2024 Acura ZDX Type S Review: First Drive

Lee Bailie
by Lee Bailie
The 2024 Acura ZDX is all-new this year, marking the first all-electric SUV for the brand.

2024 Acura ZDX Type S Quick Take

The new 2024 Acura ZDX is unlike the ZDX of the past. For starters, the new SUV is fully electric, a first for Acura. Shared with a platform co-developed with GM, the Acura engineers have worked hard to differentiate the ZDX from its distant Cadillac Lyriq cousin.

To see how the new ZDX drives and feels, we head down to California for a first drive of the sportiest version – the Acura ZDX Type S.

First things, first, this is not the ZDX you may recall from a decade ago.

That ZDX was a rather odd-looking gas-powered hatchback-crossover built on a platform shared with the mid-size MDX SUV, complete with an unusual triangular shape, C-pillar rear door handles, and a beak-shaped grille. After a short four-year production cycle, it disappeared in 2013.

Fast-forward 11 years and the ZDX is back, but this time as an EV. The new ZDX is a product of Honda’s partnership with GM to build two electric SUVs that are underpinned by the latter’s Ultium battery electric platform. The other, the Honda Prologue, launched earlier this spring.

AutoGuide recently travelled to southern California for some seat time in the ZDX Type S to learn more about Acura’s first-ever EV and to gather a few impressions, take some photos, and perhaps go for a stroll along the beach. Here’s what we learned.

What's New for 2024: GM Bones

When I un-focus my eyes, the ZDX bears a resemblance to the Lyriq proportionally, although its styling differs significantly from the Caddy. For reference, the ZDX has roughly the same footprint as the three-row MDX, but its wheelbase is eight inches (203 mm) longer, and it is shorter (0.7 inches / 17.8 mm), narrower (1.7 inches / 43.1 mm), and lower (2.7 inches / 68.6 mm) than its gas-powered sibling.

Built in GM’s Spring Hill, Tennessee plant alongside the Lyriq, the ZDX uses the same Ultium skateboard battery pack and electric motor set up. In this case, the battery is a 102-kWh lithium-ion pack that is paired with either a single motor (RWD) or dual-motor (AWD) configurations for the A-Spec model, or standard dual-motor (AWD) for the Type S. Of note, the ZDX is a dual-motor, AWD-only vehicle in Canada.

Exterior: Acura Looks

Although it may share a platform with GM, the 2024 Acura ZDX has styling all its own that looks pure Acura.

On the styling front, the ZDX is recognizably Acura, and carries many of the brand’s design cues. Among these are its chicane-style LED daytime running lights, jewel-eye LED headlights, and diamond pentagon grille. The latter has been redesigned to highlight the ZDX’s EV nature. It is “seamless” on the ZDX and has a 3D embossed diamond-pattern and illuminated surround.

Other noteworthy Type S details include Metallic gray lower surfaces, Berlina Black lower grille, fascia, and wheel arches, and a two-tone black roof. Two exterior colors, Double Apex Blue Pearl, and Tiger Eye Pearl, are also unique to the Type S.

Powertrain and Efficiency: Powerful and Plenty of Range

Three versions of the ZDX are offered. The A-Spec can be had in single or dual motor, while the Type S is dual motor only.

A-Spec models were not available for us to sample in California, but I’ll list their numbers as a means of comparison.

The single-motor RWD A-Spec produces 358 horsepower and 324 lb-ft. of torque with an EPA-rated range of 313 miles. The dual-motor AWD A-Spec jumps to 490 horsepower and 437 lb-ft. of torque, with a range of 304 miles.

Finally, the dual-motor AWD Type S produces around 500 horsepower (Acura was a bit vague about exactly how much power it has) with 544 lb-ft. of torque and a 278-mile range. Acura noted in its briefing materials that torque and horsepower numbers are estimates, but they are in line with the Lyriq’s figures.

The ZDX supports DC fast charging up to 190 kW and can achieve as much as 81 miles of range (72 miles for the Type S) in about 10 minutes.

Handling and Drivability: Performance Chassis Tuning

Despite its shared EV architecture, Acura has thrown a lot of engineering at the ZDX to separate it from its Caddy cousin and give it a strong performance feel. To that end, the ZDX carries a near 50:50 weight distribution, and comes with standard air suspension, and high-performance adaptive dampers. In sport mode, ride height is lowered by 15 mm and raised by 25 mm in snow mode.

Sport mode also sharpens throttle and braking response, along with more direct steering. Normal and individual, which allows the driver to adjust ride height via cabin switch, round out the drive modes.

As for rolling gear, the ZDX Type S comes with 22-inch Berlina Black wheels, which are the biggest set ever offered on an Acura. The wheels are wrapped in Michelin 275/40R22 all-season rubber standard, but a set of Continental Premium Contact 6 (275/40R22) summers can be had for an extra $1,000 (U.S. only).

Despite the 2024 Acura ZDX's weight, it is still surprisingly nimble to drive.
To help bring the 2024 Acura ZDX Type S to a stop, massive 15.6-inch front rotors are clamped down by six-piston Brembo calipers

Stopping the ZDX Type S is a big set of brakes that includes 15.6-inch rotors up front, and 13.6-inchers in the rear. The grabbers up front are also outfitted with Brembo six-piston calipers.

Prior to the drive, Acura reps encouraged the assembled media to test out the ZDX’s various features, especially sport mode.

So, we took their encouragement to heart and spent much of the two-hour drive with that mode engaged. During the drive, which wound north along the California coast from Montecito to the hills of Los Olivos and back, our Scarlett Red Metallic tester hugged tightly to undulating tarmac that varied in quality from smooth to in dire need of repair.

Sport mode is the happy place for the ZDX Type S, no doubt. Its lower ride height, combined with sharper steering, braking and throttle response makes it a delight to drive on twisty pavement. Our tester is quite fast, despite its EV bulk, and it felt nimble as we silently sliced our way through midday traffic.

Ride Quality and Comfort:

The rear seat of the 2024 Acura ZDX offers plenty of space for all passengers.

The ZDX feels less engaging in normal mode, but still delivers a well-composed ride good for both long drives and local driving. Being able to manually adjust the car’s ride height is also a big plus. The presence of Hands Free Cruise, which was available for most of the route to Los Olivos and back, worked beautifully, deftly moving our test car around and past slower traffic with ease.

As for space, the ZDX offers a lot of room for passengers and cargo. Passenger space is rated at 102.2 cubic feet (2,894 liters), which includes 39.4 inches (1,000.7 liters) of rear seat legroom. Maximum cargo capacity is 62 cu-ft. (1,769.8 liters) with the rear seatbacks folded down and 28.7 cu-ft (812.7 liters). when they’re upright. The ZDX also comes with 5 cu-ft. (141.6 liters) of underfloor storage.

Interior Style and Quality: Sport and High Tech

Although some GM switchgear is present, the interior of the 2024 ZDX still remains Acura in feel

The ZDX Type S impresses with a richly detailed cabin finished in a black and white Orchid scheme, which is sadly not available in Canada. The digital displays may lack the overall impact of the 33-inch unit in the Lyriq, but most features, such as one-pedal drive, were easy to locate and adjust.

Seat comfort, outward visibility, and the quality of materials are all first-rate, but the GM presence is hard to ignore. Certain knobs, switches, and cell phone charge pocket will look familiar to GM owners. Seeing such blatant supplier sharing dulls the ZDX’s Acura identity to a degree, which is a bit disappointing, but not a deal-breaker.

While the ZDX doesn’t have the Lyriq’s 33-inch digital display, it has fine touches of its own, including dashboard stitching, real aluminum and chrome trim, premium leather seating, sport pedals with metal inserts, and customizable upper and lower ambient lighting (26 colors).

Type S models also have embossed headrests, 16-way front seat adjustment, heated rear seats, rear climate control, and rear door sunshades, among other features.

Tech and Safety: Impressive if Not Familiar

The dual screens of the 2024 Acura ZDX are easy to see and offer plenty of features.

And its tech features are equally impressive. The ZDX comes with two standard digital displays, an 11-inch configurable instrument panel, and an 11.3-inch multimedia touchscreen. Google built-in, a first for an Acura vehicle, is standard as is wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Google suite, which includes Google Maps and Assistant, can assist with route planning, including locating charging stations and initiating battery preconditioning.

Two other standout features worth mentioning include the debut of Acura’s new partnership with Bang & Olufsen. In the ZDX, the audio system consists of 18 speakers, which includes two subwoofers and aluminum etched speaker grilles.

The other is Hands Free Cruise, which is GM’s Super Cruise but with a different name. Like Super Cruise, Hands Free Cruise, standard on Type S, offers hands-free driving (and hands-free lane changes) on divided highways such as Interstates and other compatible roads. There are currently about 400,000 miles of such roads in the U.S. and Canada.

2024 Acura ZDX Ttpe S: Final Thoughts

The 2024 Acura ZDX Type S is at the higher end of the price spectrum, but is a solid first EV effort by the brand.

In sum, the Acura ZDX Type S is an impressive EV that mostly lives up to brand’s Precision Crafted Performance slogan without much compromise. Despite some shared switchgear, it feels like an Acura –looks like one, drives like one. And its spacious, well-appointed cabin really stands out.

It qualifies for the U.S federal EV rebate, but it’s a shame it doesn’t qualify for similar rebates in Canada. It also has a starting price that is considerably higher than that of the Lyriq, but the ZDX is hardly the first Acura (or Honda) that is priced above the competition.

How much these will weigh on purchase decisions is hard to predict, but as a first step on the road to full electrification, the ZDX is worthy entry.

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Punchy sport mode performance

Noticeable GM cabin touches

Sharp Acura styling

Priced at the top end

Lots of premium standard features

Not eligible for EV rebates in Canada

2024 Acura ZDX Type S FAQs

  • Q: How Much is the 2024 Acura MDX Type S?
  • A: In the United States it starts at $73,500, while in Canada the starting price is $91,490
  • Q: How much horsepower does the Acura MDX Type S have?
  • A: It makes around 500 horsepower, but figures aren't official yet
  • Q: Is the Acura ZDX worth it?
  • A: Although the price is high, we find it to be a wholly capable electric SUV.



Dual electric motor + 102 kWh lithium-ion battery pack


500 hp / 544 lb-ft.


Single-speed automatic



Fuel Economy (MPGe):

N/A (city / hwy)

Fuel Economy (Le/100 km):

2.8 / 3.2 (city / hwy)

Starting Price (USD):


As Tested Price (USD):


Starting Price (CAD):


As Tested Price (CAD):


Lee Bailie
Lee Bailie

With more than 20 years of industry experience, which includes automotive retail, motorsports PR, and writing and editing for various automotive publications, Lee is an AutoGuide freelancer, and car guy to the core. For nearly a decade and a half, he has married his two consuming passions together – journalism and the automotive industry. Whether it’s providing coverage on debuts from an auto show floor, writing road test reviews, or previewing a new model coming soon, Lee is eager to share his passion for the automotive industry with his readers. He is a long-standing member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) and won a feature writing award in 2018.

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 1 comment
  • E E on May 21, 2024

    I was hoping to learn how Acura’s version compares to the Cadillac in handling and steering. It’s probably superior since the Lyriq isn’t available with adaptive dampers yet but who knows?