Ford Edge Road Test Review
by Martha Hindes
2012 CUV Buyer's Guide - Top 10 Picks
Sometimes marketing genius comes in midsize packages with trendy names and lots of hype. Score a solid 10 for Ford's 2012 Edge crossover. Sure it wears the expected "MyFord Touch" driver connecting wizardry that does everything on the technology side but make your morning coffee. But this year it also sports Ford's latest gas-stingy "EcoBoost" engine to boot. By the time one figures out what those terms stand for; they're probably hooked on the necessity of having them. Advertising teasers can have that effect.
The Edge has been out nearly six years, enough seasons to have become a staple and major presence on the American crossover scene, both in Ford guise and its up market Lincoln cousin as the tonier MKX. The current Edge reflects last year's facelift. As a result, its streamlined body, bold swoopy grille and solidly planted tires have a "don't mess with me" presence.
For 2012, the big news with the Edge is an additional engine that wears that somewhat contradictory "EcoBoost" name. Eco, in automotive terms, generally refers to a vehicle that in some way is designed to preserve nature, save fuel and protect the planet by discouraging lead foot tendencies. In Ford's case, that can reward good driving with such vibrant electronic displays as unfolding vines that sprout leaves or butterflies that flit across a screen. Boost tends to relate to a power surge, like those eye-opening energy drinks folks scarf down in the morning for a quick kick in the backside.
In Ford's case, the EcoBoost is designed to squeeze the most available power out of a small, four-cylinder engine, matched with a six-speed tranny, that gains a healthy 250-horsepower kick as a result. During tests of the spunky little energy miser engine, we've appreciated how much gusto can be wrung out of it with so little thirst, and on regular fuel.
(For the technologically savvy, getting there uses such sophisticated tricks as turbo charging, direct injection and little shutters inside the front grille to open or close off air flow when driving that helps boost mileage.) The result isn't complicated, however. Getting 30 highway miles to a gallon of gas for a midsize crossover should be a winner in anyone's terminology. That powerplant joins two V-6 engines in the Edge, including a 3.7-liter, 305-HP for the Edge Sport edition.
Passengers haven't been forgotten in the rush toward engineering innovations. For 2012, wind noise inside the cabin is lessened thanks to quiet enhancing materials, including special windshield construction. And high tech user electronics including interactive voice command also check a vehicle's health so there aren't any nasty repair surprises.
Ford execs expect the Edge to chalk up top safety marks for 2012 for its advanced driving technologies, construction and ability to protect occupants in a crash. We expect it to continue to be a top contender in crossover presence, economical usefulness, smart good looks, and with a base price of $27,750 a lot of upgraded, midsize crossover for the money.
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