2010 Acura ZDX Review
Is the 2010 Acura ZDX a tall four-door coupe or rakish crossover SUV? Um, neither...
2010 Acura ZDX Review
It's got the lines of a concept car, buckets of tech, and a blind spot big enough to hide the
US deficit. Just don't ask me to tell you what type of car it is. It's just the 2010 Acura
ZDX Advance. Let's check the tech.
So this is an Acura ZDX. You know it's one of those coupe UVs that are all the rage
these days. Notice the lines and notice the packaging. Biggish wheels, but more like a
coupe that got big than a SUV that got swoopy, and I say that because the interior
packaging is much more, well, shall we say tight or at least sporting and stylish than it is
utilitarian and nowhere is that more obvious than back here in the cargo bay, and I use the
word cargo rather generously, this is really small in terms of carrying space for the
volume of the vehicle, but see the point of this thing is not to carry a whole lot of
The point is to carry four people in style with just enough luggage. It's your ultimate
weekend, wine country, golf trip vehicle. And one other thing I want to point out is the
very strong carryover of a design theme throughout this vehicle. Back here you've got
this kind of descending V-pointed chin, you see it again inside the cabin here, it's the
main dominant design of the center stack where the controller is, and it's really strong up
here in the front where the Mighty Morphin Power Ranger face is the new look for
Now, as you can imagine, we've got an extra load of tech in this Acura. It's a high-end
car. We have the tech package and the advanced package and there's plenty to look at.
Starting on the head unit screen this is the newish Acura Honda unit, which has been
revised somewhat. It's still a little crunchy looking, but its way better than the really stale
unit that used to be sticking in their cars for ages. As you can see we’ve got live traffic in
there via XM satellite radio.
Okay, now moving on to the audio functions, we've got a whole lot going on. You've got
the usual AM/FM but no HD radio, standard or available on the ZDX. That's, you know,
contentious at this point in history. XM as I mentioned is our satellite radio flavor. Here's
our CD Drive. Its right down here single slot. Because we have a hard drive and you can
rip to that, now under the USB aux button comes the fun stuff. Here's Bluetooth audio
which streams stereo music off of your phone. Our next choice, of course, is the iPod
connector. I like this one. It lives here inside the center console. It's actually a USB
pigtail into which I can connect my standard white Apple iPod cable, charges, gives me
read out of data and, of course, plays audio.
Now on the opposite side of this thing we're got an ELS system, 435 watts, 10 speakers
around the cabin, pretty well geared up, the usual bass/treble/balance/fader, but here you
get to your subwoofer and your speed control, Dolby PL2, you've also got DTS read on
this guy. So, a lot of different codings can be read.
Our transmission is a one-choice only 6-speed automatic with a super stubby shifter
down here in the console. You don't shift with this guy. You've got paddles up here on
the wheels to do manual shifting. Of course, I've got a backup camera, which is going to
give me some distance indicators before I go crunch, and it's also got a view change. I
can look down at what I'm going to hit or I can look back to what I'm going to hit, which
is a damn good thing because this car gets the Cooley award for biggest F'ing blind spot
in automotive production. This is the first year I've granted it because I didn't have to
until now. You can't see out of the back of this car period. It's like driving a tank. They
should have a periscope on the option sheet.
It's actually terrifying to make a lane change in this vehicle. So it's a good thing they've
got a blind-spot detection system on the advanced package. IDS is their adaptive
suspension technology and it's got two modes; a comfortable one and a sport mode. Now,
the suspension is adaptive at all times and this comes on the advanced package in this car.
This doesn't turn adaptivity on or off it just changes the curve and the contour of how it
responds and for those really bad days there's optional collision mitigation braking
system, which sounds an alarm, tightens the belts, and eventually crams on the brakes
when you don't realize you're about to rear end someone.
Okay, behind the pointy snoz on our ZDX lies a relatively garden variety Acura Honda
3.7-liter V6. Single overhead cam, nothing really clever going on here lots of variable
valve time, which they've done so well for so long. You're getting 300 horsepower out of
this guy, 270 foot pounds of torque, fine; 16/23 are your EPA estimates on the mileage;
zero to 60 is about a 6.5 second affair so, you know, it gets out of its own way, but it's not
going to be in the same class as let's say a BMW X6 of the same type.
All ZDXs have Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, which can buy us power to the wheels
front and rear and left and right between the rears. There is also cornering G logic in the
transmission to prevent an ungainly up shift when you're powering through a corner, but
leave the hood and get on the road and I'm not a huge fan of this power train. I like it, I
don't love it. Not a lack of power and you've got paddle shifters, you've got a sport mode,
and I still feel like the car is caught in too high a gear too many times. I've changed this
IDS knob from comfort to sport in a lot of different conditions, and I don't feel a whole
lot of difference. It's pretty subtle. Maybe it's more of an open road hard driving thing,
and the handling and cornering is quite good in this car. It doesn't feel as tall as it looks
from the outside.
Okay, let's price the 2010 ZDX and do it CNET style. That means you buy it with the
tech package, that's $51,000, but includes basically all the toys in the cabin. Now, what
you would add on top of that, your choice would be the advanced package, 6,000 more.
That gets you adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking system, that IDS
adaptive suspension and that adds the blind spot detection system. Don't even drive this
car a foot without that.
2010 Acura ZDX Review
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