2011 Ford Edge Limited Road Test Review

Jason McLoughlin - CAP staff
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Ford has put the "Sport" back in Sport Utility with the all-new 2011 Edge and it's performance car-like power and handling.

The Dearborn-based automaker has a couple of powerplant options for the Edge. Coming standard and in the Limited version I tested is a 3.5-litre Duratec Ti-VCT V6 engine that produces 285 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque. This engine allows for a lively driving experience that will be more than enough for most peoples' wants and needs. Then there is the 3.7-litre version available in the Edge Sport that puts out a spirited 305 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters found in the Sport version.

The Edge comes standard with front-wheel drive and offers an all-wheel drive option that came in the Limited model tested. The AWD system is also available on the SEL trim level, and comes standard on the Sport Edition. Though I never really got an opportunity to test the effectiveness of its AWD, it never hurts to have it when the weather turns foul like it can anywhere in Canada when you least expect it. Every Edge gets standard traction and stability control too, even making a more basic model with FWD capable of managing bad weather, especially in areas that don't get as much snow like the West Coast.

The Edge keeps occupants up high and safe from any unfriendly elements with a great looking 20-inch wheel and tire combination. Its large front grille conveys an underlying sense of power and strength. Large wraparound front headlights with xenon bulbs that can light up any backcountry road, add to the premium-SUV feeling.

Xenon bulbs and electronic driving aids aren't the only advanced technologies on the new Edge. It's full of tech savvy features for the young and young at heart, too. Working with Microsoft to create Ford's new SYNC media interface, boasting two USB ports, an RCA inlet, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection capability, has resulted in one of the best connectivity systems anywhere. Basically you can bring your digital life with you on the road. One cool feature that I liked was the ability to upload your own jpegs via the USB port and add them as background images. Yes, beautiful fitness model Candice Kay is a much more pleasing backdrop than the stock Ford logo. On the negative side, the Redmond-developed software wasn't very Cupertino-friendly, giving my Apple iPhone Bluetooth-connection problems all week.

The main SAT/NAV system located on top of the centre stack, with its giant 8-inch touch-screen, was fairly easy to figure out, giving its user several different personalization settings to offer quick changes on the fly. To keep the display organized, Ford has added four major component controls to each corner of the display. With a simple touch you can access the audio, phone, navigation or climate control settings.

Ford has also taken advantage of LED technology by mounting hidden lights throughout the cabin to brighten up the floors, cupholders, and door handles, and tapping the respective colour globes in the settings menu of the aforementioned touch-screen display, presents you with the option of quickly changing the ambient lighting colour scheme to match your mood.

The rest of the Edge Limited is simplified luxury. With its rich leather seating, spacious elegance, and smooth clutter-free controls, it's a scene you'd expect in much higher end luxury vehicle. Overhead, a massive panoramic vista roof almost creates the feeling of a convertible, less the cool breeze. Then again, the large front section of the roof slides completely back letting in that breeze when you want it.

A key feature, or should I say keyless feature on the Ford Edge is the proximity sensing Smart Key system. Touch a button on its backside and the powered liftgate raises and lowers. Another simple touch unlocks or locks the doors, and the press of a button on the dash starts or stops the engine. You just need to remember where you put the key, because it has to be recognized by the onboard computer in order to work. I found myself trying to open the doors a couple times not realizing I left it in another jacket.

Some features that come as options include BLIS (blind spot identification system) that illuminates a little light in the external mirrors when another car is in your blind spot. The adaptive cruise control system uses radar technology to judge the speed and distance of vehicles and objects out front and then adjusts your travel speed accordingly.

All in all the 2011 Ford Edge Limited offers up a lot of premium features in a great looking crossover SUV for $39,799 as tested, plus a $1,400 destination charge, and that's hardly a premium price. You can get the same basic SUV with fewer options for $27,999. No wonder Ford's on a roll lately.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, SUV, Ford, 2011, Edge, $30,000 - $39,999,

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