Two years have passed since Acura dropped the ZDX crossover into our market, and we're still trying to figure out how best to describe it. The ZDX uses essentially the same platform and powertrain as the more conventional MDX, but it wraps them in a rakish, coupelike body. Although the so-called power plenum grille continues to incite debate, many of the ZDX's design cues -- including a steeply raked roof, hidden rear door handles, and a panoramic sunroof -- lend it the character of a sport sedan. In many ways, the ZDX actually drives like a sport sedan. The 300-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 provides plenty of power, and the standard SH-AWD system does a commendable job of shuffling all 4400 pounds through corners. The available Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) tosses in adaptive dampers and provides a surprisingly firm sport setting that is best suited for spirited driving. Sadly, that shapely form comes with some sacrifices. A tall floor and a low-slung roof encroach into headroom for both front and rear passengers, and the fastback tail means that cargo space is a meager (for a crossover) 26.3 cubic feet. Acura also limits the ZDX's tow rating to 1500 pounds. Buyers looking for a little more versatility should perhaps consider the MDX, which offers more seating, cargo space, and towing ability than its stylish sibling.
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