Test Drive: 2011 Ford Edge

A few years ago, the Ford Edge was little more than a Minivan with All Wheel Drive, but the team in Dearborn has really raised the game on Ford?s crossover SUV segment, and? the Edge is now a truly great CUV.? Base-priced at $30,220 for the SEL edition, the base MSRP is $27,640 with front wheel drive. In the SEL, Limited, and Sport models, you have a choice of front or all wheel drive.

This week, I had the SEL edition to drive, which comes equipped with cloth seats, AM/FM/MP3/Satellite stereo,? 6-speed automatic transmission, and a 3.5-liter V6 engine making 285 horsepower. If you buy the Edge Sport, you get a 3.7-liter engine at 305 horsepower ? the same engine that powers the new Mustang.

So, the main thing to know about the Edge is that?s it?s really nice inside, and has a positively cavernous cargo area if you fold down the rear seats. The dashboard is nicely laid out, the seats are comfortable, and the touch surfaces all project an impression of quality. This is a car you won?t be ashamed of if you buy the base model. Ford?s leather is nice, but you don?t need it if you can?t afford it.

Driving the Edge is similarly enjoyable ? it?s got plenty of get up & go, and it handles solidly, as an SUV should. Cornering is nice and flat and visibility is excellent. Of course, as a family wagon, the Edge has every safety bell and whistle you can ask for.

Stepping outside the vehicle, the Edge is a good-looking ride. The test car was a dark brown with black interior, and the effect was understated, powerful, and positive. The Edge SEL rides on 18-inch painted aluminum wheels and generally looks masculine enough for any man, but not in the goofy self-conscious macho way of a Hummer or Toyota FJ Cruiser. In short, it?ll work well for everyone in the family.

Fuel economy is on everyone?s mind these days, and the Edge delivers a respectable 19 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway. That?s very good, considering the size, weight, and engine power of the vehicle.

The bottom line on the 2011 Ford Edge is that if you?re shopping crossover SUVs, you should give this one serious consideration.

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