2016 Ford Edge

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How to make (sigh) a crossover SUV interesting? '16 Edge lead

Well, horsepower helps.

The Ford Edge can be ordered with lots of it.

315 in the Sport model – which is powered by a version of Ford’s new twin-turbo 2.7 liter “EcoBoost” V6 (also used in the F-150 pickup).

She’s a runner and a gunner.

High sixxes to 60.

And not a bad deal, either.'16 Edge 2.7 V6

At least, compared with similar vehicles similarly engined.

The Lexus RX350 F Sport, for instance, only gives you 270 hp – and 7.1 seconds to 60 – for $48,701.

Granted, it’s a Lexus.

Still.

There are other iterations of the Edge, too.

None of them packing less than 240 hp.

And one of them – the mid-range version – packing 280 hp.

Which is more than any direct rival’s top-of-the-line engine.

If it’s power you seek, well – here you go!

WHAT IT IS'16 Edge composite

The Edge is a mid-sized, two-row crossover SUV 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 something going on under the hood.

It’s available in base SE, mid-trim SEL, Titanium and high-performance Sport trims.

All trims – including the base SE with the four-cylinder engine-  are available with FWD (standard) or AWD (optional).

Base price for a FWD SE is $28,100.

An SEL with FWD starts at $31,500.'16 Edge orange and red

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 starts at $29,650 and runs to $40,600.

The Nissan is larger (longer) but – interestingly – has less space in both of its two rows and also comes only with one V6 (not turbo’d, not nearly as potent) and a CVT automatic, regardless of trim.

If you’re shopping the Sport – with its 315 hp twin-turbo V6 – you might want to compare it with the Lexus RX350 F Sport. The two are very similar, except MSRP-wise.

The Ford – not being a Lexus – is considerably less expensive.

WHAT’S NEW FOR 2016'15 Edge interior 1

After a complete, wheels-up makeover for the 2015 model year, the Edge rolls into 2016 without major changes – with two exceptions.

Sport trims now come standard with an adaptive steering system that alters feel and effort to suit the situation. The system is available optionally on Titanium trims as well.

The other big news is an updated (Sync 3) version of Ford’s somewhat (so far) fussy LCD touchscreen infotainment system.

WHAT’S GOOD

More of everything (especially hp) than immediate rivals such as the Nissan Murano.

Sport trim stacks up well against high-end prospective rivals like the Lexus RX350 F Sport.

Base four can be ordered with AWD; no up-selling you to the V6 to get it.

More legroom in second row than Murano has in first row.

Gadgets galore –  including electronic parallel and perpendicular park assist

WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD

Edge is pricey relative to Murano.

Ford hasn’t got the cachet that Lexus does.

Both of the Edge’s turbo’d engines (including the base 2.0 engine) need premium fuel to deliver best-case horsepower/mileage.

UNDER THE HOOD'15 Edge 2.0 engine

A couple of interesting things about the Edge.

First, the new standard engine – a 245 hp turbocharged four paired with either FWD or AWD.

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.

On paper, the current 2.0 turbo four seems to be about the same, power-wise, as the previous generation Edge’s 2.0 four. They’re the same size, both turbo’d; the current iteration producing just 5 more hp on paper than the old 2.0 engine did.

So, what gives?

The current 2.0 four – though superficially similar  to the old 2.0 four – is a heavily revised engine, effectively an all-new engine. For instance, it features a twin-scroll turbo and an exhaust manifold that are cast integrally as part of the cylinder head. These design changes result in almost-immediate boost and so very little turbo lag.

The new 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.  '15 Edge 2.7 engine 

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 buy them 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.

The Ford does.

For the traditionalist – the buyer who is maybe a little leery of turbo’d engines but wants more power – there is the non-turbo 3.5 liter V6, also offered with (and without  AWD). It makes 285 hp (25 more hp than the Nissan’s V6) and is paired with a six-speed automatic (as is the turbo four).'15 Edge 3.5 V6

The top Edge engine is the “Ecoboost” 2.7 liter twin-turbo V6.

Ford fans will recognize this powerhouse powerplant; it made its debut in the new, aluminum-bodied 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 previous Edge’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. Plus a pair of 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 the high sixxes – quicker than both the Murano and the Lexus RX350 F Sport.

Of course, it’s thirsty: 18 city, 27 highway with FWD and 17/24 with AWD.

What did you expect? But, re-read the Murano’s numbers. They’re not much better, despite the Nissan’s being much less powerful.

The Edge’s optional AWD system is capable of routing 100 percent of engine power from front to rear, as needed, to maintain traction.

ON THE ROAD'15 Edge road 1

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, as it turns out, than the previous-generation Edge with the 3.5 V6 and AWD).

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 perhaps most important, does not come with any angst about possible down-the-road turbocharger trouble.'15 Edge curb 2

On this subject: 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 non-turbo 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 that it’s a bit on the thirsty side.     

But then, everything in this class – that’s comparably powerful – is that, too.

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).'15 Edge road 3

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. This 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 THE CURB'15 Edge curb 1

At a glance, it’s not easy to spot the changes – but they are significant. The Edge is about four inches longer than the previous-generation Edge (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.'15 Edge door detail

Cosmetic details: The Edge is less blocky than previously; the new grille, for instance, has outward tapering sideways”Vs” now instead of the bar-grille used before. The door panels are scalloped inward to provide an 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 entirely electronic ones.

No more coat hangers.

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.

THE REST'15 Edge park assist

This Ford that can park itself perpendicularly (into and out of spots in a row, as in a shopping mall) as well as parallel park (curbside). 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 the Art of the Parallel Park 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.

Well, one of them.'15 Edge park assist 2

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.

Sometimes, technology can be a bit too clever.

THE BOTTOM LINE

People who cross shop two-row mid-size crossovers like the Murano will be impressed by the Ford’s objective superiority under the hood, its interior space and its not unreasonable price. And people who’ve been considering the Lexus RX350 F Sport may want to give this Ford a look, too.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. “High sixxes to 60.”

    Maybe it’s just me. But that kind of performance from 315 bhp does not impress….even when it’s hauling the weight of a “mid sized” 2 seat row, CUV.

    I’m trying not to have unrealistic expectations. Still, with this power/weight ratio, it seems reasonable to see “low sixxes to 60.”

  2. eric, both turbo engines need premium fuel for best case performance/mileage…..but what is the trade-off using regular? Cheap gas now but we all know how quickly that can change and the higher the price of gas, the greater the difference between grades…or it always has been in the past and I expect the future. Some things don’t change and that seems to be one at least.

    It’s depressing that most significant changes now and in the last decade or more, seem to be MORE POWER. If you could use that power it would be dandy wouldn’t it? And now we’re speaking of a small percentage of drivers since most will only experience that full power(if ever)for a couple blocks and go Shooeeyyy, that was scary. Maybe 5% will go Shooeeeyyy, that was fun and keep their foot in it.

    I don’t blame people for not using much power either. It’s a pain to be on your toes so to speak all the time trying to avoid the ever-growing number of “smokies” who are an ever-growing bunch of tickets to jail……or worse.

    Interior dimensions are a good thing and what really matters most to the buyer. Reliability is the other side of the coin and hopefully they’ll get that too.

    I’d probably opt for the big engine, use regular and leave the huffers to Cat and Cummins. One thing they never mention is the weight difference with different engines. Turbo’s, bigger cooling systems and coolers for the charge air add weight and complexity and create a bigger crowd under the hood.

    The more powerful cars get, the less likely we are to be able to legally use it. It’s a shame for everybody including auto-makers. At least there’s added hip room for everybody and that often translates into added luggage capacity or more room for Fido(and CholleyJack).

    For me, the main thing is has going for it is looking more like a car and less like a little box. Good enough seats and a good enough ride with a decent driver and I could probably get some sleep in one and that’s my main goal.

    In my ideal world I’d have a BrentP clone to drive me safely with no LEO distraction. Just set it on 80 and 85 past Monahans, it’s only 550 miles to El Paso. Pass me up another cold one.

    • Eightsouthman,

      Amen. My 1980 Corolla @ ~73hp could drive comfortably @ ~60mph all day. (If one took the car over 65, the car would really wail in protest. At 75, I would expect the engine to say no mas in short order.)

      It had a 0-60 time in the 15 sec area, but in real world experience I was usually able to get up to speed quicker from a stop than other non-attentive (or otherwise sedated) travelers. (difficult if not impossible to out accelerate most other cars on the road in that Corolla provided the other drivers were motivated to move)

      An average 4 cylinder ~120hp, sub 3000lbs car should have no difficulty achieve and maintain 80mph, and have reasonable acceleration (0-60 ~10s to 12s range).

      As much as I would appreciate a car capable of higher top end and/or better acceleration, as you said it is very difficult to drive a car to these capabilities without threat of financial/personal hazard from the government (and its agents).

      Will a manufacturer will offer a lower cost vehicle with reasonable power/acceleration and fuel economy, while still improving the driving experience (comfort, features, durability)?

      A car similar to the Elio (Although it still has not reached the market) is a step in the right direction. It is about 60% of the cost of a smart car with similar capabilities. (I understand the Elio will not be an appropriate choice for many peoples’ transportation needs.)

      • Mith, my wife’s 95 Cutlass will do 106 before the governor stops it. That’s well above the speeds we travel although 80 is a typical road speed for us since PSL’s are 75 and 80 herebouts. The car gets 28 mpg at 75, not a legal speed anywhere when it was made. The engine could have been tuned for more low end torque and spin at least a couple hundred revs lower at that speed. I feel Olds did a good job though giving it the long legs it has when almost nowhere had a PSL over 55mph. Newer cars I’m guessing are or should be tuned for 75-80 mph now. The problem as I see it is they don’t get any better mileage. So what they have to offer every year is something I can’t use, more power. Now pickups are a different beast and the heavier ones being able to pull greater loads at those speeds are nice but there’s a common problem in that nobody has yet to figure out how to poke a hole in the wind with big, tall, wide and heavy loads and get any significant mpg. Gail Banks has some stuff he can sell you and increase the fuel mileage but it’s not something most people can regain the $5K it costs. Those who always pull a large load can and do use these systems but the factory is fairly much as close now to ultimate mileage for those heavier duty pickups as possible since aftermarket controllers don’t always add mpg although some do to a slight amount.

        The new Ford diesel is 800 lb. ft. of torque with the Dodge something like 780 and the Duramax at 765. They’re getting close to big rig numbers from much smaller engines. But consumers don’t expect 1.2 Million miles from their pickup engines. I hear people bragging about 400,000 miles on their diesels but early 90’s GM 350 gasoline engines that were well-maintained often had over half a million miles and were still going.

        My point being as long as consumers don’t expect million mile engines nobody’s going to build them. Cut those uber numbers back a couple hundred ft. lbs. though and those new engines might not wow you in the spec dept. but they might wow you in reliability. Of course, you need a body that will live that long and we get further from that every year.

        • Eightsouthman,

          Cut those uber numbers back a couple hundred ft. lbs. though and those new engines might not wow you in the spec dept. but they might wow you in reliability.

          Sounds like my choice for a new cell phone. The specs of top of the line “flagship” phones wowed me. Once I started looking at what really mattered to me, I decided a mid-tier phone (Motorola G 2015) better met my needs and hopefully will be as reliable as my last phone.

          Reliability and smooth operation are very important to me. Being able to travel 0-60 in 4 seconds is not important to me. (Although it would be so much fun until the first piece of paying paper.)

          • Mith, Friday was a looong day. Coming back in from my last haul I got caught in a line of traffic due to a big wreck I predicted since a Greyhound driver stopped on the paved shoulder of I-20 and left it there for hours. If it had been me I would have pulled across a level barditch to the access road, a much safer place to be. I found out the limits of my new Samsung Galaxy S4 battery wise. It was so much cheaper brand new than the new 6 model it wasn’t a even a consideration for me. I just wanted it to access maps of lease roads and satellite views along with some tunes I have yet to install.

            The point is though, I only bought it for business. Since I have had many Motorola and Samsung phones, I would have chosen the Motorola due to many things such as range, reliability and a much more intuitive interface not to mention sheer toughness but the Motorola’s in that price range($200) were not only used but had non-replaceable batteries, the kicker. I’m nearly to the point I wished I had spent another $100 and got a new Motorola, battery be damned. The last 3 Samsung’s I had simple gave up, one being a Mil-Spec phone advertised to take nearly any beating. It’s entire life it lived in my shirt pocket or my console. I opened it one day and the hinges literally broke. That’s a real drag, losing all those irreplaceable numbers not to mention pics, videos and things I later needed to have in court. I even gave up my old number and hope that guy in Ca. keeps his nose clean but it beats having my name on the number and I’ll never have an account with my name on it.

      • Elio reminds me of design crossings among Prowler, motorcycle and Henry J. Interesting concept, I hope it doesn’t suffer the same fate as Tucker.

        • I’ve been taking Elio’s email for years and it continues to intrigue me. They keep adding options and the price continues upward although they still advertise the basic vehicle for $6800 with a good warranty. If the engine and transmission are both good quality, it will be a boon. I’d drive one to work, 30 miles one way each day, less than a gallon of regular every day. Better than a bike for HVAC and hitting deer and hogs plus room to drop your “stuff”….and being able to leave a stocked cooler for the ride home.

    • For the Ford ST, you only lose 9hp going from 93 to 87. Torque stays the same.

      Mustang ecoboost the losses are much much higher.
      Does anything reccomend plus anymore?

    • C C, no need to worry about more bad drivers. It’s practically a given these days. Stop in the middle of a 75mph highway with no signal to make a turn……one way or the other and it keeps that big rig driver guessing……and cussing. Even the Gen X drivers don’t know up from down and it only gets worse the younger they are.

      And now my generation has turned into lane blocking slugs, more and more, unaware of anything past 50 feet in front of them. I know plenty who focus on the road just past the end of the hood. My next personal vehicle may have those super bright strobes on the front of it so people can’t miss me coming up behind them. Daytime only though. They’re killer on night vision.

      Some co-workers and I were just discussing this recently. Pubic skools may not have been good for much but back then they had driver’s ed, you most often learned a pretty good way to drive, at least those who didn’t already know did. And for those with ingrained bad parent drivers, there’s generally not much hope. With grandparents and then parents who couldn’t drive a nail up their butts, they fell right into that mode and passed it on and that bunch passed it on. And old classmate’s son, about 30 years ago, managed to drive like the whole family. I notice a spot on the highway one day where a car was rolled, straight, level road. It was his son. The entire family made those haywagon turns so coming up behind them you never knew which way they might go when brake lights came on since signals weren’t in their repertoire of skills.

      When I make a left hand turn and there’s no oncoming traffic I’ll move into that lane with my signal on and then slow fairly rapidly so that person on my rear doesn’t need to slow and can simply go on. It’s amazing how many will ride their brakes down to my speed as I turn. Hey Vern, I don’t get it. And they don’t either.

      Eric, I’m letting you know since the page that came up told me to, that my comment(this one)could not be posted without Javascript and cookies enabled. This is one of the few sites I allow all Javascript on and haven’t had a cookie blocker in a long time.

      • What’s worse than no turn signal? The wrong one.
        Approaching my exit on I-270 this morning, I had moved over to the middle lane of 5, w/an X5 just ahead of me one more lane over, right turn signal flashing. I pulled alongside, waiting for him to make his move so I could take the space he vacated. Never happened. Finally pulled ahead of him and moved over – 2 lanes to the exit lane. Check the mirror and both his front blinkers are going – he was apparently running 4-ways w/the back left burned out. Why he had the ‘hazards’ on is anybody’s guess, except that they created a hazard.

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