2012 Ford Edge Review by Carey Russ +VIDEO
DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD WITH CAREY RUSS
The Edge has given Ford a solid presence in the crossover field since 2006, and got its first major updates for 2011 with bolder exterior styling, notable interior revisions, updated cabin electronics, and powertrain and chassis upgrades. So you'd think there wouldn't be anything new for 2012.
You'd be wrong.
In the quest for better fuel economy with minimal impact on performance, a new 2.0-liter EcoBoostŪ turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder engine is offered as an option in the SE, SEL, and Limited models. With 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, it compares well to the standard 3.5-liter V6's 285 hp and 253 lb-ft, with EPA mileage estimates of 21 city, 30 highway versus the front-wheel drive V6's 19/27. V6 models are available in front- or all-wheel drive form; the EcoBoost drivetrain is front-wheel drive only. The premium Sport model continues with a 3.7-liter, 305-horsepower variant of the V6.
As before, the Edge offers interior space in an efficiently-sized package. Based (loosely) on the Fusion sedan platform, it has a shorter overall length -- all the better for squeezing into tight parking spots -- on a longer wheelbase. The Edge is a bit wider and considerably higher than the Fusion, further improving interior space on a relatively small footprint.
• SEE ALSO: Ford Buyers Guide
My test car this week is a well-equipped front-wheel drive Edge Limited with the 3.5 V6. No EcoBoost models in the press fleet yet, perhaps later. But that is not so say "nothing new" with the V6 - its 285 horsepower is noticeably more than the 265 of the last Edge I drove, way back in 2007, with no loss of fuel economy. Life in the Edge is not life in the slow lane, and its comfort and refinement and comprehensive list of standard and optional features make it competitive with anything in its "not an SUV" crossover class, domestic and import.
APPEARANCE: Can you say "nose job"? But it's not in the expected direction. The 2007-10 Edge was distinctive, and the new restyle builds on that with a bigger and bolder grille and hood. No dainty reduction rhinoplasty here! The hood is higher and flatter, and the massive-looking T-shaped grille incorporates the headlights to the sides of its top section. LED foglamps are found in vertical faux brake ducts in the lower fascia. The rear panel is more sculpted, complimented by redesigned taillights. The Edge's passenger-first proportions are unchanged, and it's actually a couple of inches shorter, all the better for parking. (As for that hood and grille, I'm thinking that worldwide pedestrian-impact regulations and specifications have as much to to with that (and the styling of many other vehicles) as does fashion.)
COMFORT: In the Edge Limited and Sport, MyFord Touch replaces analog instruments. As in a contemporary airliner, there are few old-school analog gauges on the instrument panel. Except for the speedometer (and even it's electronic), they've been replaced by programmable and context-sensitive LCD displays - a "glass cockpit". (Hmmm, didn't Ford get their CEO from Boeing?…) The two screens flanking the speedo are driver-programmable, controlled by buttons on the appropriate spoke of the leather-trimmed, manually tilt- and telescope-adjustable steering wheel. On the left are controls for the display and vehicle systems; on the right are entertainment (audio system) and phone, and a compass display. The touchscreen at the top of the center stack is the interface to audio, navigation (if fitted), phone, and climate system functions, with other controls either virtual buttons or a large multi-function knob on the flying-buttress (hey! who used to own Volvo?) stack face. If you've ever used a computer menu or any sort of electronic device, you won't have any problems here. Otherwise, the Edge's interior is conventional, roomy, and comfortable. In front are two high-eyepoint buckets, here (Limited) leather-trimmed, heated, and 10-way power-adjustable. All doors have pockets with drink bottle holders, and the large front console box has AV, USB, and jack inputs plus a power point and receptacle for the nav system's SD card. Rear passengers get plenty of hear and leg room and a near-flat floor, plus conveniences like floor heat and console AC vents, a console power point, and center armrest with cupholders. The seatback and cushion fold 60/40 for cargo duty, and access via the liftgate is simple. A space-saver spare and a bit of small-item storage are found under the load floor. The Edge Limited has all of the space, comfort, and versatility expected from a midsize crossover and enough gadgetry and features to charm the most ardent technophile.
SAFETY: The Edge surrounds its passengers with a unibody structure designed to absorb crash energy in a controlled manner, from all directions. Occupants are further protected by front, seat-mounted side, and Safety Canopy™ side curtain airbags, and the AdvanceTracŪ and Roll Stability ControlŪ electronic traction and stability control systems. Powerful four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard. The BLIS blind-spot information system with rear cross-traffic detection is available, and was fitted to my test car. Highly recommended, it alerts the driver to vehicles as small as a bicycle in the rear-quarter blind spots, and even more importantly, to approaching traffic when backing from a parking space.
RIDE AND HANDLING: As a crossover, the Edge is a car, not a truck or SUV. It is higher than a regular car, with a higher center of gravity, and at around 4000 lbs is not particularly lightweight. Its fully-independent MacPherson strut / multilink suspension is tuned moderately softly, for American luxury comfort, but good damping keeps it well-controlled. It's a fine highway cruiser that's also at home on city streets, but no sports sedan on country roads. No complaint there as it's not meant to be.
PERFORMANCE: The Edge's 3.5-liter V6 is designed and built to combine performance and economy. Of now-standard design, with aluminum alloy block and 4-valve per cylinder heads, and dual overhead camshafts on each head featuring "twin-independent variable camshaft timing" or Ti-VCT in Fordspeak to optimize both power and efficiency. Internal improvements to reduce friction and load also contribute to efficiency, and economy is further improved by an aggressive fuel shutoff under deceleration, when power is not needed. That all adds up, to the tune of an additional 20 horsepower (now 285 at 6500 rpm) and three lb-ft of torque (now 253 at 4000 rpm) compared to the older 3.5 V6. It's further aided by a six-speed automatic transmission, with SelectShift™ manual mode shifting in the SEL and Limited, improves both acceleration and economy. The Edge is surprisingly quick from a standstill to high highway speeds, so short onramps are no difficulty. EPA mileage is 19 mpg city, 27 highway. I got 19 overall, with mostly city and backroad driving. Monitoring economy did show 25-plus on the highway, so more highway and less city would improve statistics.
CONCLUSIONS: Ford keeps its Edge with significant improvements.
Watch TACH's 2011 Ford Edge promo video
2012 Ford Edge Limited
Base Price $ 34,800
Price As Tested $ 37,800
Engine Type DOHC aluminum alloy 24-valve V6 with continuously-variable cam phasing
Engine Size 3.5 liters / 213 cu. in.
Horsepower 285 @ 6500 rpm
Torque (lb-ft) 253 @ 4000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic with manual mode
Wheelbase / Length 111.2 in. / 184.2 in.
Curb Weight 4056 lbs.
Pounds Per Horsepower 14.2
Fuel Capacity 18 gal.
Fuel Requirement 87 octane unleaded regular gasoline
Tires P245/60 R18 104H Michelin Latitude m+s
Brakes, front/rear vented disc / solid disc, ABS, AdvanceTracŪ with RSCŪ standard
Suspension, front/rear independent MacPherson strut / independent multilink
Drivetrain transverse front engine, front-wheel drive
EPA Fuel Economy - miles per gallon
city / highway / observed 19 / 27 / 19
0 to 60 mph 7.4 sec
Towing capacity 3500 lbs with towing package
OPTIONS AND CHARGES
Driver Entry Package - includes: pushbutton start/stop, power liftgate, remote start, perimeter alarm $ 895
Vision Package - includes: Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert, rain-sensing front wipers $ 485
Navigation System with SIRIUS Traffic and Information $ 795
Destination Charge $ 825