Long Term Update 7: 2010 Acura ZDX
12 Months and 23,858 Miles
The ZDX has incited more editorial arguments and spontaneous thumb-wrestling than the choice of caterers at the last company picnic. Opinions are right down the middle in styling with people like myself comparing it to Star Wars vehicles and others stating that after almost a year, it still leaves them scratching their heads. One thing everyone agrees on is the arduous process of getting in and out of the back seat. Associate Web Editor Kong concluded after extensive scientific investigation that the optimum height for rear seat passengers is anything under 5-feet. To be honest, I still haven't ridden in the back, I tried getting in and out and it was certainly difficult, my 5-foot, 4-inch wife even struggles with the process. Unlike other editors here, I don't seem to have a problem with front seat ingress/egress. Years of folding in and out of sports cars has taught me well.
Drivetrain opinions are equally split ranging from perfectly adequate to sadly underpowered. Interestingly enough it seems to be the camp that used the Scifi-UV for road trekking that finds it adequate, the around-towners find it underpowered for the purpose of shooting in and out of traffic. Although I would like more power, who wouldn't, the engine provides decent thrust when the transmission is used to best effect. Perhaps the well sorted suspension and steering do too great a job giving the ZDX a small car feel and expectations exceed its considerable girth.
The size is a big downside for urbanite empty-nesters this car is intended for. The width of the flared out fastback is substantially greater than the wrap around cockpit leads the driver to believe. I find myself parking too close to the vehicle to the right and having to pull out and reposition so passengers can open the longish doors. The price you pay for style.
Even after 12 months of service, it does in fact still turn heads. The ZDX continues to be a rare beast, even in the trendiest areas of Southern California. In parking lots where more exotic and even less useful pseudo-off-roaders reign, the big Acura sticks out like a futuristic cyborg thumb. Something that is great for owners of ZDXs but certainly not a good sign for Acura's accounting department. In several months of driving, I have only seen another three or four fellow future-philes in other ZDXs. Suprisingly, I have only seen one other that wasn't silver and it was basic black.
Even if you don't like tomorrow's looks, you have to appreciate the technology. Automotive journalists tend to hate blind spot warning systems, active cruise control and anything that may suggest they need help driving. The system is much loved and appreciated on this Acura. Given the limited visibility out the back of the dramatic roofline, the Blind Spot System has probably saved us more banged up quarter panels than the invention of the horn. The Active Cruise Control is equally loved. While I tend to think my "money foot" is nigh infallible, it does need rest on road trips. Just set the cruise to a maximum speed and the car will do that speed whenever possible. If a slower car moves in front of you, it will match their speed at a driver programmed distance. When the lane clears, the ZDX automatically accelerates back to the preprogrammed speed. Cars like the Acura are quickly approaching autopilot ability and while some may cringe at the idea, I will quickly accept it on futuristic vehicles like the ZDX. Get me to Vegas, R-2.
|Months/miles in service||12/23,858|
|Avg econ/CO2||18.8 mpg/ 1.03 lb/mi|
|Maintenance cost||$304.94 (2-oil changes/inspection/tire rotations, 1-replace rear differential fluid)|