It converted the midsize MDX with three rows of seats into the 2010 ZDX hatchback with two rows.
No wonder the name carries an X.
ZDX is an all-wheel-drive car that provides all-season security and mobility for those who neither need nor want a bulbous SUV that takes TLC to park.
Acura aims the ZDX at those who don't have rug rats to haul, be they starting out or with an empty nest.
ZDX is loaded to the roof with luxury goodies, and that means whether passionate getaway or a simple trip, wise investing is necessary to have the funds to make it happen.
There are three versions: the base ZDX and then ones dressed with the Tech or Advance packages. The base ZDX starts at $45,495. Add the Tech package with leather seats, voice-activated navi with rearview camera, real-time traffic and weather reports, DVD audio system with AM/FM/satellite radio, Bluetooth and 10 speakers, and keyless entry with push-button start, and it goes to $49,995.
Go for the top-of-the-line Advance package: the Tech package plus goodies such as ventilated and heated front seats; adaptive cruise control that warns if too close to a vehicle ahead and eases off on the throttle and starts to apply the brakes; collision mitigation, which does the same as adaptive cruise control even when cruise isn't even engaged; blind-spot info system; and LED door-handle illumination, and watch the price swell to $56,045.
We tested the ZDX with the Advance package and found the navi crystal clear and easy on the eyes, a panoramic view from the backup camera and valuable readings on traffic and weather. If cars can show movies on DVD screens and clear views of what's behind on navi screens, when will they record the family vacation for viewing on those screens? Just asking.
The blind-spot info system is in the A pillar along the windshield and flashes yellow when a car approaches, which catches your attention only sometimes. An audible warning would be more noticeable, though the beeping each time a vehicle entered the no-see zone, which is fairly constant in rush hour, would be sooooo annoying.
The big plus with ZDX is the SH (sports handling) AWD system, good for on- or off-roading. The AWD system goes to work when slippage is detected. A schematic in the dash shows what wheels are in play when.
Handling is more car than SUV-like. A dial in the dash lets you switch into a firmer sports mode for better reaction to wheel input in corners and turns, but at a cost of jiggling over uneven patches in the road.
A 3.7-liter, 300-hp V-6, same as in the MDX, provides adequate power, especially considering Honda feels it will be carrying only couples on passionate getaways rather than a cabin of kids. Mileage rating is 16 city/23 highway, so couples can go where and when they want as long as they keep track of the gas stations along the way.
Ample room upfront, but the second-row seat can be tight for those with heads and knees. It doesn't help that the rear wheel wells take up some of the space usually reserved for the opening into and out of the rear seat. Rear seats fold flat to allow more cargo.
The cargo hold also has large storage bins under the floor. Very nice touch. Other neat features include a power hatch lid, panoramic sunroof with glass over front and rear (fixed) seats and a power shade, auxiliary and power plugs plus cell phone holders under the center armrest, and a voice-activated radio that comes to life with a simple "radio on." .
And you may have to look twice to see the rear door handles placed behind the windows, not on the doors. Novel touch.
Read Jim Mateja Sunday in Rides. Contact him at email@example.com.