By on October 10, 2012

Acura may be refreshing the ZDX for 2013, but the company has simultaneously signed the car’s death warrant, killing off one of the most reviled cars on sale today.

Acura’s Jeff Conrad issued a roundabout confirmation of the car’s death

“People shopping for a luxury crossover vehicle will find the Acura ZDX an even more attractive product,” said Jeff Conrad, vice president and general manager of the Acura Division. “Moving forward, we will continue to advance the Acura lineup with a focus on new core models, like the recently redesigned RDX and the upcoming all-new RLX flagship sedan, that provide the ideal balance of performance and fuel efficiency that is right for each product and a driving experience that is dynamic and emotional.”

At $51,815, there are understandably few takers for Acura’s four-seat monstrosity. Acura sold only 48 units last month, which may be less than the number of TWAT nominations the ZDX garnered in the same 30 day period.

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54 Comments on “Acura Signs The Death Warrant For The ZDX...”


  • avatar
    CJinSD

    It actually looks sort of Buck Rogers-ish in that photo, but the idea is just as stupid as any other 4-door coupe.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Agreed. Four door coupe, wtf. Heck 80% of ‘normal’ modern sedans are entirely too cramped for rear passengers, so you take a sleek fullsize/midsize coupe concept and put tiny rear doors on it, this is supposed to be an innovation? IMO its akin to the beatings will continue until moral improves.

  • avatar
    Prado

    Hopefully the Crosstour will get the ax too. I don’t see how Honda can justify wasting production capaicity on a sales dud when they have the red hot RDX and CRV being built at the the same plant.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed…and that Crosstour rear end has to be one of the ugliest ever. The pair of these vehicles look like the illegitimate offspring of an Accord Coupe and a Ponatiac Aaztek.

      • 0 avatar
        mr_muttonchops

        I’d say they’re both worse than the Aztek. It may have been ugly, but at least it had a very practical design. These two cars manage to lose practicality due to their design, in a class where practicality is typically a strong point. They’re not only ugly, they’re useless to boot (pun half intended.)

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        How do you spin the Crosstour as less practical than the sedan with a 14 foot trunk it started from?

        It’s an Accord hatchback with less chin scraping and an AWD option. The only thing really wrong with it is it’s ugly.

      • 0 avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        The Pilot is ass-ugly, too, but it’s a lot more practical than the Crosstour. A liftback (or, gasp, wagon!) Accord revival would be great, and the CR-V and Pilot seem to be selling, but there’s not much room for anything in between.

    • 0 avatar
      tatracitroensaab

      When the Crosstour first came out I was actually really hopeful. I have a softspot for liftback sedans and I was hoping that that’s what it would be — a five door Accord. When it became clear that it was meant to be marketed as a hip “design statement” SUV…. oy oy oy…

    • 0 avatar
      ckgs

      All all wheel drive accord would be nice. How about rolling those off the line instead. I’d buy one today if it was available.

  • avatar

    I always thought it was cool. Yes, of course its a bit silly in terms of design, but there are many cars in that category. Plus, these things looked great (especially in that dark metallic red/brown) in person. A bit like a concept car.

    I’m not surprised its going, but I’m glad it was here, silly, and proud of it.

    • 0 avatar
      k9H20

      I’m with you. It’s sort of an evolutionary dead end, but sometimes those make for pretty weird beasts. I dig cars that try something new, and I know I’m in the minority thinking that this one is actually pretty cool. It’ll be a steal in a year or two.

      • 0 avatar

        Actually, I don’t think it will be a steal. First of all, very few new ones were actually sold, so the market won’t be awash with them. Secondly, its not like they were bad cars, they were just weird. WIth good driving dynamics, AWD, a great interior, and a unique exterior they will appeal to basically anyone in the know what wants a reliable, luxurious and unique car. Baby boomers will go nuts for them I’m sure.

        Have a look at the RL to see how slow-selling but good/reliable cars don’t necessarily make for good deals used.

      • 0 avatar
        k9H20

        I just looked it up, and you have a point. A brand new 2012 RL starts at 48k. Carmax for a 2011 is 38k, then 34k for a 2010. You are looking at about 4 years to get to high 20s with low milage. The immediate depreciation is pretty drastic, but levels off. At the moment you can get a year old low milage ZDX on there for about 30k which is actually decent and will only get better.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    [Black Dynamite]

    “Who saw THAT coming?”

    [/Black Dynamite]

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but I don’t see this Acura as a monstrosity at all. In person this vehicle is polarizing, striking and ahead of its time. It reminds me of my 1990 CRX si all grown up and back from Star Fleet Academy. The interior is top notch and I hear the driving dynamics are decent, plus it ought to have Honda reliability. Unfortunately, it isn’t that practical, the economy is middling and it was introduced during tough economic times. Even if it was better received, the pricing alone would have doomed it. It’s MDX sibiling challenges its raison d’etre. It’s a challenging proposition to see the value, especially now when the new Accord Touring has the same bell and whistles and costs a lot less. I’m hoping to pick one up cheap (new or slightly used) as a commuter when the lease on the CC comes up in 10 months.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Acura doesn’t.

  • avatar
    missinginvlissingen

    I’ll never forget seeing this for the first time at the auto show. On stage, Acura’s sequinned spokesmodel repeatedly demonstrated the proper way to get into/out of the back seat. (Summary: duck your head.)

    Already making excuses for a car’s design before it even goes on sale? Yup, doomed from the start.

  • avatar
    mr_muttonchops

    Now just ditch the Crosstour while you’re at it.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Yes! It answers a question which was never asked!

      It seems reasonably certain that Honda will kill the Acura TSX (and the Sportwagon which is the Accord Tourer in Europe). What they need to do, since our Accord is now THE global platform, is to make a wagon out of it; a fully loaded Accord Tourer Touring would be better than the current Acura, which only comes with the four. Make a Diesel stick a TTAC B&B option! ;-)

  • avatar
    holydonut

    I think this car is fascinating in how different it is from the norm. It’s the modern day Edsel.

    What is unfortunate for Honda/Acura is that the BMW X6 continues to make BMW piles of cash, while being a car in the same vein as the ZDX.

    The reality is a bold/brash/overpriced BMW actually builds social status, while a bold/brash/overpriced Acura does not.

  • avatar
    axual

    Really … should anyone be surprised?

  • avatar
    Nick

    Now, if the BMW X6 gets the axe we’ll have two blights off the road.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Good!

  • avatar
    Junebug

    Man I use to like Acura! The last time I wanted one was the 05-or was it 06 – TL, ya’ll know, before they got all weird and Transformer like faces.

  • avatar
    jaje

    I read this on the Internet (after I made it up and wrote it down) so it’s true: 50% of ZDX sales were to Hollywood to destroy in the various marvel comic movies.

  • avatar
    Eric the Red

    Full disclosure: I don’t like this car!
    But I do like that there are different cars out there. They should not all follow the same style and pattern. I like to see automakers trying new and different styles and products. While I may not ever buy some strangely styled cars it does help differentiate cars. We all complain about the current crop of “appliances on wheels”. Making different types of cars is how to combat that epidemic.
    Besides, ugly cars make good looking cars look better.

  • avatar
    86er

    Psarhjinian will be crushed!

  • avatar
    snakebit

    $51,800 for the ZDX? For what seems like Acura’s answer to the Nissan Juke? Boy, the reasons for stopping production of the ZDX march on and pick up speed.

    I just looked at and sat in the new Accord sedan. It’s difficult to imagine both cars came from the same general company. For what they promise, I can understand why at one point Accord (and Camry, for that matter) were selling 400,000 units each annually.

  • avatar
    jcisne

    IMO the whole Acura brand is doomed, it’s just a matter of time. I have 3 Hondas at home (Accord, Pilot and Fit), but I would never buy an Acura. There are just not enough differences to justify the price premium over the comparable Honda. The NSX was the only exception, but they discontinued it. And since Acura’s creation they needed a big RWD sedan with a V8 to compete with Lexus and the Germans, but they just don’t understand this.

    • 0 avatar
      EquipmentJunkie

      Agreed. Acura used to be appealing to me. The Integra was the Civic that I wouldn’t mind owning. My friend’s ’93 Vigor was pretty exciting to drive despite its lack of a third pedal.

      Ever since the cartoon-ish grills which remind me of a tin can punch used to open Hi-C juice cans back in the ’70s, Acuras have completely fallen off my radar.

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      I see your point when there are dual models, but cars like the S2000, TSX, and NSX are the exception. In the case of the TSX, you couldn’t buy the Honda version in the States. If you were shopping it against the Accord, you had to pay at least a $3,000 premium against an EX. Most shoppers went with the Accord, more room and larger car. IMO, the first generation TSX is pretty neat, it’s as close to the BMW 3-Series as Honda has ever gone. But again, I like cars that size that don’t ride so cushy. And while I don’t share their opinion, I have a couple of friends who like their TL’s, while all I see are overpriced Accords.
      Also, I’ve given up on Acura wanting to seriously compete with cars like the E-Class MB and 5-Series BMW. The RL and its forthcoming replacement is nowhere near the car that these two are. As ‘jcisne’ already wrote, Acura just really doesn’t understand this market.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        I drove the Acura TSX, Acura TL, Audi A4, and Infiniti G35 all back-to-back 5 years ago. I preferred driving the TL over the TSX because it took extra effort to hold a constant speed with the TSX peaky I4/automatic combination. The problem was the TL wasn’t enough of a step up from the V6 Accord. The A4 with CVT was horrible. In contrast, the G35 was genuinely fun to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        jcisne

        Now that you mention the S2000…I never understood why it was sold as a Honda and not as an Acura. It was a perfect car to help Acura gain prestige, a genuine sports car, just like the NSX had been. Instead, they decided to sell it exclusively as a (very expensive) Honda.

      • 0 avatar
        chrishs2000

        jcisne: ever been in an S2000? It’s a ridiculously well built car, but it is not a luxury car. It is a cramped, buzzy, loud, 4 cylinder sports car that thinks it’s a motorcycle. I would have LOVED to have seen an Acura version with the J30A4 240HP 3.0L V6, but I’m guessing the development cost would have been ridiculous.

      • 0 avatar
        jcisne

        chrishs2000: No, I’ve never driven one. But I think that with a more upscale interior Acura could have had used it to take some sales from BMW’s Z3 or Porsche’s Boxster. And, like you said, even more if a J30 option would have existed.

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    One of these ZDX things passed me on I-70 in Ohio a couple of weeks ago. “Funky” appearance is being kind to it. I’m a car guy and I didn’t even know that the ZDX existed!

    Upon arriving home, I dug out my latest copy of Automotive News to see the August sales figures for the ZDX…then I laughed out loud.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    While I think these are hideous, I agree with Eric The Red – there’s room at the table for all of God’s creatures. Well apparently only 48 of them last month, but still….

    I find the X6 offensively different. I’m disgusted BMW makes it, and there’s no need for them to. It stains their name.

    Now the Crosstour….has grown on me over the past two years. The fact that they added the 4 cylinder into the mix is great….I consider it an Accord hatchback. Not that I would buy one….

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Hurray hurray!!!! This car takes Aztek to a whole new level.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    If memory serves, the dealer I work at has sold 1 of these in the past year and a half. -insert Super Mario Bros. fail sounder here-

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    If this was styled like this only smaller based on a Civic with 3drs, it would make sense like the late lamented RSX.

  • avatar
    naterator

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned the BMW 550GT instead of the X6. Both hideous machines are making the Quandt family buckets of Deutschmarks, I suspect.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      The 550GT reminds me of the Chevy Citation/Pontiac Phoenix X-Car 4 dr hatch and not in a nice way.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      The ZDX, the 550GT, and the X6 all fall in the category of people with money but no taste. These cars look ugly from all directions. I never quite understood how this car made sense at the $50K price point considering what other cars are available at that price point.

      Nonetheless, I had assumed they got their marketing right, however, and that the ZDX would sell to the Well-Off Boomers Without Taste Who Want to Be Different category they were targeting, but the 48 sales figure suggests not.

      Don’t know what Honda is thinking in general these days with the Acura division. The proposed NSX is atrocious. The day of the Integra is long past us, unfortunately.

  • avatar
    ceipower

    Whomever calls the shots at Honda style wise , it’s been clear for some time they are not in touch with the buyer. Acura’s decline began with the re-nameing of the line up, going from names to letters to define models. Once unique and respected vehicles are now unknown to most buyers, and the styling isn’t a winner, yet for a decade Honda has stuck to the “beak”. If I were a owner of a Acura dealership with millions invested in their future , I’d be more than a little pissed. Honda had something , they threw it away, and seem to not care. This attitude of indifference is present to some degree in every product Honda puts there name on. Just because it’s says Honda , it no longer means what it used to. The proposed NSX looks hidious with that beak on it.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    jcisne,

    This has probably already occurred to you, but when the S2000 was brought over here to the States, Acura already had the NSX, and Honda corporate told them they(corporate) felt the S2000 would sell well as a Honda, and actually it did, for what started out as a $30,000 two-seat Honda. I don’t think Acura dealers put up much of a fight, in the beginning when that would have been the time to object, because they had nine or ten years experience trying to sell NSX’s. With the exception of the first couple of years, when the car was hot partly because guys like Vanilla Ice and Donnie Wahlberg bought them, many Acura dealers wouldn’t accept their allocation of NSX’s because they were afraid they’d stay in inventory too long.

    Now, I know what you’re thinking; outside of North America, they’re both sold as Hondas. I put about 25,000 miles on a S2000, I’ve driven NSX’s on the street for new model ride-and-drive sessions and ridden shotgun in them at Lime Rock Park. For what they really are, they’re so sweet to drive. I won’t bore readers with the NSX experience. If you liked the looks, imagine that being behind the wheel is that super, and more.

    Personally, and I do mean just me in the car, driving the S2000 is gobs of fun. I really disliked the digital instruments, but everything else about this car is so well thought out. Almost all of the controls located so that you could leave your hand on the steering wheel and just use a finger to actuate them. 240 horsepower from a non-turbo four cylinder, and without a cold air box. Just everything so well put together, great seats with lots of legroom.

    One hitch I found is that none of my friends liked riding in it, the S2000 is VERY stiff-riding even with stock suspension. But, when I had to do a 400 mile trip from Boston to Lake Ontario, and then the same miles back, I took the S2000 and loved it.

  • avatar

    So in what order will these names become history

    Volvo – No brand identity
    Acura – No cache
    Smart – Really?
    Lotus – Financial wreck
    Suzuki – No sales
    Mitsubushi – Mistu who?
    Lincoln – Last few fanboys have not quite made it to the funeral home.
    Fisker – Goes one day after the GOP wins the election?
    Opel – GM’s millstone
    Range Rover – They start to break down on mile one, world gets the message

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Fisker – Chapter 7, footnote in Wikipedia.
      Suzuki – Withdrawn from US market, continues overseas.
      Lotus – Chapter 11, absorbed by the VAG octopus.
      Mitsubishi – Withdrawn from US market, continues overseas.
      Opel – Hopefully nuked, but probably sold/nationalized.
      Lincoln – Gracefully withdrawn al la Oldsmobile, not just dropped like Mercury. Some dealers given Ford franchise, some given the finger.
      Volvo – Withdrawn from US, later Swedish operations closed and brand becomes hood ornament for dodgy Chinese designs, similar to MG.

      I disagree on Ranger Rover, Acura, and Smart even going away.

      LR: Too many valley girls, slumdog millionaires, and African dictators think Land Rover’s are desirable for the brand to completely disappear.

      Acura: Honda will turn Acura into a complete rebadge brand (which is close to reality at the moment) and sell them until its no longer feasible. Given current economic conditions, boomers won’t be able to retire for 15-20 years and thus will continue to spend, and they are the ones with 80s dreams of Japanese car supremacy… never mind the fact this is no longer the case… they are lemmings for the faux luxury brands offered by the Land of Rising Sun.

      SMRT: Smart will continue as a symptom of CAFE until enough people are killed in them it makes 60 Minutes.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    Gentlemen, you asked for a V6 version with 240 horsepower of the S2000?
    Did I fail to mention that the stock four cylinder already put out 240 hp?
    As far as how the S2000 interior ranked to me with a BMW Z3, aside from the finish of the instrument panel which was prototypical Honda, the red and black leather seats, console, and door panels can compare to either Z3 or Z4, but not Z8.

    As far as being buzzy or noisy, with the top down they’re as noisy as maybe a BMW motorcycle, quieter than a typical Honda bike, and let’s not get started on the noise from a Harley.

    They’re a roadster, you don’t buy one because you want a car quieter than an Accord or TL. You give up a little quiet when you drive a roadster or convertible with the top down. Otherwise, get the removable hardtop and leave it on.


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