Electrifying Performance: A First Drive of the 2024 Acura ZDX Type S, the Brand’s Inaugural EV

Electrifying Performance: A First Drive of the 2024 Acura ZDX Type S, the Brand’s Inaugural EV

Critique: The inaugural electric vehicle from Acura, the 2024 ZDX Type S, remains true to the brand’s essence. This vehicle introduces Honda’s luxury division into the EV market with a five-seater, midsize crossover SUV.

Aesthetically, it’s unmistakably an Acura, with dimensions nearly mirroring their most popular vehicle, the MDX midsize crossover. However, the electric version features distinct proportions, standing 3 inches shorter with a wheelbase extended by 8 inches.

The recently unveiled ZDX, which shares its name with a previous Acura model available between 2010-2013, is manufactured by General Motors and is based on their Ultium electric vehicle platform, also utilized by the Honda Prologue, the counterpart from Acura’s parent company. The estimated range provided by the EPA fluctuates, presenting 313 miles for the entry-level rear-wheel-drive ZDX A-Spec, and dropping to 278 miles for the flagship Type S variant, equipped with all-wheel drive as a standard feature. The all-wheel-drive version of the ZDX A-Spec falls in the middle, offering a range of 304 miles.

Towards the end of April, we dedicated over four hours to maneuvering the Acura ZDX throughout Santa Barbara, California. Each of the vehicles we tested were the premium Type S variant, thus we’re unable to provide insights on how they contrast with the A-Spec versions.

Upcoming Model of Acura ZDX Set

Upcoming 2024 Model of the A

Upcoming Acura ZDX Model for

The Acura ZDX, both in its interior and exterior design, is expected to attract MDX drivers who are ready to switch to an electric vehicle. However, it doesn’t have the third-row seats found in the MDX, and it’s not as performance-focused as other models from Acura. Nevertheless, for those in the market for an SUV, this compromise is probably manageable.

The upcoming 2024 ZDX unmistakably reflects Acura’s design ethos, from its interior to its exterior. Although the front shield-like „grille“ is merely a cover, the creative team has successfully minimized the perceived stature of this midsize SUV. This optical illusion is achieved through various design elements: a molded front bottom section featuring linear ridges, the choice of a dark-colored roof, a metallic strip framing the window edges—which received quite diverse reactions—and a silvery curve beneath the door panels.

Unfortunately, the space under the elongated hood isn’t utilized for a front trunk. Instead, Acura and GM’s team decided to place the power electronics and charging components in that area, missing out on the advantage of having an EV ’skateboard‘ chassis design that typically allows for extra storage.

2024 Model of Acura ZDX

The ZDX has a rapid charging capability and includes navigation for trips

Acura states that the ZDX’s 102-kwh battery can be powered up to 190 kw, allowing it to gain approximately 81 miles of range with just 10 minutes connected to a high-speed charger. However, this scenario assumes perfect conditions such as a nearly depleted battery, ideal temperature for both the surroundings and the battery, and access to a high-capacity charger. For a typical journey involving a charge from 20% to 80%, the estimated time is around 42 minutes.

Acura has announced that the ZDX will utilize Google Assistant to direct drivers to electric vehicle charging points when the journey is beyond the car’s battery capacity. Additionally, the electric SUV is designed to prepare its battery while on the move to allow for quicker charging times. During our brief test drive, we didn’t get the chance to experiment with the navigation features. We attempted to power up our demo ZDX, however, the sole CCS charging point accessible before our time constraint was occupied, postponing that evaluation until we can access a vehicle for an extended period.

2024 Model of Acura ZDX

During our different driving segments, we observed energy consumption rates between 2.2 to 2.4 miles per kilowatt-hour, which is below the average for electric SUVs. However, this was expected considering the vehicle’s three-ton weight and the hilly terrain coupled with significant stretches at the speed limits typical of California highways.

Acura has adopted a unique strategy by providing customers with three distinct charging equipment options. The first is a Level 2 home charging unit accompanied by a $500 installation subsidy and $100 for public charging use. For those who prefer not to have a fixed charging setup, Acura offers a portable charger with $250 assistance for setup costs and $300 worth of public charging credits. Lastly, for customers unable to charge at their residence, there’s an alternative to receive $750 in credits for public charging stations. Acura has cleverly avoided the trap of promising „unlimited“ public charging, which other car companies use as an enticement. This often results in drivers who have the capability to charge at home congesting public charging stations simply because they don’t have to pay.

The 2024 model of the Acura

Acura has announced that the 2024 ZDX models will be equipped with the CCS charging port. However, they plan to switch to the Tesla-style NACS connector for the vehicles released in the 2025 model year. It’s advisable to verify this information as the beginning of next year approaches to ensure accuracy.

Acura’s latest ZDX takes the title as its fastest SUV to date, emphasizing the brand’s commitment to high-performance vehicles. Despite its impressive speed, the ZDX is considerably hefty, weighing nearly 1,200 pounds more than the MDX, even though both have similar dimensions. The vehicle is equipped with an all-wheel-drive electric system that achieves a nearly perfect weight balance, and it features an air suspension system with adaptive dampers. This system includes a Sport Mode which lowers the vehicle by 15 mm for a sportier feel. For challenging weather, the Snow Mode increases clearance by 25 mm and modifies the traction control. Additionally, there’s an Individual Mode for drivers to customize the steering, suspension, and power settings, although it’s anticipated that this feature may not see frequent use.

2024 model of the Acura ZDX

The A-Spec model with all-wheel drive boasts a power output of 360 kilowatts (490 horsepower), but the Type S model manages to squeeze out a bit more strength, reaching close to 500 horsepower, as stated by product planning manager Jonathon Rivers. Additionally, the Type S is capable of generating up to 544 pound-feet of torque, surpassing even the torque of the second-generation NSX sports car, which is equipped with a V-6 engine and three electric motors placed in the middle of the car. The standard A-Spec version operates with a single motor delivering 263 kilowatts (358 horsepower) to the rear wheels.

Our Type S model comes equipped with large Brembo brakes featuring six-piston front calipers that grip onto 15.6-inch rotors in the front (and 13.6 inches in the back). These calipers are coated in a vivid yellow to highlight the ZDX’s performance-focused design, and they effectively brought the 6,050-pound Type S to a halt during urgent braking situations. The vehicle sits on 22-inch rims, with all-season tires included as the standard offering. However, there’s also the choice to upgrade to high-performance tires for an additional cost of $1,000.

The standard driving setting mimics the sensation of a traditional car with an automatic gearbox, obviously without any gear changes. The ride quality was generally pleasant across various terrains, offering solid shock absorption and a smooth experience. However, the Sport setting was somewhat disappointing in terms of increased power; while it made the suspension more rigid, it also introduced a bit of roughness, and the steering became both more responsive and easier to maneuver.

Upcoming 2024 Model of Acura

Upcoming 2024 Acura ZDX

Upcoming 2024 Acura ZDX

Activating a fixed icon located at the upper section of the touchscreen displays a menu for the ‚One Pedal Driving‘ feature, which defaults to the ‚Normal‘ setting. (A second tap deactivates regenerative braking entirely.) However, to engage the most potent level of regenerative braking, additional steps are necessary: the driver must select ‚Set Level‘ followed by opting for the ‚High‘ setting from an ensuing dropdown menu. The process appears overly complicated and could potentially be streamlined into one straightforward popup to minimize distraction.

The interior of the ZDX boasts front seats that can be adjusted electronically and offer a comfortable seating experience. It features attractive perforated Milano leather seats with contrasting thread details, and the Type S version we tested was enhanced with embossed logos for an added touch of style. Additionally, the absence of a driveline hump and a flat floor space in front of the spacious back seat allows for a more comfortable ride for three adults compared to similar crossover vehicles.

The upcoming 2024 Acura ZDX is set to include built-in Google applications that are

The ZDX ensures inclusion of both CarPlay and Android Auto

Every variant is equipped with an 11.0-inch digital display for the driver, with the Type S model enhancing the experience with a head-up display. Integrated within the entertainment system is the Google Assistant. The central 11.3-inch touchscreen boasts large, easily targetable icons. In contrast to some GM EVs using Ultium, the ZDX supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. We conducted tests with both types of smartphones using wireless navigation projected onto the car’s system, and the functionality was seamless. However, the mere mention of „Google“ during use seemed to cause a hiccup with the Apple Maps application, prompting the vehicle to activate and await further instructions.

The broad panel situated between the seats is designed to hold a pair of sizable cups and two smartphones positioned next to each other. There’s a compartment in front of the main armrest that not only charges phones wirelessly but also conceals their displays to deter the driver from stealing a peek or engaging in more dangerous activities. The dashboard features prominent buttons and dials that handle common tasks such as adjusting the sound system and managing air flow. Additionally, there’s a substantial space beneath the front section of the panel that’s perfect for storing small items like a backpack or handbag, which blends seamlessly into the dark gray tones of the dashboard and panel, as well as the black floor covering.

Upcoming 2024 Acura ZDX

The space for storage behind the second set of seats is ample at 28.7 cubic feet, expanding to 62 cubic feet when these seats are collapsed. However, the backrests of the seats do not completely lie flat, creating a slight unevenness. This doesn’t majorly hinder loading, but it doesn’t provide a completely level surface extending to the front seats either.

The ZDX comes equipped with a comprehensive active safety system, featuring a standard suite of driver-assistance technologies such as automated emergency braking and active lane management, among numerous additional features not specified here.

Upcoming 2024 Model of Acura

The selection of models for the 2024 Acura ZDX has been streamlined, offering either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive in the A-Spec variants, along with the more luxurious Type S. The choices for customization are few, but every vehicle comes with keyless entry as a basic feature, with the added options of using a key-card or smartphone for access. A standout inclusion across the ZDX range is the 18-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, which is set to become a standard component in other Acura models starting in 2025.

The manufacturing of the ZDX takes place in the same Spring Hill, Tennessee facility where the Cadillac Lyriq is produced. Consequently, according to Acura, it’s anticipated to be eligible for the $7,500 electric vehicle tax incentive that, starting January 1, can be deducted immediately from the vehicle’s listed price, lowering the purchase price. Acura has informed us of their projection to roll out 20,000 ZDX units this year, with an annual target of 30,000 units for the following years.

Acura covered the costs of flights, accommodation, and food for Green Car Reports, allowing them to deliver a firsthand account of the driving experience.

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