2011 Ford Edge — Review
This 2011 review is representative of model years 2011 to 2013.
By Kirk Bell of MSN Autos
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.
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
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.
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 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?
(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.