It’s not radically reinvented, but the latest Ford Edge is a substantial, beefy five-seat crossover with some compelling features–features like real adult interior room, the tech-savvy MyFord Touch system, even the simply appealing Vista Roof glass panel.
The heavily refreshed Edge was new for 2011, and this year has a new addition to the lineup in the form of an EcoBoost engine, a turbocharged four-cylinder with comparable power to the base V-6, with a highway gas mileage rating of 30 mpg. The standard six-cylinder remains available in 285-hp form, and the Edge Sport returns with its 305-hp six and sport tuning. All versions have a firm but not busy ride, relatively quick steering, and the kind of predictable tall-wagon handling that makes them great choices for family commuters and carpoolistas–even the Edge Sport, with its massive 22-inch wheels.
The Edge hasn’t earned the best safety scores from the NHTSA, but the IIHS calls it a Top Safety Pick. With standard curtain airbags and anti-lock controls, the Edge can be upgraded with blind-spot monitors, parking sensors and a rearview camera, but it lacks the latest options for features like inflatable rear seatbelts found on the seven-seat 2012 Explorer.
All Edges get a USB port for music players; a capless fuel filler; and MyKey, which lets parents program in speed and volume limits for their younger drivers. Then there’s MyTouch, which uses Bluetooth and touchscreens to take the place of dozens of buttons and switches, rendering the dash neat and clean while relying on voice or steering-wheel-button commands to drive secondary vehicle functions like navigation and climate control.
With styling refreshed and warmed up nicely in 2011, the Edge’s main selling points are its stylish and spacious interior, the advanced technology on board, and now, the promise of 30-mpg fuel economy. If you’re seeking a truly sporting edge, you’ll probably need to spend more for a German SUV with less interior space, though.
The styling theme’s familiar by now, but the 2012 Ford Edge comes off more elegantly than the first-generation crossover did. The grille’s gone deep, in a Volkswagen way–one wonders if Bobby Flay takes it as a personal challenge to his manhood. The silhouette’s changed less, but what is there has been crisped up, with more pronounced fenders and emphatic taillamps providing the fillips on what’s really a very clean, almost plain design.
The Edge’s interior received a complete makeover last year, and nothing’s changed for the 2012 model year. The latest design has better materials, softer-touch plastics, and a finer aesthetic appeal, with less blocky shapes, though we’ve had about enough of the mock carbon fiber trim found on SE and SEL editions.
There are vertical strips of woodgrain on Limited models, giving the console an architectural lift as the real wood trim does in a Range Rover, and the stack itself has been cleaned up to incorporate an LCD screen, sized medium or large, depending on whether MyFord Touch has been installed. On the Edge Sport, Ford adds on black-tinted metallic trim, a body kit, and grey inserts on the seats, with contrasting stitching.
On any model where it’s fitted, the optional Sony sound system sits behind a glossy black panel on the center stack, and lends some high-end audio look to the design. MyFord Touch does the same, with its bright LCD glow.