Thanks to a host of changes, the 2011 Ford Edge is now a top choice for a midsize crossover SUV.
The 2011 Ford Edge has been heavily revised. Highlights include more power, updated exterior styling, reduced wind and road noise, improved interior quality and new features.Read more
Quiet, roomy cabin; comfortable ride; innovative technology features; lots of safety equipment.
Despite its name, the Ford Edge hasn't exactly been living an energized life recently. Compared to many of Ford's impressively updated or redesigned vehicles in the last two years, the Edge can come off as being, well, a bit dull. Thankfully, the sharpening stone has been brought for the 2011 Ford Edge, and we think this midsize crossover SUV is much better for it.
On the outside, this year's Edge maintains its generally athletic look, with a more prominent chrome grille bracketed by trendy LED running lights. The Edge Sport model drops the chrome in favor of blackout trim and now gets 22-inch wheels as standard equipment. The grille might be a bit much, yet this is one of the most handsome crossovers out there.
The Edge's familiar 3.5-liter V6 has been upgraded for 2011 to deliver 285 horsepower, a 20-hp gain. Fuel economy has gone up slightly, too. Meanwhile, the Edge Sport receives an exclusive 3.7-liter engine that kicks out 305 hp and 280 pound-feet of torque. All Edge models also receive new braking hardware, which has improved brake feel and shortened its stopping distance by 20 percent.
Both the look and the feel of the 2011 Edge's interior are more premium thanks to better materials and a high-tech electronics interface dubbed Ford's MyTouch. Complementing the existing Sync system, MyTouch features a new touchscreen display (it operates much like the screen of a smartphone) along with additional voice commands, and operates the Edge's array of tech features.
The 2011 Ford Edge is now a solid pick for a midsize five-passenger crossover, especially if you're fond of its styling and technological features. That said, we'd still recommend taking a look at the sharper-driving 2011 Nissan Murano or the family-friendly 2011 Toyota Venza. And if you need a third row of seats, there are other crossovers to check out. But now that it is both innovative and rewarding to drive, the latest Edge finally lives up to its name.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2011 Ford Edge crossover is available in SE, SEL, Limited and Sport trim levels.
The SE comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker CD player with an auxiliary audio jack. The SEL gains 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, upgraded cloth upholstery, a six-way power driver seat, satellite radio and a trunk-mounted second-row folding seat release.
The top-shelf Limited adds ambient lighting, leather seating, a 10-way power driver seat with memory settings, a power front passenger seat, heated front seats, the MyFord Touch interface, Ford Sync, two USB inputs, a rearview camera and a premium 12-speaker Sony audio system with HD radio. The Edge Sport is equipped in a fashion similar to the Limited, though it comes with 22-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and transmission paddle shifters.
Many of the additional features can be added to the lower trim levels via optional packages. Other available options include (depending on trim level) 20-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, a power liftgate, xenon headlights, adaptive cruise control, keyless ignition/entry, a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system and an SD-card-based navigation system with real-time traffic and Sirius travel link.
Powertrains and Performance
The Ford Edge SE, SEL and Limited come with a 3.5-liter V6 that generates 285 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque. It's connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Edge Sport has a 3.7-liter V6 that spins out 305 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed auto is again standard for the Sport, but it also includes manual shift control. All trim levels come standard with front-wheel drive, and all but the SE can be equipped with all-wheel drive.
EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined for a front-drive 3.5-liter model. Going with AWD drops the estimate slightly to 19/26/21 mpg. The Edge Sport has an 18/25/20 mpg rating with front-drive and 17/23/19 mpg with AWD.
Antilock disc brakes, stability control (with rollover avoidance logic), front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and blind-spot mirrors are all standard. The programmable Ford MyKey system, which can help make the Edge safer for teen drivers, also comes standard. Optional on all trims except the SE is a Vision package that includes blind-spot and cross-traffic monitoring systems.
In 2010 government crash tests, last year's Ford Edge scored five stars (out of five) for the driver and four stars for the passenger in frontal-impact tests, while it earned five stars in side-impact testing for both front and rear passengers. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the Edge scored the highest possible rating of "Good" in both frontal-offset and side-impact testing. In Edmunds brake testing, an all-wheel-drive Ford Edge Sport stopped from 60 mph in a respectable 121 feet.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2011 Ford Edge has a revamped interior with a more modern design and higher-quality materials, something especially noticeable on models equipped with MyFord Touch. This new interface consists of three new display screens and the ability to input commands for various audio, phone and navigation functions via voice or touch controls. In operation, we've found it to be a pretty good interface and an interesting rival to BMW's iDrive or Audi's MMI. But there is a steep learning curve involved; less tech-savvy drivers will need time to adjust.
The Edge's front seats provide excellent support on longer trips, though some drivers will find the head restraints to be uncomfortably canted forward. In back, the reclining outboard seats are nicely shaped and offer satisfactory legroom, but headroom can be tight if you order the dual-pane "Vista Roof" option. Furthermore, the middle seat is for short trips only due to its slablike seatback.
Without the power liftgate, the Edge's rear hatch can be hard for shorter drivers to close, but cargo capacity is a respectable 32 cubic feet with the backseat in use. Folding down the second row opens up a not-so-flat cargo floor and a max capacity of 69 cubes. That's more than a Nissan Murano can manage, but less than the Toyota RAV4 or larger crossovers like the Chevy Traverse or Ford Flex.
The 2011 Ford Edge is most notable for its comfortable ride, which soaks up road irregularities well without feeling floaty in the process. Though its steering doesn't provide much road feel, the Edge nevertheless feels solid and secure. Sport models feel slightly sharper and more agile, though their larger wheels degrade the ride quality a bit. Every 2011 Edge has additional acoustic insulation and the result is an impressively quiet highway ride.
Acceleration from the standard V6 is strong, but the six-speed automatic transmission can be slow to downshift because it's been optimized for fuel-efficient driving. The Edge Sport has more power as well as a manual shift mode for the transmission, but its power advantage is largely negated by a heavier curb weight.