Test Drive: Ford Edge Still a Head Turner

Edging into its fourth year on the market, the Ford Edge crossover is still a head turner with its bold styling.? It continues to prove that good design sells.? Edge is holding its own ranking as Ford?s third best selling truck (behind the F-Series and the Escape) and one of the best selling crossovers in the U.S.

Available in front- or all-wheel drive configurations, all four Edge trim levels are powered by the same 265hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine driving through a six-speed automatic transmission.? A four-wheel independent suspension with MacPherson struts in the front and a four-link rear system produces a solid controlled ride with car-like handling.? The steering feel is good and there is little body lean in the corners, but not enough to affect handling.? The standard four-wheel disc brakes are better than average.? Our Sport model test vehicle was especially sure footed equipped with massive 22-inch wheels shod with low profile 265/40R22 tires.

At Ford dealerships now, the 2010 model Edge has improved fuel economy by 1 mpg for city and highway for the FWD model to 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.? The AWD is up also, to 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.? Powertrain modifications and aerodynamic refinements are responsible for the fuel economy gains, so there was no loss of performance.? Our actual average fuel economy during our driving time was 19.0 mpg.

Despite its trim appearance, the Edge is something of a heavyweight, tipping the scales at nearly 4,300 pounds.? This bulk affects 0 to 60 mph times, which are at best about 8.1 seconds, according to one of the major automotive magazines.

The SE, which is only available in FWD, is the entry level Edge with prices starting at $27,695, including the destination charge.? It also includes the same mechanicals as the other models along with standard features like air conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry and power windows and locks.? The SEL is most popular model at $30,695 for FWD or $1,850 more for the AWD.? The Limited moves the Edge into a more premium level with features like leather seating, premium audio, rear parking sensors and other luxury appointments for $33,495.? The new (in 2009) top of the line is the Sport, which adds features like a body kit and 22-inch wheels for a sportier look and feel.

The AWD Sport gets a $36,545 sticker price and runs in the mid-$40,000 level when equipped with all the goodies like navigation, panoramic roof, rear seat entertainment and polished aluminum wheels. ?As the name implies, the Sport also gets enhanced suspension upgrades in the form of performance-tuned shocks, springs and steering.? The Sport is available only in four colors: Black, Red Candy, Ingot Silver and a limited-run Sport Blue.

Like all Ford models, the Edge features the next generation SYNC system, which makes it easy to set up voice-activated controls of mobile phones and MP3 players.? Our Edge had the new system that provides traffic information in addition to all the normal turn-by-turn navigation functions.? The system is so helpful, letting us know when road were congested, and it gave us weather reports, movie listings, sports scores and fuel options.

One of the fun features of the Edge is the Panoramic Vista, which has two large glass panels.? The front panel (28- by 29-inches) tilts and opens, while the rear panel is fixed.? Both panels have power-operated cloth shade that can be closed to block nearly 100 percent of the ultra-violet rays.

The Ford Edge is beautifully designed, well built and a fun car to drive.

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