Acura ZDX to Sebring: Adaptive Cruise Control Done Right

#Acura, #ZDX

There's a lot of I-75 between Michigan and Florida, so the ZDX's cruise control has been on for hundreds of miles. Since our ZDX is an Advance trim, it's equipped with radar-based adaptive cruise control that will automatically slow the vehicle as it comes up on another car. We've been critical of such systems in the past, but Acura's execution is so good that we actually enjoy using it. Here's why:

It follows at a reasonable distance. On the highway, the ZDX will follow at about three to four car lengths when set to maintain the smallest possible gap. That's not enough to keep anyone from cutting in between your train, but it feels like both a safe and natural distance. Some other automakers keep the follow distance so large, that you get the feeling you're making traffic less efficient. It's aggravating.

It is smooth and confident. The Acura does use the brakes in some situations where a human driver would simply stand off the gas pedal, but when the ZDX brakes, it tips in gently and gradually builds effort. When another car changes lanes into your path, the ZDX doesn't panic. It acts on the speed differential between the two vehicles rather than the distance, reacting in a much smarter manner.

It isn't hesitant to accelerate. Just as the ZDX is judicious with the brake pedal, it is well trained in how to accelerate. When following another car, the ZDX flexes the gas pedal perfectly to maintain an even distance. When the road opens up, so too does the throttle. It's always enough to provide satisfying acceleration but rarely calls for a downshift, keeping the cabin relaxed.

It can be switched off. Our biggest gripe with many other adaptive cruise control systems is that they can't be used like a traditional cruise control. In the ZDX, you simply hold the distance control button to switch between adaptive and standard cruise modes.

Adam
It's nice to see a positive article about the ZDX for once. I own a 2010 and have only been frustrated with the reviews, not so far the car. Drive the car (as you have) and one will understand. it's easy to fall in love with. I have never had anyone say there is little legroom in the back like so many of the reviews do. On the contrary, I have had four different rear seat passengers comment about how comfortable, spacious, quiet and good looking the rear seat was. In fact, I had one passenger say it was the most comfortable backseat he has ever sat in. He worked on a presentation via laptop back there happily for three hours. We hauled three passengers luggage that weekend and still had room for more without even breaking the plane of the back seat. Don't tell me the car doesn't have storage. It's larger and better designed than any trunk in the Acura lineup. My other complaint is that the gas figures for these reviews and even the factory sticker are way off. I am averaging 20-21 MPG in mixed driving in and around Washington D.C. which has some of the worst traffic in the country. On the highway, I get 23-24 MPG on average. My overall MPG average is 21 MPG according to the car's great computer system and I have never averaged worse than 18 MPG to any single destination in city driving. Not the best, but certainly not the worst. I don't know where they're getting 16 MPG from. Anyway, for the record, I'm 3,000 miles into this car and loving every moment! The only complaint that has ever been logged about the car is the roofline for the rear doors. My wife and I don't mind it, nor do our friends, but we're much younger than the people who complained (my 60 year old parents). Thanks for the review!

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