2012 Acura ZDX Walk Around

Designed in keeping with Acura's Keen Edge theme, the ZDX flaunts dramatic planes and contours. To get the aggressive haunches that distinguish this crossover, Acura produced a rear quarter panel that required extraordinary stamping procedures. With the deepest draw of any panel the company has ever produced, great care had to be taken with die design to avoid wrinkling or tearing of the metal skin.

A long panoramic glass roof features an integrated power moonroof. Dual powered sunshades provide shelter from the sun. Wide wheel arches, pronounced shoulders and angular creases provide surface tension to dispel any suggestion of the usual two-box SUV look. Xenon high-intensity discharge headlights are mounted inside asymmetrical housings up front, and there's a stylistic continuation of Acura's chevron grille motif in the lower-bumper apertures.

At the rear, the designers again used distinct panel shapes, tail light outlines and integrated exhaust outlets to embellish the silhouette. A lower glass panel in the rear hatch helps improve rear visibility.

Interior

The Acura ZDX features a luxurious cabin with rich-looking hand-stitched leather on the dashboard, door panels and center console that has been executed with great care. The hides themselves are what's known as full grain. Many leather finishes are buffed surfaces, necessary to remove flaws. These are carefully selected, unscarred hides from Hungary and China.

Fitting the leather panel on the sculpted dashboard is quite a challenge, due to the unusual concave shape, and requires special techniques. The result, particularly with the Umber and black combination, is striking, and the textures themselves are rich and pleasing to the touch.

The rest of the interior is very modern in design, with electroluminescent gauges and a center console the Acura designers call the Monolith. Until its backlighting comes on when the ignition is switched on, the console remains blank and dark, with no evidence of the many switches and controls it contains.

Lighting inside the cabin is provided by the large glass roof during daylight hours, and by subtle LED lighting at night. There is over 26 cubic feet of luggage space behind the rear seats, expanding to nearly 56 cubic feet when those seatbacks are folded flat. Access is by the convenient hatch-like rear door, and the liftover height is helpfully low.

Further expansion is possible (for long objects such as golf bags) by removing side panels in the cargo compartment. An underfloor area of about two cubic feet is also available for secure storage.

The front passenger area is both spacious and attractive, but the sloping roofline makes inevitable inroads into rear headroom. Legroom is also not as good in the back, and access is hindered by the small doors and their proximity to the rear wheel well. But adults of average height may still find the rear seats a pleasant place to be for moderate journeys.

Excellent ergonomics make the use of the many devices at hand easy to use. Critical controls are found on the steering wheel, while secondary switches are logically arranged on the dashboard and center console. Voice recognition makes the phone, radio and navigation systems very simple to operate.

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