|The 2011 Ford Edge sports a redesigned front grille. (Photo: Luc Gagné/Auto123.com)|
If none of those models meets your needs or satisfies your ego, the automaker has one more card up its sleeve in the form of the Lincoln MKX, Edge's premium cousin.
Selection, selection, selection...
The Ford Edge wasn't the best-selling midsize crossover in Canada last year. According to Automotive News, it placed third behind the Dodge Journey and Toyota Venza.
Still, the model remains a key player not only in this particular market segment but also in Ford's stable of high-value, high-tech products. The Blue Oval company faces some stiff competition with the likes of Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain, Nissan Murano and Mazda CX-7 also battling for top sales honours.
Canadian drivers have been increasingly embracing crossovers for the past couple of years. In 2010, they accounted for over 100,000 units sold in the country.
People love how these versatile machines combine the best of both worlds – cars and SUVs. Their flexible interior makes them very accommodating and practical, their driving dynamics are similar to a large sedan's, and their tall, commanding stance inspires confidence behind the wheel.
Such attributes can be appreciated the very minute you step into the 2011 Ford Edge, even a base model like my SE tester.
|The Edge's tall, commanding stance inspires confidence behind the wheel. (Photo: Luc Gagné/Auto123.com)|
For the new model year, designers performed a significant lifting yet left the rest of the body virtually unchanged. They integrated larger chrome bars to support the Ford logo and put more emphasis on the vertically-stacked LED lights underneath.
You won't find the latter on these pictures, mind you. The company made it a special feature on all Edge models except the entry-level SE.
The headlights, hood and fenders have also been restyled in the process. In the back, new taillights add flair to the vehicle with their crystal-clear looks.
|The Ford Edge SE rides on 17'' wheels, whereas other models feature 18'', 20'' and 22'' units. (Photo: Luc Gagné/Auto123.com)|
True to its basic nature, the Ford Edge SE doesn't get all the bells and whistles that make this crossover famous. For instance, it rides on 17'' (alloy) wheels, whereas other models sport 18'', 20'' and 22'' units. If you ask me, however, that's good news for Canadian drivers since their winter tires will be cheaper to buy.
The SE doesn't feature a power tailgate, either. On the other hand, it exploits the same 3.5-litre V6 as the SEL and Limited models – now tuned to deliver 285 horsepower (+20). Torque is up only 3 lb-ft but available 500 rpm earlier.
While acceleration times for the 0-100 km/h aren't any faster (slightly under 10 seconds), Ford claims the new engine burns up to 4 percent less fuel, thanks to new twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT). More specifically, my tester averaged 11 litres per 100 kilometres, which is about what you should normally expect with a crossover that weighs nearly two full tons.
Power is managed by a seamless 6-speed automatic transmission. SE models offer front-wheel drive only, while both the SEL and Limited are available with all-wheel drive. The Edge Sport comes standard in 4x4 configuration.
|The new 3.5-litre V6 on SE, SEL and Limited models delivers 285 horsepower, a gain of 20 over the previous engine. (Photo: Luc Gagné/Auto123.com)|
Sadly, the base model doesn't add the SelectShift feature that allows manual shift capability.
The success of the Ford Edge is largely built on its predictable road manners. The steering feels sharp and not overly assisted. A big, fat wheel sits atop a tilt/telescopic steering column that helps drivers of all sizes find a comfortable position. It's a shame the front buckets don't provide much lateral support, though.
|A big, fat wheel sits atop a tilt/telescopic steering column that helps drivers of all sizes find a comfortable position. (Photo: Luc Gagné/Auto123.com)|
While the fully-independent suspension does a nice job of masking road imperfections, it induces quite a bit of body roll in corners. As for the 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, I found them easy to modulate.
The rear seat effortlessly accommodates two adults, sometimes even a third. The 60/40 split-folding seatbacks drop down in a flash to increase total cargo capacity from 912 to 1,951 litres. That's a substantial amount of room and only a few dozen litres short of the class-leading Venza.
The relatively-high beltline and smallish rear window hamper the driver's field of vision. Plus, no rear-view camera is available in SE trim, so parking manoeuvres demand extra time and attention.
Other amenities that remain exclusive to the more upscale Edges include heated seats, MyFord Touch and SYNC. However, music lovers can still appreciate the standard 6-speaker stereo with MP3 playback capability. Air conditioning, cruise control and power windows are part of the mix, too.
All in all, the 2011 Ford Edge SE mainly gets selected for its affordable price of $27,999 (plus freight, delivery and taxes). Compare that to a base Toyota Venza which starts at $29,310 – with an anaemic 4-cylinder engine, not a V6 – and the most humble Edge looks like a pretty good deal.
|The rear seat effortlessly accommodates two adults, sometimes even a third. (Photo: Luc Gagné/Auto123.com)|