Ford, Road Test Reviews, Vehicles

2012 Ford Edge Limited AWD – Road Test

It’s been a while since I last drove the Ford Edge, so since they’ve re-designed it I thought now would be the perfect time to get behind the wheel again.

I’ve always liked the Edge, but its new duds make it look quite unique and quite attractive from the front. The rear hasn’t changed much unless you view them side by side – that’s the only way to really differentiate the improvements.

First Impressions
Climbing behind the wheel (I don’t recall this much ground clearance on the previous model – where you actually climb up into the Edge) – the instrument cluster and centre console is quite a bit different from any other vehicle, let alone a Ford! It looks quite intimidating at first – only because there isn’t much there. In addition to the large touch-screen for Audio/HVAC/SatNav controls, there are additional touch buttons for quick adjustment of heating and audio systems. When I first looked at it I thought – Yikes, this techy dinosaur is gonna have problems.. but at least the volume button is big … if all else fails just crank up the tunes. The Edge had SYNC available, but I can never get it work because it doesn’t understand Scottish accents, no matter how faded they are. Even with all the years I’ve spent in Canada my accent is more akin to Irish … but SYNC doesn’t seem to understand the Irish accent either.

Directly in front of the driver is a large speedometer, until you press the start button – then all kinds of fancy things appear in the instrument panel. It’s very high-tech and cool – very un-Ford. On the steering wheel are two keypads – very similar to an mp3 player or mobile phone. The one on the left operates the little screen on the left and the one on the right.. well you can guess which one it controls. It’s actually quite ingenious and easy to use. You scroll down to the item you wish to change and then press the OK button. Another screen appears and that’s where you make your changes. To get back out you just hit the back (left) button. It’s so easy to use and you don’t get distracted while driving – this is definitely the way of the future for those of us that can’t use voice commands in SYNC. It’s way easier to use than BMW, Audi and M-B’s set-up with a dial. The same information can also be accessed and changed on the large 8″ touch screen on the centre stack – just perfect for the right-seat driver in the family….

New for 2012 is a 10-way power driver’s seat, including power lumbar and recline (standard on the SEL and Limited) and passenger seat (standard on the Limited) which was very easy to set and forget for the remainder of the test time. It’s extremely comfortable and a welcome addition to the Edge.

I’ve always liked the Edge, but the 2012 has really been kicked up a notch in terms of quality and comfort – way better than I’d expected. A lot of the time I get Press Material that’s loaded with “feel-good hogwash” that is not based in reality, but to be honest Ford just don’t do it justice in their “straight-to-the-facts” information – how refreshing! The interior materials are premium quality and they’ve made sure the “touchpoint” areas are soft along with the trim pieces.

Rear entry is easy thanks to the large doors, and the rear seat offers plenty of room with the bonus of a 60/40 split that also reclines and folds flat.

The standard 12-speaker, 390-watt Sony Audio System in the Edge Limited (and Sport) is outstanding with plenty of bass and power coming from the speakers. It also has iPod, Aux and 2-USB input ports, SD card reader along with the CD player, making just about any audiophile happy.

New For 2012
For 2012, Ford is adding an available 2.0-liter EcoBoost® four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission to the Edge lineup (on SE, SEL and Limited). Edge Sport is further distinguished by black grille, oval chrome exhaust tips, aluminum pedal covers, class-exclusive paddle shifters and six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission along with 3.7-litre V-6 engine, a sport-tuned suspension and a whopping 22″ wheels and tires!

All Edge models come with a 6-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission (with Sport Mode Shift on V-6 models).
Engines – Power and Fuel Economy:
3.5 litre Ti-VCT V-6 FWD: 285 hp @ 6,500 rpm, 253 lb.-ft. torque @ 4,000rpm;
Fuel Economy: City: 11.1 L/100km //  Highway: 7.2 L/100km (SEL and Limited)
2.0 litre EcoBoost four-cylinder FWD: 240 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 270 lb.-ft. torque@ 3,000 rpm
Fuel Economy: City: 11.5 L/100km // Highway: 8.1 L/100km
3.7 litre Ti-VCT V-6 FWD (Edge Sport): 305 hp @ 6,500 rpm, 280 lb.-ft. torque @ 4,000 rpm
Fuel Economy: City: 13.5 L/100km  //  Highway: 9.7 L/100km

Ford is no slouch in the safety department and the 2012 Edge has plenty of standard safety features such as:

Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support; AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control™); Safety Canopy® System, a side air curtain technology offering protection for the first and second seating rows; Personal Safety System™, a suite of seven safety technologies, including dual-stage front airbags for the driver and front seat passenger, side airbags and a front passenger sensor system; Hill start assist; SOS Post-Crash Alert System™; Blind spot mirrors and available BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert; MyKey® programmable vehicle key; SecuriCode keyless entry keypad; Tire Pressure Monitoring System; Rear-View Camera.

The Conclusion
The 2012 Ford Edge is a great CUV/SUV that I think is the perfect size. It doesn’t try to be a one-size-fits-all CUV/SUV with a third-row seat – that’s left to the Flex and Explorer. Too many manufactures insist that everyone should have 3 rows of seating in a vehicle that isn’t big enough, with zero room left for luggage or extras. I haven’t driven the 2.0-litre EcoBoost four-banger, and I honestly don’t know how it will fair with the shear bulk and weight of the Edge – guess I’ll just have to get one for a test drive.

Ford emphasized in the press release the importance of the outstanding fuel economy in the Edge’s new 3.5 Litre engine. I wasn’t overly aggressive with my right foot simply because it’s not that type of vehicle, but I thought my fuel economy numbers were deplorable. When a full-size pick-up truck like the Dodge Ram or even Fords F-150 is a close comparison in the number of litres gulped per 100 kms, I wouldn’t call it very good.

Superb LCD Touch screen for HVAC/Audio/SatNav
Plenty of power and torque
Terrific chassis and suspension
Fantastic stereo system

Thirsty for fuel

Immediate Competition:
Acura MDX / RDX, Ford Flex / Explorer, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Pathfinder / Mirano, Toyota Venza / 4Runner

By The Numbers…
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Powertrain:                     3.5 L DOHC 24-valve V-6 Engine with Ti-VCT ; 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission; AWD
Horsepower:                  285 @ 6,500 rpm
Torque lb-ft:                  253 @ 4,000 rpm
Cargo Capacity:           Behind Front Seats: 1,951 L (68.9 cu. ft) / Behind Rear Seats: 912 L (32.2 cu.ft)
Curb Weight:                  1,935 kg
Towing capacity:          1,588 kg (3,500 lbs)

Fuel Consumption:  (Regular Unleaded – 87 Octane)

City:  11.1 L/100 kms  //  Highway: 7.2  L/100 kms
I averaged 14.0 L/100 kms during mostly highway driving.

Pricing for the 2012 Ford Edge Limited AWD ($ Cdn)
Base Price: $33,844 [FWD] / $36,624 [AWD]
As Tested:  $44,449
Destination: $1,500

All Ford’s are covered by a 3-year or 60,000 km basic vehicle warranty, and a 5-year/100,000 km Powertrain warranty.
Roadside assistance program is for 5 years/100,000 kms.

Copyright © 2012 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text: Iain Shankland / Images: Iain Shankland

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