By KBB.com Editors
Ever since debuting for the 2010 model year, the ZDX has been the odd duck in Acura's lineup. An admittedly niche vehicle, the ZDX is meant to be an all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger SUV with coupe-like styling and the luxury and tech amenities found in Acura's sedans. But rather than the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, the ZDX's attributes work against it. This SUV's style-first exterior results in compromised interior visibility, tight rear passenger space, and a limited cargo bay. Factor in a starting price around $50,000 and it's little surprise the ZDX crossover SUV failed to connect with buyers. That being the case, 2013 marks the final year of production for Acura's short-lived ZDX.
For better or worse, the 2013 Acura ZDX stands out from just about every other vehicle on the road. If you want that kind of attention – along with plenty of safety features and Acura's reliability and engineering expertise – you might connect with the ZDX.
There are plenty of more practical alternatives to the ZDX that can be had at a lower price, including its own siblings the MDX, RDX and TSX Sport Wagon. The Audi Q5 and Lexus RX are other good luxury SUV options, while the Audi A7 and Range Rover Evoque offer standout styling.
2013 marks the final year of production for the Acura ZDX. The SUV will come in just one well-equipped trim that receives a revised grille and safety features such as lane-departure warning and parking sensors. The Advanced Package that included dynamic cruise control and selectable suspension setting is no longer an option.
Driving Impressions The 2013 Acura ZDX offers a relatively enjoyable driving experience, provided you can arrange yourself and the mirrors to see out of the vehicle. The ZDX's standard 300-horsepower V6 is...capable of getting this rather large vehicle up to speed, but not with the velocity its sporty looks might suggest. With a curb weight of more than 4,450 pounds, there's just a lot of mass to move. The highlight of the ZDX is actually its standard Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). This sophisticated system offers great grip in corners and on slippery roads. The 2013 ZDX's 6-speed automatic transmission is a smooth operator that is responsive to throttle input. If you live somewhere with blazing sunshine, beware of the ZDX. On a summer day in California, we found the ZDX's fabric screen below the panoramic glass roof on the losing end of a battle with the sun, making for a hot and bright cabin.
PREMIUM AUDIO SYSTEM
Need proof that rolling audio systems can rival the one in your home? Look no further than the 2013 ZDX. Now standard is a 10-speaker surround-sound system that plays CDs, DVD-Audio discs, and songs from a built-in hard drive. If that isn't enough, there's a USB/iPod input and satellite radio in addition to that old standby, AM/FM.
This technology keeps digital eyes toward the sides of the vehicle where yours may miss. Due to the ZDX's compromised rear visibility, this feature is even more welcome now that it's standard.
Acura has never tried to bill the ZDX as a family hauler. Though it can technically seat five passengers, Acura has said this shapely crossover SUV is meant for two adults and their cargo. Try actually getting into the tight rear seat, and you'll find this was a smart move. Though the seats are clad in soft Milano leather, actually getting into them can be awkward and potentially head-bumping due to the vehicle's sloping roof. Up front, the cabin is highlighted by an 8-inch color nav screen, Acura's usual array of flush-mount buttons, and a wide center console between the two large front seats. The steering wheel, too, features its own litany of buttons, along with paddle shifters for that race-car feel.Exterior
Acura describes the ZDX as a "4-door sports coupe," but the ZDX sits higher and is wider than others in that category. Frankly, it's an odd crossover SUV that looks like little else on the road except the BMW X6, which could be considered its rival in this niche segment. The ZDX is a blend of angles and curves, with a high beltline and windows that become progressively smaller toward the back. The ZDX has a steeply sloped roof, which may look elegant and athletic, but hampers rear visibility. Whether you admire or dislike the ZDX's looks will be for your eyes to decide.
The ZDX comes in just one trim level for its last hurrah, and offers plenty of value-added features. Among them are a navigation system, heated and ventilated front seats, dual-zone climate control, a rear-view camera, a power liftgate, a 435-watt/10-speaker surround-sound system, leather seating, and a push-button ignition. On the safety front, the ZDX comes with blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure and frontal-collision warning systems, front and rear parking sensors, and six airbags.
With the ZDX now coming with features that used to be part of the Technology Package – and the Advanced Package no longer available – options for 2013 models are essentially limited to accessories. Extras include larger wheels, remote engine starting, spoiler, trailering equipment, and a cargo cover.
The 2013 ZDX continues to use Acura's 3.7-liter V6. The engine has good power reserves, but offers just marginal fuel economy. Premium fuel is required. ZDX models have all-wheel drive and a 6-speed automatic transmission. The ZDX's tow rating is limited to a rather meager 1,500 pounds.
300 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
270 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg
For its final year, the 2013 Acura ZDX comes in one trim with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $52,000. At that price, the ZDX is more expensive than its more useful brother, the Acura MDX, as well as top sellers such as the Lexus RX and Cadillac SRX. The ZDX is about $8,000 lower than the BMW X6. Since this is the ZDX's last year of production and the vehicle hasn't exactly been a blockbuster, real-world transaction prices could be noticeably lower. Before you head to the dealership, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others are actually paying. The ZDX's predicted resale value is also hampered by its niche status. In the years ahead, its resale value is expected to be lower than other Acura SUVs such as the MDX or RDX, and far behind SUVs such as the Audi Q5, Porsche Cayenne and Lexus RX.
By old couple (OH) on Sunday, October 21, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "everything except rear head room"
Cons: "rear head room"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Gas mileage is not as bad as some report. 25-27 (at 70+) on long trips. Around town close to 20. Folded down rear seats when purchased and have only had them up a couple of times. Handles in ice and snow as would be expected from an Acura SH-AWD. Have an RDX which has slightly more room in back and cargo area but not as sporty. Advance Package provides extra safety. If 2013 is the last year I definitely will be getting another."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Shawn (NV) on Saturday, July 07, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Extremely fun, handles well, very luxurious"
Cons: "Lousy resale vale"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I own (am leasing) the 2010 ZDX. I love my car 29 out of 30 days a month. (I hate my car on my payment due date.) The ZDX is probably the nicest and most fun car I have ever or will ever own. My ZDX is bronze with the tech package, and I LOVE valeting my car on the Las Vegas strip. I almost always get stares or compliments. The sound system is great, the car handles like a sports car, and it has plenty of power. Although it doesn't rain or snow here very often, I was amazed at how well my ZDX handles wet and snowy roads. The bad news is that passengers in the back will have a hard time getting in and out. Also, the resale value is lousy. I'm starting to look for my next car, and I've got a lot of negative equity to overcome. Despite that, I still think the ZDX has a lot more pros than cons as long as you do your research and make sure that it fits your lifestyle."
8 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By RM (KY) on Tuesday, December 20, 2011
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive"
Cons: "Backseat not for tall passengers"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have never had a car that I simply caught people staring at. The inside, fully loaded, has everything built in to make it not only very safe (Collision Avoidance, Blind Spot Alert), but fun to drive (Fantastic stereo, handling, GPS, weather, XM etc)."
7 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Duke (CA) on Sunday, August 28, 2011
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Styling, fun to drive, technology"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"As an L.A. Couple with 1 young child and most family living out of state, the MDX was just too much car. We have had the ZDX for 5 months now and it's a perfect fit for our family. Absolutely no problems with the car. Handling and performance are exceptional for a crossover. The exterior design is stunning and ahead of it's time. Lots of looks! I'm a sports car guy who likes coupes and with having kids, the 4 door practicality with coupe looks are just what I was looking for. A bit pricey for the younger customers who this car will likely attract. The rear seat is not difficult to get in and of like some mags say, unless of course your a much older customer. It has steep low roof line that you have to remember to duck under when getting in and out. You will have find a car seat that doesn't have too high of a base which can make it difficult to get your child in and out of the seat. Love this car! Did I already say that?"
11 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By buckeye (ohio) on Tuesday, January 04, 2011
overall rating 10 of 10rating details
"Great deals available. Got a new advance equiped with 35 miles on it for 48,000.00 that is 9000 under msrp. It makes a great two seater. Put the back seats down and plan to leave them down, Gas mileage could be better"
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful