acura ZDX Advance new car reviews

For those who like a fastback SUV crossover, there's the ZDX.

Better than: Aztek?
But not as good as: Honda Accord Crosstour
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 37.67

It's a car! it's a truck! It's a fastback! Okay, what is it? Welcome the Acura ZDX, a sporty crossover-type thing from Honda's luxury division.

No, it's not the Acura version of the Honda Odyssey Crosstour. They may share the same fastback styling, but they're based on different platforms. The Crosstour is an oversized Accord, while the ZDX is truck-based.

The ZDX starts south of $50,000, and all models come standard with a 3.7-liter V6 backed by a six-speed automatic. Our test car was the fairly loaded Advanced model.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

An odd one, this one is. It's like someone decided that we needed a truck that has all the carrying capacity of a small car.

It's not all bad news, though. I like the seats, the drivetrain and Acura's latest center stack. Even though there's a ton of buttons and knobs in there, I'm starting to get used to it. I think. Or, at least I like the rubbery texture that they're using.

However, it goes downhill aft the front doors. Getting in and out of the rear seats is nearly horrible, and the way-back is much smaller than you'd think. We filled it with a pair of milk crates and a few bags of groceries. My old CRX had way more carrying capacity and didn't top 50-large.

I can see where this would appeal to empty-nesters. It would be something sporty that could occasionally carry two coupes. Maybe.

Looks? I'll let you guys decide on Acura's latest church key grille treatment.

Tom Heath Tom Heath
UberDork

We've tried one like this before, and a second round with this automotive aardvark didn't do much to change opinions. A technically advanced drivetrain marks the high point of the ZDX driving experience, but the awkward shape and inconvenient ingress/egress makes the high points of the car somewhat irrelevant.

Rear-seat passengers would benefit from watching a few episodes of "COPS" to learn the best way to get int the back. Face away from the car, sit back so that your tailbone is in the seat, then swivel into position. Trying to get in the old fashioned way (one leg at a time) is likely to get you a bump on the noggin for your trouble...but I still love the AWD V-6, so I have to award a couple points for that.

Dear Acura- please put this drivetrain in a lighter, sportier coupe and call it a Prelude. While you're at it, how about a proper manual transmission?

Alan Cesar FartSmeller69
SuperDork

The more I drove this vehicle, the more I hated it. The steering needed constant correction, and Sport mode is a joke. And, unlike the Accord Crosstour or the much, much smaller MINI Countryman, fitting a bicycle in the back feels like a game of Tetris. It's a battle of twisting, pushing, pulling, taking it out and trying again. My bike did eventually fit, but it wasn't an easy job. For a vehicle that appears to have a modicum of utility, it actually doesn't.

Its slick, hidden handles for the back doors are very high up, making them unreachable by any child younger than adolescence. What parent still wants to open the car door for their 10-year-old?

It has but two redeeming qualities. Its navigation system is actually quick and easy to operate, and the graphics look good too. Cooled seats are absolutely wonderful after a hot, sweaty bike ride.

But for the price, you could have at least two very good, very useful cars. Maybe this car works as an accessory--something to look good in--but it only serves that purpose in the same way as taking your fat friend to the club with you. It only makes you look good because it's so irredeemably hideous.

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Comments
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Bobzilla
Bobzilla PowerDork
9/13/11 12:59 p.m.

"Truck based"? You fell for that BS line? It's Based off the current MDX, which is based off the current Odyssey platform. Crosstour and ZDX are same platform, I don't care what BS the marketing types told you.

tuna55
tuna55 UltimaDork
9/14/11 11:04 a.m.

Whoa, 50k? You could buy a whole lot for that, or 25 challenge cars. Even if it was useful (it isn't) or nice looking (it isn't) or fast (it isn't) or super comfortable (it isn't) or efficient (it isn't) there are a slew of other cars out there who could do it better for that price.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
9/16/11 6:35 a.m.

Apparently Acura saw the BMW X6 and decided they needed a bloated and useless sport-crossover as well...

DaewooOfDeath
DaewooOfDeath Dork
9/25/11 11:01 a.m.

When an X6 just isn't pointless enough. Ick.

integraguy
integraguy UltraDork
9/25/11 12:06 p.m.

i saw one of these up close this morning, and right behind it was an Acura RSX. It ALMOST looked like a metal "duck" being followed by a metal "duckling". Oddly, the RSX looked like it had about as much cargo carrying capabilities as the bigger ZDX, the only difference being the (vestigial?) rear doors on the bigger vehicle.

Will someone tell the designers at Japanese car companies that there is a difference between "a striking design" and "a totally ridiculous design"? In Europe, Hyundai sells a "wagon" version of the new Sonata that would make mincement of this joke on 4 wheels.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

It's a car! it's a truck! It's a fastback! Okay, what is it? Welcome the Acura ZDX, a sporty crossover-type thing from Honda's luxury division.

No, it's not the Acura version of the Honda Odyssey Crosstour. They may share the same fastback styling, but they're based on different platforms. The Crosstour is an oversized Accord, while the ZDX is truck-based.

The ZDX starts south of $50,000, and all models come standard with a 3.7-liter V6 backed by a six-speed automatic. Our test car was the fairly loaded Advanced model.

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