Test Drive: Ford Edge blends styling, practicality

Test Drive: Ford Edge blends styling, practicality

November 9th, 2013 by Mark Kennedy in Business Around the Region

The five passenger Ford Edge is perfect for small families and empty-nesters.

Photo by Staff photo by Mark Kennedy

FAST FACTS

* Model: 2013 Ford Edge Limited

* Exterior color: Silver metallic

* Interior color: Light Stone

* Engine: 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged

* Horsepower: 240

* Transmission: six-speed automatic

* Fuel economy: 30 mpg highway/21 mpg city

* Dealer: Mountain View Ford

* Price (as tested): $40,655

The Ford Edge is the stepladder of SUVs. It's good for small families climbing up in size, or empty-nesters easing down.

Since its introduction in 2007, the Edge has helped bolster the midsize crossover segment. It's for people who value sedan-like handling but like the elevated seating and spaciousness of an SUV.

Many folks, it seems, purchase a vehicle with a third-row seat and soon discover that they rarely need to haul seven passengers.

The five-passenger Edge is especially popular among customers who have kids leave the nest and who no longer need a full-size SUV for carpooling, according to Doug Cawood, sales manager at Mountain View Ford.

With Cawood's assistance we test drove a Silver Metallic Edge Limited (the top trim level) earlier this week, and found it to be a completely satisfying ride -- especially when equipped with the new fuel-efficient Ford EcoBoost engine.

STYLING AND FEATURES

The profile of the Edge is sportier than most crossovers. Even though the design is seven-years-old, it continues to look relevant -- like a tall wagon with nicely tailored corners.

Ford's familiar three-blade grille helps unify the horizontal lines of Edge. A sculpted hood lends visual interest, as do wrap-around headlamps.

Our test vehicle, in top-of-the-line Limited trim, has Light Stone leather seats, with contrasting dark gray door and dash surfaces. Optional 20-inch chrome wheels add bling.

All Edge models feature SYNC with MyFord Touch which controls the vehicle's phone, entertainment, climate and interior lighting functions. All that is channeled through an 8-inch touch screen in the center of the dash. Two 4.2-inch LED screens in the instrument cluster augment the system.

All in all, the interior has an upscale appearance, with contrasting stitching in the soft leather seats and a wide band of attractive faux wood trim in the dash. Seats are firm and comfortable, although I had to fiddle a bit to dial in a perfect driving position.

With the second row seat in position, the Edge offers 36 cubic feet of cargo space, more than enough for grocery shopping or packing for the beach.

Our test vehicle, which was assembled in Ontario, Canada, also features a two-stage panoramic roof, power liftgate, voice-activated navigation and a rear-view camera.

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

I asked an Edge owner I know what she likes most about her Ford.

"It's so quiet," she said.

Indeed, during my test drive, the vault-like quiet of the Edge was one of my first impressions. Through wise use of sound deadening materials and a quiet-running four-cylinder engine, the Edge avoids the rattles and roars often associated with traditional body-on-frame SUVs.

The Edge comes with two engine options, a six-cylinder rated at 285-horsepower or a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, Ford's EcoBoost powerplant. It's hard to believe that a little 2.0-liter turbocharged engine can generate 240 horsepower and tons of torque, but the Edge and EcoBoost fit hand in glove. All-wheel drive is optional.

Our test vehicle, a front-wheel drive model equipped with EcoBoost, gets 30 mpg highway and 21 mpg city -- a potent selling point for a vehicle this size. Edmunds, the respected automotive website, says the four-cylinder Edge will climb from 0-60 miles per hour in a respectable 8.4 seconds.

On a test drive through Lookout Valley, the Edge demonstrated a composed and quiet ride.

BOTTOM LINE

The Edge offers a lot of refinement and practicality for those in the market for a mid-size SUV. Our top-of-the-line tester has an MSRP of $40,655. A base SE model starts at $28,595.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.