consulted some of the best review resources on the Web to assemble this review on the 2009 Ford Edge. Then expert editors added their own insights and firsthand driving experience with the Edge to make the review especially useful to a range of shoppers.

The 2009 Ford Edge is a tall utility vehicle that's actually more carlike in its performance; the five-passenger Edge made its debut last year and comes standard with a 3.5-liter, 265-horsepower engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, along with either front-wheel drive for the more economically minded or an available all-wheel-drive system for those in winter-weather locales.

From the outside, the large, bright grille in the 2009 Ford Edge is the prominent design feature. Some will love it, but for others it's probably a little too overt...or gaudy. But the rest is undeniably positive; the smoothly arched roofline and attention to details translate to one of the most attractive profiles among crossover vehicles.

Inside, it's somewhat more traditional and low-key, with a sporty, upright design for the instrument panel and controls. The layout is attractive and simple, though the materials and surfaces are a half step in look and feel behind the best rivals. Seating is a high point all around; front seats are ample and supportive, and in back the second row can recline to different degrees and is split 60/40 for flexible combinations of cargo and passengers. With the front passenger seat folded down, items measuring up to eight feet in length can be transported within the Edge. But the cargo area at the back is restricted a bit by the sloping rear window. Each rear seat can also be folded manually using a single-hand release--a feature quickly becoming the benchmark among utility vehicles and wagons--or automatically with an available EasyFold electro-mechanical remote release accessible from the rear cargo area.

The suspension in the 2009 Ford Edge strikes just the right balance for most buyers, allowing a ride that's soft enough to soak up the more jarring bumps yet has enough body control for crisp changes of direction. It's not altogether sporty, though; there's some body lean if you go into a corner too quickly, but the Edge maintains its composure. The V-6 has plenty of power to move the 2009 Ford Edge briskly with full loads or up mountain grades, but lacks the manual control over the gears that makes some types of driving more enjoyable.

Ford's SYNC system for controlling entertainment and communication systems, a voice-activated navigation system, and a new, large, panorama-style Vista Roof are among the standout features on the 2009 Ford Edge. A power liftgate is now optional, as are 20-inch chromed wheels and brassy red-trimmed front seats. Sirius Travel Link, a useful feature that provides real-time traffic and weather information, as well as current gas prices at nearby gas stations, is a new option for 2009.

AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, anti-lock brakes, front-seat side airbags, and side-curtain airbags are all on the standard equipment list for the 2009 Ford Edge, which gets top scores across nearly every federal-government and insurance-industry crash test and is an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2009.

The Bottom Line:

Provided you don't mind the lack of a third-row seat, the 2009 Ford Edge stands out in a crowded field as thoroughly competent, well rounded, and fashionable.

The Car Connection

©2008 by The Car Connection™ All Rights Reserved—The Car Connection is a trademark of Car Advisory Network

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