The Internet as a mass medium is less than 20 years old but because it’s literally everywhere now it feels as though it has always been thus.
Same goes for crossover SUVs. They are – as a class – hugely popular now and as common as wood-paneled station wagons were back in the ’70s.
But it was not always so – and as recently as the early 2000s. There were lots of SUVs – based on pick-up trucks. But the idea of building an SUV-looking vehicle that was based on a car – and which rode and handled like a car rather than a truck – that was a new idea.
The first-generation of such vehicles included models like the Lexus RX (debut year 1999), then the Nissan Murano (2003) and the Ford Edge (2006).
Though the Edge came out after the Murano, it has done much better – becoming one of Ford’s best-selling models and the best-selling vehicle in its class.
Now comes its first major redesign – and as you can imagine, there’s a lot riding on it.
No doubt, the engineers, stylists and product planners at Ford are … on edge. Awaiting the verdict of the market.
Have they fixed what isn’t broken?
Or taken a good thing – and made it better?
WHAT IT IS
The Edge is a mid-sized, two-row crossover SUV – built on the same basic “platform” (as they say in car industry jargon) as the Fusion sedan.
Ford designed it to appeal to people who don’t need three rows (that’s where Explorer comes in) but who want lots of room in two rows – as well as the very latest in technology, smart looks and snappy performance.
It’s available in base SE, mid-trim SEL, Titanium (new for ’15) and Sport trims.
All trims – including the base SE with the four-cylinder engine- are offered with FWD (standard) or AWD (optional).
There are two new engines – a turbocharged four cylinder (base trims) and a turbocharged 2.7 liter V6 (Sport trims only) which replaces last year’s 3.7 liter V6.
Last-year’s non-turbo 3.5 liter V6 carries over.
Base price for a FWD SE is $28,100.
An SEL with FWD starts at $31,500.
The luxury-themed Titanium with FWD stickers for $35,600 to start; $37,595 w/AWD.
Either of the above is available with the turbo four or the non-turbo V6, mix and match as you prefer.
The Edge Sport – with its unique-to-this-trim twin-turbo 2.7 V6 – starts $38,100 ($40,095 when equipped with the optional AWD system).
As before, the Edge’s closest-in-kind competition is probably the Nissan Murano – which is also all new for 2015.
The Nissan is larger (longer) but – interestingly – has less space in both of its two rows and also comes only with a V6 (not turbo’d) and CVT automatic, regardless of trim.
Murano starts $29,560 and runs to $40,600 for a Platinum trim w/AWD.
The ’15 Edge get its first major update, including two new engines on the roster (which makes for three, total) more interior and cargo room, Ford’s latest technology (including automatic perpendicular and parallel parking) “active” grille shutters to enhance aerodynamics and improve fuel efficiency, the latest version of Ford’s MyTouch system, feeding through a new eight-inch LCD touchscreen display and (wait for it!) a self-washing 180 degree exterior camera.
More of everything (and more than Murano) for about the same money as last-year’s Edge … and less money than Nissan asks for this year’s Murano.
Base four can be ordered with AWD; no more up-selling you to the V6 to get it.
Available 315 hp twin turbo V6 completely outclasses Murano’s top-dog 260 hp V6.
More legroom in second row than Murano has in first row.
Noticeably improved handling and ride quality vs. 2014 Edge.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD
Ford’s MyTouch interface is still a challenge to learn – and sometimes, to use.
Will turbo’d engines prove reliable down the road? We won’t really know until we get there.
Both of the Edge’s turbo’d engines need premium to deliver best-case horsepower/mileage.
A couple of interesting things about the new Edge.
First, the new standard engine – a 245 hp turbocharged four paired with either FWD or AWD.
This is a first.
Two firsts, actually.
The previous Edge also offered a turbo four – but not with AWD. If you wanted AWD, you had to move up to either of the two available V6s.
Here’s where it gets interesting: On paper, the ’15’s 2.0 turbo four seems to be about the same as the ’14’s 2.0 four. Same size, both turbo’d; the ’15 producing just 5 more hp on paper than the ’14 did.
So, what gives?
The ’15s 2.0 four – though superficially similar to the ’14’s 2.0 four – is a heavily revised engine, with a new-design twin-scroll turbo and an exhaust manifold that’s cast integrally as part of the cylinder head. These design changes result in almost-immediate boost and so, much less (almost no, in this writer’s experience) turbo lag.
The ’15 2.0 engine also features revised camshaft timing, higher compression (9.7:1 now vs. 9.3:1 before), direct injection – and the block is a lighter casting which, along with other weight-saving measures, made it possible for Ford to offer the four and AWD together for the first time.
The optional V6s – either the turbo’d new one or the not-turbo’d carryover one – can be purchased if you’d like more power, but not because you have to in order to get AWD.
Potential buyers might also want to consider that the new Edge’s base engine is only 15 hp shy of the Nissan Murano’s top (and only available) engine, a 3.5 liter, 260 hp V6. And the Nissan’s V6 is thirstier (21 city, 28 highway with FWD vs. 20 city, 30 highway for the 2.0 Edge with FWD) and – big surprise – can only pull a 1,500 lb. trailer while the four-cylinder Edge is rated for up to 3,500 lbs.
In any event, the Murano does not give you much variety under the hood.
For the traditionalist – the buyer who is maybe a little leery of turbo’d engines but wants more power – there is the carryover 3.5 liter V6, also offered with (and without AWD). It makes 285 hp (15 more than the Nissan’s V6) and is paired with a six-speed automatic (as is the turbo four).
Replacing last year’s optional 3.7 liter V6 (not turbo’d) is a new 2.7 liter twin-turbo V6. Ford fans will recognize this powerhouse powerplant; it made its debut in the new F-150 pick-up truck. In the Edge, it produces a bit less power – but 315 is still a step up from the 305 hp produced by the ’14’s optional 3.7 liter V6 and absolutely blows the Murano’s 260 hp V6 into the weeds. The 2.7 engine features a graphite-impregnated iron-alloy block for high strength and light weight, and two twin-scroll turbos. It is one of the strongest engines currently available on a power-per-liter basis and otherwise.
The FWD Sport with this engine (which, again, is unique to Sport trims) gets to 60 in just over 7 seconds. Mileage figures were not yet available in mid-March when this review was written but Ford says the 2.7 liter’s numbers will be better than the outgoing 3.7 liter Edge’s 19 city, 27 highway (17 city, 23 highway with AWD).
The Edge’s optional AWD system is capable of routing 100 percent of engine power from front to rear, as needed, to maintain traction.
Ford flew me – and other car jockeys – out to Arizona to test drive the Edge. We did deserts, we did suburbia – and in between.
The immediately obvious thing about the Edge is that any of the available powertrains will more than do. None are to be avoided. It comes down to whether you’re content with strong, stronger – or gotta have strongest.
The Ecoboosted four is probably the one you want for suburbia because it has good low-end torque (270 ft.-lbs. – more than the next-up 3.5 liter V6) and very strong mid-range power that pulls the Edge smartly from light to light – and gives you not bad gas mileage for such a big galoot (about 5 MPG better than last year’s 3.5/AWD combo).
Probably, this is the version I’d buy.
The carryover V6, on the other hand, has more on top (horsepower-wise), pulls harder at highway speeds – and will not give you any angst about possible down-the-road turbocharger trouble.
I spoke at length with a group of Ford powertrain engineers who made me feel good about the turbo’d engine’s long-haul prospects. They tortured prototypes in ways that would make anyone feel sorry for the poor things, even if they are machines and cannot feel pain. But – again – the truth will out as the years pass in real-world driving. If you’re risk-averse, the carryover 3.5 V6 may be the one for you. It’s been around a long time, has a track record – a good one – and its only real weakness is it’s a bit on the thirsty side.
The Sport with the twin-turbo 2.7 V6 is its own animal – a different species, really. If Ford had not dialed down the power (left it at F-150 levels in the much lighter Edge) we’d have a blue oval version of the Mercedes AMG45 GLA (which is a high-end and slightly larger version of the Subaru WRX STi, no matter what Benz likes to call it).
It gets different suspension tuning, including monotube shocks with larger diameter pistons unique to this trim, along with stiffer roll bars, coil springs and adaptive steering that changes effort based on driving conditions.
Edge Sports come standard with a 20 inch wheel/tire package, too.
One thing it has that I personally wish it didn’t come with is Active Noise Cancellation technology. It generates sound waves that cancel out (as far as your ears are concerned) the sounds made by the engine. But some of us want to hear the engine – especially when it’s a sweet sounding twin-turbo engine.
At a glance, it’s not easy to spot the changes – but they are significant. The ’15 Edge is about four inches longer than the ’14 (188.1 vs. 184.2) and 1.6 inches taller. The bigger shell allows upticked dimensions inside the shell, where there’s a bit more headroom in both rows and a bit more legroom in the second row – as well as significantly more room for cargo behind the second: 39.2 cubes now vs. 32.2 previously.
The Nissan Murano still has slightly more cargo room – 39.6 cubes behind its second row. But it has nearly two inches less legroom for second-row passengers (38.7 vs. 40.6 for the Ford) and 2.1 inches less legroom up front (40.5 vs. 42.6). Headroom in both rows is also a bit tighter in the Nissan – and it’s a tighter squeeze side-by-side, especially in the second row, where the Ford has 57.5 inches of hip room vs. 55.2 for the Nissan.
Cosmetic details: The’15 Edge is less blocky than previously; the new grille, for instance, has outward tapering sideways”Vs” now instead of the bar-grille of the ’14. Inside, the doors are scalloped inward to provide that extra margin of clearance – and (in keeping with the high tech theme) 20th century manual pull-up-and-down interior door locks have been replaced by electronic ones.
There is a front seat passenger knee air bag (driver’s side knee air bags are not new; this is) as well as air bags built into the rear seat belts. The Edge’s rear liftgate can be opened “hands-free” by swiping your foot underneath the bumper. Redesigned seat heaters and coolers (new for Edge) are available, as are MyKey concierge/teenager controls you can use to limit the vehicle’s top speed and other functions.
Ford says the Edge is a vehicle – pardon the pun – for its latest (you might say cutting edge) technology. Thus, it’s the first Ford that can park itself perpendicularly (into and out of spots in a row, as in a shopping mall) as well as parallel park (on a street). There is a camera built into the grille (with its own washer jet, so its view is never impaired by road grime) and your only job – if you so desire – is to give it a little gas. The car will adjust and steer itself into the spot.
Now, the fact is a competent human driver can do it faster as well as more gracefully. But many human drivers are, unfortunately, not competent. The Art of the Parallel Park – like the Art of the Double Clutch – is rapidly becoming rare and irrelevant. People aren’t taught – and the skill is no longer expected. This is – alas – the future. Cars will drive themselves. Automatic parking is just the … uh.. leading edge.
The Edge also has a semi-automatic steering system that applies corrective inputs when the driver fails – on his own – to keep the car in its lane. People (a lot of them) seem to want such stuff and I concede it is technologically impressive stuff… but it makes my teeth hurt.
As does the Ford My Touch input, which you use (if you can) to adjust the various infotainment system, such as the GPS, as well as the climate control and audio. The interface can be inscrutable – even for two experienced car journalists (that’s me and another guy who were driving the Edge together in Arizona at the media reveal for the thing last week). Getting the screen to scroll from audio to GPS to climate control, for instance, took us both working on it together to grok. It should not be that hard to grok.
Sometimes, technology can be a bit too clever.
THE BOTTOM LINE
No doubt, people who’ve already purchased an Edge will like this new Edge. It’s got the same appeal – plus more. And probably, many people who cross shop two-row mid-size crossovers like the Murano will be impressed by the Ford’s objective superiority under the hood, interior space-wise and otherwise. The new Murano is a good-looker, but looks only go so far.
The Edge has looks – and more.
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” as common as wood-paneled station wagons were back in the ’70s”
Actually starting in the 60s, or maybe even late 50s, it was fake wood-grain paneling. For real wood (and even that was thin ply or veneer, IIRC) you need to go back to the mid-50s.
You are correct, sir!
Of course the majority of the back end on a Model T wagon was made of oak, ‘salvaged’ from the crates that Henry specified transmissions were to be shipped to him in.
Of something like that. I may not have all the details correct. I’m getting old, but not old enough to have been there.
Any thoughts on a basic comparison between the 2015 Edge turbo 4 vs the 2016 Kia Sorrento 2.0T that you recently reviewd?
The Sorento is more utilitarian (three row seating is available) but still very nice. The Edge emphasizes styling – and because it’s a two-row-only vehicle, the second row is roomier and more versatile.
In a nutshell, if you don’t think you’ll need the extra capacity (for people) the Edge is probably the pick. But if you have to cart a bunch of kids around every now and then….
Also: The Edge has some (my opinion here, admittedly subjective) “over the top” technology (such as the self-parking feature) that the Kia does not. I’m a simple (some might say simple-minded) kind of guy and prefer simplicity. The Ford’s touchscreen is obnoxious; the Kia’s controls are much more user-friendly….
Phorm – World’s first morphing touch screen. Now your touch screen, can have real keys. We make your tablet more natural to touch.
Tactus Technology has spent the last year showing off prototypes of its disappearing physical keyboard for touch screen devices. It plans to provide screens for smartphone and tablet makers. But Tactus isn’t just going to wait for device makers.
The Fremont, California startup is launching an iPad Mini case that makes tiny bumps pop up on each key of the iPad’s keyboard. There’s a slider on the back of the case that pumps the bumps up and down. It requires no batteries to work and costs $100 for pre-orders; or will be $150 shipped in summer 2015.
Tactus provides the user with a more satisfying interface. “Being able to feel objects does make a difference,” said Tactus CEO Dr. Craig Ciesla. “The fact is that with tactile feedback, you build muscle memory as you type. That’s one of the main reasons mechanical keyboards have been around for so long and why we built Tactus; we want to bring back that tactile feedback on the touch screen.”
The company’s user testing with Tactus screena show people have a 70 percent preference for typing using Tactus versus a regular touch screen. There’ss also a 20-25 percent improvement in typing speed.
The technology works by pushing liquid through layers of plastic from a fluid reservoir to the pockets where the bumps have been designed in.
Tactus is still trying to get its technology actually integrated into the screens of these devices, but the company said Phorm will demonstrate its ability to manufacture at mass scale and see how much of a demand there is for this kind of interface. It’s case with the finger guides for the iPhone 6+ is availablie in Aug 2015..
There’s plenty of existing iPad owners out there who might like using the technology. We’re also looking at OEMs but realized about nine months ago that there’s a clear opportunity to address the install base right now.
Tactus is trying to bring physically haptic buttons to touchscreens.
Tactus employs a former lead keyboard designer from BlackBerry and is partnered with Taiwan-based Wistron to build its hardware at scale. Wistron is one of the largest laptop makers in the world.
There’s increasingly more productivity apps going onto tablet and smartphone devices, Ciesla said. The Microsoft Office suite was released on iOS, showing the need for better productivity on these devices. The software is getting there; we’re about improving the hardware side of that.
Maybe I haven’t seen the ‘new, improved’ Murano. The ones I remember (along with their Lexus cousins) are among the ugliest cars on the road. Then they added the canvas top and surpassed themselves. Only thing in the same league that I have seen is another Nissan, the Joke – er, Juke.
Maybe that’s one reason the Edge has been selling better.
Correction – Infiniti, not Lexus.
Phillip the Bruce, you no like joke?
don’t you get the joke… errr…… juke?
nissan joke is chinese joke now… uh juke… uh ESQ
<a href="http://theshaolin.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/learn_chinese.png so now you like chinese joke?
A coworker had one of the previous Edges, and I never liked it because the interior packaging was so bad. Big exterior, tiny interior. Where’d it all go?
Hopefully the new Edge has more interior space. As well as a more robust AWD system – his broke a couple of times (not uncommon, according to the internet). Which may be why they dialed back the power for the 2.7 l Turbo.
The packaging is much improved; see some of the stats vs. Murano.
I do wish Ford would offer a diesel in this thing. It seems like a no-brainer.
A blue oval Q5 TDI….
My Ford Touch Android Devices
This app is intended for use with MyFord Touch® equipped Ford vehicles sold in the North American market. It reflects the current MyFord Touch® V3.7 update installed in the following Ford vehicle models: Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Taurus, Escape, Edge, Explorer, Flex, F-Series, C-Max (with no EV Info screens), Transit Connect and Mustang (2015).
MyFord Touch Guide app emulates the actual user experience of Ford’s MyFord Touch® in-vehicle infotainment system. Interacting on this app, as an alternative to using the system itself, is a great way to learn about the system – from anywhere, at any time. The app has four unique interaction modes: normal – interactive, help – interactive, help – video FAQ and help – re-configurations.
In the normal – interactive mode you will get a simulated environment for the MyFord Touch® Climate, Phone, Entertainment, Navigation, Settings and Info screens.
You can switch to the help – interactive mode by clicking the question mark next to the clock tab. Click on any highlighted button in the help mode and an Avatar will appear to explain the functionality.
The help – video FAQ mode can be accessed by clicking the FAQ button to the right of the highlighted question mark. This mode offers several video “tutorials” in a list.
You can access the help – re-configurations mode by clicking the three horizontal bars button to the left of the clock while the question mark is highlighted. This mode offers a number of useful features of the app – for example, you can see how the MyFord Touch® system looks like in a number of vehicle models.
My Ford Touch Guide – Ford Site
Whether you’re a new owner or just trying to learn more, the MyFord Touch Guide app is a great way to learn about MyFord Touch – from anywhere, at any time
My Ford Touch Apple Devices
Curious about that semi-autonomous steering that keeps the vehicle within a lane. I “wander” from my travel lane to avoid hitting stuff like rocks and porcupines and oversized trucks. Does this mean I must struggle with the steering for directional control or does the vehicle simply autocorrect itself right into the hazard?
Basically, the system uses cameras to track the vehicle in relation to the painted lines (yellow on your left, white on your right). If you begin to wander off onto the shoulder – or over the yellow, into the opposite traffic lane – the system will audibly/visually warn you and (if you don’t correct manually) will – using servos – attempt to steer the car back onto track. The “assist” is light – and manual effort easily over-rides it.
But it is a peek at what’s to come.
The car would be less inclined to leave the road if the cumbersome MyTouch interface was replaced with several rotary knobs that can be easily and quickly manipulated by the driver without even looking at them. Texting while driving is bad but touch screen menus are good? I can’t follow that logic.
Excellent point, CC!
C C, I recall when a video screen facing the driver was not legal. My wife recently had a Sienna with one and she hated it, said everything she wanted to do she had to lean over and focus on the screen and pick out her choice all the while trying to stay in the lane. Maybe the lane control is a good thing in those vehicles. She had a Nova, same problem and something else but I forget. She liked the Altima best with knobs and switches.
Now they’re even putting them on big rigs. Saw a big rig on it’s side blocking one side of the interstate recently, a brand new tractor and trailer. Someone said the driver went off the shoulder and over-corrected. I immediately thought since it was just getting light he was checking his digital log screen. I haven’t seen one but imagine you can get big tractors with lane departure steering.
I have noticed a great many more accidents in the last 6 months or so on mainly interstates. Lots of 4 wheelers appear to come from the inside lane and swerve across to the barditch where they inevitably roll. Maybe that lane change thing is good with so much other crap going on.
I hate touch screens. It’s crap technology designed to save a few pennies by combining switches with the screen.
There are two reasons I hate touch screens.
1) No tactile feel.
2) Requires concentration on the screen.
I can operate switches and dials without looking at them. Why? I can feel them and I can feel when I’ve actuated them. The screen? I have to watch exactly where my finger goes. I have to watch to see that the command was read and accepted.
This is one of the reasons my ’12 has no touch screen.
I am beginning to think Eric is right in a way. Cars reached a damn near perfect balance point around 1997. Today the power is better at the cost of greater complexity and computer control. The interior controls have gone to crap. Crash safety and handling is better but visibility has gone to hell. That perfect balance point where the whole car could balance on the head of a pin was in the 1990s.
It’s hard to operate these touchscreens when the car’s not moving. But add the motion of driving, and it’s easy to “overshoot” the screen, or “input” too much (or too little).
Plus, when the thing fails – you lose everything it controlled. GPS, audio, AC.
Eight, I can just imagine what’s coming your way any day now.
To drive your rig, you’ll stick your arms into these two holes to access the WYSIWYF interface. (what you see is what you feel)
Sensors around you won’t just take video and audio. They’ll take in velocity and density and many other properties as well. You’ll be able to feel the road and hear a chorus of navigation muses help you calculate obstacle trajectories in real time. Maybe there’ll be feel cell towers all about, so you’ll be able to feel the road dozens of miles in advance and adapt accordingly.
The new guys will be transporting stuff up above you in evacuated tubes, they’ll be driving at just under the speed of sound to get things where they need to be AFATP (as fast as technically possible). Of course they’ll also be genetically modified to react faster than you and I can, so there’s that to consider. You’ll just stick to the old road, and let them enjoy their hadron collision avoidance pay, with no hard feelings.
You will however, be wearing the google goggle fishbowl shrinkrap inviso helmet configured for a native sapien such as yourself. You can watch the road and split screen to wherever your next load is being prepped. Hey cyberjose, you’re using the wrong anti-grav palletes there amigo. Use the samsung neutrino ones for that, it’ll keep my load under the compressed 500 megaton DOT standard for interstate luna gamma 7, those palletes are going to ISS space string at Virgin Astroport you know.
Tor, 50 years ago I was counting on it. A few trips to the moon and we were all counting on at least going to the moon if not further. I had such good reflexes and vision I knew I’d be in there somewhere hauling freight, dodging asteroids, creating the draft of a raft of superhypers and the further they run the faster we’d go, planets and stars streaks of light and bullwagons still running in front and making shit happen.
Well, the ‘roids are here…..and the little innertubes….c’est la vie say us old folks