2011 Ford Edge, an AW Flash Drive

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2011 Ford Edge, an AW Flash Drive

Post  orangeranger on Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:49 pm

What is it?

The 2011 Edge is Ford's substantially updated midsize crossover with a revamped engine lineup, suspension tuning and styling both inside and out.

At launch, two new V6 engine options will be offered. For SE, SEL and Limited versions, a new 3.5-liter V6 with twin independent variable cam timing with 285 hp (up from 265 hp) provides power. While previous Sport models worked with the same engine as the rest of the Edge lineup, for 2011, they receive their own specific 3.7-liter V6 pumping out 305 hp.

Both engines are bolted to a six-speed automatic transmission, with SEL, Limited and Sport models boasting an auto-manual SelectShift function. While the SEL and Limited use a button on the center console shifter for gear changing, the Sport gets steering-wheel-mounted paddles.

Sometime next year, the Edge will also be available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 engine option with Ford claiming at least a 10 percent fuel-economy improvement when pitted against comparable V6 offerings.

Chassis improvements come via a new suspension with high-flow piston shock absorbers allowing for greater tuning ability. Revised spring rates, antiroll bars and underbody bracing (previously only included on the Sport) have also been addressed to help give the Edge flatter cornering performance.

However, the biggest performance improvement by far comes with a redesigned brake system, with new brake booster, revised pedal ratio, larger rear rotors and upgrade pad material.

Visually, the Edge receives are more imposing grille, new front sheetmetal, wheel designs and a heavily restyled interior. The swoopy dashboard features a waterfall center stack and is built from higher-quality materials. Touch-sense controls for climate and entertainment functions are new, replacing traditional buttons. Standard on Limited and Sport models is the first North American application of the Sync-driven MyFord Touch interface with a Sony-designed center control panel.

How does it drive?

At the first turn of the wheel, you'll notice the satisfying weight of the padded steering wheel and quick response for a crossover. Then, when you get going, the nicely damped ride and well-isolated cabin give a sense of refinement not often found in vehicles of this class. If you pay close attention and have the radio off, you will pick up a slight bit of tire noise.

The Edge remains nearly flat through fast corners while also being compliant to absorb impacts from small ruts. Thrust from the 3.5-liter V6 in our SEL tester is acceptable considering it was moving two tons of mass. The automatic transmission performs smooth and fairly quick shifts. We played with the auto-manual mode a little, which actually was respectably responsive.

However, the award for best improvement in the 2011 Edge goes to the drastically improved brakes. The previous Edge suffered from a notoriously soft and mushy brake pedal, but that has been fixed in the updated car. Now, pedal response is almost instant with a firm and confident brake-pedal feel.

We briefly experienced the new Sport as well and again were impressed with the suspension tuning that was able provide a comfortable and quiet ride with the standard 22-inch wheels. Ford openly acknowledges that the previous Sport model veered on the harsh side for ride quality, but the new shocks have enabled engineers enough adjustability to smooth out the ride on the low-profile rubber.

As for the MyFord Touch system, it worked fairly well with its increased library of commands but still at times could not understand us when we tried to change radio stations.

Do I want it?

Since the Edge first hit the market in 2006, it has remained the sales leader in the rapidly growing and increasingly competitive midsize-crossover segment. The 2011 updates should only help solidify Ford's standings at the top of the class with the Edge and continue to have the competition playing catch-up.

The big improvements in the interior and drive dynamics are noteworthy. For the technology geeks, the MyFord Touch interface will surely entice with all the in-car connection options for news, stocks, weather reports and gasoline prices.

If you're looking for a midsize crossover, the 2011 Edge is hard to beat.

2011 Ford Edge

On Sale: Now

Base Price: $27,995

Drivetrain: 3.5-liter, 285-hp, 253-lb-ft, V6; FWD, six-speed automatic

Curb Weight: 4,082 lb

0-60 mph: 7.0 sec (est)

Fuel Economy (EPA): 22 mpg

Source: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20100823/CARREVIEWS/100829966


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