Test Reviewing The 2017 Ford Edge

Ford has had a steady five-SUV/crossover lineup since 2008, when it introduced the seven-passenger anti-minivan Flex. If the Escape is the small and perky littlest sibling in this quintet (a sixth SUV, the subcompact EcoSport, has yet to go on sale), and the Explorer and the Expedition are the prime movers, then the Edge falls in between as a blend of both. Offering three engine options, front- or optional all-wheel-drive, and trim levels that can prioritize either luxury or sportiness, what the Edge lacks in off-road chops it makes up for in space, style, and comfort.
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Metal in Name, Not Attitude
Our test model wore the Titanium trim, which comes standard with front-wheel drive and the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. While in other Ford models the top-flight luxury versions wear similar Platinum nomenclature, this Titanium is the second most-expensive Edge, short of the more powerful and expressive Edge Sport. Even once you’ve added the optional all-wheel-drive and 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V-6, the Titanium costs $38,615, or about $2500 less than the starting price of the still-more-powerful Sport. Our example also had the $1495 Technology Package, so it just crossed the $40,000 mark, making it the least expensive current-generation Edge we’ve tested (all the others hovered around $45,000).




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Titanium Edges get 19-inch nickel-painted aluminum wheels (20-inch wheels are optional), body-color door handles with chrome inserts, LED taillamps with a connecting rear light bar, memory side mirrors, and a hands-free foot-activated liftgate. The interior gets 10-way power-adjustable leather sport bucket seats with memory and heating (seat cooling is an option). The leather is not particular rich-feeling, but the seats are plenty comfortable for long hauls.


Although the look and feel of the Edge’s interior might not thrill or coddle, it has a generally classy appeal, even when it doesn’t all fit together perfectly, as evidenced by the poor alignment of the dashboard with the center console on our test car. This only serves to highlight other weaknesses in the center-stack configuration. The Sync 3 infotainment system is great in its simplicity, touchscreen response, and intuitive nature, but the space below it, pocked with additional, hard climate and radio controls, is poorly laid out with small buttons and labels that are hard to read and require eyes-off-the-road focus to operate. The two USB ports are hidden in a compartment, as well, and are awkward to reach.

The soft-touch points were all in the right spots, though, making elbows and fingertips happy, and the cavernous pockets and compartments scattered throughout offer plenty of storage options.


Journey in the Edge of Space
The Edge does offer voluminous interior space, as its long, wide, bubble-esque shape allows for a large greenhouse with room to twist, shake, shimmy, or Milly rock. At 188.1 inches long, it is 10.0 inches longer than the Escape and an equal amount shorter than the Explorer. With a wheelbase almost identical to the Explorer’s, however, and with no third row to eat room, the Edge has more space for each passenger, offering more people-room inside than either the Jeep Grand Cherokee or the Nissan Murano.

The cargo hold is similarly spacious, with 39 cubic feet behind the back seat and 73 cubes with it folded. Accessing the latter space is a simple task thanks to two buttons positioned in the cargo area that fold the powered rear seats, and there’s even more space to be found under the cargo floor.


Skinny Fat
While the Edge shares its platform with the Fusion, it shares this 3.5-liter V-6 with the Flex, Explorer, and Taurus. Rated at 280 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque, this bent six mates to a six-speed automatic. Six gear ratios looks meager next to the eight- and nine-speed transmissions some competitors use, but the transmission always seems to be in the right cog. The only demerit is that there occasionally are abrupt gearchanges.


At the track, this 4291-pound Edge got to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds and stopped from 70 mph in 177 feet, making it slightly slower to accelerate but better in braking than recent V-6 Grand Cherokees we’ve run. More comparable was the 4070-pound Nissan Murano, which hit 60 mph in 7.3 seconds and stopped from 70 mph in 178 feet. 

Those hoping to keep the price near the $40,000 bogey will find the Edge Titanium provides a quiet and confident ride. The electrically assisted rack-and-pinion steering is light and makes the SUV feel smaller than it actually is, and though there’s little to no real road feel, there’s sharp turn-in response for such a substantial vehicle. The refined suspension pays little attention to bumps and potholes and, with the acoustically insulated side windows up, the interior is a calm environment for the family on the go that doesn’t need a third row. 

Specifications

VEHICLE TYPE:front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED:$40,110 (base price: $34,805)
ENGINE TYPE:DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and head, port fuel injection
Displacement:213 cu in, 3496 cc
Power: 280 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 250 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
TRANSMISSION:6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 112.2 in
Length: 188.1 in
Width: 75.9 in Height: 68.6 in
Passenger volume: 117 cu ft
Cargo volume: 39 cu ft
Curb weight: 4291 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 7.6 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 20.7 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 39.6 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 8.0 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 3.7 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 5.6 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.9 sec @ 90 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 122 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 177 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.85 g

FUEL ECONOMY:
EPA combined/city/highway: 19/17/24 mpg
C/D observed: 19 mpg
C/D observed 75-mph highway driving: 23 mpg
C/D observed highway range: 440 mi




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