Best Bet
  • (4.3) 6 reviews
  • MSRP: $24,645–$29,513
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 19
  • Engine: 300-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 (premium)
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel Drive
  • Seats: 5
2013 Acura ZDX

Our Take on the Latest Model 2013 Acura ZDX

What We Don't Like

  • So-so gas mileage
  • Calls for premium gas
  • 1,500-pound towing capacity
  • Mixed reviews on styling

Notable Features

  • Minor exterior styling changes
  • New safety features
  • Final model year for the ZDX
  • Seats five
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • 300-hp V-6

2013 Acura ZDX Reviews

Cars.com Expert Reviews

The Acura ZDX's wild looks draw stares from young and old, but the flash can't cover up the fact that this SUV is impractical and, worse yet, not that fun to drive.

These unfortunate attributes are likely the reason the ZDX has failed to sell well since it was introduced as a 2010 model, and why it will no longer be built after the last 2013s leave dealer lots.

Are there redeeming qualities about the ZDX? Yes, but as I discovered during my time with it, as much as I wanted to love this strange beast, it let me down … often.

Performance
In the world of automotive performance, sometimes numbers can be deceiving. For example, a 200-horsepower engine can feel very fast if it's attached to a light car. And while a 300-hp, 3.7-liter engine powers the ZDX, there's no escaping the Acura's hefty curb weight of more than 4,400 pounds.

That's lighter than Acura's larger MDX SUV, but the ZDX doesn't feel sprightlier. In fact, at times it feels like it's driving over flypaper as you mash down on the accelerator; it just doesn't feel like it wants to get anywhere in a hurry. Other editors noticed the same lack of guts.

So … maybe the wide track and all-wheel drive make the ZDX a blast on twisty roads?

Nope. While there's plenty of grip to go around, the power-assisted hydraulic steering is imprecise at speeds above 30 mph. The wheel feels too light in your hands and doesn't respond appropriately. At low speeds, the steering feel actually gets heavier, making it more laborious to navigate parking lots. Typically, you want steering to do the opposite. (Audi is well-known for this, responding with a light touch when you need it and firmer responses at higher speeds.)

These two gripes ruin what could otherwise be a decent daily driver. The ride isn't overly firm, as you might expect from an SUV with sporty intentions, and the ZDX is relatively quiet considering all that rubber — 255/50 tires on standard 19-inch wheels. The ZDX's brakes, like the accelerator, take more effort to engage than I'd like.

As you'd expect from the exterior design, visibility isn't terrific, either. The side windows rake upward, thinning to a point that leaves a significant blind spot over your right shoulder. The split rear window is similar to the Toyota Prius and a few other hatchbacks on the market, and you do acclimate to it over time.

Mileage is rated 16/23 mpg city/highway, 19 mpg combined, which is on par with the 19 mpg combined rating of the BMW X6 xDrive35i and one up on the Acura MDX and Infiniti's FX37 all-wheel drive's mileage. I would say the only one of the bunch that feels energizing to drive is the Infiniti, but it, too, is showing its age in terms of interior and features.

Interior & Cargo
Because it's nearing the end of the road, it's unfortunate the ZDX won't receive the button-cleansing revamps many other Acuras are going through, like the RLX and MDX. Instead, you're still welcomed to the driver's seat by a steering wheel adorned with 14 buttons and a center control panel swarmed by 32 more, along with two knobs and a couple of rocker switches to control the temperature.

The controls are arrayed in a logical fashion, but that doesn't necessarily make them logical to use. The large knob at the center manipulates navigation, stereo and other functions on the LCD touch-screen above it. The knob is rather large, which is nice, but the back button directly above it is hard to reach with so much bulk in the way.

The front seats are wide and well-bolstered, and I found them quite comfortable over extended commutes and drives of more than 90 minutes. There's less room in back than you'd find in the MDX, but it's perfectly acceptable for short trips for adult passengers or longer ones for children in car seats, like mine enjoyed.

Cargo space is rated at 27.5 cubic feet, which is a step beyond the X6 at 25.6 cubic feet and the FX at 24.8 cubic feet. Many shoppers interested in the ZDX probably were converted to the practicality of the MDX and its 42.9 cubic feet of storage behind the second row. It has three rows of seats, while the ZDX, X6 and FX have just two rows. You can compare all four here.

The ZDX also has some nifty compartments in the cargo area, with hard plastic panels carpeted to match the floor. Removing two of them on the sides reveals a large cutout for a golf bag. There's also extensive underfloor storage. The problem with the cargo area isn't the size; it's the height. The ZDX's cargo floor was gut-high on me, and I'm 5-foot-10. My medium-sized boxer was barely able to leap into the back on her own, and she can really jump. Hauling loads from Costco or the garden center would become a tiring chore pretty quickly.

Safety
The ZDX comes with a standard suite of airbags, including side-impact ones for the driver and front passenger. It has a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but hasn't been fully tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

ZDX in the Market
Since the ZDX is leaving the market, there's little to say besides we're sad to see its funky styling leave our streets. I loved the looks of the test car in my driveway; what can I say? But the public has spoken, and they're not buying.

After testing it, I can see why it will be hard to find anyone new willing to take a chance on the ZDX as it leaves the world of new cars to enter the annals of automotive history, along with other fondly remembered but awkward vehicles like the Isuzu Vehicross and Subaru SVX.

Send David an email  


Consumer Reviews

(4.3)

Average based on 6 reviews

Write a Review

Slow acceleration but still fun

by Chester from Los Angeles, CA on July 23, 2017

Feels like car lacks initial acceleration, sometimes need to really step on it to get it going fast. Other than that, very fun to drive. Materials are quality are top notch.

Read All Consumer Reviews

1 Trim Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2013 Acura ZDX trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Acura ZDX Articles

2013 Acura ZDX Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

Recalls

There is currently 1 recall for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $3,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

48mo/50,000mi

Powertrain

72mo/70,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

48mo/50,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years