2011 Acura ZDX Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2011 Acura ZDX was new.


Interior: 8.2

Reviewers rave about ZDX’s quality cabin and high-tech features. However, they have serious problems with its cramped rear-seat passenger space, especially since Acura has priced it like a midsize SUV. They also have qualms about its rearward visibility, which is hampered by a sharply sloping roofline and thick rear pillars.

  • "Beautiful interior, excellent seats, outstanding fit and finish, quiet at any speed." -- Car and Driver
  • "The cabin is trimmed in top-notch materials, including supple leather with detail stitching. Non-leather surfaces are nicely grained, soft-touch plastics." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The ZDX's interior is absolutely gorgeous, with a beautiful curved dash and soft, natural-grain leather throughout. I've driven numerous luxury cars, including many far more expensive than the ZDX, and I don't recall ever seeing interior leather with such a quality look and feel to it." -- BusinessWeek
  • "Acura has long struggled to reach the heights of competitors such as Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz in the luxury department, but the ZDX steps up the company's game. While still retaining a driver focus, the cabin gains a nice contoured band of stitched leather." -- CNET
  • "The cockpit of this Acura is one of the nicest we've seen, period. It doesn't really break any new ergonomic ground, although everything is right where it should be. What makes it truly stand out is the design, which puts the driver and passenger in comfortable and attractive ‘pods,’ and the quality and tactile feel of the surfaces." -- Jalopnik


One of the Acura ZDX’s weaknesses is its rear seating space. While the front seats are comfortable, the rear seats are especially cramped due to the Acura's sloping roofline. Getting in and out of the rear seats is also particularly difficult.

Optional heated and ventilated seats are available with the $10,000-plus Advance Package. Many reviewers say that the ZDX’s interior space is great for two adults who occasionally carry  people in the back seat.

To seat five comfortably, consider the Lincoln MKT, which provides a roomy rear seat and costs about $1,000 less than the ZDX. If you prefer three rows of seating, take a look at the more family-friendly Acura MDX, which provides seating for seven and costs $3,100 less than the ZDX. The third row on the MDX is not quite adult-friendly, but the second row is far more comfortable for larger passengers than the second row in the ZDX.

  • "The sloped rear roof line cuts into headroom, but there's enough space for smaller adults; most everyone will require more legroom. The small second-row door opens wider than expected, but the opening is fairly narrow, hindering ingress and egress. The low roof also requires some hunching to get into the back seat." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Demerits? A few, namely the challenging ingress/egress and a cramped back seat." -- Motor Trend
  • "The ZDX's backseat dimensions are closer to those of the MDX's third row than its adult-sized second row." -- Cars.com
  • "In a pinch, you could squeeze three adults into the back, but the seat is only really designed for two. Another inconvenience: There are no storage bins built into the rear doors." -- BusinessWeek
  • "To be fair, existing children will fit back there, but double-income couples with more than two friends, or only two friends who happen to be over five-foot-nine, will need to take another car for longer Passionate Getaways." -- Jalopnik

Interior Features

Reviewers say that the interior of the 2011 ZDX is typical Acura; excellent fit and finish, luxurious materials, and lavish features. The $4,500 Technology Package includes high-tech features like Acura's navigation system (with voice recognition and real-time traffic/weather), a premium 10-speaker audio system, XM Satellite Radio, and a 15-Gigabyte media storage system. The Advance model adds ventilated front seats and several advanced safety systems to the above features, though it does add $10,500 to the ZDX’s sticker price. Although some reviewers are overwhelmed by the number of buttons on the dashboard, most say it's intuitive enough to learn quickly.

  • "The sculpted instrument panel is a typical Acura design trait, but its two-tone scheme, trimmed in stitched leather, is nothing short of sumptuous." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "A lot of time and effort was spent in determining the best materials for surfaces in the ZDX, and it was time well spent. The leather, which Acura selects and applies by hand using techniques developed specifically for this car, is of especially high quality and is a tactile delight. Plastics are few but sturdy and soft-touch where they occur." -- Jalopnik
  • "Acura calls their center dashboard stack the Monolith, and although its dark-polished look doesn't quite gel with the sumptuousness of the concave ribbon of hand-stitched leather stretching across the dashboard, the central multifunction knob intuitively navigates through menu functions." -- Popular Mechanics


The 2011 Acura ZDX has 26.3 cubic feet of space with the second row up. Folding the second row down more than doubles that space, expanding it to 55.8 cubic feet. Both of these number are very low compared to most SUVs in the class. For instance, the Lexus RX 350 provides 40 cubic feet with the second row in use and 80.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, and the smaller Cadillac SRX provides 61.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

If you need a utilitarian SUV, the ZDX isn't a good choice. You can stay within the Acura brand by opting for the MDX, which provides a maximum 83.5 cubic feet with all seats folded down. Keep in mind, though, that with all seats in use, the MDX only provides 15 cubic feet of cargo space, which is comparable to a midsize car.

One clever cargo feature the ZDX does have is that the two panels on the walls of the cargo area can be removed to make more space for larger items like luggage or golf bags.

  • "Cargo capacity is comically small, but Acura imagines those rear seats folded down to accommodate golf bags, suitcases or a tidy haul from the antique shop." -- Motor Trend
  • "Small-items storage is decent and comprised of a fairly shallow glovebox; a deep, two-tiered center console; and several small cubbies. The rear seat backs fold completely flat. The cargo area is surprisingly shallow and suffers from high liftover. Hidden side-panel and under-floor storage spaces compensate somewhat." -- Consumer Guide

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