2012 Ford Edge

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2011 Ford Edge — Review

This 2011 review is representative of model years 2011 to 2014.
By Kirk Bell of MSN Autos
Rating: 9.0

Bottom Line:

Ford has improved upon its best-selling crossover, giving it a more controlled ride, a better interior, more power, and connectivity and infotainment features unmatched in the industry. Combine those features with the room, power and all-wheel-drive security that it already had, and it becomes clear that the Edge is a well-rounded family vehicle.
Pros:
  • Nice combination of power and fuel economy
  • Useful cargo space
  • Lots of connectivity
Cons:
  • Not as nimble as some crossovers
  • Sport model’s 22-inch wheels are too big
  • Technology may scare off some customers

View Pictures:  2011 Ford Edge

Crossover SUVs are the hottest vehicle segment in America these days. They offer consumers most of the benefits of their larger brethren, such as a commanding view of the road and plenty of room for cargo and passengers, but with a much more carlike ride and better fuel economy.

Ford got into the crossover game in the 2007 model year when it rolled out the 5-passenger Edge, which has since become the country's best-selling small utility vehicle. For 2011, the Blue Oval has made some significant changes, including improved engine options, better fuel economy and a more elegant interior. Plus, it's getting infotainment and connectivity features that are unmatched in the industry.

Model Lineup
The 2011 Ford Edge is offered in four trim levels: SE, SEL, Limited and Sport. All come standard with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is an option for all but the SE. Standard equipment on the SE includes cloth upholstery, air conditioning, manually adjustable driver's seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, AM/FM/CD stereo with six speakers, auxiliary input jack, two 4.2-inch MyFord control screens, MyKey and P235/65R17 tires on alloy wheels. The SEL adds dual-zone automatic climate control, 6-way power-adjustable driver's seat, rear park assist, Sirius satellite radio, keyless entry keypad and P245/60R18 tires. The Limited gets leather upholstery, ambient interior lighting, 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, 6-way power adjustable front passenger seat that folds flat, Sony audio system, HD radio and MyFordTouch (more on that later) that includes a rear-view camera. To the SEL, the Sport model adds ambient lighting, 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, the Sony audio system, MyFordTouch, aluminum pedals, sport-tuned suspension and P265/40R22 tires.

Notable options consist of a Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert, a power liftgate, a navigation system with Sirius Travel Link, a panoramic sunroof, remote start, rear DVD entertainment and keyless entry.

Standard safety features consist of dual front airbags, front side airbags, curtain side airbags with rollover deployment, tire-pressure monitor, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, traction control, electronic stability control with roll stability control and hill-start assist.

Under the Hood
Three engines are available. The base engine in the SE, SEL and Limited trims is an updated version of the 3.5-liter V6 from last year. With the addition of twin independent variable cam timing (Ti-VCT), the engine gains 20 horsepower, to 285, and torque is up 3 lb-ft to 253. The Sport trim gets a 3.7-liter V6, also with Ti-VCT, that makes 305 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. Due later in the model year is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, the second entry in the company's EcoBoost family.

Fuel economy is improved for 2011, as well. EPA ratings for the 3.5-liter V6 are 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway with front-wheel drive and 18/25 mpg with all-wheel drive. Ratings for the 3.7-liter V6 are 18/25 mpg with front-wheel drive and 17/23 mpg with all-wheel drive. Power and fuel-economy numbers haven't been announced for the EcoBoost, but it should make about 240 horsepower and get slightly better mileage than the 3.5-liter V6.

The Edge's all-wheel-drive system sends most of the power to the front wheels under normal driving conditions, but can move power to the rear during hard acceleration and when the system detects slip at the front wheels.

Inner Space
The big news for 2011 is the debut of MyFordTouch, an infotainment system powered by Ford Sync that controls your trip computer, phone, radio (including Sirius and now HD radio), MP3 player, navigation system and climate functions. It consists of two 4.2-inch LCD screens in the instrument cluster, an 8-inch LCD screen in the center stack, two 5-way controllers on the steering wheel, voice recognition and a media hub with two USB ports, an SD card slot and an RCA jack for hooking up a video-game system.

The far left screen shows trip computer and vehicle data; the screen in the center stack handles phone, entertainment, climate and navigation functions; and the final screen can take on any of the functions from the large screen. The 8-inch screen is broken up into quadrants and color-coded by category. This screen can be customized, and the redundant instrument-panel (IP) screen allows drivers to keep track of different information at the same time. For instance, the navigation display can be shown in the center screen, while the radio station or iPod information can be shown in the right-side IP screen.

Some will view MyFordTouch as industry-leading technology and others will think it's too complicated. Certainly, it will take some time to learn and configure to your liking. But we like it, especially the many control options. Using voice command, the driver doesn't need to look away from the road, and the command structure requires fewer steps this year. For those frustrated by voice commands, the steering-wheel controllers require no reach at all. While using an MP3 player or a phone in a car can be distracting, people are going to do it, and MyFordTouch integrates those devices seamlessly.

The Edge's interior is also redesigned for 2011, and it is much improved. The dashboard has a more uniform, flowing design, with sturdier soft-touch materials. There are three levels of center stack design. The base design is very traditional, but the two versions associated with MyFordTouch include touch-sensitive controls that work well. The higher-end version comes with Sony-branded audio and is designed to look like today's in-home electronics.

The Edge is a 5-passenger vehicle with plenty of headroom and legroom — front and rear — for up to five adults. Ford has elected not to cram in a third-row seat, hoping buyers looking for extra seating capacity will turn to the company's other crossovers, the Flex and the upcoming Explorer. The Edge's driver's seat is comfortable and supportive, and with the tilt/telescoping steering wheel, any driver can find a natural driving position.

The rear seats fold mostly flat with one touch, to open up 68.9 cubic feet of cargo space. That's about average for this class of high-utility vehicles. However, that space is expanded by an available fold-flat front passenger seat, allowing owners to load items up to 8 feet long.

On the Road
The 2011 Edge rides the same carlike unibody platform as the outgoing model, but with tweaks to the suspension and steering. At 4,000 to 4,200 pounds, the Edge isn't that heavy for a crossover, but it drives a little heavier than it really is. That's not to say that the Edge is cumbersome like a truck-based SUV. It's just not as nimble as vehicles such as the Nissan Murano, BMW X3 or Audi Q5. Compared with those vehicles, the Edge leans a bit more in turns and doesn't react as quickly to changes of direction. It's not an ill-handling vehicle, it's just not as fun as some of its competition. Still, the suspension changes make it feel more controlled than the outgoing model.

The Edge Sport model, with its firmer suspension and 22-inch low-profile tires, adds a bit more responsiveness, but the big wheels are just too big. They react more harshly to bumps and ruts, though no Edge has a rough ride. They also feel heavy through the steering wheel. In other models, the steering has a little heft to it, but is somewhat numb.

Ford's 3.5-liter V6 is improved for 2011 as well, adding 20 horsepower. The difference is noticeable, and Ford says zero to 60 mph comes 0.8 second faster. That would put it in the low to mid seven-second range, which feels about right. The 3.5-liter V6 has all the power you'll need. It gets the Edge moving with ease and has enough in reserve for worry-free passing.

The Sport model has the same 3.7-liter V6 that powers the 2011 Mustang. It cuts about a half-second off the zero-to-60 mph time, adding just a bit more pep. With either engine, response is dulled a bit by the all-wheel-drive system, due to the added weight. Speaking of the AWD, it lacks low-range gearing and is meant for slick-road security, not off-road capability.

Right for You?
Midsize crossovers like the Edge are today's most popular vehicles for families. The Edge fits nicely in this class, offering an elevated driving position, comfortable seating for five, pleasant road manners, plenty of rear cargo room, decent fuel mileage and industry-leading infotainment features. Larger families will want to upgrade to a 7- or 8-passenger vehicle, and those looking for a sporty crossover should probably go elsewhere as well.

(As part of an automaker-sponsored press event, Ford provided MSN with travel and accommodations to facilitatethis report.)

Kirk Bell has served as the associate publisher for Consumer Guide Automotive and editor of Scale Auto Enthusiast magazine.A Midwest native, Bell brings 18 years of automotive journalism experience to MSN, andcurrently contributes to JDPower.com andKelley Blue Book's kbb.com.

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BB01 - 9/16/2014 4:38:34 PM