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2017 Ford Edge Test Drive Review
If you’re looking for a dramatic, eye-catching crossover, Ford's Edge won’t fit the bill. It’s sleek and attractive, but not a standout.
The Ford Edge is the just-right crossover sandwiched between the smaller Ford Escape and larger Explorer and Flex. The 2017 version offers seating for five passengers with ample cargo room and storage cubbies galore to hold everything a busy family needs to get through its day. It doesn’t pretend to be a weekend off-road warrior. Instead, it’s perfectly happy being a family car with attractive styling and a manageable size.
Look and Feel
The 2017 Ford Edge has no overly large fenders or rugged bits tacked on to make it look like you’re thinking of driving up a mountain rather than into the grocery-store parking lot, which is where this crossover is right at home. Its large grille adds some presence up front, while sleek sheet metal tapers back to the rear of the car. Inside, materials are of good quality, especially in higher trims, although an abundance of cheap plastic on the dashboard is disappointing.
The base Edge SE has a starting price of $28,950 and comes standard with a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine with 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission that's standard across the model range. Most trims have front-wheel drive (FWD) standard with all-wheel drive (AWD) optional, until you get to the Sport trim, which makes this a standard feature. Halogen projector headlamps, intermittent wipers, dual stainless exhausts, and LED tail lamps are all standard. Inside there are cloth seats with a 60/40 split-folding second row and a multifunction steering wheel. Safety features include multiple airbags and a reversing camera. Infotainment comes from Ford Sync with a 4.2-inch LCD screen, AM/FM/CD, and one USB port.
The SEL adds the option of a 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder engine with 280 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. The interior gets an upgrade with a 10-way power driver’s seat and 6-way power passenger seat that are available heated. The second row becomes easier to manage with an EasyFold backseat release. SELs also get dual-zone climate control, and Sync 3 is an option, along with a touchscreen and navigation. There’s also an available premium audio system with 9 speakers. The steering wheel gets a leather wrap, and new optional features include remote start, a hands-free foot-activated liftgate, and blind-spot warning with cross-traffic alert. Starting price on the SEL is $31,790.
The Titanium is priced from $35,600 and features the same engine choices as the SEL with even more upgrades. Heated, leather-trimmed, sport bucket seats with driver’s-seat memory are standard, along with a 10-way power front passenger seat. Options for cooled front seats and a heated second row are available. Sync 3, two USB ports, and a 12-speaker Sony audio system are found in every Edge Titanium. The hands-free liftgate also becomes standard with lane-keep assist, an enhanced active park-assist system, and a front 180-degree camera with split view and washer as options.
Choose the Sport at $40,400 and you’ll have only one engine option. This time it’s a 2.7-liter, 6-cylinder EcoBoost with 315 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. Adaptive steering, a sport-tuned suspension, and 20-inch wheels are standard on the Sport. Seating features leather trim with sueded-cloth inserts, and both the brake and accelerator pedals are aluminum to give the Sport a unique look.
No matter the trim you choose, the Ford Edge offers great flexibility for passengers and cargo. It’s comfortable with easy access to the rear seats, and for those in winter climates, AWD ensures you’ll get you and your family where they need to go. It’s not flashy, but it gets the job done.
The three engines available in the Edge offer three very different driving experiences. While the base 2.0-liter 4-cylinder has only 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, the Sport boasts a 2.7-liter 6-cylinder with 315 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. That increased horsepower makes the Sport an exceptionally responsive vehicle, especially considering this is not a small crossover.
But don’t go thinking this is a sports car in disguise. It’s not. The Edge Sport is, however, a fun car to drive. It’s responsive when you press on the gas, whether you’re accelerating from a complete stop or simply looking for some passing power on the highway. The Edge Sport is up to the challenge and provides plenty of power.
A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard across the lineup, and it’s a good fit. Shifts are well-timed, letting the engine rev high, but not to the point where that engine sounds strained. It’s a composed and responsive ride. Road and wind noise aren’t intrusive, even during time spent on the highway during a summer downpour. Conversation with backseat passengers was always easy without raising voices. Braking was solid with minimal nosedive. Although this isn’t a small vehicle, it handles well with responsive steering and little body roll, even in tight corners.
Fuel-economy ratings on the Edge Sport are an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city/24 highway, which isn’t bad. The Sport comes standard with AWD, which is part of the reason its fuel economy is lower than what you’ll find in the rest of the Edge lineup. The best numbers are found with the base engine in the SE with FWD. In this configuration only, the engine adds auto start-stop technology, which helps it achieve an EPA-estimated 21 mpg city/29 highway.
Form and Function
The Edge features an abundance of space for passengers with comfortable seating and an expansive second row with 40.3 inches of headroom and 40.6 inches of legroom. That’s plenty of room for even the tallest passengers. Seating is supportive, but borders on stiff, so long road trips will require extra stops for a good stretch. The leather and suede seats on the Sport trim are attractive and lend the interior an upscale vibe. Heated and ventilated front seats are standard up front, while rear passengers get heated seats that are optionally ventilated.
The rear seats split-fold 60/40 for carrying cargo. The Edge has 39.2 cubic feet when the seats are up or 73.4 cubic feet when they’re folded. Loading cargo is made easier by a low load floor, cargo tie-downs, an available foot-activated tailgate, and automatic backseat releases located in the cargo area. Lifting those seats back up, however, is oddly challenging. The larger seat that includes the middle section is particularly heavy and not something you can easily flip up with one hand. The Edge can also tow up to 3,500 pounds.
The Edge also includes an impressive number of cubbies, which are perfect for all the random things families carry with them on the average day. There’s storage behind the center console in a small cutout as well as a cubby in front of the console. The center armrest reveals a deep storage area, and more storage can be found in a small cubby to the left of the driver’s knees and again on top of the dashboard. Whatever you have in hand, the Edge has the perfect place to safely stow it for a trip.
The sore spot on the Edge’s interior comes in the quality of the materials on the dashboard. Although controls are well-placed and easy to access, the plastics look cheap. They’re a marked contrast to the attractive seating materials and the leather trim that adorns the doors. They not only look cheap, but they feel that way, too, and seriously detract from an otherwise quality interior.
Ford’s old MyFord Touch infotainment system received harsh criticism, and it was deserved. Its new Sync offering is much better.
The base infotainment system is Sync with voice recognition, a 4.2-inch color LCD screen, and a single USB charging port. The system includes AM/FM, a single CD player, and an audio input jack. SiriusXM with a 6-month subscription is added to all but the SE trim. Sync is adequate, but Sync 3 is a big improvement. It has an 8-inch color touchscreen with two USB charging ports. That larger screen makes a difference if you opt for navigation, and the touchscreen makes it easier and more intuitive to operate. Available upgrades include a 9-speaker premium audio system or a 12-speaker Sony audio system. You also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Safety ratings on the Ford Edge are good, but leave room for improvement. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave it an overall 5-star rating with only one 4-star rating for rollover resistance. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave it a Good in all crash tests except for small front overlap, in which it received an Acceptable rating. Since there is no front crash-mitigation technology, the Edge isn’t eligible for the Top Safety Pick+ rating.
Despite the lack of some safety technologies, the Edge still offers plenty of available safety features, including lane-keep assist, a 180-degree front camera with washer, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning, and forward-collision warning. It also has multiple airbags and available inflatable rear safety belts. If you want all these features, you do have to pay more and opt for higher trim levels rather than the base model. Along with these safety features, the Edge provides a solid and confidence-inspiring ride. Handling is good without any top-heavy crossover feel, and the brakes work well, making it a vehicle parents with their most precious cargo will appreciate.
The Edge is a mixed bag when it comes to value. You can get into the base model for under $30,000, which is a great price, but your options are limited for both technology and safety. The SEL and Titanium trims, though more expensive, offer better value by adding features that make the ride more enjoyable. The Sport trim with its peppy engine is the most fun to drive, but once you add optional safety and convenience features, it quickly pushes the $50,000 mark.
This crossover is all about the middle ground. The Edge is your middle choice between the Escape and Explorer, and it’s in the middle of the Edge range where you’ll find its sweet spot. Good fuel economy, versatility for cargo or passengers, and an attractive and comfortable interior make the 2017 Ford Edge a solid choice.
Nicole Wakelin's passion for cars started on the day she went for a ride in a bright red Ferrari as a teenager. She writes reviews and covers everything cars for CarGurus, The Boston Globe, BestRide, and Be Car Chic and blogs all things geek over at TotalFanGirl.
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