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First Reviews2024 Acura ZDX First Drive Review: Looking to the Future, Inspired by...

2024 Acura ZDX First Drive Review: Looking to the Future, Inspired by the Past

The all-new Acura ZDX is good thanks to GM technology.


– The first and only joint vehicle between Acura and GM

– The ZDX is based on the Cadillac Lyriq

– Cadillac builds the ZDX at its Springhill plant in Tennessee

Pros:

  • Clean styling

  • Excellent standard technology

  • Plenty of power

Cons:

  • Fairly high price

  • Some impractical control configurations


Dorval, Quebec. Acura is finally making the shift to electrification, while revisiting its history. The choice of the ZDX name for this first electric foray, while laden with a mixed past, shows a desire for redemption and innovation. This model, the result of an unprecedented collaboration with Cadillac, uses the chassis and Ultium battery of the Cadillac Lyriq, marking the beginning of a new era for the brand. It’s also the end of the same era, as Honda has already announced that it will manufacture its own line of vehicles from 2026.

2024 Acura ZDX | Photo: Benoir Charette

Inspired design and advanced features

Inspired by the Precision concept, the ZDX’s styling successfully blends elegance and dynamism. Designers took inspiration from the chiselled contours of yachts to create fluid lines that are pleasing from every angle. Distinctive features, such as the V-shape at the front and the long hood, give the ZDX an imposing presence on the road. Despite similarities with the Cadillac Lyriq, the ZDX stands out for its unique design language, reinforcing its identity.

Cutting-edge technology for an exceptional driving experience

Acura brings innovation to the ZDX with the AcuraWatch driver assistance suite, which includes features such as rear cross-traffic braking and blind spot steering assistance. As an option, the AcuraWatch 360+ offers semi-autonomous driving as standard on the Type S model and as an option on the A-Spec model. With state-of-the-art connectivity, including Google, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, as well as Bang & Olufsen audio technology, the ZDX offers an immersive, highly connected driving experience.

2024 Acura ZDX | Photo: Benoir Charette

Luxury and comfort

The ZDX‘s spacious interior can accommodate up to five passengers, with bucket-inspired rear seats for optimum comfort. Ideally, you’ll have 4 passengers on board, as the 5th rear centre seat is narrower and less comfortable, even though it offers a headrest. Up front, the there’s a total of 22 inches of display screen. The instrument cluster is an 11-inch screen in addition to the central 11.3-inch infotainment touchscreen interface. Wireless connectivity is intuitive, and the touchscreen is easy to read and understand.

Two minor irritants, however. As soon as you take your eyes off the road for more than two seconds, the on-board computer emits a tiresome little sound to tell you that you’re distracted, and it’s impossible to move the vehicle forwards or backwards if your seatbelt isn’t fastened. The Cadillac Lyriq-like cabin is very quiet, and our test model’s adaptive suspension managed to level roads 364 and 327 in the Laurentians, which is no mean feat.

2024 Acura ZDX | Photo: Benoir Charette

Heavy but agile

The sport-tuned adaptive suspension and large Brembo brakes ensure exceptional handling, even on the roughest roads. With up to 500 horsepower and instant torque, the ZDX delivers impressive performance without compromising on comfort. Though not sporty, the ZDX is engaging. Our 500-hp Type S model can launch over 2.4 tonnes of metal to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds. You’ll never run out of power. There are different driving modes from Normal to Sport, Snow and Individual. We find the buttons for the different modes, located to the left and at the bottom of the steering wheel, rather awkwardly located. The same applies to single-pedal driving mode, which is in a menu on the central screen. These two functions should be placed in full reach of the driver’s right hand.

That said, the adjustable suspension is a major contributor to overall comfort and driveability. The huge 275/40/22 tires also play a large part in the handling. In Sport mode, you’ll feel more of a rush, without compromising comfort, which is our preferred mode on the winding Laurentian roads. On the highway, Normal mode does the trick nicely. In conclusion, the ZDX offers a weight distribution close to 50/50, with a low center of gravity that aids roadholding.

2024 Acura ZDX | Photo: Benoir Charette

Electric range and recharging solutions

Powered by GM’s Ultium battery technology, the ZDX offers a range of up to 489 km in A-Spec trim, or 447 km in our Type S model. DC fast charging, standard on all models, enables fast, efficient charging, with rates of up to 190 kW. To facilitate home charging, Acura offers a web-based platform providing customized home charging solutions tailored to individual customer needs. The ZDX uses GM’s Ultium battery technology and is equipped with the same 102.0 kWh battery as the Lyriq. In Canada, all ZDX models feature two electric motors and 4WD. The entry-level model is the ZDX A-Spec, which includes 490 hp and 437 lb-ft of torque. The top-of-the-range model is the Type S, which offers just 10 more horsepower at 500, but 544 lb-ft of torque. The latter is quicker thanks to its generous, instant torque.

Price and availability

The ZDX’s luxury is reflected in its price, with models starting at $88,560 for the A-Spec and reaching $94,760 for the Type S. A price that’s not within everyone’ reach, but it’s delivered with a level of equipment and driveability that justifies such an expense.

Conclusion

The new ZDX redeems the once-cursed name, offering a bold vision of the future of mobility. Despite its collaboration with GM and its high price tag, the ZDX stands out for its unique design, impressive performance, and cutting-edge technology. It promises a top-level driving experience in the electric vehicle segment.

2024 Acura ZDX | Photo: Benoir Charette
2024 Acura ZDX | Photo: Benoir Charette
2024 Acura ZDX | Photo: Benoir Charette

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