2011 Ford Edge SEL: Freshened Crossover adds Power and Looks
By Mike Blake, Carlisle Events
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Ford launched its mid-size crossover, the Edge, in 2006, as a combination minivan sports-utility vehicle and immediately gained top status in its niche. Over the next five years, Edge watched other vehicles pass it by as it remained in its first generation.
For 2011, Edge seeks to recapture its initial first-gen glory with a bold refreshening that includes a major exterior redesign, improved materials and craftsmanship on the interior, reduced road noise, class-exclusive technology and new powertrains.
The revised exterior retains its athletic demeanor, emphasized by Ford’s massive signature three bar-chrome grille, LED running lights, fluid lines and a lower lip front spoiler working in concert with its aggressively raked windshield and fast-sloping back window.
Manufactured in Ontario, Canada at Ford's Oakville Assembly Complex, Edge fits the five-passenger mid-size CUV parameters with a configuration of 185.7 inches in length, 75.8 inches in width and 67 inches in height on a 111.2-inch wheelbase.
My test Edge SEL was bathed in Ingot Silver Metallic paint and included such standard exterior features as a reverse sensing system, 4-inch polished dual chromed exhaust tips, 18-inch polished aluminum wheels , dual power heated mirrors with integrated Blind Spot Mirrors and security approach lamps, body-color exterior mirrors, chrome door handles, rear window defroster with dual-speed wiper and washer, automatic headlamps with wiper activation, bi-functional projector-beam halogen headlamps, fog lamps, keyless entry keypad, body-color rear spoiler and body color front and rear lower fascias, solar tinted front door and windshield glass and privacy glass on rear doors quarter and liftgate windows.
Edge gets a power boost this year as its 3.5-liter twin-independent variable cam timing V-6 engine provides 20 more horses than last year’s version and is now rated at 285 hp and 253 lbs-ft. of torque. Mated to a 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, fuel efficiency is estimated at 19mpg in city driving and 27mpg on the highway. During a week of mixed-use testing, the review vehicle earned an average of 22.2mpg. Added Edge powertrains include, a new 3.7 Ti-VCT V-6 engine that delivers 305 horses and 280 lbs-ft. of torque for the Sport trim, and a new application of Ford's EcoBoost 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo, is also an option (240hp/ 270 torque and 30mpg on the highway).
Delivering steady power in all ranges, my front-wheel drive 4260-lb. test CUV and its 3.5-liter plant managed a zero-to-60mph dash in 8.2 seconds on its way to a 16.2-second quarter-mile, and on the highway, the engine conveyed its brawn when asked.
The driving experience was comfortable as the independent front and rear suspension with Stability Control, Advance Trac and RSC – Rollover Stability Control -- a system in which a gyroscopic sensor determines the vehicle's body roll angle and roll rate, smoothes out most road irregularities and sound engineering has made for a very quiet cabin. The power rack-and-pinion steering is a bit vague, but the heavier Edge confidently adheres to the road with surprisingly little top wobble during quick turns, and it feels like a larger car when you are behind the wheel. Stopping power is self-assured with 4-wheel ABS.
The cabin is comfortable for five with 40 inches of front headroom and 39.3 in row two, 40.7 inches of legroom in the first row and 39.6 in the second seats and 58.9 inches of shoulder room in the front seats with 58.8 in the rear seats.
A Premium upgrade to the interior includes such amenities as MyFord Touch™ (an in-car technology that commands your MP3 player, USB or portable hard-drive by voice or a touch of a button), dual-zone electronic automatic temperature controls, particulate air filter, reclining front bucket seats ad 6//40 fold flat second row seats, Easy-Fuel capless fuel filler, 6-way power driver’s seat, cloth-trimmed seats, AM/FM single CD player, audio input jack, Sirius® Satellite radio, manual telescoping steering column, leather-wrapped steering wheel with cruise and audio control, autodimming rearview mirror, dual-illuminated vanity visor mirrors, rear cargo management system, four 12-volt powerpoints, power door locks with autolock feature, power windows, assist grab handles and liftgate assist handle.
Safety features include side impact door beams, Ford’s exclusive Safety Canopy™ side curtain air bags and the Ford Personal Safety System® of dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, SOS-Post Crash Alert System, tire pressure monitoring system, remote keyless entry, child safety door locks and LATCH System for children.
The 2011 Ford Edge starts at $27,640 for the SE version. My test SEL based at $30,650, the Limited begins at $34,650 and the top-of-the-line Sport has a base sticker of $36,925. AWD brought my test SEL to $32,325, while a Family Entertainment System added $1995 and included a 7-inch color LCD widescreen, two independent DVD headset systems, game/video ports, and CD/MP3 playback capability among other features. Adding destination charges of $825 and deleting $1,000 for current incentives, the net sticker was $34,320. Additional upgrades are available that add leather, towing, ambient lighting, a rear view camera, 8-inch touch screen and more to propel Edge into the luxury arena.
Visit www.CarlisleEvents.com for more on the automotive hobby.
Mike Blake, former editor of KIT CAR magazine, joined Carlisle Events as senior automotive journalist in 2004. He's been a "car guy" since the 1960s and has been writing professionally for about 30 years.
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