$13,569 - $17,401

2011 Acura ZDX Performance Review

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


Performance: 8.0

The 2011 Acura ZDX has a capable V6 engine and standard all-wheel drive. Most test drivers say the ZDX is fun to drive, but some aren’t as impressed, saying it merely gets the job done. The EPA says that the 2011 ZDX gets 16/23 mpg city/highway, with a combined rating of 19 mpg. The standard all-wheel drive helps give the ZDX sportier handling, reviewers say, and it drives more like a sports sedan than writers expect from an SUV. Still, its high curb weight keeps it from driving like a true sport-tuned vehicle.

  • "This engine along with the Super Handling All Wheel Drive adds up to one powerful and extremely fast coupe that is ready for the road." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The ZDX is meant to drive something like a conventional luxury car, and it comes close. The big difference is that the floor is a bit higher off the ground than a car's, giving the ZDX more of an SUV-like feel." -- BusinessWeek
  • "The ZDX will never be mistaken for a performance vehicle -- it honestly isn't enjoyable to drive hard -- but rest assured the Acura can handle the mission if it's ever called for duty." -- Autoblog
  • "While its most direct competitor, the 300-horse twin-turbo BMW X6 xDrive 35i, is quicker to 60 (5.9 seconds) and around the skidpad (0.87 g), the ZDX is more fun to drive." -- Motor Trend

Acceleration and Power

The ZDX has the same engine as its roomier sibling, the Acura MDX -- a 3.7-liter V6 that makes 300 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Most reviewers say the engine offers plenty of power, although one or two say the ZDX’s weight makes it more sluggish than they would like. The MDX has similar sports-sedan performance, since the two SUVs share an engine and are similar in weight. So, if you’re shopping the ZDX for its car-like performance, keep an eye on the MDX. It also offers more seating, more cargo space, and a lower price than the ZDX with an equally luxurious interior.

The ZDX comes standard with all-wheel drive and gets 16/23 mpg city/highway, which is about average for an AWD midsize SUV.

  • "ZDX's V6 offers enough power for just about any situation; only long hill climbs fatigue it. The transmission is smooth and furnishes prompt downshifts." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The ZDX's powertrain is one of Acura's best. All 300 horsepower and 270 pound feet of torque are sent to the ground via … [a] 6-speed automatic." -- Motor Trend
  • "The 3.7-liter V-6 romps quickly up the rev range, catches a shrieking second wind between 4,000 and 5,000 rpm and the new-for-ZDX six-speed automatic snaps up to the next gear so quickly your senses almost don't notice." -- USA TODAY
  • "This engine along with the Super Handling All Wheel Drive adds up to one powerful and extremely fast coupe that is ready for the road." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "It's an excellent powerplant, but not exactly engaging for the enthusiast with its unoriginal soundtrack mostly coming from under the hood (we were told the exhaust was tuned for duty in the ZDX, but you really can't hear the rear silencers from within the cabin). The six-speed transmission shifts nearly imperceptibly and it responds well to the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters." -- Autoblog

Handling and Braking

Acura includes all-wheel drive standard on the ZDX, giving it sportier handling than many midsize SUVs. Some reviewers suggest opting for the $10,500 Advance package; its Integrated Dynamic System (IDS) allows the driver to choose a tighter or smoother suspension depending on the roads or the driving experience they want.  However, this brings the total price up to $56,195 – only $805 less than the BMW X6. If you’re not planning to run your ZDX on a test course or a race track anytime soon, you’ll probably be able to do without the Advance package.

  • "Overall, ZDX is fairly car-like with well-checked body lean and decent cornering ability; it deftly handles narrow twisties. When selected, the Advance package's Sport suspension mode firms up the steering and provides crisper handling." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Low steering effort and sharp throttle response enable the ZDX to feel lighter than its base curb weight of 4424 pounds, and that sensation of relative nimbleness continued as we steered the car though Malibu's tight canyon roads." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "SH-AWD helps this deceptively long coupe carve canyons with surprising aplomb. A tight chassis and finely resolved electric power steering conspire to make this the best handling SUVesque vehicle Acura has ever made." -- Motor Trend
  • "The high-end model, Advance, has an adjustable suspension. The driver chooses ‘sport' for feisty moves or ‘comfort' when the road's a beast. Each setting automatically adjusts within a range. The test car with that system was a dream. Comfort was smooth, not sloppy; sport was firm, not harsh." -- USA TODAY

Find the Best Price

Enter your zip code to get local pricing.

Get Dealer Quotes

To get dealer quotes, enter your zip code.

Search Used Listings

To search used listings, enter your zip code.

Change Location

Enter your zip code to see listings near you.

Please enter a valid zipcode

Best Price Program

Interested in a New?

Use the U.S. News Best Price Program to find great deals and get upfront pricing on the.