2013 Acura ZDX: A Few Changes, Identity Crisis Still Intact

October 10, 2012
A minor refresh plus a reconfigured feature set are headed to the 2013 Acura ZDX. And then it's history.

The slow-selling ZDX, which was never missing beauty and aesthetic charm but always missing a clear purpose, as we saw it, has been whittled down to a single configuration, and Acura announced that this will be its final model year.

On the outside, there's a redesigned front grille, a new front and rear bumper design with integrated parking sensors, power-folding auto-dimming side mirrors, and new dark accents for the wheels. Inside are new high-contrast interior option, and the center console gets a new trim finish.

A head-scratcher from the start

In our full review of the ZDX we called it “less practical than a real SUV” but “too tall to be a real coupe.” And in a follow-up drive with the ZDX back in 2010, we again struggled to grasp Acura's intent with it, and it seemed like a vehicle with a baked-in identity crisis. Beyond the gorgeous, coupe-like exterior was an interior with luxury appointments but readily apparent limitations and compromises. Although built on some of the same underpinnings as the Acura MDX and Honda Pilot utility vehicles, the ZDX's low roofline and tapering body made the tight backseat less usable than in some true coupes, while a higher-than-expected cargo floor didn't leave much space under the hatch.

On the other hand, we found the ZDX surprisingly fun to drive fast, with its eager 300-hp V-6 and paddle-shifters, and while it incorporated the SH-AWD system that gave it secure footing under power, we wouldn't exactly say it handled like a sports coupe.

According to Automotive News, Acura sold just 642 of them in the first nine months of 2012, and the ZDX's total sales since it went on sale in late 2009 totals just over 5,500 units.

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