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.
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.
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).
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.
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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