5 cars that make you say, 'What the heck were they thinking?'
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This got me thinking: Besides this bizarre Nissan, how many other oddball "what the heck were they thinking?!" cars are out there in the new and used market? And what vehicles would Consumer Reports recommend people buy instead of plunking down cash on these oddballs?
I promise, I won't even mention the most obvious culprit. (You know, the Pontiac Aztek— oops!)
The background: When this quarter-baked coupe-cum-SUV was introduced, I remember thinking: "I hope this designer gets another chance down the road." It's obvious looking back that this would be just one of a number of Honda stumbles over the next few years. But at the time it was spun by many as a logical addition to the coupe-ification of the industry, like the BMW X6, Mercedes-Benz CLS, and Volkswagen CC. Sure, the general concept made sense (an all-wheel-drive luxury SUV alternative), but the pieces assembled to create this mechanical platypus didn’t. The formula: Take the MDX SUV platform, remove the third-row seat, delete much passenger and cargo space, put a new letter in front of the "DX," and sell the resulting creation for thousands more than that far more capable MDX. Not surprisingly, the ZDX isn’t a great seller. Acura moved 29 examples in August and has sold 306 in 2013 thus far. (For contrast, MDX has sold more than 30,000 units this year.) Mercifully, Acura is killing the ZDX after the 2013 model year.
Get this instead: Just buy a new or pre-owned Acura MDX. If you’re looking for ultimate SUV handling, you probably weren’t shopping at the Acura dealer anyway. (Look for a BMW or Porsche dealership.) So buy the roomy, comfortable MDX and get the same powertrain and the ability to carry adults in the backseat, along with luggage, groceries, or just about anything else.