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  • 2011 Ford Edge Limited FWD

    Posted on January 22nd, 2011 ninarussin

    Five-passenger crossover offers new safety and infotainment features

    By Nina Russin

    2011 Ford Edge

    The Ford Edge is the on-road counterpart to the off-road Explorer. With seating for up to five passengers, the Edge is a good option for active families needing a versatile cargo bay.

    This year, the automaker updates the Edge and Edge Sport to include My Ford Touch: a computer-based interface which gives drivers easier access to vehicle information and infotainment functions.

    Although the Edge lacks the Explorer’s terrain management system, available all-wheel drive enhances the crossover’s performance in rain and snow. Buyers can choose between a turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine and 3.5-liter V-6. The Edge Sport comes with a 3.7-liter engine which produces 20 more horsepower than the 3.5-liter block.

    The 285-horsepower V-6 in the test car is mated to a six–speed automatic transmission with manual gear selection. There are three grades: a base front-wheel drive model, SEL and upscale Limited (tested).

    Engineers equipped the SEL and Limited grades with standard 18-inch wheels as opposed to 17-inch rims on outgoing models. The Sport comes with 20-inch wheels.

    Base price for the front-wheel drive Limited is $34,220, not including a $775 destination charge. Blind spot monitoring adds $395, while navigation costs $795, bringing the price as tested to $36,185.

    My Ford Touch and Sync reduce driver distraction

    My Ford Touch

    My Ford Touch replaces traditional gauges, knobs and buttons with LCD screens. I can’t say enough good things about this system, which brings useful computer technology to the driver’s fingertips. At the same time, Sync voice activation enables the driver to control comfort and infotainment functions without taking his hands off the steering wheel.

    LCD screens in the instrument panel and center stack are clean and uncluttered, using color blocks to separate different functions. The setup in the Edge is similar to the one used in the new Explorer, with one notable difference.

    While lighting conditions don’t impact the screens‘ legibility in the Explorer, bright sunlight makes the center stack display in the Edge almost impossible to read. Hopefully designers will correct this problem with a hood over the display in future iterations.

    Enhanced handling and performance

    2011 Ford Edge

    The new Edge strikes me as a more balanced, refined car than the first-generation vehicle that debuted in 2006. The new powertrain is peppier while providing excellent fuel economy, the suspension retuned, and the brakes are beefier for better stopping power.

    However I can’t get as excited about the Edge as I am about the new Explorer. Part of it is the name, which seems misleading. There’s nothing edgy about the Edge. Crossovers are by definition a little of this and a little of that-type vehicles. The Ford Raptor is edgy. The Ford Edge is versatile.

    Having said that, the Edge may be a better choice for buyers who spend more time in urban traffic than off-road trails. Base price on the Edge is $27,995: $1000 less than the base Explorer. Buyers who don’t need the Explorer’s seven passenger seating or 5000-pound towing capacity have a less expensive option.

    Fuel economy for the front-wheel drive Edge is about four miles-per-gallon better on average than the four-wheel drive Explorer. With the price of gas once again on the increase, the improvement in fuel economy significantly impacts cost of ownership. Average fuel economy on the test drive was 21.8 mpg, just short of the EPA estimate.

    The Edge also offers some important safety technologies for city drivers, including blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control with brake support. The cross traffic alert, part of the blind spot monitoring option, has saved me from numerous fender-benders in crowded parking lots.

    Blind spot monitoring enables the driver to keep his eyes and attention focused forward while changing lanes. If a car in front stops suddenly, the driver will be able to see the brake lights with enough time to apply his own brakes. A driver looking over his shoulder to monitor traffic from the rear may not.

    Passenger car ride and handling

    2011 Ford Edge

    Improvements to the powertrain, suspension and brakes give the new Edge ride and handling similar to a sport sedan. My test drive covered about 100 miles, including surface streets, urban freeways and paved two-lane rural roads.

    New safety technology mitigates visibility problems around the car’s perimeter. The Edge has a narrow greenhouse with thick side and rear pillars. The rearview camera eliminates the large blind spot under the rear glass, while blind spot monitoring takes car of the sides of the car.

    A revised suspension gives the shocks more range, making the car hop less on pitchy hills while maintaining a  compliant ride. The 18-inch wheels provide an ample footprint for cornering and braking. Steering response is also much improved over the former generation.

    The 3.5-liter V-6 engine is an excellent piece of machinery, with powerful acceleration in the critical 20-to-50 mile-per-hour range. Engineers adjusted shift points down to improve NVH. As a result, the driver feels the shifts more. The manual gear select option allows drivers to hold onto gears longer, providing better power with a smoother transition between gears.

    Improvements in sound insulation, including acoustic glass make for a quieter interior. Passengers in the first and  second rows can converse on the highway with ease. Improved NVH allows passengers to better enjoy the car’s premium Sony 5.1 surround sound system. Satellite and high definition radio are standard on the Limited grade.

    Versatile interior

    The Limited grade comes with leather upholstery, dual-zone climate controls, redundant audio and information controls on the steering wheel, heated front seats and ambient lighting. Ford’s keypad keyless entry system enables passengers to enter the vehicle using a numeric code in lieu of a key.

    Because the front-wheel drive model has no center tunnel, up to five adults can comfortably fit inside. All four doors have bottle holders, and both rows of passengers have access to cupholders: in the center console and a fold-down second-row armrest.

    Dual reading lamps up front and a light cluster in back illuminate the car at night. Designers equipped the interior with four 12-volt outlets and two USB ports for recharging cell phone and plugging in music devices.

    Second-row seats fold flat using buttons to the left of the liftgate to extend the cargo floor. Surprisingly, the Limited grade does not have a power liftgate. However the Edge meets our bicycle-friendly criteria with ease. Towing capacity is 3500 pounds: our ALV minimum standard.

    Standard safety

    All models come with front, side and  side curtain airbags, antilock brakes, traction and roll stability control, SOS post crash alert and a tire pressure monitoring system. Standard My Key allows parents to limit the car’s maximum speed and audio volume for younger drivers. The standard factory warranty includes five years of roadside assistance.

    Ford builds the Edge at its Oakville assembly plant in Ontario Canada.

    Likes: A versatile five-passenger crossover vehicle with an advanced driver interface, voice-activated controls, and segment leading safety features such as blind spot monitoring with cross traffic alert.

    Dislikes: Limited grade does not have a power liftgate or a locking glovebox.

    Quick facts:

    Make: Ford
    Model: Edge Limited FWD
    Year: 2011
    Base price: $34,220
    As tested: $36,185
    Horsepower: 285 Hp @ 6500 rpm
    Torque: 253 lbs.-ft. @ 4000 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: N/A
    Antilock brakes: Yes
    Side curtain airbags: Yes
    First aid kit: N/A
    Bicycle friendly: Yes
    Towing: Yes
    Off-road: No
    Fuel economy: 19/27 mpg city/highway

     

    69 responses to “2011 Ford Edge Limited FWD”

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