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2012 Acura ZDX Overview

The Acura ZDX now enters its third year in almost exactly the same form as its first, with just a few new paint colors on the list for 2012. Although it is quite sexy with all those sleek lines and tight little rear end, the ZDX only appeals to a rather particular subset of drivers who have no need for silly things like hauling more than 1,500 pounds, adult backseat comfort, rip-roaring performance or any real sense of practicality.

Love it or hate it - the ZDX is not a crossover SUV for the masses. Instead, the ZDX makes a statement and takes a stand. Acura has broken the "conventional" midsize crossover mold and shaped the RDX in the image of something completely new - an image of nimble, luxurious technology for the unfettered soul.

Based on the larger MDX, the ZDX is not the thoroughbred sports car it looks to be on the outside. Sure the 3.7-liter V6 puts out 300 horses, but the imbalance of being accompanied by 270 lb-ft of torque means get-up-and-go is often a game of hide and seek - especially with a 6-speed paddle-shifting automatic that doesn't like to downshift quickly to get those higher revs. That said, the "Super Handling" SH-AWD adds a great deal of zip to the ZDX's step, distributing power to the outside wheels on curves for a poised and speedy exit. Unfortunately, all that comes at the cost of high-test fuel only going so far as 16 mpg city/23 highway.

Inside the cabin is almost another story altogether. Although its storage capacity is somewhat compromised - maxing out at 56 cubic feet with the seats folded down and 26 cubes otherwise - absolutely everything else is awe-inspiring. From the blissful silence and liberal use of leather to the legion of buttons and gizmos, the ZDX affords a level of luxury most only dream of experiencing for themselves - but for less than $50,000.

Highlights of the standard list include automatic xenon headlights, heated outside mirrors, panoramic sunroof, back-up camera with rear-view mirror display, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, powered heated front seats with driver memory, power liftgate and an 8-speaker stereo with in-dash 6-CD changer and the usual connectivity with portable devices. Major options of the two significant packages include keyless ignition and entry, multiview back-up camera, navigation with real-time traffic and weather, the best stereo in its class, electronically adjustable suspension dampers, a blind-spot warning system, adaptive cruise control, collision warning and mitigation system and so much more.

However, future drivers should note that despite its smaller size, the ZDX does not perform any better than the MDX - and paying a lot more for the suspension dampers does little to make it into a similar performance machine. Otherwise any ZDX on the lot is exactly as advertised - at the very least.


Your prototypical "Tom Girl" Patricia got her start digging into Ford engines before she aged into double digits. Gifted with a mechanical mind, her favorite pass-time in the summer is picking up a fixer-up'r at the local public auction and massaging its every ailment until it's primed for a new lover. From dirt bikes to land yachts, every partner offers something truly special in her love affair with the road - just don't tell her husband.

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