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HEELS ON WHEELS: 2016 FORD EDGE REVIEW


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HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

INTRO TO THE EDGE VEHICLE
Representing more of a contemporary mid-sized crossover, the Edge took on a redesign just last year increasing interior refinements and revising the 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. So for 2016, Ford gives minor tweaks to trims and offers a new infotainment system called SYNC 3.

I drove a 2016 Ford Edge with the turbocharged 315-horsepower 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and the six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. The Edge continues to be offered in four trims – the base SE, SEL, Titanium and Sport. My Sport test drive came with the following standard features: leather-trimmed seats; ten-way driver’s seat; heated front seats; SYNC 3 with an eight-inch touchscreen; Sony audio system with HD Radio; a rearview camera; sport-tuned suspension; smart charging media bin with USB ports; leather-wrapped steering wheel with five-way controls; push-button start; power liftgate; reverse sensing system; Ford’s MyKey; and nineteen-inch wheels. Total vehicle price as described without options came to $40,400.

Competition remains stiff in the mid-size SUV department – especially with the onset of more compact contenders that can offer equivalent class and better fuel economy (think Lexus NX 200t). The Acura MDX and Nissan Murano represent two similar-sized rivals.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results: Although aggressive in design, the Electric Spice Metallic shade didn’t sit quite right with most observers during my week-long test drive. Ford went to lengths in offering an interior decked from floor to ceiling with quality materials. As for the new SNCY 3 system, the display layout is much easier to navigate during quick glances, ultimately getting you to your desired music and contacts quicker. My rather loaded test drive had over $10k in optional equipment, making the Edge feel more like an entry-level SUV with such add-ons as a $3,150 navigation and safety technology package; a $1,595 panoramic sunroof; a $325 cold weather package; and upgraded $995 twenty-one inch aluminum wheels.

Reliability & Safety Factor: The 2016 Ford Edge earned mainly “Good” crash test results with The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) – except for an “Acceptable” in small-overlap frontal. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives it a Five-Star rating. Although a lovely feature, the optional rear inflatable safety belts were too bulky for my five-year to safely lock into place – a frustration for both of us. Safety features include Advance Trac with Roll Stability Control (RSC); Anti-Lock Brakes; dual-stage front airbags; seat-mounted side airbags; SOS Post-Crash Alert System; Belt-Minder System; LATCH; Tire-Pressure Monitoring System; and Ford’s MyKey that allows parents to control the audio and speed through key fobs when their teenager takes the wheel. Highly recommended for a vehicle of this size is the optional safety technology such as Blind Spot Monitoring, Land Departure Warning and Enhanced Park Assist.

Cost Issues: The base SE Edge starts at $28,700 with my loaded Sport trim topping out at $49,595. A base Acura MDX starts at $42,865 with a recent fully loaded test drive at $57,080. Going smaller – but remaining luxurious – the 2016 Lexus NX 200t starts at $34,965 and a fully loaded NX 200t is $43,015.

Activity & Performance Ability: In typical Ford fashion, the 2.7-liter V6 has a commanding attitude paired with spot-on brakes and a smooth suspension system. The Edge gives you performance versatility with a 2-liter four-cylinder engine as well as a 2.7-liter and 3.5-liter V6. Overall the Edge offers an engaging, secure ride that is able to meet your demands, but does feel a bit bulky (do not skip on the upgraded safety technology for tight parking situations). Although pricier, it might be worth your time to test Acura's Earth Dreams Technology engine that features a solid mix of enhancements to their 3.5-liter V6.

The Green Concern: The 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost gets 17-city/24-highway driving for an average of 20 miles-per-gallon with all-wheel drive – quite comparable with others in its class. Should you go smaller in crossover size (but not style), the Lexus NX has an EPA-estimated fuel economy is 22-city and 28-highway for a combined 25 miles-per-gallon with the turbocharged version – the hybrid models gets 35-city and 31-highway for a combined 33 miles-per-gallon.

FINAL PARTING WORDS
Ford treats the Edge like an upper class crossover, giving it a detailed interior, loads of significant options, and improved connectivity technology – topped off by the kind of performance that can convince any family this is an ideal ride.

©2016 Katrina Ramser