Mountain Wheels: Lots of choices with Ford’s re-launched Edge
Special to the Daily
2015 Ford Edge
MSRP: $28,100 – $38,100
Powertrains: 2.0-liter EcoBoost, 2.7-liter EcoBoost, 3.7-liter V6 engines
Base EPA figures: 20 city, 30 highway
A fellow writer and I were flying through the desert landscape east of Phoenix earlier this week, aboard the all-new Ford Edge — a classy Sport model, as well — and we opined, aloud, “How much of this has really changed, and why?”
The Edge, as you might remember, was indeed revolutionary when it first emerged in 2006 as one of the first crossover SUVs on the market. The Edge got an aesthetic upgrade in 2010, but the basic platform was getting on in years; in the meantime, the competition closed in. Thus, the all-new Edge should be expected to be loaded to the gills with revolutionary technology, and represent a pretty serious step ahead for the still-popular crossover.
On a first glance, you might say, “Well, it doesn’t look a whole lot different than the old one, though they’ve added some very fancy and aerodynamic body work.”
And you might be right in that assessment: The 2015 Edge is indeed a great collection of improved engine choices and smarter and more impressive interior technology, but the whole thing is wrapped up in a package that stays relatively true to the last redo, albeit one festooned with Ford’s newer, brand-wide design details and a somewhat stockier stance — designs that, good or bad, make it a bit difficult to differentiate Edge from the newest Korean, Japanese and domestic crossover offerings, which have also adapted a similar aesthetic.
So let’s focus on the sparkliest bits. While the old 3.7-liter V6 is still available for diehards who don’t believe in Ford’s whole turbocharged engine strategy, I’m going to suggest you really take a look at the two EcoBoost options, as they’re both quite good, even with Edge’s big-but-not-quite-Explorer-sized mass to move.
The Edge is the first recipient of Ford’s new 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbo, good for 245 horsepower and 275 foot-pounds of torque. That four cylinder actually provides enough yank to safely haul 3,500 pounds of trailer, and can also get you 30 highway mpg; this is the standard engine for the model.
Somewhat more fun is the also-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, as seen as an option on the new F-150; our Sport model was equipped with one and the 315 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds of torque do make it sporty indeed, especially when parked on the polished 20-inch wheels. For 2015, any of those engine choices can also be combined with all-wheel drive; the AWD version of the 2.7-liter gets 24 mpg on the highway, and sounds like a much-larger displacement engine when you goose it. We note that some of this may be a synthetic effect of the noise cancellation system that runs through the speakers; there’s a lot of that going on in the market, sadly.
The Sport edition was also a good place to test the variety of platform enhancements made — Edge is only marginally and not especially noticeably larger in most of its dimensions, but the body structure is highly revised. Better roll control, better steering control (with lighter effort required for parking, via a new electronic assist) and a huge bump in chassis stiffness make it less a tall, roundish CUV and more a solid machine.
You’ve got paddle shifters and a six-speed transmission and, in the 2.7-liter EcoBoost variant, the end result of all the platform improvements does mean a pretty speedy and concise ride, comfortable rolling and good handling.
It is very sleek and spacey inside, with a very black interior — heavy on the leather — offset by some chrome highlights, plus a tall center stack and the Sony-branded audio system, topped by that love-it-or-hate-it Sync/MyFordTouch navigation and control screen. Seating is deep, leathery and supportive, and it all feels much more like you’ve wandered into Range Rover territory when you sit inside.
On the shock-and-awe end is a new 180-degree view camera on the front, allowing you to safely poke out into traffic when parking — plus it has a washer on it, as well, great for winter use.
For those who are severely parking impaired, Edge can also be fitted with a parking assist system (it spins the wheel for you, though you still have to use the brake and gas) for not only parallel parking but also back-in parking.
The lane-keeping assist system will not only buzz the steering wheel to alert you but also subtly steer you back on path; that system can be turned on and off, if you find it too intrusive.
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