The attempt by car makers to appease the rabid demand for crossover cars has resulted in some startlingly odd category entrants. One of those is today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Acura ZDX, a car that never seemed to know what niche it wanted to fill. Let’s see if time—and other factors—have been kind to it.
Do you ever think of the term Gran Turismo Omologato and then picture a two-ton, six-seat station wagon? No? I didn’t think so. Someone did make that rainbow connection, and the result was yesterday’s 1967 Pontiac Tempest Safari with GTO aspirations. The car was pretty cool, however as pointed out by many of you in the comments, probably a polarizing product depending on your age.
There was nothing polarizing about the custom car’s $29,500 asking, as it fell in a decisive 72 percent Crack Pipe loss.
The GTO nameplate may still hold some cachet within the auto enthusiast realm, but what about certain other three-letter identifiers? More succinctly, what’s you opinion about the ZDX?
I know what you’re thinking: “the what now?” The ZDX was yet another of Acura’s alphabet soup nameplates that mean nothing and hence carry little reason for the car buying community to conscript it to memory.
Acura started replacing their model names with letter designations supposedly at the behest of their brand stewards. The company had determined that their model names—Legend, Integra, Vigor, etc.—were crazily more recognizable than the parent Acura name. That was seen as detrimental to Acura’s long-term brand positioning goals and hence we got TL and CL and RSX and whatever else made little to no sense. Today, Acura carries on that tradition. It has also sort of become Honda’s Lincoln in that the parent company doesn’t really know what to do with the brand.
One thing they tried to do to overcome that marque malaise was to offer a model that seemingly encompassed every car trope popular at the the time in one single model. Let’s see how that panned out.
This 2012 Acura ZDX with Technology Package represents that model, and just like Stacy’s Mom, it’s got a lot going on. The car is first and foremost a light crossover. No, it doesn’t exhibit the chunky dark plastic trim as do most soft-roaders, but it does sit up high and actually offers AWD. It’s also a four-door coupe, and as much as people with sense despise that entire trope, this Acura actually seems to pull off the masking of its true four-door nature with aplomb.
That design is likely one of the main reasons that the ZDX was so wildly unpopular during its production run. A mere 7,200 cars popped out of Honda’s Alliston, Ontario plant before the line was cancelled after just four model years. Some of the blame could be assigned to those mysterious back doors.
First off, as I noted, Honda did a really good job of hiding the fact that the back doors actually exist. The handles are hidden in the C-Pillar and with panel gaps being Honda-tight, the doors are almost invisible. Then there’s the space for egress once you pull off the party trick of actually opening one of them—it’s also almost nonexistent. There’s barely any foot gap in back making getting in and out a bit of a pain in the ass.
Aside from those issues, the ZDX was plenty competitive. The only engine offered was Honda’s 3.7-litre SOHC V6, but that was good for 300 horsepower. A six-speed automatic took orders from that and parsed out power to all four wheels through Acura’s questionably named “Super-Handling All Wheel Drive.”
This particular ZDX comes to us in Aspen Pearl paint over a taupe and black interior. The car shows 44K on the clock and comes with the technology package. That includes such niceties as a built-in navigation system and voice control. Yes, you can get both of those on pretty much anything today, but back then it was da bomb. A panoramic roof and all the fancy power accessories—including the hatch—are also along for the ride.
The car looks to be in great shape with paint that seems to be without flaw, and an interior that shows little to no wear for its age. Tires are said to be almost new, while the battery is in fact a recent replacement.
It’s not all roses on your piano and tulips on your organ however. I noted at the outset that this ZDX had a flaw, and it’s a pretty big one. No, it’s not the aggressively beaky nose. Nor is it the weird fender line.
No, the major issue here is the car’s title, which is listed as rebuilt. The seller commits the further sin of not bothering to explain the reason for that, an omission that bodes even more poorly for the car’s consideration.
With the mystery title, the seller asks $15,999 for the car, and you now need to either tell him he’s doing a good job or asking where he gets off.
What do you think, is this rare from lack of interest Acura worth that $15,999 asking with its bad title? Or, is that scarlet letter on the pick slip the final nail in this ZDX’s coffin?
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