Ford produces an assortment of people-hauling wagons conformed as truck-based sport-utility vehicles plus car-based crossover wagons as well as a large minivan. For 2007, Ford casts a new crossover SUV called Edge packing a new V6 and lots of safety equipment. Also, there's a new expanded version of Sport Trac the sport-utility truck, and a fresh face for big Expedition with a new stretched edition.
Ford's new crossover SUV fits in size between compact Escape and mid-size Explorer. Edge carries car-like mechanical components to promote easy-driving and smooth-riding traits. Power for Edge stems from a thrifty new dual-cam 3.5-liter V6 rated at 265 hp with a six-speed automatic transaxle and front-wheel-drive (FWD) or optional all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction. Body styling is bold with a three-bar chrome grille up front with quad-beam headlamps and a powerdome hood. Edge's flexible cabin plan makes room for five and stocks Ford's Safety Canopy curtain-style air bags and the AdvanceTrac anti-skid device with Roll Stability Control (RSC).
This FWD crossover employs a monocoque platform that unites chassis and body in a cohesive unit that's rigid in motion. Easy-to-handle driving traits mimic a sedan, but boxy exterior styling works as a wagon, while optional AWD traction brings tire grip on pavement and dirt. Many different equipment configurations are sprinkled in trims segmented as XLS, XLT, XLT Sport and Limited. A 2.3-liter four-cylinder base engine pushes 153 hp. For Escape XLT and Limited, power increases with a 200-hp 3.0-liter V6 connecting to a four-speed automatic. A new Silver Appearance Package applies silver metallic fascias and bodyside cladding.
Ford Escape Hybrid
Ford's hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) off the Escape crossover SUV has a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine running on gasoline and a battery-powered electric motor. The electric motor can propel the wagon or work with the gas engine to deliver a power boost with the kick of a V6. An electronic control module manages energy produced by the plants and applies it to front wheels -- or all four wheels for the optional AWD version -- through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Options include a 320-watt Audiophile audio kit, a moonroof and a Hybrid Energy Audio and Navigation System.
Ford reworks the full-size SUV for '07 with two new versions -- standard Expedition and stretched EL ("extended length"). New Expedition EL has a foot-long wheelbase extension with more room in a vast cabin including 24 cubic feet extra cargo room. Body styling changes for a bold look borrowed from Ford's F-150 truck with prominent three-bar grille and raised powerdome hood. There's muscle aboard due to Ford's 5.4-liter Triton V8 pumping 300 hp through a six-speed automatic transmission, plus huge torque to elevate tow capacity to 9200 pounds. Power liftgate and Powerfold third-row seat are options.
Ford's mid-size SUV best-seller simplifies trims for '07 for XLT, Eddie Bauer and luxe Limited with rear-wheel-drive (RWD) and four-wheel-drive (4WD) versions. A new Ironman Package for XLT adds bold body parts with Orange Frost paint and 18-inch aluminum wheels. Explorer's cabin configures three ways with seating for five, six or seven. The optional PowerFold seat on row three drops seatbacks into the floor. Powertrains include a 4.0-liter V6 with 210 hp or 4.6-liter V8 netting 292 hp. Safety equipment includes ABS (anti-lock brake system) with options for RSC and Ford's Safety Canopy.
Ford Explorer SportTrac
A re-do for '07 creates a larger and stronger sport-utility truck (SUT). As a crossover Sport Trac uses Explorer's chassis and carries it's four-door and five-seat cabin but also the abbreviated bed of a pickup. The new version features a crisp new design for sheetmetal and upgraded materials in-cabin, with two engine choices and more safety gear aboard. Sport Trac comes in 2WD and 4WD versions with trims of XLT and Limited. The standard 4.0-liter V6 makes 210 hp, while an optional 4.6-liter V6 punches out 292 hp. [Read RTM's Full Review]
Ford's five-door crossover wagon blends the look of a SUV with the versatile cabin of a minivan and handling of a sporty FWD sedan. Freestyle's cabin has multiple configurations for seats and cargo. There's room for six or seven on three tiers of seats with buckets up front and a back bench folding flat into the floor. Trims run from base SE and deluxe SEL to luxurious Limited. For power Freestyle stokes a 3.0-liter V6 worth 203 hp with a CVT. New stock gear for 2007 includes side-impact air bags and the Safety Canopy.
This minivan stretches more than 16 feet long and supports a generous passenger compartment with room for three tiers of seats for as many as seven riders. Safety equipment on Freestar includes Ford's Personal Safety System, and curtain-style side air bags are optional. Freestar has a transverse-mounted V6 engine tied to a FWD system. Actually there are two V6 options. Standard is a 3.9-liter version with 194 hp. Freestar's top trim employs a 4.2-liter V6 for 201 hp with a four-speed automatic transaxle. A third-row Tailgate Bench Seat (TBS) is standard now on all Freestar trims.