QOTD: What's the Worst Utility Vehicle of the Past 10 Years?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd what s the worst utility vehicle of the past 10 years

Utility vehicles have been a hot ticket personal transport item for some time, much to the delight of OEMs and their shareholders. As the definition around what should qualify as “utility” became more and more blurred during this (presently, CUV) craze, inevitably some entries missed the mark and floundered. Perhaps a redesign was in the cards if the manufacturer felt confident, or a product cancellation if it didn’t.

Either way, recent examples of bad utility vehicles are our subject today. What’s your pick for the worst utility vehicle of the past decade?

We’re only considering recent utility vehicles, because we’d surely end up down AMC International Harvester Scout Bronco II street in short order. The rules are just two:

  1. The vehicle must have been available between model years 2008 and 2017.
  2. It must be a North American market offering.

There aren’t limitations further than those, but we leave it to you to keep the topic specifically on utility vehicles. Have a look at the selection below, which will surely put your mind in the gutter right place for this question.

That’s right, my personal pick for worst recent utility vehicle is the Acura ZDX. Labeled by its designer as a “4-door luxury sports coupe” (eyeroll), Acura intended the vehicle to straddle the lines of coupe, sedan, and SUV. The ZDX appeared in the Acura product offering pamphlets between 2010 and 2013. Though the ZDX is of the same era and idea as the similarly ugly Honda Crosstour, the two vehicles are not mechanically related. The Crosstour was an Accord sibling, while the ZDX is of MDX lineage.

Though the familiar Honda 3.7-liter V6 provided 300 horsepower, a hefty curb weight of over 4,400 pounds kept sporting pretensions far away. With regard to utility, cargo capacity with all seats in place was 27.5 cubic feet. For comparison, a much smaller Ford Escape provides 34.3 cubes, while a Lexus RX350 has an even 40.

All the inconvenient packaging didn’t come cheap, as in 2010 the introductory price was just over $46,000 (the RX350 AWD started at $39,025). It was available in a wide variety of colors that included black, grey, silver, and white. As a result, Acura shifted just 7,191 units over seven calendar years. Many a sad ZDX languished on lots through 2014, and a final two were sold in 2015.

Fifteen years from now, tune in when Rare Rides presents the Acura ZDX. For now, tell us your pick for worst utility vehicle.

[Images: Land Rover, The Truth About Cars]

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2 of 141 comments
  • Whitworth Whitworth on Sep 20, 2017

    Jeep Renegade. Built on the Fiat 500 platform which takes honors in being one of the most unreliable new cars you can possibly buy.

  • SuperCarEnthusiast SuperCarEnthusiast on Sep 21, 2017

    The Patriot was the America answer to the Mercedes G Class AMG vehicle. The only difference is around $200K, big engine and luxury packages!

  • Statikboy Those tires are the Wrong Size.
  • Mustangfast I had an 06 V6 and loved that car. 230k trouble free miles until I sold it. I remember they were criticized for being too small vs competitors but as a single guy it was the right size for me. I recall the 2.3 didn’t have a reputation for reliability, unlike the V6 and I4. I think it likely didn’t take off due to the manual-only spec, price tag, and power vs the V6 engine and the way it delivered that power. It was always fun to see the difference between these and normal ones, since these were made in Japan whereas all others were flat rock
  • VoGhost Earth is healing.
  • ToolGuy "Having our 4th baby and decided a camper van is a better use of our resources than my tuner."Seller is in the midst of some interesting life choices.Bonus: Here are the individuals responsible for doing the work on this vehicle.
  • MaintenanceCosts Previous owner playing engineer by randomly substituting a bunch of components, then finding out. No thanks.