<strong>CURRENT MILES: 23,056
MONTHS IN FLEET: 10
Oh my God, we have a winner -- someone at Automobile Magazine gets, and likes, the ZDX. Our newest staff member, Donny Nordlicht, jumps right into it: "It's made for urban professionals who live in the Snow Belt and need more space than, say, an Audi A5 will provide. It looks stunning -- and I actually quite like it."
And so Donny took the ZDX to New York to show it to his mother, who "has continually flip-flopped between small SUVs and small sedans, meaning that, in theory, the ZDX would be perfect for her. And she did love the ride, handling, ergonomics, stereo, fit and finish, style, and cargo space."
Are the Nordlichts from Mars?
Um, no -- because then the reality set in. "Too bad she couldn't see out of it or get a good feel for where the ends of the car are; driving in Manhattan with limited visibility would not be a good idea." And things didn't go well when Donny had a friend sit in the back: "When a skinny, five-foot nine-inch guy has to do what is best described as the final part of a swan dive just too get in the back seat, that's ridiculous. And then, two speed bumps later, he was ready to get out, lest he keep hitting his head on the roof."
Valiant effort, Donny.
Deputy editor Joe DeMatio also took the ZDX on a road trip to his hometown -- to what amounts to the opposite end of the world: rural Ogemaw County, Michigan. Rather than the concrete canyons of Manhattan, this found the ZDX on the snowy shore of a frozen lake, where locals were drinking beer around a bonfire.
When it came time to leave, it is suggested that rather than backing up the hill, DeMatio should drive out onto the lake and turn around. "We can always pull you out if we have to. Just keep your foot in it," the man said. There was a foot of snow covering the ice, but -- with stability control switched off -- "the ZDX just plodded through, engine revving and various wheels grabbing for traction."
So score a point for the ZDX's SH-AWD, which makes the best of the grip available from the Bridgestone Blizzak tires we mounted in the fall. But did it win over the locals? Probably not. "I think they were disappointed that the city slicker in the strange foreign vehicle didn't get stuck," says DeMatio.
The ZDX was certainly out of its natural environment out on the frozen lake, but Nordlicht thinks it also might be out of its competitive environment when compared to other SUVs. "The ZDX really feels like an oversize coupe rather than a stylish SUV," he says. "And it would be a better proposition against the coupe competition (Audi A5/S5, BMW 3-series coupe) if it were $5000 cheaper. With almost equal functionality and better driving dynamics, a 335i xDrive coupe can be had for the same money. "
With the clock ticking on our year-long test, the ZDX has been reliable. It's been comfortable. But it's also been unloved.
2010 Acura ZDX
Base price (with dest.): $46,305
Price as tested: $56,855
Body Style: 5-door crossover SUV
Construction: Steel unitbody
Engine: SOHC 24-valve V-6
Displacement: 3.7 liters
Power: 300 hp @ 6300 rpm
Torque: 270 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with sportshift and paddle shift
Fuel economy: 16/23/19 mpg (city/hwy/combined)
Steering: Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Turns lock-to-lock: 3.4
Turning Circle: 38.5 ft
Suspension, Front: Strut type; coil spring
Suspension, Rear: Independent multi-link; coil spring
Brakes F/R: Power-assisted ventilated disc/disc; ABS
Wheels: 19-in alloy
Tires: Michelin Latitiude Tour HP 255/50R19 103H
Tire Size: 235/60R18
Headroom F/R: 38.0/35.3 in
Legroom F/R: 42.2/35.7 in
Shoulder Room F/R: 59.7/55.4 in
Wheelbase: 108.3 in
Track F/R: 67.7/67.7 in
L x W x H: 192.4 x 78.5 x 62.8 in
Cargo Capacity: 27.5/57.3 cu ft (rear/with seats folded)
Weight: 4452 lb
Weight Dist. F/R: 58/42%
Fuel Capacity: 21.0 gal
Est. Range: 400 miles
Fuel Grade: 91 octane
3.7-liter V-6 engine
6-speed automatic transmission with sportshift
4-wheel disc brakes
MacPhearson strut front suspension
Rear multi-link suspension
Variable-assist rack-and-pinion steering
Vehicle stability assist
Electronic brake distribution
Tire pressure monitoring system
XM satellite radio
MP3/auxiliary input jack
USB audio interface
Heated front seats
Panoramic glass sunroof
19-inch alloy wheels
Xenon HID headlights
Heated power door mirrors with turn indicators
Advance package -- $10,550
Acura navigation system with voice recognition
Multi-view rearview camera
Sport seats with perforated leather
Acura ELS surround sound system
10 speakers and AM/FM/DVD-A
Hard disk drive
Dual-zone climate control
Integrated dynamic system
Collision mitigation braking system
Blind spot information system
Front seat belts with e-pretensioning system
Ventilated front seats
Adaptive cruise control