As a son of Detroit, I always leap at the chance to drive a car made by the Big 3, especially now that they have mostly emerged from the depths of despair brought on by the economic recession of 2008 and 2009. Because of this, I was pretty excited to pick up a brilliantly blue Ford Edge at the airport, even though the Edge in its current form has been around for some time now.

The Edge sits between the Escape and Explorer in Ford's current CUV lineup, where it looks to provide a roomy, comfortable interior in conjunction with a versatile, powerful drivetrain, all at a competitive price. The general consensus is that the Edge has been quite successful in doing so since its debut in 2007, but consumers and auto critics have pointed to its historically dismal fuel economy as a major flaw in its value proposition. Indeed, a paltry 24 mpg on the highway has led many an Edge buyer to feel the proverbial pain at the pump.

To address these concerns, Ford decided to offer the Edge with a 2.0L, turbocharged I-4 engine for the 2012 model year. The engine is part of Ford's EcoBoost family designed to provide the power of bigger powerplants while giving consumers the fuel efficiency of smaller ones.

Does the new engine finally offer competitive fuel economy without sacrificing performance or driving experience? Is the Edge truly a viable candidate for today's small family on the go? Click on through to find out.

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How Much?

How Much?

MSRP: $27,525 - $39,060
Invoice: $25,942 - $36,424

As Tested: $38,910

Please note that the EcoBoost engine is only available on the SE, SEL and Limited trims and costs an additional $995.

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Key Stats

Key Stats

-2.0L turbocharged I-4 engine
-240 hp, 270 lb-ft of torque
-6-speed automatic transmission
-21 mpg City, 30 mpg Highway
-Seats 5
-68.9 cubic feet max cargo capacity

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What We Like

What We Like

Michael: The EcoBoost engine is really solid. In fact, it's pretty hard to tell that it's just a dinky 2.0L I-4, given that it produces some 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. I was really impressed with the quickness this fairly heavy car had off of the line and merging onto the freeway was a breeze. Couple the impressive performance with the improved fuel economy of 21 mpg City, 30 mpg Highway (which is about what I achieved) and I think that Ford really has a winner with this car, at least when it comes to driving dynamics and fuel economy.

Additionally, the interior of this crossover is a great place to be. The seats are very comfortable, it's quiet, there is tons of leg room and enough cargo capacity for you and your family. Loading up from trips to grocery and home improvement stores is sure to be a fairly stress-free endeavor.

Autoblog: Having been comprehensively upgraded for 2011, the Edge interior now boasts soft-touch materials everywhere occupants care to touch, including a terrific steering wheel and leather-clad shifter, plus a very cushy dash. The seats are also a plush affair, with enough cushion to find a place of honor in most living rooms, and enough bolstering to hug torsos without making drivers feel like weekend racers. The Edge also scores high praise for its roominess. Second row passengers are treated to gobs of hip room and a cavernous 39.6 cubic inches of legroom.

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What We Don't Like

What We Don't Like

Michael: If you read a lot of reviews of Ford vehicles, you probably already know what I'm going to say. The fact is that MyFord Touch, Ford's infotainment system, is unacceptable in today's high-tech world. It's laggy, confusing and sometimes just flat-out does not work.

Here's an example: At one point during my time with the Edge, I received an incoming call from a friend. Eager to test out the call quality in the car, I hit the button to accept. Nothing happened. I tried again. Still nothing. Over and over I mashed the button until, eventually, the call went to voice mail.

Annoyed, but still determined, I selected the "redial" option which popped up in a dialog box upon the missed call. A nice feature, except that when I tried to use it to call my friend back, the Edge called someone about 4 places down on my call history list. After an awkward encounter with the parking garage I spoke with several days before, I gave up and just spoke with him when I got home.

Issues like this plague Ford's infotainment system and have even caused Jim Farley, Ford's VP of Marketing, to publicly promise that the system will be fixed in the near future. I sincerely hope that happens because the Edge is a great vehicle ... with one major flaw.

Autoblog: We still found ourselves staring at the center console in order to sift through the heating and ventilation controls, which are controlled through touch-screen "buttons." Call us cavemen, but we prefer actual buttons and knobs to switchgear that can't be easily discerned by touch. And when we used the steering wheel controls, we found ourselves gazing into the 4.2-inch screen on the right side of the gauge cluster trying to find the optimal settings. Not good, and a bit dangerous as well.

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Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Overall, I think the Ford Edge is a solid choice as a CUV, although you'll have to be prepared to be infuriated with the infotainment. The fact that it's fuel efficient, has an agreeable interior, employs great exterior aesthetics and has a quiet, although engaging driving experience makes it so I would recommend the Edge to a couple or small family. It should prove to be a versatile and reliable daily driver.

AOL Autos Score:

3.5/5 Stars


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