Introduction to a Niche within a Niche
Admittedly, we know that it is very likely quite possible that we have put together a back to back comparison test of two luxury models that might just possess the narrowest range of mainstream buyer appeal that the world has seen since the introduction of the Renault LeCar. Okay, we admit that making this sort of analogy may seem a tad bit extreme but allow us to explain our reasoning for the analogy here—if you tell someone that you just bought an SUV designed to look “sporty and sleek” at the expense of passenger and cargo room compared to the more mainstream luxury suvs they are based on they would probably give you a look of concerned pity. Much like a person would have given a person who just bought the aforementioned LeCar.
It is quite odd or at least coincidental, however, that two luxury automakers would come up with two fastback niche SUVs with similar design briefs that were apparently designed from the beginning not to sell in huge numbers but rather serve as “flagship models.” Such is the curiously true tale of the oddballs of the luxury SUV realm—the 2012 Acura ZDX and 2012 BMW X6. It’s funny though, we thought the point of creating a new vehicle was that one day hopefully everybody would want to drive one. But Acura and BMW weren’t after “everyone.” Or poor people with bad credit but we’ll get to sticker prices in a moment.
You see, some people see luxury not as supple leather all over the interior, a seat mounted air conditioning fan that cools your bum on hot days or an ear splitting, 27-speaker audio system pumping out more watts of power than some nuclear power plants. Quite simply, they seek exclusivity and they want everyone to know that they are a breed apart from more mainstream X5 and MDX owners.
Now, having experienced these two somewhat compromised SUVs gave us a real insight into what they are like to live with on a day to day basis. While we expected that their limitations and positive attributes would be quite similar that was, unfortunately for one contestant here, not the case. Rarely does a new vehicle bother us this much but after spending some time with both the BMW X6 and Acura ZDX we learned that we really, really hated the X6. We’d actually prefer to own a LeCar, quite frankly.