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The Bad 8 v4.0 Part 1 – Acura ZDX


The Acura ZDX, like most Acuras and many other luxury cars available today, has a really stupid name. ZDX means nothing. We can’t really hold this against the ZDX because, as mentioned before, even some Good 12 winners have stupid names. It’s still worth pointing out, however, that this stupid vehicle uses unspeakably misaligned nomenclature.

Far worse than the ZDX’s tri-lettered name is its design. Acura made the ZDX bulbous where it shouldn’t have been, concave where it should have been convex, and angular where smoothness was e-freaking-ssential. See how high the hood curves from one fender to the other with its highest peak right at the base of a steeply raked windshield? This is hard to accomplish on any vehicle, let alone a low-slung, high-riding crossover/SUV. The acres of space between the rear wheel and greenhouse is probably the worst slab-sided piece of metal on any current car; creating this weird optical illusion which causes the rear wheel to appear smaller than the front.

Acura continues this assault on the eyes. The ZDX’s grille is just like the grille on other Acuras, but of course it looks worse here because the disgusting face is joined to a thoroughly awkward body. Those twin inlets beneath the grille are intended to mimic the shape of the headlights. Instead, they make the Acura ZDX look like a cross-eyed kid with a runny nose. 

Is style the Acura ZDX’s only problem? No, not in the least. The ZDX costs more than the roomier, better-looking Acura MDX. Much of what’s good about the MDX is taken away, and Acura expects you to pay for the restrictions they’ve placed on the ZDX. No thanks.


Alternatives: Audi Q5, Acura MDX, picking your nose in public, or wearing leather pants.

Base USD/CAD Price: $45,495 / $55,990

Improvements Required: Not every SUV/CUV needs to be capacious. The ZDX can stay small inside and still make gains in desirability. But the ZDX is most nonsensical because it’s ugly, small, and expensive. How ’bout maintaining the small, keeping the sportyishness, and making the price justifiable by building a beautiful 2012 Acura ZDX?

Historical Significance: The Acura ZDX is not as bad as the Pontiac Aztek.