The Edge earns two thumbs up

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Following its launch in the 2007 model year, the Ford Edge quickly became a standout among the expanding crossover vehicle market. Offering front or all-wheel drive the stylish and flexible five passenger model became popular with buyers for its ride quality, feature content and all-surface capability. Owners also appreciated high-tech features including Bluetooth and Ford Sync.

For the 2016 model year the Edge has been given a number of improvements based on the new platform introduced last year. This latest Edge has a stiffer body, an additional engine choice, a new trim level and new rear suspension. Inside it’s easy to see why Ford continues to be a leader among domestic automakers with interior design and execution. My Sport model gives the impression of luxury and spaciousness with quality soft-touch materials and a well laid-out centre stack. Now augmented with actual buttons, the touch screen is much easier to use allowing a driver to remain focused on driving. Sync 3 now offers hands-free calling and navigation with simple voice commands including calling up music through your cellphone using Bluetooth to stream audio through Sync. For me, the Sync infotainment system was uncomplicated and straightforward in function.

Seating comfort is great in the front with a big windshield and large mirrors and side windows providing a commanding view outside. The new front seats in the Edge are a little thinner allowing more room for those in the back seat. Rear seat passengers are treated to plenty of head and legroom. The cargo area is also larger than the previous Edge. A lever in the back allows you to flip the rear seatback down expanding cargo space and giving an almost flat floor. The seat heaters warm up your butt quickly and can make the seat cushion very warm. The heated steering wheel was disappointing or shall I say lukewarm. The right use of sound insulation and thicker glass helps make for a quieter environment inside.

The Edge comes with three different engine choices; a normally aspirate 3.5 litre-V6, a turbocharged 2.7-litre V6 and a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder. It was the turbo 2.7 my Sport model which moved the Edge smoothly and with little effort through the gears. With a kick to the gas pedal and a growl from the exhaust, the engine pulled strongly right into high r.p.ms. All engines are paired to a six-speed automatic transmission with either front or all-wheel drive. Ford says the 2.7 V6 can easily tow a 1,600 kg load. Fuel consumption during a trip to Calgary and back averaged 9.4 L/100 km at a steady 120 km/ph with two adults and a small amount of luggage. That’s very good given the size of the Edge. Around town the 2.7 V6 is rated at 11.9L/100 km.

The Edge Sport, as big as it is, is still a pleasure to drive around town with its quick steering and taut suspension. If you want the roominess of a large CUV but not the overall heft of an Explorer, the Edge is much shorter and therefore easier to park. That’s a plus and might be part of the popularity behind the Edge. I really enjoyed driving it on the highway where ride quality, interior comfort and roominess all combine for a positive driving experience.

I can also say all the technical features; blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and split-view front camera add to the enjoyment of this crossover. Of course all the great features come with a price depending on how you load up the options. One equipment group with some of what I just mentioned totals $4,500.00. The “Canadian” Touring Package with voice activated navigation and panoramic sunroof is a $2,000 hit. The sunroof really brightens up the interior on a sunny day, but hope you never have an issue with it once the warranty is off. The striking colour on my tester is Bronze Fire Tinted which really hits the eyes in bright sunshine. It will cost you an extra $450.00.

While the basic Edge is the SE model starting at $31,349, my Sport trim model started at $46,099. Total options brought the MSRP to $57,289.00 quite in line with similar models by other manufacturers. Still, I give this crossover two thumbs up.

Garry Melnyk is a St. Albert resident and lifelong car buff who has written about new cars and trucks for radio and print publications since the ’70s.

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