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Click the photos for hi-res images.

Ford makes a compelling case about the marketability of the Edge. Their newest crossover seems to fit every demographic you can throw at it. Whether its aging baby-boomers who have a hard time with ingress and egress, recent empty nesters who are ditching their SUV in favor of a smaller, more fuel efficient, yet commanding vehicle and then there's me. Someone who Ford describes as 'Phil.' Phil is an active professional, living an active lifestyle, in an active, urban environment. The Edge seeks to be all things to all people, but a lingering question is always hanging in the air. What's really new about the Edge?

The design is starkly striking. The wheels are pushed to the very ends of the vehicle, the overhangs are short and the steeply raked windshield, coupled with a low ride height give it a sleek, yet deliciously chunky appearance. The corporate DNA can be seen throughout the vehicle, with the chromerific three-bar grille getting much of the attention, it's easy to overlook subtle cues from the D-pillar and beltline that are perfectly Fusionesque.

The 17-inch chromers were a bit too bling for some tastes, but tied in nicely with the other metallic accoutrements. Thankfully, in addition to an 18-inch upgrade, brushed aluminum wheels are an option.

Upon entrance of the vehicle, no less than five textures greet the occupants, most of which have a modern, up-scale feel. Some are good, particularly the ribbed metallic dash console that kinks downward where the shifter resides. A couple cubbies provided ample room for mobile phones and iPods, including a cavernous center console that Ford claims would fit a "small laptop." On the MP3 player tip, the Edge comes standard with a 1/8th-inch jack that routes sound into the head unit and has a well-engineered notch that allows the cable to protrude out the side of the console and into waiting, if distracted, hands.

The steering wheel is adorned with all the prerequisite buttons to control the stereo volume and inputs and, like most of the materials, is appealing to touch. Other surfaces however, weren't quite as well funded, with flimsy plastic and Fusion parts-bin pilfered pieces finding their way onto the doors. On the SEL-equipped testers, leather was standard and over the course of the day, ass numbing was kept at a minimum.

Most of the interior is hard to get excited about, with all the expected legroom and creature comforts present and accounted for. The one piece of aesthetic and engineering glory is the Vista Roof ™ moon/sunroof setup that extends far beyond the front passenger's heads, breaks for four-inches, then continues to cover the rear-seat occupants. Copious quantities of sunlight enter the cabin without the much-dreaded "greenhouse" effect cooking fellow passengers. Once opened, noise is kept at a minimum until the wind really begins to kick up. If Ford's designers and engineers nailed anything on the Edge the Vista Roof is it.

Once behind the wheel and underway, the sheer size of the Edge begins to make itself known. Navigating the streets of San Francisco is not as overwhelming a task as it may be in an Expedition, but it certainly ain't small. Knowing where the right front tire is tracking can be a bit of a challenge at first, but after a half-hour or so of navigating the urban confines of S.F. proper, faith begins to take over and the huge footprint of the Edge becomes manageable.

Out of the city and onto the twisties of the North Bay, the soft-sprung suspension leaves a bit to be desired in the corner-carving department. Although squat, dive and body roll is kept at a minimum, 'sporty' is not the word that comes to mind. Steering input isn't anything to write home about either, but it turns when asked and feels as good as expected. Since road molesting ability is probably not on the list of 'must haves' of 'Phil' or any other of the demographics Ford outlined, the ride is suitable for the daily urban and suburban slogs that the Edge will find itself in most of the time.

The newly developed 265 HP, 3.5-liter V6 powering the front wheels or all wheels, depending on the model, was overwhelmingly underwhelming. Considering the two-plus tons it's being asked to motivate, it provides barely adequate grunt no matter where you mash the carpet in the rev-range. However, when this new mill finds its way into the MKS and Fusion, it will find a soul mate (An SVT variant of the Edge is also rumored). The new six-speed transmission is far and away one of the best Ford has offered to date, with smooth shifts that are progressive and seamless. Downshifts take a bit of preplanning, with a few ticks between application and thrust, and the lack of anything between 'D' and 'L' is criminal for any transmission with that many ratios.

As a whole, the Edge has the ability to define the crossover segment and usher in a new era of American motoring. The CUV market is the fastest growing segment in the U.S., with Ford expecting crossovers to eclipse SUV sales by the end of the year. With that in mind, Ford has put a lot of eggs in the Edge basket and if consumers grant it a chilly reception, the Blue Oval might be in a world of hurt. And that's the rub. With so many other vehicles that could be considered CUVs, does the Edge offer anything different? Overall, no. It's a perfectly average vehicle, but the Edge neatly slots in between the CR-V's and RDX's of the world and in doing so, it creates a market segment that stands to redefine what average buyers require. Even if their name isn't Phil.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm not sure why Ford is designing its cars exclusivley for the AutoZone aftermarket crowd; I HATE the taillights and the grill! I realize that there is no accounting for taste, but I think these two details will be a dealbreaker for more than a few people.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Den in IN

      IMHO it is always inexusable to drive any SUV. Each person has the responsibility to get the most roadworthy, well handling vehicle they can that doesn't kill others in an accident with their high hoods. (Truck frame or not, high hoods are the number one cause of death in side impacts with SUV's)

      It's not just racerboys who NEED well handling vehicles. All of us should.

      It is morally inexusable to put your fellow driver at risk of their lives just so you can pamper your image in a high riding vehicle.

      More americans die every year in the U.S. because people drive SUV's than have died to date in the Iraq war. Why are people so damned outraged about the war, and ignore SUVs?
      • 8 Years Ago
      mattlach, you think? I think it is very competitive with other CUVs in its class.

      I found an article on the prices: http://kpix.autobytel.com/content/shared/articles/templates/index.cfm?article_id_int=2164

      Ford Edge
      SE FWD $25,995
      SE AWD $27,645

      Nissan Murano
      S FWD $27,600
      S AWD $29,200

      Limited FWD $25,020
      Limited AWD $26,420
      • 8 Years Ago
      V. Greene: The Ford SUV/CUV lineup is crowded, but there seems to be room for the Edge...

      Escape: Small SUV, 4-5 passenger.
      Explorer: Mid Size BOF SUV, up to 7 passengers
      Freestyle: Mid Size Car-based CUV, 7 passengers
      Edge: Mid Size Car-based CUV, 5 passenger
      Expedition: Full Size BOF SUV, 7 passenger

      Regarding the interior: I sat in the Edge at a local auto show earlier this year and honestly thought the Dashboard design and quality was pretty good. Check it out before you judge because the pictures really don't do it justice.
      • 8 Years Ago
      For those who are complaining about the Edge's interior especially when compared to others, try sitting in a new 2007 RAV4 or 2007 CRV. They may look good in print, but it's like Hard Plastic City in there, yet the Edge is the one that gets dinged. Having just been to the auto show in Anaheim, CA a couple of weeks ago, I would so don't pass judgment until you actually sit in one. There were many vehicle interiors that looked good in pictures but really disappointed in person. The Toyota Camry, in particular, comes to mind. I couldn't believe the poor fit and finish with some of the dashboard seams.
      • 8 Years Ago

      Wow. I'm surprised. Thats a pretty hefty sum for this vehicle IMHO.

      (and I guess I wasn't quite awake when I typed my first comment. I usually spell better than that, I promise.)
      • 8 Years Ago
      I forgot to add that I am an car only driver ( hard to be my A4 interior I admit ) but the CUV would be for the wife, so I have serious interest because I will be driving that too.

      CarFan, I take back my inclusion of GM in my less than congratulatory comments regarding interiors. I admit that GM is trying, not there yet but in the right direction.

      Mattlach, I was going to admit the assumed price level might have an impact on the quality level but given the pricing revelation answered by someone else, it is not needed. The additional comment regarding the quality and design of Mazda3 etc, only back's up my impressions.

      I do not expect supple leather and the finest materials but it is evident that with plastics technology today, sharp, illusion of quality materials are available today and cost effective and that with computer aided design and implementation capabilties, not to mention plenty of examples of the " right way " that no car manufacturer can be excused for simply on it's way to catching up to the pack leaders.

      Scott, I do hear you that I should not make assumptions based on a few pictures but it's not like there isn't a great deal of dissapointing recent history regarding Ford's interiors. And that Sterring wheel is just sad. Maybe I am one of only few who place look first at the design of the steering wheel

      There is no doubt buyers out there for whom all of this is not as important, but if Ford's intention is to take market share away from it more entrenched competitors in this segment, they have to be on par or even excel in all catagories. I promise to re-evaluate my opininion when I see better pictures or better yet in person, but it's not as if these were low res examples. That cheap bling center stack sticks out like a sore thumb. The word Ford should focus on is organic not this very fadish bling that has already faded monumentally outside of the hip hop crowd. There is cool sharp styling and then there is obnoxious cheesy bling.

      Fortunately as mentioned they did the exterior right, although I did have a laugh at the poster who rightly mentioned the Auto Zone like accessories. I like the grill but the Altezza like rear lights stink of the cheesy bling above mentioned.

      It's in the details and the package. A buyer who cares about these things just gets the feeling that Ford takes it half way and then just lets the ball go in favor of just slapping the last bits together, or maybe it's an attempt to add cues that will appeal to each type of buyer, please everyone, even the boy racer crowd and always a day late.

      I give Ford credit for finally any'ing up on the exterior design, it looks tight, well finished ( in picture form ) sharp lines and a design that could stand the test of time, but they need to finish the execution throughout the package, especially now that we know what dollar ballpark they are trying to play in.

      I will drive my Germans til the day I die probably but this does not mean I don't want Ford or any other US manufacturer to claim top spot in this segment and want to be patriotic by adding one of the big 2 in my stable but they are not going to do so with a product where if I bought it I would feel the need to make modification off of the showroom floor.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Exterior looks great--First class.

      Interior looks extremely uninspired--circa 1996.

      And this is Bold Moves? The vehicle that is supposed to bring Ford out of its sales slump???
      • 8 Years Ago
      Fair at best, but I'd never give one a second look. The cheese slicer grille is toyish and the rear lights are plain and cheap looking. But my biggest gripe are the wheels. They are way too small for this unit. Makes the whole thing look weak and underpowered. At least Ford is getting on the right bandwagon with this class of vehicle taking over truck-based SUV's. *ding*
      • 8 Years Ago
      It looks great!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well I liked it so much I actually went and bought one...lol I think overall it is a very solid well built, sound vehicle. It has a luxury look. I mean Lincoln is using it in their line up. I drove the Escape, didnt like it. The feel and comfort of the Edge is great. The power seems pretty darn adequate for me. 0-60 in 7.4 isnt bad for a 4000 lb vehicle.

      Ford will sell alot of these!!! I just wish they would change the blue oval and maybe use just a fancy F (like Lexus with the L). The whole Ford thing is old. jmo

      • 8 Years Ago
      mattlach, last I heard Edge starts at $25,995 for the SE FWD and ~$36,000 for an all options SEL+ AWD (base ~$31K)
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