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New all-electric SUV from Acura demonstrates that the priciest model isn’t necessarily the finest.

I climbed into the 2025 Acura ZDX Type S with tremendous expectations. It is a midsize SUV, to be sure, but it goes by the Type S designation—a designation reserved for the most entertaining vehicles in the Acura line. Is this the unicorn of electric vehicles I have been searching for?

Yes, things did not turn out as planned.

Bolt and nut assemblies
The ZDX will launch with Type S and A-Spec versions, each equipped with 102 kWh batteries. Rear-wheel drive will be available for the A-Spec, offering a range of 313 miles and just over 350 horsepower; all-wheel drive will reduce the range to 304 miles but increase the power to 409 horses.

With 499 horsepower and a whopping 544 pound-feet of torque, the performance-oriented Type S delivers power to all four wheels. However, all of those swiftly moving electrons have a cost in range; a full charge of the Type S only gets you 278 miles.

While I wasn’t able to test the ZDX’s 190 kW charging capability, Acura claims that it can add up to 81 miles in 10 minutes and go from 20% to 80% battery capacity in 42 minutes. Offerings from Genesis, Hyundai, and Kia, however, can do it more quickly.

The ZDX has an inbuilt 11.5 kW charger that, with a 60 amp wall charger, Acura claims can add about 30 miles in an hour when charging at home.

I assume that the S represents sport?
With this new automobile, according to Acura, the driving experience comes first, and that is especially true for the enthusiast Type S. Unfortunately, the top trim makes me frown.

When you put the vehicle in sport mode, it hunkers down 15 millimeters, or a little over a half inch to us Yanks, and the already hefty steering becomes even more ponderous, and the brake and throttle become a little more sensitive. The automobile makes a faintly audible performance sound when the adaptive dampers stiffen up.

This ought to make for a very enjoyable vehicle to drive, especially with the 544 pound-feet of torque, but strangely, it doesn’t.

On the interstate, the ZDX is a joy to launch. Higher-speed acceleration is also exhilarating, and it’s easy to whip past a Prius going 55 in the fast lane.

Still, I had higher hopes for an Acura Type S.

Do not misunderstand me; driving is not intrinsically unpleasant. However, maneuvering the SUV over the rural roads of Santa Barbara, California seemed quite clinical. Here’s where things went wrong.

The Type S weighs more than six thousand pounds. That’s a lot of weight to move around a curve, especially if the weight is split equally from front to back. Although the heavy steering is nice, it doesn’t provide much feel. Even though I’m not feeling the joy, the torque is consistently present during corner exits, and the body roll is under control.

The 275/40 Continental Premium Contact 6 summer tires on the Type S provide enough traction, but the ride is a little rough because of the low-profile sidewall and the tougher run-flat rubber formula.

Acura is well-versed in building a Type S vehicle, of course. The new Integra Type S is a real delight. I just wish this much heavier and larger brother had the same engineering as the firm.

With three levels of regeneration and massive old Brembo brakes up front, the ZDX brakes confidently. Though you can completely turn off regen, why would you give up free electrons? While it may take some getting used to, the maximum regen enables true one-pedal driving, stopping the ZDX completely. Pull the left steering wheel paddle to increase regen.

While most people would likely leave the vehicle in standard mode, which is perfectly fine, there is also a snow mode that raises the suspension by nearly an inch, as well as an individual option that allows you to choose your own adventure.

Acura is going it alone.
There are several aspects of the all-electric ZDX that are different from Honda Motor. Honda Motor collaborated with General Motors to create the ZDX, utilizing their battery technology. Late last year, as the market for EVs declined, Acura shelved the idea of creating a line of reasonably priced EVs. But Acura has established a goal of net-zero emissions for all goods and business operations by 2050, with 100% of all products having zero emissions by 2040.

The Acura designers definitely took the Precision EV concept we saw in 2022 at Monterey Car Week and called it good, designing it in both the US and Japan using virtual and augmented reality.

Most of the time, they were correct.

Although the vehicle is about the same total length as the midsize MDX SUV, its wheelbase is a full eight inches longer, which forces the wheels out to each corner for a somewhat aggressive posture. Given its squared-off back roofline, the ZDX has a rather “is-it-a-wagon-or-is-it-an-SUV?” look since it sits lower than the MDX as well. Serious hearse design vibes emanate from the back end, which may or may not be a good or terrible external stylistic decision, depending on your taste.

Acura did the right thing.
Acura is a color maven; the Tiger Eye Pearl and Double Apex Blue Pearl are particularly nice on a midsize crossover. Even better, Acura provides a red interior for any Type S with a standard black, white, or gray exterior.

The ZDX’s center console undoubtedly separates the cabin into a driving and a riding area. That appeals to me. The console offers a basement level for bigger stuff like laptops and handbags, in addition to lots of small item storage.

Power-adjustable heated and cooled leather seats and a heated steering wheel are features shared by all model levels. Along with tri-zone temperature control, a digital rearview mirror, and a head-up display, the Type S also has heated back seats.

The ZDX has plenty of passenger and cargo space and is overall comfortable with simple design lines. Though there are a few GM bits bin buttons and dials, the overall design is very accurate. Particularly roomy is the back seat, which has greater legroom than the Korean and German rivals. There are 5 cubes of underfloor storage among the 28.7 cubic feet of space behind the back seats. Folded-back seats increase to 62 cubic feet.

The 11.3-inch information display interface will be instantly recognizable to anybody who has recently driven a General Motors vehicle. It has Google built in, and I believe it’s a more intuitive system than what Acura offers right now, so I’m not really upset. Furthermore, the 11-inch digital gauge group may receive the Google-based navigation, which maximizes route planning for recharging. It can even start preconditioning batteries. Also available are Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay.

The Acura Watch suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) features, which include blind-spot monitoring and automated emergency braking, are standard on all ZDX models. Among the features the Type S adds is the hands-free cruise system, which is basically GM’s superior Super Cruise technology. During my test drive, I experienced one disengagement when the lane lines vanished on a newly paved street. This is why, even with a hands-off system, drivers need to always be alert.

Similar to Super Cruise, you can configure the Acura Hands Free Cruise to automatically switch lanes, enabling the computer to decide when it’s safe to overtake a slower-moving vehicle. The automobile simply astounds me; it moves one lane to the left in moderate traffic while doing its job with safety.

You can purchase any Acura ZDX car online, from the dealership, or at home, and you can still receive advice if necessary. Furthermore, Acura provides a few charging benefits to its new electric SUV customers. Options include a portable charger, a $250 home charger installation credit, and a $300 public charging credit; or a level 2 charger, a $500 installation credit, and a $100 public charging credit. Acura also provides $750 worth of public charging.

The Acura ZDX of 2025 is undoubtedly not the low-cost EV that the GM/Honda alliance ultimately intended to produce. Though my top ZDX Type S tester costs $74,850, including delivery, it still qualifies for a $7,500 tax credit, which is a hard pill to take when the enjoyment element isn’t there.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

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