Acura ZDX Review (UPDATED 4/16/10 5:40 PM PST With Recall Information)

Fastbacks are an acquired taste...and even then, there's an element of scale that seems to work best. Smaller being better. The 1965 Mustang worked. The much larger 1965 Rambler Marlin, to my way of thinking, didn't. 

While BMW's supposedly adding a fastback to the 3-series in 2013, the current crop of fastbacks are larger cars...four-doors at that...and, well...I think I've made myself clear.


Acura would like us to think that the ZDX breaks new ground between sedan and crossover. That's a pretty slim territory, and a station wagon is what would fill it. One based on the outstanding 2010 TL-SH AWD sedan (review coming soon...I liked it much more than the supposedly identical 2009 and we'll explore why) would be perfect. It would carry more, have better rear and side visibility and handle better than the awkwardly proportioned and heavier ZDX.


But let's assume you like the ZDX (I actually got a few "Hey, cool car" comments from passersby during the week I had it). What's it like? Well, given the size and visibility issues, it's surprisingly good. While I've bemoaned Acura's abandonment of clean styling and simple, straightforward controls,  the cars still exude a feeling of quality and a sense of sportiness that set them apart.

It would just be so much better in another form.

Base price for the ZDX Tech model: $49,995. That gets you a 300 horsepower V6, a six-speed automatic transmission and all the luxury and tech goodies (upgraded audio system, real-time traffic and weather, a hard-disc drive storage system for your music library) Acura offers. Ours had no options beyond, so with destination and handling charges, the tab stopped at $50,805.

EPA estimates: 16 city/23 highway.

Fine so far as it goes. But I'd like it a lot better as a $45,000 TL wagon.

UPDATE: Acura is recalling 1,850 ZDXs because the passenger-side airbag may not deploy properly in a crash. Details from the New York Times Wheels blog.