SHARP Drives: An Electric Acura Crossover Made for Back Roads

Five hundred horsepower. 540 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel-drive. Acura… crossover? Five or even ten years ago, these attributes would have been enough to have you GPSing local dealerships.

Today, when it seems as though every electric crossover can pull off a trick or two — from lightning-quick acceleration to advanced driver assistance — what does the all-new Acura ZDX Type S have that you won’t find elsewhere?

2024 Acura ZDX Type S

Behind the wheel of a top-of-the-line, pre-production Acura ZDX Type-S on a rural Quebec drive route that looped out from YUL’s notoriously chaotic highway connections, I paired my iPhone and set off to find out.

One Price Fits All

Pricing for the standard Acura ZDX starts at $87,616.50; the Type-S lists for $94,216.50 — not insignificant, but in line with its competition. While the ZDX shares a large number of attributes with its platform mates, from exterior dimensions to battery technology, there are indeed important differences. Shopping against the similarly premium Cadillac Lyriq built on the same platform, a number of important features are only found in the Acura. I’ll note these as we go.

2024 Acura ZDX Type S

Performance to Spare

Top of the list for an Acura: how does it drive? In my view, an Acura should be quick, fun-to-drive, and approachable. From the moment I ventured out into the morning rush, I revelled in the car’s hilariously easy-to-use 500 horsepower (544 lb-ft of torque) dual-motor setup.

One minute, it’s leaving from stop signs as steadily as a Tiger Eye Pearl school bus. Next, there’s a bucket of instant, accelerative torque and decently effective Brembo brakes for chaining together tight hairpin corners in cold, wet weather, like few traditional internal combustion crossovers could manage.

2024 Acura ZDX Type S

My enthusiasm here is for the alacrity a ZDX Type-S displays, not its outright performance versus other electric crossovers; more speed for the price can be found elsewhere. A final detail from the interior that belongs here among the performance section: the ZDX Type-S has a noticeably nicer steering wheel than its platform mates.

Are Stable Range Estimates a Luxury?

Two key advantages of relying on General Motors’ Ultium electric vehicle platform for its first EV are the rock-solid range estimates and number of vehicles sold.

2024 Acura ZDX Type S

While neither the ZDX (up to 489 km) or ZDX Type-S (up to 447 km) are best-in-class, the range accuracy often is. Both models come standard with dual motor all-wheel-drive — no doubt suitable for Canadian weather but with less range on a charge than some of its single motor EV competition.

As the last point on range, I noticed that the ZDX had highly accurate range estimates — an important, but often overlooked, feature. I didn’t have the opportunity to charge the car, but Acura claims the 102 kWh battery pack will go from 20% to 80% charge in approximately 42 minutes using a DC fast charger.

New Google Built-In Infotainment

Being pre-production vehicles — and myself an Apple iPhone user — I found the much-hyped Google Built-In infotainment wasn’t fully operational. The included Apple CarPlay worked just fine, but this revealed a few odd quirks. Please take all of this with a grain of salt, as this is just what happens with pre-production models; for some reason the last thing to have final details worked out is historically always infotainment and tech.

2024 Acura ZDX Type S

For example, even though I can think of a hundred reasons why navigation via Google Maps from within Apple CarPlay wouldn’t mirror the route on the ZDX’s gorgeous driver display… I kept hoping it would magically start working. Such is life.

If you’re an Android user, however, a ZDX is among the most cutting-edge options because of its Google Built-In software, which bakes Google Assistant, Maps, and Play into the car, meaning seamless integration with the services you likely already use.

Clean, Refined Looks for First Acura EV

With pricing set largely by trim level, colour choice on a ZDX Type-S is thankfully without additional cost — even the tasty orange-ish CyberPunk macaroni and cheese metallic ‘Tiger Eye Pearl’.

2024 Acura ZDX Type S

Choose Cosmic Black Metallic or Snowfall Pearl and Acura allows for the selection of a $500 red leather interior, which was not available during my first drive but is what I’d be speccing.

The primary colour options, Scarlet Red Metallic, Double Apex Blue Pearl, and Tiger Eye Pearl are nicely trimmed with Ebony Leather and Ultrasuede. For standard ZDX models, buyers incur an additional $800 for any colour that isn’t Mercury Silver Metallic.

Two Interior Features Worth Noting

Hands Free Cruise, which is GM Super Cruise technology under the skin, worked well to ease my drive in heavy traffic. So well, in fact, that as I noticed it wanting to execute a lane change by itself, I quickly checked the mirrors out of habit and went along for the ride as it smoothly moved around slower traffic.

2024 Acura ZDX Type S

I’ll never forget speaking with a Bang & Olufsen engineer more than a decade ago who gave me a few tracks that will reliably destroy just about every audio system at full blast.

For science, I turned Paula Cole’s song ‘Tiger’ up to maximum volume and waited for the drop. Here, a Chapman Stick (bass) that emits enough low-low frequency sound to warble and wound lesser car stereo components.

2024 Acura ZDX Type S

Here, exclusive to the Acura ZDX Type-S, is an option that speaks to audiophiles: a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 18 speakers that reproduces entire DJ sets’ worth of low frequencies without self destructing.

Practical When It Needs to Be

With five seats, the Acura ZDX prioritizes second-row and cargo area space, both of which are competitive relative to other electric crossovers.

Speaking of competitors, they include the Cadillac Lyriq, Mercedes-EQ EQE, Genesis Electrified GV70, and BMW iX. Of those, driving enthusiasts will gravitate toward the BMW or Acura; the others offer a more plush experience but less bang-for-buck range and performance.

2024 Acura ZDX Type S

When comparing this Acura to the Tesla lineup, a ZDX slides between the Model Y and Model X for pricing, specifications, and capability, but thankfully lacks a Tesla’s stripped-down (possibly unassembled) aesthetic.


My thoughts are straightforward: for driving enthusiasts, the ZDX Type-S is actually one of the better all-round electric crossovers available. For everyone else, the standard ZDX may fly under the radar compared with its electric competition, but in my estimation, that’s actually a good thing.