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2011 Ford Edge - New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader September 2010

The Crossover with Connections


When the Edge hit showrooms in 2006 it quickly established itself as the segment leader for sales in the increasingly competitive midsize crossover segment. Ford recently announced it has sold more than 400,000 copies. With extensive updates for 2011, it's likely the competition will still be playing catch-up.

Ford credits much of the Edge's success to its sporty exterior styling, which has been freshened for 2011. The interior has been overhauled, and a revamped engine line-up combines increased performance with best-in-class fuel economy. There are also many new family-friendly convenience features and technology options, like the evolutionary Sync-powered MyFord Touch.

Elegance matched by innovation

On the inside, the Ford Edge impresses with an upscale look, feel and sound. Low-grade hard plastic has been replaced with soft-touch materials. The acoustically-treated windshield, sound insulation throughout the interior and acoustic headliner give the Edge one of the quietest interiors in its class. Conversation with backseat passengers is effortless with little road noise.

The roomy cabin offers spacious seating with enough legroom and headroom for five adult passengers, even behind the driver's seat. Comfortable front seats are well suited for long-distance traveling. The Edge offers space to accommodate an infant-safety seat or rear-facing convertible safety seat. A forward-facing convertible seat should fit with no problems since the second row's seat backs recline, which is an added bonus for all back-seat passengers.

The rear cargo area with power lift gate (standard on the Limited and Sport) offers tons of functional space for your everyday items, like a stroller or groceries, or for a weekend project. The back seats fold flat, and the front passenger seat can fold flat to accommodate items up to 8-feet in length. Various cup holders, nets and pockets—including a brilliant pass-through bin behind the audio and climate controls – take advantage of otherwise wasted space.

Of course, the most notable update to the Ford Edge is the all-new MyFord Touch, a voice-activated communications and entertainment system. This is the Blue Oval's second generation of Sync, developed in conjunction with Microsoft. Standard on the Limited and Sport, this exceptional system feels completely integrated into the entire driving experience of the Edge. MyFord Touch is comprised of three LCD screens: one on either side of the speedometer and an 8-inch center touch screen. The four main functions cleverly correspond to a corner of the 8-inch screen and a color—red for entertainment, green for navigation, blue for climate control and yellow for phone – to better assist the driver in hands-free operation. A touch of the finger activates any of the functions The Ford Edge impresses with an upscale look, feel and soundThe Ford Edge impresses with an upscale look, feel and sound..

The smaller screens in the cluster are controlled by two five-way switches on the steering wheel that are intuitively easy to use. The left panel provides driver assistance, such as fuel economy gauges, trip information, a tachometer and much more. The right panel offers a condensed version of the four main functions on the 8-inch panel for fast and easy reading, such as turn-by-turn directions, without even so much as turning your head.

MyFord Touch seamlessly integrates connectivity to your Bluetooth-enabled phone and MP3 players. The media hub, conveniently located in the console, has two USB ports, video and audio inputs and an SD card slot. A USB broadband modem turns the Edge into a Wi-Fi hotspot, which comes in handy when traveling with the family.

Ford added over 10,000 different voice commands, which basically allow you to do more in fewer steps. With a click of the voice button, you can ask to play a song, find a station, call a contact, get directions, change the temperature, or more in what is often one simple step. While not perfect – show us a voice command system that is – voice recognition is much improved with this iteration.

Audiophiles will love the Sony Audio Sound System that comes standard on the Limited and Sport. MyFord Touch flows seamlessly with the gloss-black Sony-designed center control panel that replaces traditional buttons with touch-sensitive controls. Select your input (AM/FM radio, HD radio, satellite radio, CD, personal devices) and crank up the simulated surround sound coming from 12 high-quality speakers and a Class D all-digital amplifier. Ever hear a song on the radio and want to remember it for later? MyFord Touch has a "tag" function so a song heard on Sony's HD radio can be downloaded next time your iPod is synched to iTunes.

A softer yet bolder look

On the outside, the Edge receives a more imposing chrome grille and sleeker headlights. An all-new hood, fenders and fascia round out the design for a softer look compared to the more blocky original Edge. But the crossover's distinctive look is maintained. In back, the hatch is new with tail lights that ditch chrome housings for more conventional red ones. The Sport gets a more menacing blacked-out grille, smoked headlamps and tail lights, four-inch chromed oval exhaust tips and class-exclusive 22-inch polished aluminum wheels with black spoke accents for a bold, aftermarket look.

Rain-sensing wipers, rear view camera, high-intensity-discharge headlights and a blind-spot monitoring system are a few features found on the Limited and Sport that aren't just convenient but also practical and safety-minded. An available panoramic Vista Roof can tilt or slide open to let the light shine in.

A crossover that's fun to drive

Ford offers three all-new engines to the 2011 Edge. At launch, two new V6 engine options are offered. An EcoBoost inline-four that promises better fuel economy will hit dealerships at the end of the year. For SE, SEL and Limited, a 3.5-liter, 285-horsepower V-6 is up 20 horsepower over the previous V-6 while maintaining its ratings of 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. The Sport gets a 3.7-liter V-6 that pumps out 305-horsepower while achieving 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. Ford claims the Edge provides best-in-class fuel consumption.

Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with the SEL, Limited and Sport models boasting an auto-manual SelectShift function. The SEL and Limited use a button on the center console for gear changing while the Sport gets steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Simply put: the Edge is fun to drive. Winding around the Natchez Trace Parkway just outside the Music Capital of the World, the Edge Sport encouraged spirited driving. The Sport's 305 horsepower V-6 means this crossover is quick, and refined suspension tuning across the Edge lineup keeps it flat in the corners. Even on 22" wheels, the ride in the Sport was comfortable. But the SEL handles nearly as well and absorbed ruts on some rough and twisty one-lane roads a bit better.

Ford's noise isolation improvements have paid off. The significantly quieter ride gives a sense of refinement not often found in vehicles of this class.

The Ford Edge is competitively priced with the base price starting at $27,220 for the SE. The Sport starts at $36,995, but checking off many of the stellar options Ford offers can send the price tag over $40,000.

If Ford's main mission is to keep the Edge ahead of its class, it does so, especially with the Sport. The big improvements in the interior and drive dynamics make an already successful model better: the Edge offers comfort, refinement and, with the MyFord Touch, unmatched in-car connectivity. The first-generation Ford Edge was a bestseller. This first drive suggests this much-improved follow-up will be just as popular.

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Used 2011 Ford Edge AWD SEL
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Used 2011 Ford Edge AWD SEL
Used 2011 Ford Edge
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Used 2011 Ford Edge AWD Sport
Used 2011 Ford Edge
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2011 Ford Edge - New Car Review - Autotrader