This week, I was in Des Moines for business and had a Ford Edge with the Sync System for my rental vehicle. I was pretty excited about trying the Sync system out as I have a couple of friends that have it in their vehicles and think it’s great. Overall, as much as I really enjoy and appreciate technology, my first impression of the Edge wasn’t that great and the Sync System was equally not great.
It would seem that both the Edge and the Sync System were designed by people who don’t actually drive any sort of vehicle.
The vehicle itself was average – sitting in it, the body of the vehicle felt large and bloated and the response in turning and acceleration felt similar. This is probably how most crossovers are. I’ve never driven one, so I don’t really know what is normal for this sort of vehicle.
The driver controls are horrible. I’ve never been a fan of having all the controls on the turn signal stick and then the second stick for the windshield wipers, but I think the Edge takes a bad idea and makes it even worse. The gearshift was also bad in that I would repeatedly put the car into Sport mode instead of drive because the sport mode is directly below drive instead of off to the side the way other vehicles do it. Putting the car into Sport when you’re not expecting is always a bit of a surprise since the car stays in first gear longer and if you weren’t actually planning on accelerating, the car will jerk a bit when you let off the gas.
I did like the backup camera and the stereo made by Sony had very good sound quality.
The Sync system is gimmicky and not particularly useful. In fact, I think it’s detrimental to driving. It has three screens: a touch screen on the center console and display screens either side of the speedometer. Under the center console screen is a touch panel for additional controls (radio and climate). The screens on either side of the speedometer are controlled with a sort of d-pad built into the steering wheel. Actually, two d-pads. One on either side of the steering wheel, one for each screen. Also, Sync did not respond immediately to buttons or the touch screen. There is usually a little bit of a lag, which I find unacceptable.
Overall, there were too many buttons and touch panels, all of which required actually looking at the panel instead of the road. This is in contrast to my Discover where I can operate everything by feel without actually looking down and the controls themselves are large and easy to find. Maybe others love it and swear by it, but certainly not a good choice for me.