Pricing and On-Sale Date Announced for Avant-Garde Acura ZDX

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If ever there was an SUV whose looks were more polarizing only perhaps the BMW X6 would come close. The Acura ZDX is less your usual art-school grade design exercise and more an elegant expression of what could be called Avant-Garde auto design. At least it looks that way to my eyes.

The true test of the success of the new Acura ZDX's styling will be decided soon as this SUV will finally hit Acura dealerships on December 15th at a starting price of $45,495 making it not all that much more expensive than the far more utilitarian MDX. Where the MDX seats seven comfortably, the ZDX and its fastback shape makes inclusion of a third row of seats impossible.

Powered by the same 300 horsepower 3.7 liter V6 found in the MDX, this engine manages 16 city/23 highway. That isnt bad for a vehicle of this weight with a horsepower rating that would have been unheard of in an SUV ten years ago.

Beyond the usual comforts you would expect in a luxury car are some surprises. The new ZDX features the worlds largest panoramic sunroof as standard, leather covered dash, center console and door panels (well at least those cows gave their lives to furnish somewhere stylish) and Acura's patented Super-Handling All Wheel Drive (which makes Acuras SUVs far more fun to drive than physics should allow).

There are two option packages available on the ZDX and as is usual for the brand they are full of the sort of techno-goodies you never knew you needed but eventually cant live without. First there is the technology package which includes Acuras class leading GPS navigation with a 15 gigabyte hard drive that allows you to store up to 3,500 songs. These songs can be played through the mind blowing Acura/ELS 415 watt sound system that has proven to be one of the best standard OEM systems for the money. The Acura ZDX with technology package is $49,995.

Still not enough toys to keep you happy? Well, if you are either paranoid or kind of a bad driver you may want to spring for the Advance Package which includes everything in the Technology Package plus a blindspot warning system, adaptive cruise control (which practically drives the car for you), a collision mitigation system (which practically stops the car for you), a high tech damper system for improved handling, softer Milano leather, premium brushed tri-cot headliner material (when was the last time you noticed fancy headliner material?) and a sport steering wheel.

Purchasing the fully loaded advanced package ups the price to $56,045 and while that is still a bargain compared to a BMW X6 most buyers will probably be content with the ZDX technology package option.

Stylistically speaking Acura took a big gamble with the ZDX and I think at least part of the buying public is going to love this sporty SUV's styling enough to cough up the money for one. Because even though a person needs or wants an SUV it doesnt mean they have to drive something frumpy looking. As they say at the end of a fine Opera or art showing, "Bravo Acura! Bravo!"

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