The 2011 Ford Edge crossover SUV is overhauled inside, outside and underhood. In addition to a prominent new chrome grille and other external details, the five-passenger Edge gets an extensively redesigned dashboard and instrument panel with state-of-the-art electronic features. Automobile Magazine's David Zenlea says, "With just a dash of new sheet metal, revamped engines, and a heavy sprinkling of technology and luxury inside, it has turned what was a competent but very bland vehicle into one that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in its segment."
The 2011 Ford Edge is one of the first Ford vehicles to get the new MyFord Touch interface, which uses steering wheel-mounted controls, a touch screen and voice commands to control a variety of functions including the trip computer, entertainment and navigation systems, wireless communications, and climate control. CNET's Wayne Cunningham says it "shows great initiative in design, and works very well for controlling the car's various infotainment applications." His review covers some of the MyFord Touch features in greater detail, commenting that the optional integrated Sony audio system was worth the price "for its excellent audio quality." Many other reviewers are also impressed with the ease of use and extensive functionality of the advanced MyFord Touch system.
But MyFord Touch has several credible detractors as well. Motor Trend's Todd Lassa feels that the touch screen and voice command system is essential for some "technoids," but for him, "it's too fussy, like trying to enter a customer complaint on an automated phone operator system." Cars.com's Kelsey Mays feels that the MyFord Touch "needs a lot of work, and it's worth sticking to an SE or lightly equipped SEL trim to avoid it." His major complaint was its slow response time. "You'll wait a half-second or longer for maps, music and climate menus to load on the 8-inch screen, which accumulates so many fingerprints it's all but impossible to read on a sunny day."
The general interior design and layout gets numerous compliments from auto writers. Daniel Pund at Edmunds Inside Line claims, "Ford rightly spent much of its time and money reworking the Edge's interior. Money well spent, we say. Overall, the look and feel of the interior are more premium." Automobile Magazine's Zenlea notes that while the interior dimensions are essentially unchanged from before, that "in terms of quality, the Edge is with little doubt the new benchmark in its price range."
Cars.com's Kelsey Mays observes that, "For such a wide crossover, the Edge's cabin seems narrow." He places blame on the Edge's thick doors and wide center console, pointing out that some narrower vehicles still provide better hiproom. He says that headroom is good, and that it's the same with or without the available moonroof. Mays also says that the reclining backseats are comfortable, but that taller passengers may find them to be on the low side.
The Edge crossover's interior lacks a third row of seats, but cargo space is competitive with other similar vehicles. With the rear seats folded down, the Edge's maximum capacity is 68.9 cubic feet. With the seat in place, there's 32.2 cubic feet at the rear. (The Nissan Murano, for example, has numbers of 64.5 cubic feet and 31.8 cubic feet.) Maximum towing capacity for the Edge is 3,500 pounds, which places it even with competitors such as the Nissan Murano (Base MSRP: $28,520 to $39,160) and Toyota Venza (Base MSRP: $26,625 to $29,900).
Four models comprise the Edge lineup: SE, SEL, Limited and Sport. The upper two trim levels get the MyFord Touch interface, with Ford Sync, two USB inputs, a rearview camera and 12-speaker Sony audio system. The Sport also includes 22-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, transmission paddle shifters, blackened grillework and an extra 20 horsepower.
The base engine is the carryover 3.5-liter V6, but it gets revisions such as variable timing for both intake and exhaust cams that help boost the output by 20 horsepower over last year, up to 285 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. Matched to a six-speed automatic transmission, this more powerful engine increases fuel efficiency to 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway for the front-wheel-drive models. Optional all-wheel drive drops the economy by 1 mpg.
The Edge Sport now features the 2011 Ford Mustang's new 3.7-liter V6, rated at 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Ford has also announced it will install its new EcoBoost direct-injection, turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder in 2011; the new engine is expected to raise fuel economy. Pund, writing for Edmunds Inside Line, says that "the engineers have done a nice job in preventing the 22-inch wheels from completely destroying the ride," but that beyond that, it's hard to recommend the $38,000-plus Edge Sport over similarly equipped, lower-priced trim levels, since it doesn't handle much better than they do.
Ride and handling is improved over previous years, as Automobile Magazine's Zenlea explains: "New dampers and wider tires, along with some adjustments to the rear anti-roll bar and rear bushings have tidied up the Edge's body control through sharp bends." But its "class-leading power is largely offset by the class leading curb weight (4,500 pounds in all-wheel-drive form -- some 200 pounds heavier than the Murano and almost 400 more than the Accord Crosstour and Venza)."
Acceleration is strong from the more powerful V6 engines, reviews say. In 0 to 60 mph testing, Motor Trend clocks the front-wheel-drive SEL model at 7.1 seconds, and the higher horsepower AWD Sport at 7.6 seconds. Lassa says, "Impressive as the 3.7 is in the Mustang, in the Edge, it has a lot of sheetmetal to move." He adds that their AWD Sport "tipped the scales at 4,405 pounds, 330 pounds heavier than our FWD SEL."
Reviewers like the full manual shift control for the automatic transmission, a feature lacking in previous years' models. The shift action earns kudos too; Cars.com's Mays writes, "Especially impressive is Ford's six-speed automatic transmission, which upshifts smoothly and kicks down with little delay."
Brakes are much improved over last year's Edge, with better overall feel, most critics say. But Motor Trend calls the 2011 Edge's braking performance "sub-standard" after testing shows mediocre stopping distances with noticeable fade after each test.
All Edge models come with a full complement of safety features, including front-seat-mounted side-impact airbags, front and rear side-curtain airbags, antilock braking system and electronic stability control. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Edge its top rating of Good for frontal offset and side-impact crash tests, but a score of Acceptable -- a notch lower -- for roof strength. In government tests, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the 2011 Ford Edge a 4-star overall rating (3 stars for front impact, 5 stars for side impact and 4 stars for rollover risk)
In the midsize crossover segment, the 2011 Nissan Murano (Base MSRP: $28,520 to $39,160) is often suggested as a worthy alternative to the Ford Edge, providing strong performance, good handling and a stylish interior. Several less-expensive choices are worth a look, some reviews say, such as the midsize 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe (Base MSRP: $21,845 to $30,845) and compact 2011 Kia Sportage (Base MSRP: $18,295 to $24,795). The 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour (Base MSRP: $29,790 to $36,340) is also lower priced when similarly equipped, and offers "very similar interior packaging," says TheTruthAboutCars.com's Jack Baruth. He also suggests budget-conscious shoppers look at the 2011 Toyota Venza (Base MSRP: $26,625 to $29,900), "a less expensive alternative that's bigger inside," although other reviewers call the Venza's suspension stiff and its interior cheap looking.
Popular Mechanics' Dan Carney says, "Upgrades effectively distance the Edge from competitors like the dismally cheap Toyota Venza and should fend off the strong challenges of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sportage."
Some reviews note that there are several crossover alternatives available at the same Ford dealership as the Edge. There is the smaller 2011 Ford Escape (Base MSRP: $21,215 to $27,565); larger, seven-passenger 2011 Ford Flex (Base MSRP: $29,075 to $42,190); and the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer (Base MSRP: $28,170 to $39,740). About.com's Jason Fogelson is "a little concerned about how crowded Ford's crossover lineup is getting." Between the four Ford crossovers, "the distinction between each model's function is getting thin," he adds.
Among the best, more comprehensive reviews of the Ford Edge are those from Cars.com, Edmunds Inside Line and Motor Trend. Other critiques that include plenty of behind-the-wheel driving impressions are those by Autoblog.com, About.com and TheTruthAboutCars.com. Shorter reviews that provide an excellent summary description include articles in Fortune and Popular Mechanics. CNET does an especially good job in describing the electronic features, such as MyFord Touch.
This extensive review by Cars.com staffer Kelsey Mays gives plenty of details and driving impressions of the Ford Edge. Comparisons with rival crossovers give this review extra value. Mays and other Cars.com editors were disappointed in the MyFord Touch system.
Review: 2011 Ford Edge, Kelsey Mays, Jan. 31, 2011
2. Edmunds Inside Line
Edmunds Inside Line's thorough review does not include a track test at press time, but good driving impressions of the Ford Edge SEL and Sport models. Daniel Pund comments, "We're not moved enough by the Sport model to justify its higher price, at least not from a handling standpoint."
Review: 2011 Ford Edge Sport First Drive, Daniel Pund, Aug. 23, 2010
3. Motor Trend
Motor Trend puts the front-wheel-drive Ford Edge SEL and all-wheel-drive Edge Sport through its complete test procedures, and gives a thorough evaluation on the track and on the road. Tests reveal excessively long braking distances, but ride and handling were much improved, editors say
Review: First Test: 2011 Ford Edge, Todd Lassa, Aug. 28, 2010
Autoblog.com writer Chris Shunk says, "Dynamically, the new Edge still feels heavy, and that's because it still is." He is a fan of the MyFord Touch system, commenting, "These controls are very intuitive to use, enabling the driver to focus less of his or her attention on the center console and more on the road."
Review: Review: 2011 Ford Edge Limited -- Ford Masters The Mid-Cycle Refresh, Chris Shunk, Oct. 21, 2010
5. Automobile Magazine
In a detailed review, editor David Zenlea gives a good description of the Ford Edge and some of its technological features. He says some rivals may have more attractive interiors, "but in terms of quality, the Edge is with little doubt the new benchmark in its price range."
Review: First Drive: 2011 Ford Edge, David Zenlea, Aug. 23, 2010
About.com writer Jason Fogelson says, "I was immediately impressed with the improvements. This was not a touch-up; this was a total makeover." He's a fan of the new technology as well, commenting, "There's nothing as good as MyFord Touch available on the direct competitors, and there's not a nicer interior, either." (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: 2011 Ford Edge, Jason Fogelson
In this succinct road-test evaluation, auto writer Alex Taylor III describes the positive and negative aspects of the Ford Edge. He says, "Except for its looks, though, it is difficult to say where the Edge stands out."
Review: 2011 Ford Edge: The Popular Crossover Gets Airborne, Alex Taylor III, Dec. 28, 2010
Popular Mechanics' Dan Carney says that Ford effectively fixed some of the complaints with the former Edge model, specifically improving the steering, brakes, Sync system and interior sound level. He says, "The Edge finally delivers on the dynamic driving experience promised by its design."
Review: 2011 Ford Edge Test Drive, Dan Carney, Aug. 25, 2010
With good detail on many of the Ford Edge's features, this review gives unique insight and valuable opinions. Jack Baruth says "No family sedan has anything like the Edge's panache, styling, solid feel, or super-tech interior."
Review: Review: 2011 Ford Edge, Jack Baruth, Aug. 23, 2010
CNET gives extra attention to a vehicle's electronic technology, especially the new MyFord Touch. Editor Wayne Cunningham also provides a good road-test review. While he says MyFord Touch "felt a bit sluggish at times," Cunningham liked its many functions and ease of use.
Review: 2011 Ford Edge, Wayne Cunningham, Sept. 16, 2010
In ConsumerGuide.com's standardized review, editors warn that "base prices are competitive, but the bottom line quickly escalates with options." They say a "judiciously equipped SEL" provides the best value for the money.
Review: 2011 Ford Edge: Road Test, Editors of ConsumerGuide.com
12. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the Ford Edge (model years 2007 through 2011) its best rating of "Good" in frontal offset and side impact crash tests. The roof strength test scores an "Acceptable."
Review: Ford Edge, Editors of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
13. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has performed its crash and rollover tests on the new 2011 Ford Edge and awarded it a 4-star overall rating out of a maximum 5 stars.
Review: 2011 Ford Edge, Editors of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration