The 2012 Acura ZDX SH-AWD is an interesting car to look at. It’s sleek and sporty, built with the looks and performance of a sports coupe combined with the practicality of an SUV.

It’s a luxurious vehicle, one I could get used to driving on an every day basis, though the price tag isn’t something my wallet would be able to afford with a price tag starting at around $56,000. That being said, the ZDX is a beauty with its sharp lines and smooth curves, very easy on the eyes from many angles. The looks I received from people as I drove by or stood waiting at a red light were incredible – it’s definitely a head turner.

2012 Acura ZDX SH-AWD
2012 Acura ZDX SH-AWD

A number of reviewers and car enthusiasts have stated that they aren’t pleased with the look of the ZDX, saying it’s still far from the form of an athletic sports coupe. Considering it is a cross between a sports car and an SUV, and is supposed to resemble both cars (not one more than the other), I personally, think it’s a fine mix of two worlds melded together without losing its sportiness feel.

The ZDX is based on it’s bigger brother, the MDX, and has many similar elements but in a smaller dose. Take the seating for example. The MDX seats 7 people spaciously while the ZDX only seats 5, which makes sense as it’s purpose is to be a smaller vehicle, but with the best features from both the sports coupe and SUV worlds.

Just because I think it’s a fabulous car, doesn’t mean it’ll work for everyone. It’s been designed for a specific market as all vehicles are, and those are the people who will really enjoy all the ZDX has to offer, regardless of what reviewers such as myself or anyone else for that matter have to say about it.

I was pleasantly surprised with its cargo space, and it’s the one thing I’ve been very impressed with from Honda and Acura – that they are consistent when it comes to their trunk size and its depth too. It’s very deceiving when you look at a car and how it’s been designed, and one is quick to assume that there’s not much space for storage, especially the way the roof slopes in the back of the ZDX. Granted it’s not as much room as the compact 2012 Honda Fit or the 2012 Acura TL Elite for that matter, but it has more room than the MDX. Honda/Acura never cease to amaze me when it comes to this department.

Another aspect I was pleased with was how easy it was to get in and out of the ZDX. With the MDX, I found it challenging to get in and out of the driver’s side as there was not a lot of space to wiggle around. The ZDX was a bit more spacious, hence making it simpler to enter and exit the front seat. The interior design was gorgeous, something Acura never compromises on, with high quality leather seats. It was keyless entry and had an engine start button, as most of their vehicles now come equipped with. The entertainment system was great and easy to use, with amazing sound, and bluetooth for iPod connectivity and use of your hands-free smartphone.

The best part of this vehicle by far, was getting behind the wheel and taking it on the road. That’s when you really feel what a vehicle is made of, that’s where the fun begins. The power of this vehicle was exhilarating, and with a 3.7L V6 engine producing over 300 horsepower, it’s no wonder why this bad boy was so fast and very quick to reach over 100km/hr in a few seconds flat. It’s easy to handle, and doesn’t lag when accelerating, something I found the MDX did. In the MDX’s defence, it’s also a larger vehicle, so I’m sure that also needs to be taken into consideration when comparing the way it handles and accelerates.

photo 5 copyThe ZDX was also good on gas, with mostly city driving and a few highway trips, its fuel consumption in a week’s worth of driving was a lot better than the MDX, though it still can’t compare to the Honda Fit or even the Acura TL. I also got the chance to drive it in snowy weather, and unlike being behind the wheel of a sports car which can be quite scary when the roads are slippery, the ZDX handled quite well.

I loved the overall driving experience of the 2012 Acura ZDX – it made for a great drive on the open road, it was comfortable for myself and my kiddies in the back, it gave me loads of room for storage, it was efficient and made me feel safe while behind the wheel, being able to stop and go when necessary. Lest I forget the rear-view camera, which was absolutely amazing, making backing into my driveway a breeze. Thank you to whomever’s great mind came up with this feature, it’s so beneficial.

For more on the ZDX check out www.acura.ca.

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