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Acura’s ZDX Is Late To The Party But Well Worth The Wait

April 23rd, 2010 by

Acura ZDX
Photo Courtesy of Acura

April in New York City means many things, among them unexpected rainstorms, crowded brunch patios, and large crowds at the annual New York International Auto Show. Many auto manufacturers choose the NY show as a venue at which to debut new production models and innovative concept vehicles, so it came as no surprise when Acura held a private demonstration of its new ZDX crossover vehicle. With the auto expo taking place at the Chelsea Art Museum, the ZDX was fittingly nestled amongst photography displays, video projections and sculptures with a fluid, mobile aesthetic. Eric Madigan Heck’s striking photography complimented the original ZDX design from Michelle Christensen, Acura’s first female designer.

Acura ZDX
Photo Credit: Brent Gairy

An attempt to compete in the booming market of four-door cars that share features with SUVs like the Infinity EX35 and BMW X6, the ZDX is the first vehicle to emerge from Acura’s dedicated design studio in Torrance, California. Despite its overt sleekness and undeniably clutch technological add ins, the initial reception for the ZDX has been mixed. Some praise the flowing lines and sculpted wheelbase, while others view those same elements as a retread of the similarly polarizing Plymouth Aztek. As a tech head, I loved the 15GB hard drive designed for portable music players and the 8” “real-time” navigation package, as well as the 10 speaker surround sound system. Equally impressive were the hand-stitched leather dash, door panels and sculpted console, all covered by an enormous glass panoramic roof, which the Acura rep was quick to point out is the largest in the industry.

Acura ZDX
Photo Credit: Brent Gairy

Now that the show is over, the big question is whether or not Acura’s late entry into the increasingly crowded crossover market will pay off. Right now it’s hard to say, but I do commend them for creating an elegant experience that smartly displayed the ZDX as an artistic luxury vehicle.

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