The Acura ZDX Type S is a Refreshingly Understated EV That Rips (2024)

In California if you’re caught doing, say, 105 MPH in a 65 zone, you can be arrested, charged with reckless driving, and tossed in jail.

I want to be very clear here, I am NOT advocating for driving over the speed limit. (65 all the way, baby.) What I am saying is, hypothetically, if you are inclined to drive fast, a good choice of vehicle would be something powerful yet subtle. Something practical, but also well built and low key that does not immediately draw the attention of law enforcement. And also something fully electric because nothing makes you more incognito on the road than silence.

The Acura ZDX is that very something that ticks all of these boxes.

The first full electric from Acura, the ZDX, is a midsize crossover SUV that doesn’t immediately clock as a midsize crossover SUV. The lines are all low slung and the back end has a pleasing boxiness. The car is mostly blacked out from the beltline up, giving the roof a floating appearance. It’s a bit luxe, but equally understated.

It’s stylish, but also practical. At its very practical heart the ZDX is built on GM’s Ultium platform, a modular electric propulsion system that can be tweaked to fit a bunch of different vehicles from light trucks to cars to SUVs like the ZDX. Acura partnered with GM in the hopes it could fast track a fully electric entry without developing one from the ground up internally. You know what? It works. The battery tech feels mature with the ZDX getting around 300 miles of range per charge.

If there is one stat on the ZDX that is actually eye-catching it would have to be the 499 horsepower and and 544 lb-ft of torque of the Type S variants. The car also weighs in at over six thousand pounds yet it still rips—0-60mph is reached in 4.2 seconds. Things feel solid and predictable even after the speedometer starts creeping into the low triple digits – not that I would ever go that fast, officer. Keep in mind, this isn’t some autobahn thrashing import that you can comfortably take to a buck fifty without so much as a window rattle. The ZDX glides quickly and effortlessly from point to point but if you’re looking for something that can chew asphalt and rip through tight corners then you might have to switch to something fossil fuel powered like BMW’s X4 M or the unhinged Dodge Durango Hellcat.

Like virtually all electric vehicles, the ZDX features regen braking which you can adjust through driving modes or on the steering wheel paddle. On the strongest setting the regen brakes are grabby enough to use one pedal driving. There are also standard brakes too – 15.3 inch front brake rotors! – but if you’re in regen braking mode they’ll hardly ever be used.

The Acura ZDX Type S is a Refreshingly Understated EV That Rips (2)

The interior is spacious—far more than it looks on the outside—particularly in the cargo area which has a 28.7 cubic foot capacity. A number of car companies—looking at you BMW and Mercedes—have copied Tesla’s homework and eliminated virtually all physical buttons from their electric offerings. Look, we’re assaulted by screens all day long and it’s nice to get into a ride and have the tactile pleasure of flicking an actual switch. The ZDX’s array of physical buttons, knobs, and switches for controlling everything from the entertainment to driving options to adaptive cruise control are a delight. The Type S variant also has Hands Free Cruise, Acura's version of GM's Super Cruise hands-free driving tech which you can’t imagine living without if your commute has any semblance of traffic.

The Acura ZDX Type S is a Refreshingly Understated EV That Rips (3)

The ZDX occupies an interesting space. It’s a good—maybe great—alternative to the Tesla Model Y, Mercedes EQB, and BMW iX. It’s also quicker than most crossover electrics and somewhat stealthy—the CHP will definitely pull over the guy in the Ferrari Purosangue before he pulls over you in the ZDX. If you still find yourself itching for bigger thrills in an Acura, maybe the best move would be to get something a little more fiery like one of their fun-as-hell Integra reissues. But if you’re looking for a reliable electric ride for people and cargo that delivers a good dosage of zoom, the ZDX Type S is a very good bet.

$76,450 as tested

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The Acura ZDX Type S is a Refreshingly Understated EV That Rips (2024)
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