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First Drive: 2010 Acura ZDX

Missing the strike zone.

by on Nov.17, 2009

Is it a sports coupe, a crossover, a wagon...or...?  The Acura 2010 ZDX.

Is it a sports coupe, crossover, wagon...or...?

This year marks the 20th anniversary for Japan’s two largest luxury brands, Lexus and Infiniti, but it’s easy to forget that they were latecomers to the high-line market, following a half decade after the introduction of Acura.  With its original Legend sedan, Honda’s up-market division disproved the naysayers who argued the Japanese would never be able to build a word-class luxury car.

Unfortunately, over the years, Acura has had, at best, a mixed record with the models that have followed the original four-door.  It’s pitched some great ones at the market, including the MDX, the TL and the RL, but the marque’s latest model doesn’t even come close to the strike zone.

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The 2010 Acura ZDX is probably the weakest product to join the maker’s line-up since its early mid-size Vigor.  Indeed, it’s difficult to understand what Acura was trying to achieve with the new ZDX, which comes across as the automotive equivalent of a platypus, part crossover/SUV, part truck, part sport coupe.  In this case, it all adds up to less than the sum of its parts.