The Ford Evos Is Sleek Crossover With A 27-inch Screen
Issuing time:2022-07-25 20:40
What is it?
The Ford Evos is a strange combination of wagon, crossover, and SUV in the vein of the Citroen C5X and it is currently only available in the Chinese market. We first saw it at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show, where it was among our favorite designs. Finally, almost a year later, we got to drive it.
Coupe? SUV? Lifted Wagon?
The front-end design of the Evos carries the same design language as the mid-size Ford Equator SUV, composed of a lightbar connecting two hook-shaped DRLs. Interesting to see Ford stretching this design language across both its local joint venture partners, JMC (makers of the Equator) and Changan (makers of the Evos). The Ford corporate grill is present and accounted for, but inside are individual plastic pieces that flutter when you unlock the Evos. The designers say it is intended as form of greeting for the owner, and it accompanied by taillights that slowly pulse as if the car is “breathing.” The combination gives the Evos a real sense of occasion.
What caught our attention at the Shanghai Auto Show, however, was its strange shape, which is unlike any other Ford available for sale today. It is a bit difficult to categorize, landing somewhere between crossover and lifted wagon. The biggest factor for this is a height of only 1.6m, as opposed to the 1.77m of something like a US-market Ford Edge. This effect is only heightened (pun not intended) by the fact that all Evos models come with a blacked-out roof, further lowering the car visually. Our ST Line test car (basically the sports appearance package) came with 20-inch black wheels.
That Screen, Though…
The inside of the Evos hides what is probably one of the most interesting interiors available on a Ford today, and revolves around the massive 1.1-meter screen. This length of display is not unheard of, but the claims usually revolve around a single pane that contains three separate screens. The Evos’ display, on the other hand, is made of a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a single, gigantic infotainment screen measuring 27-inches across. This same setup will also be found in the forthcoming Ford Mondeo and Lincoln Zephyr here in the Chinese market.
The display can function as a single screen, or it can be divided into two separate screens at the tap of a button. When functioning as one screen, the most important commands are duplicated on the driver side and passenger side. For example, when you open the GPS, the field for inputting your destination will be available to both the passenger and the driver.
The display can also be divided at the touch of a button, allowing the driver and passenger to interact with different functions, say, navigation and media, at the same time. Should the driver want to cede control of the navigation to the passenger and take over DJ duties, they need only drag three fingers across the screen, and the two functions will switch sides. Due to its length, menus are arranged horizontally, rather than vertically. The size is a bit intimidating at first, but the UI is a breeze to use, and we were able to master it very quickly.
Our test car also came equipped with the optional, ten-speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system. Sound quality was fine, but this Evos had a rather strange habit of cranking up the volume every time we turned it off, therefore terrifying us with loud music every time we turned on the car. Our car was a pre-production model, and Ford reassures us that this problem isn’t present in the production Evos. Our car was not equipped with the optional cooled seats, which were much missed during the Shanghai summer, however, both first and second-row seats were heated.
The Evos’ generous wheelbase of 2945mm is around 10cm longer than that of a Ford Edge, and backseat comfort more than bears this out. The seats themselves were quite comfy, especially when fitted with the grippy alcantara material in our ST Line model. The seat bottoms were noticeably longer than we’re used to seeing in cars this size and price point, making for even greater seat comfort. Taking away from the experience is the lack of rear headroom, yet another sacrifice to the coupe SUV gods. Thankfully, the hatchback rear opening means rear cargo space remains quite large.
Radical Styling, Not so Radical Handling
All versions of the Evos come equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 175 kW and 376 Nm of torque (235 hp and 280 pound-feet). That’s backed by an 8-speed automatic transmission, and the whole combination delivers an official 01-100 km/h time of just 6.6 seconds, quite adequate for a car of this size.
The 8-speed transmission, however, is the biggest weakness in this car’s driving dynamics. Shifting is smooth, but the mapping of those shifts sometimes left us a bit confused. The Evos tended to holds on to revs for too long, and failed to downshift fast when asked for more vigorous acceleration. Having said that, most Evos drivers won’t be exploring the higher parts of the rev range, so it’s hardly a dealbreaker.
Apart from that, the driving dynamics of the Ford Evos are very mainstream, meaning it’s softly sprung, with obvious brake dive and body roll in the corners. This pays dividends when it comes time to hit a bump, however, as the Evos feels comfortable and even decently quiet.
Our test car also had the optional Ford's Co-pilot 360, an L2 ADAS. We used the system on the highway, which is where you should use it, and found it to be consistently effective. It kept up with Shanghai’s congested highway traffic without having any erratic behavior when it came to braking or acceleration. More interesting to us was the augmented reality navigation. When activated, the instrument cluster displays the camera's view of the road ahead and then overlays navigation prompts. It doesn’t do anything a HUD can’t do better (and without forcing you to look down at the instrument cluster), but can help be helpful in certain complex road situations.
When this car debuted at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show, there was much speculation that it would serve as a replacement for the Ford Mondeo in the European market. Ford has also trademarked the name in the Mexican market, leading some media to predict that it will be produced there and imported into the United States to replace the Ford Edge. We have no insights when it comes to Ford’s future product planning, but we can say with confidence that the Ford Evos is an interesting and value-packed direction for the future of Ford.
Engine: 2.0T 4-cylinder