Changan Eado 1.6 GDI: Comfortable, Confident, Conservative And Contemporary

A comfortable and convenient compact to mid-size saloon, the Changan Eado is a smooth riding and user-friendly daily driver with contemporary styling with a distinctly Chinese flavour.

First introduced in 2018, the second generation Changan Eado is a perhaps overlooked player in the C-segment compact to mid-size saloon segment, but is one that ticked many of the right boxes during a recent – if brief – test drive on local roads. Leaning towards the value end of the same segment that includes cars like the Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla to name but a few, the somewhat conservative Eado may not be a car to set pulses racing, but certainly well-accomplishes what it sets out to do.

A middle of the road car that delivers much of what customers look for in its segment, the Eado is one of the larger and roomier in its class. In terms of design, it has a perhaps generic but attractive and thoroughly modern look to it with ridged creases, sharp lines, sculpted body work, sleek roofline and high-set rear deck. Contemporarily conservative in aesthetic, the Eado however incorporates sporty touches like vertical gill-like faux bumper intakes, dome-style bonnet surfacing and subtly pronounced and bulging crease-lines above the rear wheel-arches.

At the front, the Eado sports a massive grille element with big slats which pinches in at the centre, not too unlike some designs employed by Lexus in recent years. Positioned transversely behind its chrome-heavy grille the Eado is powered by a naturally-aspirated direct injection 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine driving the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Producing 126BHP at 6,200rpm and 124lb/ft torque throughout 4,000-5,000rpm, the Eado is estimated to be able to carry its 1,335kg mass through the 0-100km/h acceleration benchmark in 11.6-seconds, and onto a 180km/h top speed.

Smooth in operation and progressive in delivery with a brief but useful high-end torque plateau and peaky maximum power point, the Eado also benefits from a powerful 48V fuel injection system that operates at full throttle, and which helps better stratify fuel for enhanced efficiency and power. That all said, the Eado returns frugal estimated 6.1l/100km combined cycle fuel efficiency. Meanwhile, real world performance is perfectly adequate for most drivers and situations, with smooth and relatively quick gear shifts calling on the right ratio for a given situation.

Confident if not outright quick, the Eado performs well in its segment whether in town, at a faster pace or on Amman’s many 60-80km/h inclines. For sportier driving, the Eado’s gearbox allows for sequential manual shifts, but will eventually upshift automatically rather than hold a gear and let revs bounce off the limiter. With good insulation and subdued engine noise, the Eado is designed to be a comfortable, relaxing and surprisingly well refined car for its class. Smooth riding and settled at cruising speeds, it feels reassuring on the road.

Seemingly designed with comfort more at the forefront than outright sportiness, the Eado did how very pleasantly surprise during one particular corner of about 110° and with a somewhat sharply descending change of elevation. Turning in quite tidily at a relatively brisk pace, the Eado changed direction with good in-class response and felt committed and gripping well at the front as it resisted under-steer. Meanwhile, it displayed better than expected body roll control for a comfortable riding car that seemed to shrug off most road imperfections smoothly.

A comfortable riding car, the Eado absorbed most lumps and bumps well, as driven with forgiving 205/60R16 tyres. On initial observation during a limited test drive route, the Eado also seemed to have decent vertical and rebound body control, but a more demanding drive would have yielded a more thorough evaluation. That said, the Eado’s brake response was good and its steering light and adequately direct. Maneuverability and ride height also proved good when having to mount the kerb and reverse park amongst several cars at the dealership forecourt.

Of the more spacious in its class with generous 500-litre boot and comfortable, well-adjustable and user-friendly front seats, the Eado could do with slightly more rear headroom, but this is so for most cars with fashionably low rooflines. That said, rear headroom is still better than most, and is complemented with good in-class rear legroom. Moderately well-equipped, it features front and rear USB ports, front airbags, rearview camera and more. Pleasant and fashionably modern inside, the Eado uses mostly good quality trim and leatherette upholstery, while harder plastics are mostly positioned less conspicuously.

Produced by a fully state-owned Chinese manufacturer with an eye on reputation building in terms of quality, the Eado uses several outsourced world-class components including Bosch engine control unit, Aisen gearbox and Denso A/C, and comes with a standard 150,000km or 5-year warranty and a 30,000km or 2-year maintenance package. Available in a single specification for the Jordanian market at the time of writing – with an EV variant expected to launch soon – the Eado 1.6 GDI sells at JD18,000, inclusive of duties, registration and first year fully comprehensive insurance.

Specifications: Changan Eado 1.6L GDI

  • Engine: 1.6-litre, transverse, 4-cylinders
  • Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, direct injection
  • Gearbox: 6-speed automatic, front-wheel-drive
  • Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 126 (128) [94] @6,200rpm
  • Specific power: 78.8BHP/litre
  • Power-to-weight: 94.4BHP/tonne
  • Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 124 (168) @4,000-5,000rpm
  • Specific torque: 105Nm/litre
  • Torque-to-weight: 125.8Nm/tonne
  • 0-100km/h: 11.6-seconds (estimate)
  • Top speed: 180km/h (estimate)
  • Fuel consumption, combined: 6.1-litres/100km (estimate)
  • Fuel capacity: 53-litres
  • Length: 4,710mm
  • Width: 1,820mm
  • Height: 1,505mm
  • Wheelbase: 2,700mm
  • Luggage volume: 500-litres
  • Kerb weight: 1,335kg (estimate)
  • Suspension, F/R: MacPherson struts / torsion beam
  • Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion
  • Brakes, F/R: Ventilated discs / discs
  • Tyres: 205/60R16
  • Price, on-the-road, with comprehensive insurance: JD18,000