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2009 Ford Edge Sport: A bit of kit, lots of convenience

Posted by Bill Griffith  May 15, 2009 05:45 PM

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Oversize 22-inch wheels stuff the wells on the Edge Sport. (All photos: Bill Griffith/Boston.com)

Everyone, it seems, is looking for an edge in this life.

Ford, on the other hand, wants everyone to have an Edge – the company’s well-designed crossover vehicle. The Ford Edge is a five-passenger family hauler available in four trim levels (SE, SEL, Limited, Sport) and as either a front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive vehicle. Prices start at $26,635.

Our test car was a top-of-the-line Sport version with an MSRP of $35,605 and a final sticker number of $41,755. It was optioned with a Premium package ($1,995) that included a welcome automatic liftgate and auto temperature control along with memory seat presets, power heated mirrors, and a garage door opener. It also had a navigation system (another $1,995) and 22-inch polished aluminum wheels.

The 3.5 liter V-6 puts out 265 horsepower via a 6-speed automatic transmission. The gearing was such that the Edge has a lot of zip off the line considering it weighs 4,288 pounds. In the top gears, overdrive kicks in. The Edge is rated at 15 miles per gallon city and 22 highway. We made a pair of Boston-to-Hartford round-trips, averaging 19.6 m.p.g. overall and using the nav system to take an over-hill-and-dale route home to avoid Sunday night Mass Pike traffic.

One thing that isn’t edgy is the styling; instead, it’s rounded in what has come to be crossover styling. This lack of edges gives the vehicle a smaller appearance. Start to wash it in the driveway, as we did for a photo shoot, and you realize it’s a good-sized vehicle.

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It used to be that body-styling kits were the province of muscle cars and sport sedans. Add crossovers to that list now. Our Sport had front and rear air dams, side skirts, and lower door caps in matching body color. Generally, color doesn’t count when talking test cars, but this vehicle was in Ford’s limited edition Sport Blue and the body trim pieces were in the same color instead of contrasting black or silver. In addition, the front air dam contained the fog lights and its own grille insert.

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Adjusting mirrors and seats are an part of daily life when you’re in and out of different vehicles. I remember past times when I’d buy small “stick-on” convex mirrors to put on my outside mirrors. Ford has built them into the Edge, placing a convex section in the top outside corner of both driver and passenger-side mirrors. It’s an excellent way to cover blind spots and make mirror adjusting not quite so critical. The mirrors already have puddle lamps built in. All that’s missing is to have directional flashers in the mirror to make them an ultimate package – and extremely expensive to replace.

The seats seemed comfortable, but 100 miles into the first trip, my back was really tired and aching. That’s when I found the lumbar lever and found a better position. After that, the combination of great legroom and supportive leather seats with perforated suede inserts were fine.

Not so fine was the stopping. I found it necessary to use a lot of pressure on the brake pedal. It’s a combination of vehicle weight, power assist settings, and brake system size.

On the road, the handling was predictable and comfortable, thanks to its car-based platform. In addition, the Edge was quiet, visibility was good, and the vehicle was notably stable in a late-night leg of the trip that included 100 miles in a seemingly endless thunderstorm with associated gusty winds and driving rain.

The fancy interior negates using the Edge for serious hauling, but lowering the rear seats and passenger seat makes it possible to haul the likes of an eight-foot item (say a fence post).

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At first glance the interior looks drab, perhaps because the top of the instrument panel dominates the view. Once inside, there’s a different feel, thanks to lighting and the different perspective.

We liked the center console/armrest. It’s got a deep hidden area under a lower removable shelf, plus a top shelf with room for phones, MP3 players, change, and the like. Inside is a power outlet plus USB and auxiliary plugs. In addition, there are cutouts for charging cords to extend outside the console while allowing the armrest to lie flat. The color-selectable ambient lighting is a nice touch when using the cupholders at night.

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The brushed aluminum center stack is framed by extremely long and narrow air vents. Rear legroom is adult-friendly.

Edge sales in April were off approximately 30 percent from the same month a year ago, mirroring Ford’s car and light truck division sales. The exception has been the Fusion and Fusion Hybrid, which is up over a year ago.

So, if you’re looking for an edge, Ford has some deals for you.

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This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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15 comments so far...
  1. Hey Mr. G - nice review. I feel like I have a pretty complete picture of your impressions of the vehicle inside, out, and on the road.

    Posted by WVW in West Newton May 16, 09 12:04 AM
  1. I would consider a Ford - but not this one. The weight of the vehicle and the gas mileage are unacceptable. A CRV or Forester would be much cheaper and provide much better MPG.

    Posted by Jim M. May 16, 09 07:42 AM
  1. nice vehicle, too bad it's a pig on gas

    Can buy 4 used Honda's (the company that isn't closing any dealers) and probably get them to last the rest of my life with over 30mpg.

    Posted by massta May 17, 09 12:10 PM
  1. I'd go for the Mazda CX-9 - same floorplan, but, in my opinion, a better vehicle.

    Posted by Tim May 17, 09 01:15 PM
  1. Jim M, if you are the type of man to drive a forester or a CRV, you should turn in your manhood at the door.

    Posted by GrowAPair May 17, 09 03:48 PM
  1. Good looking vehicle, but waaaaay over priced...especially for a Ford

    Posted by MTR May 18, 09 08:42 AM
  1. The Edge is bigger than both the Forester and the CRV, and thus aren't in the same class. So why would you worry as much about mileage, it's like comparing an Accord to a Civic? Your comparison makes no sense.

    A relative of mine just picked up a 2008 model, fully loaded SEL AWD for far under sticker price. It's loaded & drives very well. This is one of the reasons Ford doesn't need bailout money - they can still build a good car that handles well & runs great.

    Posted by FJ May 18, 09 09:00 AM
  1. A CRV or a Forester would be a completely different class of vehicle. The Ford Escape would be more comparable to the CRV or Forester.

    Posted by Minderbinder May 18, 09 09:11 AM
  1. The Edge is a fine vehicle for families but I would prefer the upscale Lincoln version, the MKX. The base model MKX with whatever fees come with it would be around the same price as the fully loaded Edge. You could argue either way but I would still want the Lincoln.

    I also agree with Tim, the Mazda CX-7 is much sharper in the looks department.

    Posted by Andy May 18, 09 09:59 AM
  1. I've been leasing a 2007 Ford Edge for the past 18 months, and feel this reviewer describes the car very well. Pros are a powerful and smooth 265 hp engine, solid and near luxury car road feel, very roomy and comfortable cabin for five passengers, and an suv like cargo option with rear seats folded down. The styling is very attractive too; I have a gloss black Edge with 18" chrome-styled wheels and get a lot of compliments on its good looks. Some of the cons are poor braking as mentioned, which really needs to be corrected. I've driven an Audi Q7 (which is considerably heaver than the Edge) and found the brakes far superior and responsive, stopping the Q in a shorter distance. I would also like to see Ford add a second gear to the auto-transmission, as the choices currently are only Drive and First, which makes downshifting very harsh at times. I'll often de-select the overdrive button to compensate and to try and slow the vehicle down without using the brakes, but the Edge is just too heavy at speed and will not slow down unless you start applying heavy brake pressure.

    Other posts here are also correct, i.e., the Edge is not in the same class as a Forester. My wife has a Subaru Outback and we have also test driven a new Forester. Some might argue the Forester is close in interior room, but the Edge is more in line with an Acura MDX or Infiniti FX.

    Posted by Chris May 18, 09 10:15 AM
  1. Ford Edge Sport?
    What sport? Gas guzzling sport?
    No thanks, I hate patronizing them Arab terrorists or that guy called Hugo Chavez..

    Posted by elvira madigan May 18, 09 05:35 PM
  1. Highlander Hybrid. I own one and love it. It's very quick (with the electric/gas kicking in when you floor it), gets 22-26 mpg (never less), comfortable, and reliable. The ride's a little soft, but if there's the Saab SportCombi/BMW wagons if you want that.
    It's good to see Ford add the little touches like the mirror, and make the SUV sporty..but get some gas mileage!

    Posted by znsomerset May 19, 09 08:21 AM
  1. I love the looks of the Ford Sport Edge ,But I just bought a 2009 Toyota Venza because of better mileage and it looks great , good ride , fair mileage.

    Posted by Fred May 19, 09 11:00 PM
  1. I enjoyed the article, and the details provided byt the author.

    I also enjoyed how the individuals who posted comments are trying to convince themselves that they made the right decision buying a different car. Good luck with that.

    I've owned multiple Jeeps, and most recently a Ford product, and I will never buy anything but American. Not only does Ford have many great products out there, it is the least I can do to help support this country.

    Posted by TTT123 May 26, 09 01:07 PM
  1. My dad works at Ford, and I'm about to get an Edge. I've test driven and loved it! I currently have a BMW 325i, and although I love it, it's too much on the insurance. I've researched the Edge into full depth, and also been up to the dealership, I must say it's hard to beat. I agree with TTT123 American is the best way to go. My dad won't even consider getting me a Jeep. I wanted one when I was sixteen and he said he's had to fix too many to even consider it. They're dangerous and are to easily broken.

    Posted by Connected June 3, 09 01:03 PM
 

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
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AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
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Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
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Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
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