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2013 Acura ZDX Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Acura ZDX was new.


Performance: 7.7

Reviewers indicate that the 2013 Acura ZDX’s performance may be its greatest asset. They say the ZDX provides reasonable power for most situations and has a smooth-shifting transmission. Its handling, say critics, is both compliant and composed, thanks in part to the ZDX’s standard all-wheel drive.

  • "The 2013 Acura ZDX offers a relatively enjoyable driving experience, provided you can arrange yourself and the mirrors to see out of the vehicle." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2011)
  • "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 (2010)
  • "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 (2010)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Acura ZDX is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 that makes 300 horsepower. Power is routed through a six-speed automatic transmission. According to the EPA, the ZDX gets 16/23 mpg city/highway, which is typical for an all-wheel drive SUV.

Reviewers have mostly positive comments about the powertrain. They say it’s peppy enough for most situations, but they find that the engine is occasionally overmatched by the ZDX’s high curb weight, particularly on hills. Critics say the transmission is responsive and shifts smoothly.

  • "The V6 bogs down a bit on long hill climbs, but overall, ZDX has fine power, aided by a smooth transmission." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The ZDX's standard 300-horsepower V6 is capable of getting this rather large vehicle up to speed, but not with the velocity its sporty looks might suggest. With a curb weight of more than 4,450 pounds, there's just a lot of mass to move." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2010)
  • "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 (2010)

Handling and Braking

The 2013 ZDX comes standard with Acura’s Super-Handling all-wheel drive system. Many reviewers say that it does a great job of improving handling through corners and on wet road surfaces. Otherwise, they report that the ZDX has a car-like, comfortable ride. A reviewer also praises the predictable nature of the ZDX’s steering.

  • "The highlight of the ZDX is actually its standard Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). This sophisticated system offers great grip in corners and on slippery roads." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The standard setup rides just fine, with good bump absorption and little in the way of unwanted secondary motions. ZDX doesn't quite match the tenacious grip of the BMW X6, but it's reasonably car-like in most every driving situation. It takes turns predictably and with good grip thanks to its standard all-wheel drive." -- Consumer Guide

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