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2007 Ford Edge

On the Edge of Reason

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

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2007 Ford Edge

The Edge is a welcome break from Ford's conservatively-designed SUVs.

Photo © Aaron Gold
Edge is a critical vehicle for Ford, and I think for the most part they've got it right -- it's got the radical styling and modern features to match the competition. But all is not ideal on the driving front: the 2007 Ford Edge is more likely to appeal to SUV buyers looking to downsize than car/crossover owners who need something bigger. The 2007 Ford Edge carries a $25,995 base price, $34,290 and $36,355 as tested, EPA MPG 18/25 (front wheel drive) and 17/24 (all-wheel-drive) city/highway.

First Glance

The Edge is a welcome break from Ford's conservatively-designed SUVs. Ford has toyed with some radical designs in the past, cars like the 1996 Taurus and the 1999 Mercury Cougar. Inevitably the same thing happens: Ford's conservative core buyers shy away and the cars are restyled to better blend in with the background of look-alike Camrys and Accords.

But the designers I spoke to say that won't happen with the Edge, and I'm inclined to believe them. The Edge comes at a time when people are looking for something different. Its bold three-bar chrome grille, an exaggeration of the one found on the Fusion sedan, is uniquely American. Buyers old and young are looking for style, and the Ford Edge is set to give it to them. The theme continues inside with a unique dash design bisected by a big chrome center section (a design not without problems -- more on that in a moment).

And the beauty is not just skin-deep: the Edge has lots of desireable features and options and a slick new V6 engine under the hood. Like most contemporary CUVs it offers a choice of front- or all-wheel-drive and is designed for on-road performance rather than off-road prowess. It is, to put it succinctly, a thoroughly modern crossover.

Continued below...

In the Driver's Seat

h design bisected by a big chrome center section.

Photo © Aaron Gold
I'm not a form-over-function kind of guy. Radical styling is fine so long as it doesn't interfere with my ability to use the vehicle. In this regard the Edge scores high. It's easy to get in and out, the front seats are comfortable, and the back seats are decent (plus they recline!). The cargo bay is huge and the big tailgate hinges up and out of the way to make loading easy. There are LATCH child seat tether points at all three rear seating positions. There's even an optional electric seat-back release that drops the split/fold rear seatbacks at the touch of a button.

There is, however, one glaring exception -- and I mean that quite literally. The silver center section of the dash reflects off the windshield, and the glare is brutal.

On the plus side, Ford has given both Edge models (SE and SEL) a full complement of safety equipment including front seat-mounted torso airbags, side curtain airbags, antilock brakes and electronic stability control. Also standard: Power windows, mirrors and locks, and a CD/MP3 stereo with input jack. I drove both front- and all-wheel-drive Edge SEL models with options like navigation, leather seats, SIRIUS satellite radio and the huge Vista Roof sunroof; both were priced in the mid-$30s.

On the Road

Since the Edge is based on the Fusion, I was a bit disappointed that it didn't drive like a Fusion. This isn't such a far-fetched idea; plenty of CUVs drive like the cars on which they are based, including Ford's own Freestyle. The Edge steers like a big truck-based SUV; you can jiggle the wheel an inch or so in either direction and the Edge will blissfully continue rolling straight down the road. To its credit, the Edge doesn't do anything unpredictable or scary if you take a corner too fast. Body lean is well controlled and the ride manages to be smooth and comfortable while communicating the details of the road surface. It just isn't much fun to drive.

The new 265 hp 3.5 liter V6 engine is quiet and powerful, a real gem. The 6-speed automatic, designed in conjunction with General Motors, is a marked improvement over typical Ford automatics; it's quicker to downshift to give you more power. Still, the lack of a manual mode and P-R-N-D-L shift pattern (with only one Low range) limits the driver's choices. When descending steep hills I found that O/D Off selected too high a gear (requiring me to ride the brake) and L selected too low a gear (requiring to apologize to my passenger and for slamming him forward into his seatbelt).

Journey's End

The Edge rides like a car and it handles emergency maneuvers like a car, but the steering feel and overall driving experience is old-school truck-based SUV.

Photo © Aaron Gold
Ford mentioned two potential audiences for the Edge: 30somethings just starting a family and Baby Boomers whose kids are just getting out on their own. I think the Edge will do better with the latter, especially those who are seasoned big-SUV owners. Many 30somethings -- one of which I am proud to be -- grew up driving small, front-wheel-drive cars. We like CUVs that drive like cars. The Edge rides like a car and it handles emergency maneuvers like a car, but the steering feel and overall driving experience is old-school truck-based SUV. Fuel economy, likewise, is an improvement over truck-based SUVs but not on par with many smaller CUVs.

For the most part, I like the Ford Edge. I like the styling, I like the comfort, I like the features, and I like the value. I like the engine, though I'd be willing to trade horsepower for a little better fuel economy. I just don't care for the isolated driving feel. The Edge may be the only radically styled SUV in Ford's stable, but it's not the only one on the market. Were the driving feel as radical as the rest of the car, I'm sure I'd like it a lot better.

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