As part of Ford's extensive crossover/SUV lineup -- which includes the 5-passenger compact Escape, the 6- or 7-passenger almost-full-size Explorer and the truck-based 7- or 8-passenger Expedition -- the 2011 Ford Edge puts a stylish face on practicality.

The Edge can tow up to 3,500 pounds or tote 68.9 cu ft of cargo with its rear seats folded. A design freshening for 2011 adds a wide-mouth 3-bar grille and wraparound headlamps. The 2011 Edge is also the first of its kind available with the MyFord Touch electronic infotainment system, which replaces traditional knobs and buttons. Sport versions offer a sinister-looking blacked-out grille and a more powerful V6 while riding on big, bold 22-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels.

The Ford Edge is one of the best-selling 5-passenger crossover SUVs, offering a popular mix of practicality and style.

What We Like

SYNC voice-activated infotainment controls; improved fuel economy; slick-shifting automatic transmission; smooth ride quality on SE, SEL and Limited trims; perky V6 performance

What We Don't

Glitchy MyFord Touch controls for audio and climate control; wide turning circle; narrow front seats; stiff ride on Sport trim

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

A 3.5-liter V6 is the base engine in SE, SEL and Limited models. It uses regular unleaded fuel. With four valves per cylinder and dual independent variable valve timing, the 3.5-liter V6 generates 285 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque on a diet of regular fuel. It's teamed solely with a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission. Equipped with front-wheel drive, the V6 has an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 19 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, while all-wheel-drive versions are rated one mpg less at 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy.

The Edge Sport is equipped with a slightly larger 3.7-liter V6, producing 305 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque on regular unleaded fuel. Its only transmission choice is a 6-speed automatic. With front-wheel drive, the Sport's 3.7-liter V6's EPA rating is 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy and drops to 17 mpg city/24 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive.

Standard Features & Options

The 2011 Ford Edge is available in SE, SEL, Limited and Sport trims.

SE standard equipment includes the 3.5-liter V6, automatic transmission, air conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-telescope steering wheel with remote audio and climate controls, remote keyless entry, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an MP3 decoder, 17-in alloy wheels, stability and traction control, a rear window washer/wiper, a split fold-down rear bench seat, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, dual front- and side-impact airbags, overhead airbags and power doors, windows and mirrors.

SEL models get automatic air conditioning, back-up parking sensors, a power driver's seat, 18-in alloys, a sequential sport shifter, an auto-dimming inside mirror, auto-off headlamps and an outside temperature display. SEL options not available on SE include rain-sensing wipers, a rear camera, navigation, a panoramic sunroof, all-wheel drive, a rear-entertainment system with headphones, leather seats, heated front seats, a power passenger's seat and 20-in alloy wheels.

Choosing Limited trim not only adds standards such as leather upholstery, a power passenger's seat, heated front seats, a memory driver's seat, a garage-door opener, MyFord Touch touchscreen controls for audio and climate control, electronic gauges, a 12-speaker premium audio system and a rear camera, but it also makes available an optional power lift gate, distance cruise control and a security system.

Moving to Sport trim nets the more powerful 3.7-liter V6 from the Mustang and adds blackout exterior trim and 22-in alloy wheels.

Pricing

Crossover SUVs have replaced wagons and are in the process of edging out sedans and minivans as the family haulers of choice. Not every family's budget can afford a new one, so there's a constant demand for pre-owned midsize crossovers such as the Edge, provided they are clean and have the right equipment. All-wheel drive is a popular option in cold-weather states, so expect to pay more for Edges that are so equipped.

To get a good idea of the 2011 Edge's price range, investigate the used-car values on the Kelley Blue Book website. You can also search AutoTrader listings to see which models are for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued two recalls for the 2011 Edge. The first involves body modules that may short and overheat, leading to a fire. The second recall concerns the power lift-gate lock that may become disabled, preventing locking or unlocking.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA gave the 2011 Edge three stars for frontal impacts, five for side impacts and a 4-star rating for rollover performance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2011 Edge Good ratings for front, side and rear impacts but just an Acceptable score for roof crush.

Ford Motor Company sold the 2011 Edge with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, a 5-year/unlimited-distance corrosion-perforation warranty and 5 years/60,000 miles of roadside-assistance coverage.

Ford-certified pre-owned vehicles can't be more than five years old or show more than 80,000 miles. Every certified pre-owned Edge undergoes a 172-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and powertrain coverage extending seven years from when the vehicle was first sold or reached 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Also included is a vehicle-history report and roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2011 Chevrolet Equinox -- Like the Edge, Chevy's Equinox seats just five, but its rear seat slides fore and aft to allow owners to customize passenger and cargo space according to the task at hand. V6 fuel economy is below par, but the Chevy's 2.4-liter 4-cylinder is EPA-rated at an impressive 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy. Some buyers may find the front-seat cushions and ride quality to be on the firm side.

2011 Dodge Journey -- Think of the Journey as a wagon version of the Dodge Avenger/Chrysler 200. The Journey packs a lot of interior space and can carry up to seven passengers, as long as the rearmost pair are on the small side. The Journey excels in offering hidden storage compartments, with one under the front-passenger seat cushion and two under the rear floor. 2011 models get facelifted styling with crisper lines.

AutoTrader's Advice

Think of the Edge as a more nimble, 5-passenger version of the Explorer. Not everyone needs 7-passenger seating or has the garage space to park such a vehicle. It's hard to go wrong with the torquey, smooth-running 3.5-liter V6 that comes in the SE, SEL and Limited trims. To get the more powerful 3.7-liter V6, you must opt for the Sport model, which comes with sinister-looking black trim and harsh-riding 22-in wheels and tires.

We advise going with a reasonably well-equipped SE or SEL that comes with the conventional audio and climate controls. 2011 was the first year for the buggy MyFord Touch infotainment system, so if you opt for a Limited or other Edge optioned with the system, make sure that it has had all of the software updates that can help minimize the chances for screen freezes, slow reaction times and other glitches. Stick with lower-mileage examples when possible. Going the Ford-certified pre-owned route is always a wise choice.

author photo

Ron Sessions first plunged into automotive journalism to support his aging fleet of patina-rich Alfa Romeos and Volvos. He has since huddled with all four major U.S. auto enthusiast magazines, launched a 4WD adventure magazine, and penned a Nissan Z car coffee table book and three Camaro restoration titles. Ron resides near the Motor City.

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