With just a touch-up or two to its list of features, the Ford Edge returns for the 2013 model year as one of the more spacious five-seat crossovers on the market, with one of the more fuel-conscious powertrains offered in its class, and some of the heaviest-hitting luxury and technology features of any crossover vehicle, period.
One of four Ford crossovers–there’s also a new Escape this year, joining the Explorer and Flex–the 2013 Edge wears its mostly tasteful clothes well. We’re not the most ardent fans of the VW-style grille that starts high at the hoodline and goes low, all the way to the chin spoiler, but otherwise it’s neatly put together and free of built-in blemishes. The cockpit’s a fault-free zone–on the surface, depending on your take on MyFord Touch. It’s almost devoid of button clutter, tightly built, and in this generation (since 2011), blessed with much-improved interior materials.
The Edge was refreshed in the 2011 model year, when it gained the grille and new interior. It also upped its base 3.5-liter V-6 by 20 horsepower to 285 hp, bettered its six-speed automatic and its handling, and upgraded the Sport’s 3.7-liter to 305 hp. Last year, Ford dropped a new twist into the Edge, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four rated at 240 horsepower, good for decent acceleration and lineup-leading highway gas mileage of 30 mpg. It’s a wide spread of performance, but it neatly bridges the five-seat experience now from Escape to Explorer, something it couldn’t do without the front-drive EcoBoost model.
All Edge crossovers comport themselves with a carlike feel. They 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 Explorer and Flex crossovers.
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.