2007 Ford EdgePosted on April 10th, 2007
Sleek urban styling with a practical bent
By Nina Russin
Generally speaking, it’s hard to find a bad car these days. That makes the engineers’ jobs harder, because making a good car is no longer enough. To lure buyers away from competitive products, a vehicle has to offer more.
Meet the Edge: Ford’s answer to the humdrum SUV. From its sleek, aerodynamic profile to an available panoramic sunroof, the Edge should appeal to drivers who don’t want to sacrifice style for practicality.
Those of you familiar with the current generation of Mercury designs may see some similarities in the Edge. Designer Peter Horbury, who has penned major facelifts for both Volvo and Mercury, headed up the design team on Ford’s newest crossover.
Horbury’s trademark is the use of architectural elements in car designs. The strong, geometric grille, and horizontal chrome trim that ties the taillights into the beltline, are two examples.
From the side, the Edge’s wheels look large and planted, framed by large wheel wells that give the vehicle a muscular stance. The glass area or greenhouse is relatively narrow compared to the sheetmetal: the idea is to give this relatively high profile car a sleeker, more aerodynamic appearance.
The available panoramic sunroof sheds ambient light over both rows of passengers. White stitching on black leather upholstery with chrome accents is reminiscent of modern Scandinavian furniture.
A chassis tuned for urban adventure
Despite the availability of all-wheel drive, the Edge is not designed to go off-road. That’s not to say that it won’t negotiate the occasional graded dirt road, but don’t try crawling through a boulder-strewn creek bed along the way. Basically, the Edge is a car-based chassis with a sport-utility body.
The 265-horsepower V-6 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission have plenty of power for weaving through urban traffic, and the independent front and rear suspension should prevent passengers from feeling potholes in the base of their spines.
The large wheels and relatively low center of gravity give the Edge better steering response at speed. The standard rack and pinion steering system is quiet and responsive, allowing drivers to maneuver the Edge in and out of tight spaces.
The six- cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission give the Edge respectable fuel economy: 17/24 miles per gallon city and highway on the all-wheel drive model.
The Edge runs on standard 87-octane gas. Of late, Ford engineers have spent a lot of time working on the problem of noise intrusion, with innovative solutions such as quiet steel that dampens noises from the engine and exterior before they reach the passenger cabin. On this project, wind tunnel work included modifications to the side mirrors and antenna to further reduce noise.
While the engineers succeeded in making the Edge extremely quiet on the inside, they inadvertently reduced visibility to the front and sides of the car. It is very difficult to see around the front A pillars and side mirrors while cornering. I found this especially annoying when turning onto highway entrance ramps, and maneuvering through a crowded parking lot.
As a famous architect once said: “God is in the details.” Certainly a driver can learn to compensate for the blind spots that seem to be part of almost every vehicle. But on today’s crowded highways, those blind spots make it harder to avoid fender benders.
Elegant, functional interior
The Edge is an easy car to live in. The leather seats are as comfortable as they are stylish, with both rows of seating offering adequate legroom for most adults. A tilt and telescopic steering wheel is standard on all models.
The center console has two cupholders large enough for the rear world, and a center bin that can cold a laptop computer. There are three power points up front, and one in the rear, as well as a MP3 jack, located inside a bin in the center console. A small cubby at the base of the center stack is a convenient place to stash the cell phone.
Dual climate controls allow passengers to vary the heating or air conditioning according to their needs. Redundant climate and audio controls on the steering wheel allow the driver to adjust the temperature or change the audio channel without taking his eyes off the road. The touch screen on the optional navigation system was easy to figure out, without digging through the owner’s manual. And the panoramic sunroof is a nice touch here in Arizona, where sunshine is a big contributor to quality of life.
The test car also came with a reverse sensing system that uses an audible warning when there are objects to the rear of the car, and eighteen-inch wheels: an upgrade from the standard 17-inch rims.
The optional trailer-towing package allows the Edge to tow up to 3500 lbs. The spacious interior has plenty of room for loading cargo, especially with the second-row seats folded flat.
The front passenger seat also folds flat, so that the driver can use it as a makeshift work area, or to load cargo up to eight feet in length into the interior. Roof rails come standard on the upscale SEL model (tested).
The optional audio system upgrade with Sirius satellite radio makes lengthily commutes a little more pleasant.
Exceptional standard safety
The Edge comes standard with, antilock brakes, and Ford’s safety canopy: a side curtain airbag system that remains inflated long enough to protect passengers during an extended rollover accident. Traction control, front and side airbags are also standard.
All models also come with standard roll stability control: a system developed by Volvo to keep high profile vehicles from tipping over. Two gyroscopic sensors monitor yaw and roll, making adjustments to engine power and braking as necessary.
Base price on the all-wheel drive test car was $30,720, putting the Edge in our luxury vehicle category. Optional equipment and a $675 delivery charge added about $6,000 to the sticker price. The Edge is manufactured at Ford’s Oakville Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada. It is currently available for test drives at Ford dealerships nationwide.
Likes: Attractive, European styling inside and out, with a engine and transmission package that delivers smooth power both on and off the highway. The interior is spacious and quiet, and the standard safety roster includes an exceptional side curtain airbag system.
Dislikes: The front A pillars and side mirrors obstruct the driver’s view while cornering in either direction.
Base price: $30,720
Price as tested: $36,355
Horsepower: 265 Hp @ 6250 r.p.m.
Torque: 250 lbs.-ft @ 4500 r.p.m.
Antilock brakes: Standard
Side curtain airbags: Standard
First aid kit: No
Bicycle friendly: Yes
Fuel economy: 17/24 m.p.g. city/highway
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