Thursday, August 18, 2011

2011 Ford Edge Sport: The Brand's Import-Like Crossover

Highlights: This is one bad ass Ford. In fact, it is so sweeet the high-end, import-like Ford Edge Sport we reviewed was outfitted with 22-inch factory equipped wheels.

And to compliment the good looks, the Edge offers the world’s first implementation of iTunes with tagging in a factory-installed HD Radio receiver. Once a song is tagged the user can dock their iPod to the SYNC system. Thus, at that point the tagged song can be transferred over to the iPod.

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $40,635 (Base price starts at $28,465)

Sport’s Major Standard Features: a five-seater vehicle; a blacked-out grille; sport-tuned suspension; black leather trimmed seats; heated front seats; 10-way power driver’s seat with memory feature; aluminum-plated brake covers and accelerator pedal covers; chrome exhaust tips; rear view camera; paddle shifters for the steering wheel; capless fuel filler door; and MyFordTouch smartphone-like application controlling the heated seats, ventilation system, nav system and audio system

Sport’s Standard Audio System: 12-speaker Sony audio system with HD radio and Sirius satellite radio

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

iPod & USB Connectivity: 2 USB ports and iPod connectivity.

Bluetooth Compatibility: Yes

Sport’s Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.7-liter, 6-cylinder/305-hp

Sport's Standard Fuel Mileage: 18-city/25-hwy

What’s New: The redesigned 2011 Edge literally sports an all-new athletic exterior design which is being fueled by new engines and loads of high-tech features.

Pros: In the 2011Edge, Ford is definitely leap years from the previous generation. The styling is literally out-of-the-box for the domestic automaker. This year’s vehicle has a more harmonious design. Everything just seems to fit into place – both inside and out.

And just like last year, for the 2011 model-year, the Edge is available in a variety of trim levels in either a front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive configuration: a low-end SE model, a midlevel SEL model, a posh Limited model and the in-your-face Sport model.

The Edge is a standout in this segment, offering many features not available in many of its competitors. The 2011 Edge offers several new brake features: hill-start assist, which reduces rollback on hills; trailer sway control, which provides enhanced towing (when equipped for trailer tow); hydraulic brake assist, which provides greater braking force when needed in an emergency; and adaptive cruise control, which electronically monitors and adjust the driving speed based upon other vehicles.

Also our Edge Sport was equipped with such optional features as Ford’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with cross-traffic alert, which helps to detect vehicles in the driver’s blind spot before changing lanes or backing-up; a push-button keyless ignition starter; a power tailgate and a panoramic roof.

Furthermore, the Ford Edge Sport we reviewed used Mustang's 3.7-liter V6 which spins out 305-horsepower. And the vehicle only requires unleaded fuel.

Cons: Over the past year we’ve been in sticker shock over the price of many of the gussied-up Fords, as of late. Our high-end Edge Sport topped-out at $40,635. Just for comparison’s sake, a base-model BMW X5, lists for $47, 175. And although the base X5 isn’t equipped with most of the features we found on the Ford, many believe a $40,000 asking price is a lot to pay for an Edge.

Besides the steep price, the MyFordTouch system in the Edge, which controls everything from the audio system to the heated seats using a touchscreen application similar to a smartphone can be somewhat complicated to use. Just using the system could require a separate visit to the dealership to help one learn how to use this high-tech system. Unfortunately, we would prefer knobs and switches, as opposed to this touchscreen application.

The Verdict: The reworked Ford Edge Sport we reviewed is truly a standout in the midsize SUV/crossover segment, when taken into consideration the fit-and-finish and styling. Not only is the in-your-face bold design of the Sport captivating, the upscale interior outfitted with high-quality material puts this vehicle in a league of its own. Also the roomy five seater sporting 22-inch wheels, with it new blacked-out grille makes this one must-have vehicle.

Besides our quirk with Ford’s smartphone-like MyFordTouch system and the price of many well-equipped Fords these days, in our eyes this vehicle is worth every penny, when one starts to do an apple-to-apple comparison with the competition. While we couldn’t find any vehicles from the Chrysler or GM that could go toe-to-toe with the Edge Sport, we did find a few imports that qualified. However, once options are added on one will immediately be steered back to the Edge Sport.

Edge Sport's Competition: BMW X5 and Infiniti FX35   


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