2010 Acura ZDX
Super-Looking All-Wheel-Drive
By Ron Kiino

WE LIKE: Shock-and-awe styling, sport-sedan moves, adjustable dampers.
WE DON'T LIKE: Ingress/egress difficulties, cramped back seat.

No denying there's something super about Acura's all-new ZDX crossover's shape. It stands out among today's array of sport/utilities like an Armani suit at 24 Hour Fitness. While a dissenter thought the ZDX resembles "Mitsubishi's Dakar-racing Pajero Evo mated with a TL," most of our team was drawn to this audacious Acura. "Calling the ZDX distinctive is an understatement," says assistant Web producer Lago. "It looks otherworldly." Editor at large St. Antoine adds, "I'll admit it: I was taken aback-no, shocked-by my first sight of the ZDX in the metal. This thing is out there-to my eye, way edgier and more futuristic-looking than the X6. But the more I looked, the more I found the ZDX...interesting. Even...stunning."

Slide into this so-called "four-door sport coupe"-watch your head, because the sloping roofline is lower than you expect, especially when entering the back seat-and you're treated to the most elegant cabin in a luxury Honda to date. A leather-stitched dash? You bet. Leather-stitched door panels too? Why not? Even the cargo area is lined with premium loop-style carpet that wouldn't look out of place in a Beverly Hills living room.

Step on the throttle and turn the fat-rimmed leather-wrapped wheel, and those fuzzy feelings are quickly transfused with adrenaline. The 3.7-liter V-6 routes 300 horses through a new six-speed automatic and Acura's signature "Super Handling" AWD system. Zero to 60 takes just 6.5 seconds, and lateral grip, at 0.83 g, is tops in this year's field. Depending on how you set the new Integrated Dynamics System, the ride can be tuned from sporty firm to tautly supple. Even with our leadfoots spurring it along, the ZDX delivered 17.1 mpg observed fuel economy. Demerits? A few, namely the challenging ingress/egress and a cramped back seat. That said, Acura isn't marketing the ZDX as a family transporter. The RDX and MDX are available for hauling the wife and kids.

Besides this year's champ, the ZDX was the only vehicle to receive a first-place vote. Sure, it didn't receive enough nods to win, but that doesn't mean it's not a winner.


2010 Acura ZDX
Base price range $44,000-$48,000 (est)
Price as tested $48,000 (est)
Vehicle layout Front engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
Engine 3.7L/300-hp/270-lb-ft SOHC 24-valve V-6
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Curb weight (f/r dist) 4445 lb (58/42%)
Wheelbase 108.3 in
Length x width x height 192.4 x 78.5 x 62.8 in
0-60 mph 6.5 sec
Quarter mile 15.0 sec @ 93.4 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 129 ft
Lateral acceleration 0.83 g (avg)
MT Figure Eight 27.2 sec @ 0.65 g (avg)
MT observed fuel econ 17.1 mpg
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 16/22 mpg (est)
CO2 emissions 1.06 lb/mile
RATINGS
Engineering ****
Design *****
Interior/Functionality ***
Performance ****
On-road refinement *****
Off-road ability ***
Value ****
BOTTOM LINE
More stylish and more fun to drive than a BMW X6.