Utility vehicles have been aÂ hot ticket personal transport item for some time, much to the delight of OEMs and their shareholders. As the definition around what should qualify as “utility” becameÂ more and more blurred during this (presently, CUV) craze, Â inevitably some entries missed the mark and floundered. Perhaps a redesignÂ was in the cards if the manufacturer felt confident, or a product cancellation if it didn’t.
Either way, recent examples of bad utility vehicles are our subject today. What’s your pick for theÂ worst utility vehicle of the past decade?
We’re only considering recent utility vehicles, because we’d surely end up down AMC International Harvester Scout Bronco II streetÂ in short order. The rules are just two:
- The vehicle must have been available between model years 2008 and 2017.
- It must be a North American market offering.
There aren’t limitationsÂ further than those, but we leave it to youÂ to keep the topic specifically onÂ utility vehicles. Have a look at the selectionÂ below, which will surely put your mind in the gutter right place for this question.
That’s right, my personal pick for worst recent utility vehicle is the Acura ZDX. Labeled by its designer as a “4-door luxury sports coupe” (eyeroll), AcuraÂ intended the vehicle to straddle the lines of coupe, sedan, and SUV. The ZDX appeared in the Acura product offering pamphletsÂ between 2010 and 2013. Though the ZDX is of the same era and idea as the similarly ugly Honda Crosstour, the two vehicles are not mechanically related. The Crosstour was an Accord sibling, while the ZDX is of MDX lineage.
Though the familiar Honda 3.7-liter V6 provided 300 horsepower, a hefty curb weight of over 4,400 pounds kept sporting pretensions far away. With regard to utility, cargo capacity with all seats in place was 27.5 cubic feet. For comparison, a much smaller Ford Escape provides 34.3 cubes, while a Lexus RX350 has an even 40.
All the inconvenient packaging didn’t come cheap, as in 2010 the introductory price was just over $46,000 (the RX350 AWD started at $39,025). It was available in a wide variety of colors that included black, grey, silver, and white. As a result, Acura shifted just 7,191 units over seven calendar years. Many a sad ZDX languished on lots through 2014, and a final two were sold in 2015.
Fifteen years from now, tune in when Rare Rides presents the Acura ZDX. For now, tell us your pick for worst utility vehicle.
[Images: Land Rover, The Truth About Cars]