The Truth About Cars » ford edge http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 30 Aug 2015 15:30:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » ford edge http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com 2015 Ford Edge Ecoboost Review with Video http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/2015-ford-edge-ecoboost-review-video/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/2015-ford-edge-ecoboost-review-video/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 14:00:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1116857 The large two-row crossover is a rare breed. With compact crossovers getting less compact and folks defecting to supersized three rows, Toyota and Honda chose to kill the Venza and Accord Crosstour while Ford pressed on with a redesign of the Edge. You can think of the Edge as a “tweener” crossover slotting between the Escape and […]

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2015 Ford Edge Exterior Front-002

The large two-row crossover is a rare breed. With compact crossovers getting less compact and folks defecting to supersized three rows, Toyota and Honda chose to kill the Venza and Accord Crosstour while Ford pressed on with a redesign of the Edge. You can think of the Edge as a “tweener” crossover slotting between the Escape and the Explorer while at the same time being the spiritual successor (in modern form) to the Bronco and two-row Explorers of yesteryear. Although Ford says the Edge is a complete redesign, you could be forgiven for thinking this is more of a refresh, and that’s not a bad thing since the Edge was already one the most appealing options in this phone-booth-sized segment.

Exterior
Although the 2015 Edge looks more like a lightly massaged 2014 than an all-new model, it actually rides on a different platform with two all-new engines under the hood and shares surprisingly little with its predecessor in terms of parts. The last-generation Edge was designed around Ford’s “CD3″ parts bin which was co-designed with Mazda and from those building blocks came the last-generation Fusion, Mazda6, MKZ and even the CX-9. For 2015 Ford pulls from the new CD4 parts bin which serves as the basis for the current Fusion and will underpin the new Taurus and Flex among others. Although weight reduction is all the rage these days, the platform swap sheds less than 100 pounds from the Edge’s curb weight.

This change under the sheetmetal explains the Edge’s growth which is up four inches overall with a one-inch wheelbase stretch. The increase gives the Edge a sleeker and less boxy profile than before while offering more interior room. Meanwhile, Ford tacked on a new grille that strikes me as the merger of Hyundai and Ford’s styling cues. Since the Venza and Crosstour are leaving us this year (production has supposedly already stopped) this means the Edge’s direct competition comes in the form of the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Nissan Murano and certain versions of the Kia Sorento which comes as either a two- or three-row crossover for 2016. If you want to expand the pool, the Grand Cherokee and Lexus RX are also plausible cross-shops, although the Jeep is far more off-road focused and the RX truly competes with the Edge’s ritzy brother: the Lincoln MKX.

2015 Ford Edge Interior Dashboard

Interior
Having not sat inside an Edge in about a year, I had to hunt one down to figure out what changed. The short answer is: everything. The long answer is: the design is similar enough to the outgoing model that current Edge shoppers will feel right at home, but different enough to give them a reason to lease another. Ford merged the squarish style of the 2014 interior with design cues from the latest Focus and Fusion. Instead of continuing Ford’s button minimalism strategy, 2015 adds buttons to make the infotainment system and climate control easier to use.

Front-seat comfort is excellent, although you’ll find that the new Murano’s seats are a hair softer and the 2016 Sorento (in top end trims) offers a wider range of seat adjustments. Rear-seat comfort is excellent and I found the rear cabin more comfortable than the competition, especially the Jeep which has strangely stiff seat cushions. Seat comfort is, in general, a reason to upgrade from a compact crossover to this midsized category. Much of the increased comfort comes from increased legroom and headroom. For 2015, the Edge gains three inches of combined room vs the outgoing model. The way legroom is measured seems to be a matter of constant debate, highlighted by the similar legroom numbers you get in the Honda CR-V. However, in the real world, the Edge not only feels larger, but it’s larger in practical terms as well. In the Edge I was able to properly install a rear-facing child seat behind a 6’2″ passenger, something I could not do in the CR-V. In the way-back you’ll find 25 to 40 percent more cargo room than most compact crossovers, but less than the average 3-row crossover with the 3rd row folded.

2015 Ford Edge MyFord Touch

Infotainment
Ford’s touchscreen infotainment system is not long for this world. Starting in the 2016 calendar year, we will see the highly-anticipated SYNC3 system start to roll into Ford models. Until the software refresh hits however, the Edge will soldier on with the base 4.2-inch SYNC system or the optional 8-inch MyFord Touch (optional in SEL and standard in Titanium and Sport). Since LCD love is all the rage, SEL models can be equipped with Ford’s ubiquitous partial LCD instrument cluster (standard in Titanium and Sport) where twin 4.2-inch displays flank a large central speedometer. Base models get a 6-speaker unbranded audio system and shoppers can option up a 9-speaker premium option or a 12-speaker Sony audio system as our tester was equipped. The twin-LCD system is starting to look dated compared to the LCD clusters that are optional in high end trims of the Grand Cherokee and Sorento but on par with what’s in the Murano.

MyFord Touch is one of the most maligned infotainment systems on the market, but it is also one of the most fully featured. Even in 2015 there are still mainline brands that don’t offer voice command of your USB-connected music library. At this point Ford has addressed most of the major issues that plagues the MFT system launch, except for the speed. Interacting with the touchscreen requires patience as screen changes are considerably slower than the Kia, Chrysler, GM and Toyota alternatives.

Integrated telematics systems that email you vehicle health reports, allow you to call a concierge, request emergency assistance and know when your airbags have gone off are seeing a renaissance. This generation of Ford’s infotainment system includes SYNC Services which offers OnStar-like telematics without the integrated modem. On the downside, if you’ve forgotten your phone and you get in an accident, the car can’t dial for help.

2015 Ford Edge 2.0L Ecoboost Turbo Engine-001

Drivetrain
Last time we looked at the Edge, Ford made the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder a $995 option over the 3.5-liter V6. In an interesting reversal, the V6 is now a $425 optional engine and the 2.0-liter is standard. Despite the identical displacement, the 2.0-liter is almost a new engine. Ford increased the compression, fiddled with the fuel and oiling systems and tacked on a new twin-scroll turbocharger for improved efficiency and a broader torque curve. Power is up 5 horsepower and 5 lb-ft over last year to 245 and 275 respectively with a beefier power band. That’s 35 fewer ponies than the optional V6, but 25 lb-ft more. Also different from last year, you can finally get the small Ecoboost engine with all-wheel drive.

Making the Edge Sport sportier than before is another new engine: the 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 from Ford’s F-150. Inserted sideways under the Edge’s hood, the turbo-six loses a little power but still trumps the outgoing 3.7-liter V6 by 10 ponies and 70 lb-ft (315 hp 350 lb-ft). More impressively, that torque comes to a boil 1,250 RPM sooner. In perhaps the most interesting twist, the Edge Sport doesn’t come with AWD standard. That’s right, all 350 lb-ft of twist are routed to the front wheels only by default. Torque steer? You betcha.

2015 Ford Edge Exterior-001
Drive
Torque steer isn’t just what classifies the 2.7-liter turbo. The 2.0-liter turbo has plenty of that particular demon under the hood as well. (Although I find the act of controlling torque steer amusing, I also willingly bought a new Chrysler LHS at age 18, so take that into consideration.) Put the pedal to the metal and the small turbo engine whirs to life with a hair of lag that’s very similar to BMW’s 2.0-liter turbo. After 7.5 seconds the Edge will hit 60 mph, followed by the 1/4 mile in 15.8 seconds. That’s almost half a second slower than the Murano and V6 Grand Cherokee but only a hair behind the Santa Fe Sport and Sorento with the 2.0-liter turbo. Shoppers should know that a dealer provided 3.5-liter V6 model was just 2/10ths faster to 60 and posted essentially identical 1/4 mile numbers while drinking more fuel. Why is it a $425 option? Because some folks just want six cylinders. (In case you were wondering, a brief test in an AWD Edge Sport (dealer provided) ran to 60 in a scant 5.8 seconds.)

Curb weight ranges from 3,912 pounds in the FWD 2.0-liter Ecoboost base model to a maximum of 4,236 pounds in the FWD Sport model. If you want AWD, it adds around 165 pounds, bringing the AWD Sport to a fairly hefty 4,400 pounds when fully equipped. Despite the weight, the Edge handles surprisingly well. You can thank a few things for that: the wide 64.8 inch track, standard 245-width rubber and a suspension design that’s related to Ford’s global portfolio including the current European Mondeo. Somewhat surprisingly, jumping from the base SE to the Titanium or Sport trims doesn’t buy you wider rubber but the aspect ratio falls from 245/60R18s in the SE to 245/55R19s in the Titanium and 245/50R20s in the Sport. While the aspect ratio and spring rates obviously play a role in lateral grip, the SE and Sport are closer together than you think. (As a late 2015 option Ford will offer an optional 265/40R21 wheel and tire package with summer rubber which we were not able to test.)

2015 Ford Edge Interior Dashboard-004

The hefty curb weight, moderately soft springs and 55-series tires combine to give the Edge a compliant highway ride that wafted over potholed and rough pavement without batting an eye. While not as soft as the new Murano, the Edge has a more pleasing balance because the Nissan often feels too soft on your favorite winding mountain road. Hyundai’s Santa Fe Sport actually deserves its name because it feels the most nimble and athletic in the corners. The Hyundai weighs around 500 pounds less which certainly doesn’t hurt, but the suspension is also tuned on the firmer side of this segment. On the other side is the Grand Cherokee which, thanks to its off-road mission, weighs more, is higher off the ground and feels more ponderous. Meanwhile the Sorento straddles the middle of the segment thanks to a light curb weight and moderately firm springs. Steering feel is numb but accurate and I had no problems understanding what the front wheels were up to.

Priced between $28,100 for a FWD SE model and $48,100 for the AWD Sport trim, the Edge starts more expensive and scales higher than the Korean options. However, shoppers need to look beyond the low starting price with the Kia and Hyundai because base Santa Fe and Sorento models come with a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that is considerably less powerful than the Edge’s base engine and the Koreans have fewer features standard as well. Equip the Hyundai and Kia with a 2.0-liter turbo engine so they compare more directly with the Edge and they ring in at $31,250 and $31,100 respectively, giving Ford the upper hand in MSRP. The value pricing continues against Nissan and Jeep with the Edge undercutting the Murano by around $1,000 across the line and the Jeep by $1,500-2,000 depending on the options.

Nissan’s Murano wins the award for being the best highway cruiser in the bunch. The Jeep is the off-road alternative and the Edge is the value leader. The Kia, however, is my top choice. The Sorento has a fresher look, it’s slightly bigger with a nicer interior and a 0-60 time that’s a bit faster as well. The Sorento handles surprisingly well in its latest generation and top-end trims are better equipped than the Edge. While the Sorento EX is more expensive than a base Edge, you do get more feature content in the Kia and by the time you compare top-end trims the Sorento is less expensive. The only trouble with the Sorento is that Kia attempts to compete with the Edge, Escape and Explorer with one vehicle. Get the base Sorento and it’s Escape priced with 2 rows and a weak 2.4-liter engine. The 2.0-liter turbo Sorento is a 2-row luxury-leaning crossover with optional Nappa leather and HID headlamps. Check the box for the V6 and you get a small third row for your mother-in-law as a smaller alternative to the Explorer. This means that V6 Edge competition gets whittled down to just the Nissan and the Jeep.

After a week with the 2.0-liter Ecoboost Edge I have come to a few conclusions. First up, skip the V6 as it really makes no sense. The fuel economy in the 2.0-liter turbo is better and the performance is nearly identical. Second, get AWD even if you live below the snow belt, unless you really love torque steer. Third, the front-wheel peel in a FWD 2.7-liter twin-turbo Edge Sport made me giggle. If you’re shopping for the best 2.0-liter turbo crossover in this segment, stop by your Kia dealer. However, if you want something this size that will put a smile on your face without braking the bank, the Edge Sport is the CUV you’re looking for. The Edge Sport AWD bridges the gap between the fire-breathing Grand Cherokee SRT and a mainstream crossover like the Sorento and Santa Fe Sport. Think of the Edge Sport as the gravel-road version of the Taurus SHO. I’ll take a red one.

Ford provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.65

0-60: 7.5

1/4 Mile: 15.80 Seconds @ 86 MPH

Average Economy: 24.6 MPG

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Chart Of The Day: Is There Room In The Middle For GM’s Crossovers? Ford Says Yes http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/chart-day-room-middle-gms-crossovers-ford-says-yes/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/chart-day-room-middle-gms-crossovers-ford-says-yes/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 12:26:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1121393 As General Motors prepares to carve out space in between their best-selling utility vehicle, the Equinox, and their large three-row crossover, the Traverse, Ford reports significant improvement with the launch of their second-generation tweener crossover. U.S. sales of the Ford Edge jumped 44 percent to 40,083 units in the second-quarter of 2015. The May 2015 […]

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Ford Edge Escape Explorer sales chart 2007-2015As General Motors prepares to carve out space in between their best-selling utility vehicle, the Equinox, and their large three-row crossover, the Traverse, Ford reports significant improvement with the launch of their second-generation tweener crossover.

U.S. sales of the Ford Edge jumped 44 percent to 40,083 units in the second-quarter of 2015. The May 2015 total of 14,399 units was the best May ever for the Edge, which slots in between the Escape, one of America’s best-selling utility vehicles, and rubs up alongside the longer, three-row Explorer.

equinox1

This approach isn’t unique to Ford — Hyundai’s Santa Fe Sport is similarly positioned between the Escape-fighting Tucson and the Explorer-rivalling Santa Fe, for example — but as one of America’s biggest SUV/crossover sellers, it’s more pronounced at Ford, largely because of the Edge’s popularity.

The Edge was America’s 12th-best-selling utility vehicle last month.

2014 Chevrolet Traverse LT AWD profile

With all this in mind, can the Chevrolet brand likewise slot a crossover — potentially a three-row crossover — above a smaller Equinox but below the Traverse? GM can look at a market study completed by Ford over the course of more than eight years in order to help make their decision.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

 

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Ford Will Market Long-Wheelbase Edge In China http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/ford-will-market-long-wheelbase-edge-in-china/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/ford-will-market-long-wheelbase-edge-in-china/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 13:34:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=853057 Our friends at Autos.ca are reporting that China will get a long-wheelbase version of the 2015 Ford Edge. According to the site, the Edge will get longer rear doors, while retaining much of the same sheetmetal. The Edge will be built in Oakville, Ontario for global markets, but due to China’s restrictive tariffs on imported […]

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Our friends at Autos.ca are reporting that China will get a long-wheelbase version of the 2015 Ford Edge.

According to the site, the Edge will get longer rear doors, while retaining much of the same sheetmetal. The Edge will be built in Oakville, Ontario for global markets, but due to China’s restrictive tariffs on imported cars, there will presumably be a Chinese assembly site as well.

Long-wheelbase versions of sedans are highly popular with Chinese consumers, who value rear passenger space as an attribute of luxury vehicles. Being driven by a chauffeur is also a sign of wealth among affluent Chinese consumers, and a long-wheelbase crossover neatly capitalizes on these trends.

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2015 Ford Edge Revealed [Updated With Live Shots] http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/2015-ford-edge-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/2015-ford-edge-revealed/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 22:30:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=851433 Ford released photos and specs for their new Edge, becoming the first Ford to have a standard Ecoboost engine. Riding on the same CD4 platform as the Ford Fusion and MKZ, the Edge come standard with a 2.0L Ecoboost making 245 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. Also on offer are a 3.5L naturally aspirated […]

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Ford released photos and specs for their new Edge, becoming the first Ford to have a standard Ecoboost engine.

Riding on the same CD4 platform as the Ford Fusion and MKZ, the Edge come standard with a 2.0L Ecoboost making 245 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. Also on offer are a 3.5L naturally aspirated V6 and a 2.7L Ecoboost V6, with power figures not announced for either engine. FWD is available on the base four, with AWD standard on the other engines. The sole powertrain is a 6-speed automatic.

Ford’s new adaptive steering system which can vary the steering ratio is available, as well as active grille shutters, start-stop, MyFord Touch, blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert and a 180 degree front camera. Ford will continue to build the Edge at its Oakville, Ontario plant with sales starting early next year.

[Thanks to AutoGuide.com for the live shots]

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Los Angeles 2013: 2015 Ford Edge To Go Global http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/los-angeles-2013-2015-ford-edge-to-go-global/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/los-angeles-2013-2015-ford-edge-to-go-global/#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 14:48:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=657930 When Ford first introduced the Edge crossover, it was targeted primarily at North America but the dramatic increase in sales of crossovers and SUVs around the globe, particularly in China, has changed the company’s focus with those vehicles. “We no longer look at SUVs as a regional product,” Ford’s chief marketeer Jim Farley told journalists Tuesday […]

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When Ford first introduced the Edge crossover, it was targeted primarily at North America but the dramatic increase in sales of crossovers and SUVs around the globe, particularly in China, has changed the company’s focus with those vehicles. “We no longer look at SUVs as a regional product,” Ford’s chief marketeer Jim Farley told journalists Tuesday at a preview the night before the Los Angeles Auto Show.

 

Currently SUVs and crossovers are red-hot, and unlike the stereotype of Americans in big SUVs, passenger utility vehicles are particularly popular in China and Russia, which helps with Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s “One Ford” philosophy. The company says that it’s about halfway through with globalizing its utility vehicle offerings. The Edge slots in between the larger Explorer and the smaller Escape/Kuga.  The new Edge is expected to be available as a 2015 model.

The Edge concept is filled with features like autonomous driving and parking, allowing drivers to park their vehicles with a remote control without even having to be sitting in the car. The Edge Concept also has a sensor-based obstacle avoidance system that steer a vehicle around potential collisions.

The interior features a 10-inch touch screen, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and hand stitching on the instrument panel. Some features formerly controlled by the MyFordTouch system, which has given some consumers problems, now have mechanical switches.

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Ford Optimistic On Canadian Manufacturing http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/ford-optimistic-on-canadian-manufacturing/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/ford-optimistic-on-canadian-manufacturing/#comments Wed, 22 May 2013 11:30:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=489172 Even as Canada’s manufacturing sector continues to dwindle, Ford is set to invest even further in its Canadian operations, putting together a new investment package for its Oakville assembly plant – provided the federal and Ontario governments can come up with the scratch. Ford of Canada CEO Dianne Craig expressed optimism for Canada’s auto manufacturing […]

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Even as Canada’s manufacturing sector continues to dwindle, Ford is set to invest even further in its Canadian operations, putting together a new investment package for its Oakville assembly plant – provided the federal and Ontario governments can come up with the scratch.

Ford of Canada CEO Dianne Craig expressed optimism for Canada’s auto manufacturing sector, but within her remarks were subtle calls for enhanced government investment in the auto industry. Speaking at the Bloomberg Canada Economic Summit, Craig remarked

“We are optimistic despite the Canadian dollar where it is…So it’s between the business partners that we have, certainly the government, that will enable us to at least keep the footprint that we have today.

Ford’s Oakville plant is expected to built the next generation Ford Edge, which will ride on the global CD4 platform used by the Ford Fusion. Ford and the Canadian government are said to be ironing out the details, but timing is tight for any deal, as production is scheduled to begin next June. Ford is said to be looking for $400 million from the Canadian government, which is notoriously reluctant to invest in the auto manufacturing sector compared to American and Mexican governments.

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Review: 2013 Toyota Venza (Video) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/review-2013-toyota-venza-video/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/review-2013-toyota-venza-video/#comments Mon, 25 Feb 2013 14:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=477702 Our recent looks at the Ford Edge Ecoboost and GMC Terrain prompted an email from a reader asking us to take a look at the 2013 Toyota Venza with these two American entries in mind. If you have a request or suggestion for a vehicle review, just click the contact link at the top of […]

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Our recent looks at the Ford Edge Ecoboost and GMC Terrain prompted an email from a reader asking us to take a look at the 2013 Toyota Venza with these two American entries in mind. If you have a request or suggestion for a vehicle review, just click the contact link at the top of the page, or find us on Facebook and drop us a note.

Click here to view the embedded video.

The Venza landed as a 2009 model year vehicle with a confusing mission: slot between the 7-seat RAV-4 and the 7-Seat Highlander as a 5-seat mid-sized crossover. The Lexus RX imitating shape of the Venza caused further confusion and the dimensions didn’t help either since the Venza is longer than the Highlander. Of course, that hasn’t stopped Toyota from shifting around 45,000 Venzas a year in America. If you think that number sounds low, you’re right. Ford sold 128,000 Edges and GM pumped out a whopping 316,000 soft-roaders between the Equinox and the Terrain.

Exterior

While many crossovers try to hide passenger car roots with boxy wheel arches truck-inspired grilles, the Venza is more open about its sedan origins. Think of the Venza as a modern Camry wagon. If you want a crossover that looks more butch, opt for the closely related Highlander. Just remember it is no more capable off-road than the Venza since they share engines, transmissions, AWD systems and have identical 8.1-inch ride heights. While the side and 3/4 profiles scream Lexus RX to me, the Venza shares incredibly little with the Lexus, for better or worse.

For 2013 Toyota has given the Venza a mild facelift grafting their corporate three-bar grille to the four-year old profile. Aside from the nose job the changes are fairly mild and boil down to new wheels, light modules, paint colors, and a few additional base features. While not a change to the Venza, the new RAV4 is no longer available in a 7-seat version making the Venza’s position in the lineup easier to understand.

Despite the tweaking, I find the Ford and GM crossovers more visually exciting, especially the GMC Terrain with its mini-truck clothes job. The Ford Edge is blander, but somehow manages a less controversial front bumper than the Venza. The American options are slightly larger but actually less capable off road since they have notably lower ground clearances. Before you flame in the comment section, I’m not discounting the CX-7, Satta Fe or Murano, but this is a somewhat large segment and our reader request asked specifically about a GM/Ford/Toyota shootout. (If we did drop those three into the mix the Santa Fe would have been given my nod in the looks department.)

Interior

The Venza’s interior is starting to show its age more than the competition. With a decidedly asymmetrical design, a dashboard mounted shifter and a somewhat boring gauge cluster, the Venza failed to push many of the right buttons for me aesthetically. Of course style is subjective so I’d like to know your thoughts below. On a functional level, the dashboard layout ranks low on my scale because of the three-display theme where the clock, thermometer, trip computer and climate readout are set high in the dashboard on a small LCD. In addition to this functional setback there is plenty of hard plastic in the cabin leaving the Venza at the back of the pack in terms of haptic bliss. You won’t find the RAV4’s stitched pleather dash bits in the Venza, and strangely enough we didn’t find Toyota’s usual attention to detail either. Our tester’s dashboard had some ill-fitting trim and speaker grills which bugged me all week. Hopefully Toyota will refresh the Venza’s interior soon, although if you have kids that are rough on cars, hard plastic might be what you need, it holds up better in the long run.

For 2013, all Venza models get a power driver’s seat and dual-zone climate control standard. Should you opt for the higher trim levels, Toyota will toss in a power passenger throne as well. Regardless of your trim level and fabric choice, the Venza’s seats aren’t as comfortable on long car trips as the competition. Nobody in this segment provides a huge range of motion or much lateral bolstering in their front seats but the Venza’s seemed particularly flat and thin. With any vehicle purchase, try to get a long test drive or extended seat time at the dealer lot. Spend time in the seats to decide which vehicle is better at keeping your sciatica at bay.

The modern crossover is the spiritual successor to the station wagon and minivan. This shows in the back with thoughtful touches like reclining seat backs, available rear seat entertainment systems that have dual independent DVD players, fairly good visibility and seat bottom cushions that are fairly low to the floor. The low seat cushions mean that adults on long car trips may find their legs need a bit more support but kids will be happier with the seating position.

All Venzas swallow 36 cubic feet of IKEA purchases, notably larger than the American competition despite the fact that the Ford an GM CUVs are longer than the Venza. While the rear seats fold completely flat, the front passenger seat doesn’t fold making it harder to get long and bulky items inside. An important item overlooked by some CUV reviews is the payload capacity. The Venza’s 825lbs rating is adequate for four American-sized guys and a French poodle, while the Terrain’s 1,146lb payload could accommodate the same four dudes and 60 bricks from Home Depot. Not that either shopper is likely to encounter the latter situation.

Infotainment

Venzas start out with Toyota’s easy-to-use “Display Audio” system which features a 6.1-inch touchscreen LCD, USD/iDevice integration and Bluetooth streaming and speakerphone. The base system is easy to use and allows full access of your music device via the on-screen commands. Optional on base Venza models and standard on XLE and Limited is Toyota’s Entune software. Entune is analogous to Ford’s SYNC product, something we’ve seen for ages allowing the same level of voice command interaction with your music device and other aspects of the audio system. Entune’s voice responses are more polished than Ford’s thanks to its more recent design. Response times are snappy and the system’s accuracy was equal to the other systems on the market. Entune also allows smartphone app integration with the system so you can use the radio interface to control your Pandora streaming, search Bing for destinations and make reservations via Open Table. Originally compatible only with iOS devices, the system is now fully functional with most current Android devices.

Base and XLE buyers also have the option of adding on Toyota’s basic navigation software which acts like an “app” on the system and uses your smartphone for traffic and weather data rather than a satellite subscription service. The downside? You can’t access these services without a smartphone, so if you haven’t joined the 21st century and are still using a Motorola StarTac, you won’t be able Bing while you roll.  The audio quality from the base speaker package is merely average, if you care about your tunes XLE models can be had with the  $1,850 premium package which adds 13 JBL speakers (including a subwoofer) and a power moonroof.

Venza Limited models come standard with the up-level JBL speakers but strangely use an entirely different 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The 7-inch system should be familiar with any late model Toyota or Lexus owners as this is essentially the same software they have used for some time. The larger system uses a hard drive for navigation data and has a larger pre-programmed database built in. Toyota has updated this system to allow the same Entune app integration and music device voice control as the lower-end unit, but there’s a catch. If you want traffic data to show on this navigation screen you’ll need an XM Nav Traffic subscription since it won’t pull the data via your smartphone.

Compared to MyFord Touch, the Venza’s systems all have smaller touchscreens and lack the visual polish of Ford’s system. Entune doesn’t offer Ford’s easy-to-use voice text messaging assistant, the dual LCDs in the gauge cluster or the ability to voice command your climate control. In Toyota’s defense, Entune didn’t crash or freeze during our week (unlike MyFord Touch). Does that make Ford the winner here? No, that goes to GM with their new touchscreen infotainment system that beats both systems in terms of response, graphics and the smoothness of the voice command interactions.

Drivetrain

While the competition is toying with boosted four cylinder engines, Toyota sticks with a more traditional four/six cylinder lineup for the Venza. The base engine in all trims is the same 2.7L four-cylinder engine as the Highlander and Sienna. Cranking out 181HP and 182lb-ft of torque the four cylinder scores 20MPG City, 26 Highway and 23MPG combined in FWD form and 20/26/22 when equipped with Toyota’s AWD system.

Should you need more shove, Toyota offers their ubiquitous 3.5L V6 for $1,820. This isn’t Toyota’s direct-injection six, but it does get dual variable valve timing to churn out 268HP at 6,200RPM and 248lb-ft of twist at 4,700RPM. Like the 2.7L engine the V6 is mated to Toyota’s 6-speed automatic transaxle. The extra shove may cost you more initially but it won’t cost you much at the pump with the FWD V6 having an identical highway mileage score and dropping only one MPG in the city. Add AWD and the numbers drop to 18/25/21 according to the EPA.

If you live in the snow belt, the optional AWD will set you back $1,450 with either engine. The system worked well on gravel roads and slick, leaf-covered back country lanes, but is decidedly slip-and-grip in feel. From a standstill in the Ford and GM crossovers, planting your foot on the throttle is a drama-free experience as the AWD system acts immediately preventing wheel spin in most circumstances. The Venza on the other hand one-wheel-peels for a short while before the system sends power to the back. While this arrangement is slightly less refined, it is unlikely to cause much of a problem en route to the ski resort.

Let’s be honest, nobody buys crossovers or SUVs for their on-road prowess. Of course that puts the crossover in something of a pickle since, unlike an SUV, they aren’t designed for off road use either. Rather the modern crossover is trying to be everything to everyone, the perfect family hauler, cargo schlepper, weekend ski shuttle,  and commuter car all while trying desperately to look like anything other than a minivan or station wagon. The result with the Venza is a fairly tall, softly spring crossover with a fuel efficient V6 engine and optional AWD. While far from sloppy out on the back roads, the Venza tips, dives and rolls more than my sedan-biased preferences care for. Compared to the GMC Terrain, the Venza feels far less composed and despite being smaller than the GMC, it feels much larger on the road. GM’s 3.6L direct-injection V6 delivers 301HP and 272lb-ft of torque and the difference is noticeable on the road and at the pump with V6 AWD Terrain only serving up 16/23MPG. Meanwhile the Edge’s optional 3.5L V6 lands in the middle in terms of power and economy.

Our V6 AWD Limited tester rang in a $41,904 which is a few hundred more than a comparably equipped Ford Edge but $3,639 more than a comparably equipped GMC Terrain while the Equinox is a bit cheaper still. This placed my final ranking as follows: GMC Terrain, Ford Edge, Chevrolet Equinox and lastly the Toyota Venza. While I wouldn’t rank the Venza last in the entire segment, its age is starting to show and without some attention from Toyota to the interior quality and feel issues, the Venza will continue to sell largely on its reputation for reliable and dependable service.

 

 Toyota provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.2 Seconds

0-60: 6.3 Seconds

 1/4 Mile: 14.9 Seconds at 93 MPH

Average Observed Fuel Economy: 21.5MPG over 658 Miles

2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Exterior, Front 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Exterior, Side, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Exterior, Wheels, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Exterior, Front, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Exterior, Front, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Exterior, Front, 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Exterior, Rear 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Exterior, Rear, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Exterior, Rear, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Exterior, Rear, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Gauges, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Gauges, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Cargo Area, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Cargo Area, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Dashboard, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Steering Wheel, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Steering Wheel, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Steering Wheel, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Dashboard, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Center Console, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Infotainment, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Infotainment, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Infotainment, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Infotainment, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Rear Seat Entertainment, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Front Seats and Dashboard, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Rear Seats, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Rear Seats Folded, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Rear Seats, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Center Console, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Engine, 3.5L V6, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Engine, 3.5L V6, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Engine, 3.5L V6, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Interior, Dash Display, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Ford To Re-Hire 400 Laid Off Workers In Canada http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/ford-to-re-hire-400-laid-off-workers-in-canada/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/ford-to-re-hire-400-laid-off-workers-in-canada/#comments Fri, 30 Nov 2012 16:48:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=468582 As part of its agreement with the CAW, Ford will open up 400 jobs to laid off workers from its Windsor and St. Thomas plants (aka the birthplace of our beloved Panther) – but with 885 potential applicants and 400 jobs, allocating them will be tricky. The new jobs come as part of a third […]

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As part of its agreement with the CAW, Ford will open up 400 jobs to laid off workers from its Windsor and St. Thomas plants (aka the birthplace of our beloved Panther) – but with 885 potential applicants and 400 jobs, allocating them will be tricky.

The new jobs come as part of a third shift being added at Ford’s Oakville plant, which currently builds the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX, among other vehicles. Oakville is in line to get a new “global” platform in the next few years, and the third shift will add needed manpower.

The Windsor Star reports that jobs will be given to interested parties based on seniority, but not everyone is eager to them them. St. Thomas and Windsor are located roughly 100 and 200 miles respectively from Oakville, and the commute involves the congested 401 highway. The cost of living in Oakville, an upscale suburb of Toronto, is also far higher than in the other two locales.

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Can 187,586 Buyers Be Wrong? Consumer Reports Thinks So http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/can-187586-buyers-be-wrong-consumer-reports-thinks-so/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/can-187586-buyers-be-wrong-consumer-reports-thinks-so/#comments Fri, 10 Aug 2012 17:58:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=456115   “Just because a car generates a lot of buzz or is a best seller doesn’t mean that it’s a good choice for you. The five models here may be on a lot of buyers’ shopping lists, but we suggest you steer clear…” So says Consumer Reports with respect to their list of “Five popular […]

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“Just because a car generates a lot of buzz or is a best seller doesn’t mean that it’s a good choice for you. The five models here may be on a lot of buyers’ shopping lists, but we suggest you steer clear…”

So says Consumer Reports with respect to their list of “Five popular cars to avoid”. CR says that the vehicles “…didn’t perform well in our testing or they suffer from subpar reliability,” and that’s reason enough to stay away. I’m not entirely convinced.

We at TTAC respect the hell out of Consumer Reports. Unlike other parties in the buff book business, we never crack appliance-related jokes about their testing methods or dismiss them as lab coated slide-ruler jockeys. When they have something to say, we take it seriously.

Whipping boy number one is, of course, the 2012 Honda Civic. There are elements within TTAC who don’t like the car, for valid reasons. But as I explored in a previous column, it does have enough merit that it’s worth buying. And it’s been vetted by my Grandma. CR even recommends the Subaru Impreza over the Honda Civic; make no mistake, it’s a nice car, but there’s no way that they can criticize the Civic’s “mediocre interior” while ignoring the Impreza.

CR also lists the Dodge Grand Caravan, Toyota Prius c, Ford Edge V6 and Jeep Liberty as vehicles to stay away from. Having had inadequate seat time in them, I can’t say in good faith how accurate these picks are. Feel free to let me know in the comments.

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Review: 2012 Ford Edge Limited EcoBoost http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/review-2012-ford-edge-limited-ecoboost/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/review-2012-ford-edge-limited-ecoboost/#comments Fri, 06 Jul 2012 17:35:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=449592   Once upon a time, in a country known as America, SUVs roamed the land with large-displacement inline 6s, optional V8s, and locking axles. Nobody had heard of a “cute ute.” Of course, gasoline was also under a buck a gallon. Today the landscape is different. While the last energy crisis caused entire vehicles to […]

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Once upon a time, in a country known as America, SUVs roamed the land with large-displacement inline 6s, optional V8s, and locking axles. Nobody had heard of a “cute ute.” Of course, gasoline was also under a buck a gallon. Today the landscape is different. While the last energy crisis caused entire vehicles to downsize, the response to the latest energy “crisis” (and government pressure) has been to downsize engines while leaving the rest of the vehicle intact. Case in point? The Ford Edge EcoBoost. No, this isn’t the 3.5L fire-breathing twin-turbo you’ve heard about before, this is the all-new 2.0L engine that puts the Eco in EcoBoost.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Exterior

In 2007 Ford sold over 130,000 Edge CUVs, but sales slid slowly as the financial meltdown and high gasoline costs put shopper on notice. In order to keep things fresh, Ford face-lifted the Edge for 2011. While the proportions remain the same—a wide stance, slab sides, stubby schnozz and a raked windshield—Ford seems to have ditched their attempt at styling the Edge to look smaller. To that end, the formerly demure three-bar “Gillette” grill has been replaced with an Audi-esque billy-the-big-mouth-bass affair covered in all the chrome bling you could wish for. While some were offended by the large expanses of chrome-effect plastic, I think a bold front end is exactly what Ford needs to differentiate the Edge from the plethora of me-too CUVs on the road. That being said, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is still more visually exciting.

Interior

Our Edge tester was a “Limited” trim model. Starting at $34,940 and bringing standard goodies like dual-zone climate control, leather, 10-way power seats, an up-level Sony audio system and Ford’s MyFord Touch infotainment system, the  Limited sits at the top of the Edge food chain. If these goodies don’t piqué your interest, the Edge SEL crosses the infotainment upgrades off the equipment list for $31,400 and the base Edge SE EcoBoost starts at $28,845 with cloth seats and manual HVAC knobs. Regardless of trim level, the Edge’s parts quality and fit-and-finish are easily the best in its class. Even the Limited’s faux-wood trim is plausible in terms of realistic texture and tasteful distribution. The Edge seems to represent Ford’s continuing march toward premium interiors at premium price points. While this is no doubt a good direction for the brand, if you’re looking for a cheap, rough-and-tumble CUV replacement for your old Bronco II, this isn’t it. Strangely, the only real problem I have with the Edge’s interior is that it’s nice enough that I see little reason (aside from some real-wood) to upgrade to the Lincoln MKX. Thanks to the generous, corn-fed proportions, the cargo capacity of the Edge is a large 32 cubic feet expanding to 69 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

Infotainment

Like the Android vs iPhone debate, infotainment systems spark fierce controversy. No system since iDrive has received as much bad press mixed with forum fan-boy rave reviews as MyFord Touch. Let’s cut to the chase. The 2012 Edge benefits from major software update designed to make the system more responsive and easier to use. During a previous week with the 2011 system, we experienced frequent freezing, random crashes, periodic reboots and the ever-so-popular “blue screen of death.” The 2012 version performed reliably. That’s not to say MyFord Touch is now perfect. The system is still dreadfully slow when compared to iDrive, UConnect 8.4 and Cadillac’s new CUE system. If slow interfaces bother you, just buy an Edge SEL, select every option except the Ford MyTouch system and you’ll essentially have a Limited without MyFord Touch. By doing so you can still get the backup camera and the voice activated SYNC system which work flawlessly. The downside? You won’t get the snazzy 4.2-inch LCDs on either side of the speedometer. Despite the sloth, my opinion is that MyFord Touch is one of the best systems on the market (after iDrive) in terms of functionality, aesthetics and ease of use. Yes the system is painfully slow at times, but I’d rather have a sluggish system that did everything MyFord Touch does than a snappy system that only covered the basics.

Drivetrain

Ah, the section you’ve all be waiting for. Aside from the revised MyFord Touch system, the reason we’re looking at the Edge is the new EcoBoost engine. No, this isn’t the fire-breathing 3.5L twin-turbo monster that Ford is jamming under as many hoods as possible, this is the engine that puts the “eco” in EcoBoost. Ford started out with a 2.0L four cylinder aluminum block, added twin cams with independent variable valve timing, bolted on a Borg Warner (KKK) K03 turbocharger and lathered on the direct-injection sauce. The K03 is good for 16psi of boost which yields 240HP, 270lb-ft of torque and a “claimed” 30MPG on the highway.The observant in the crowd will note that while this is a 45HP decrease from the 3.5L V6, there is an extra 17lb-ft of torque-on tap. Speaking of torque, all 270lb-ft come to the boil at 1750RPM and stay strong to 4,500RPM while the 3.5L V6 peaks at 4,000. As long as the turbos are spooled up, the engine produces more torque at a given RPM than the V6. It’s this broad torque curve that allows the EcooBoost Edge to scoot to 60 only 0.4 seconds slower than the 3.5L V6 despite the drop in HP and the slight delay in off-the-line acceleration. The cost for this gem? $995. Power is sent to the front wheels via Ford’s 6-speed automatic transmission. Why there is no AWD option for this engine is anyone’s guess. The EcoBoost engine idles as smoothly as BMW’s 2.0L DI turbo – in other words, it sounds like a quiet diesel engine.

Drive

Thanks to extensive sound insulation, the only way you would know the 2.0L turbo lurks under the hood is by the way the Edge drives and gulps gasoline. Unlike the fuel-efficient engine choices of the last century, I prefer the way the 2.0L turbo drives to V6. Why? It’s all in the way the power is delivered. With all that twist arriving at low RPMs, the fact that the transmission is programmed to be recalcitrant to shift (for fuel economy) is not only a non-issue, it makes maintaining speed on a mountain grade a smoother affair than the V6 Edge which constantly hunts for the right gear. As you would expect with 270lb-ft on tap, torque steer and one-wheel burnouts are a mere throttle stab away. If I hadn’t driven an EcoBoost and V6 Edge back-t0-back I would have thought the turbo was the faster vehicle to 60 which arrived in just under 7.6 seconds.

The suspension in the Edge is tuned toward the softer side of CUVs, delivering a ride that is compliant and composed over all the broken pavement we could throw at it. This is thanks to the tall 60-series tires standard on the Edge as well as the wide 65-inch track. While I wouldn’t ever call a two-ton crossover a “corner carver,” the Edge is in many ways a grossly overweight Mazda 6 and handles as such. Remind you of a CX-7? It should. On windy mountain roads it can pull up its support hose and feign some dance moves, but it is unlikely the average buyer will ever try.

If you’re shopping for a two wheel drive crossover and need the generous capacity the Edge offers, the EcoBoost model is hand-down Ford’s best offering. If however you’re looking for fuel efficiency in a 5-seat crossover the Edge EcoBoost becomes a less exciting proposition. During our 734-mile week with the Edge we averaged 24.2MPG with conservative driving and plenty of highway miles. While this does represent a nearly 5MPG improvement over the 3.5L V6 Edge on the same driving cycle and a break-even point of around 4 years for the $995 engine option, city dwellers and those with lead feet will find themselves averaging 19-20MPG. Despite the active shutters and a cool, A/C-free coastal California drive, the Edge struggled to average 29MPG with the cruise control set to 65MPH. Despite not living up to its EPA numbers, the EcoBoost delivered a superior driving experience and a true 20-25% improvement in fuel economy meaning. There is just one problem: the all-new Ford Escape. Despite being rated a very similar 22/30MPG, our short stint with the 2.0L EcoBoost Escape proves that its real world average is around 27MPG. While the Escape is smaller than the Edge, it’s also more nimble, handles better, lighter, faster, cheaper and AWD is an option.

 

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Ford provided the vehicle, one tank of gas, and insurance for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.73 Seconds

0-60: 7.59 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 15.95 Seconds @ 84.7 MPH

Average Fuel Economy: 24.2 MPG over 734 miles

 

 

2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-001 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-002 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-003 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-004 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-005 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-006 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-007 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-008 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-009 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-010 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-011 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost, Interior, Dashboard, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-013 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-014 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-015 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-016 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost, Interior, Ford My Touch 2012, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-018 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-019 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-020 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-021 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-022 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-023 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-024 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-025 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-026 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-027 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-028 2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost, Engine, 2.0L Turbo, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2012 Edge Ecoboost Monroney Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Memo To Ford: Expand Use Of Buttons Beyond 2013 F-Series http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/memo-to-ford-expand-use-of-buttons-beyond-2013-f-series/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/memo-to-ford-expand-use-of-buttons-beyond-2013-f-series/#comments Tue, 05 Jun 2012 18:39:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=447512 The big news for the 2013 Ford F-Series appears to be the use of buttons, rather than trying to cram MyFord Touch down the gaping maw of every single product in the lineup implementing the MyFord Touch infotainment system. Apparently, it all has to do with work gloves. Damon Lavrinc, of Wired magazine (and the […]

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The big news for the 2013 Ford F-Series appears to be the use of buttons, rather than trying to cram MyFord Touch down the gaping maw of every single product in the lineup implementing the MyFord Touch infotainment system. Apparently, it all has to do with work gloves.

Damon Lavrinc, of Wired magazine (and the authority on the nexus between the automotive and tech worlds) spoke to a Ford rep, who said that F-Series customers preferred physical controls over touchscreens, since the capactive controls tend to function poorly when work gloves are involved. Lavrinc went on to note that Ford was wise to stick to the formula that’s made the F-Series the best selling vehicle in American since time immemorial.

My question to Ford is this; construction workers are likely wearing gloves only during certain parts of the day. What about those who live in the snow belt, where for as much as 6 months of the year, motorists are wearing gloves all the time? Aside from the usual drawbacks of MyFord Touch (the distractions, awkward responses etc), having to jockey ones gloves on and off for simple tasks isn’t exactly an example of technology making one’s life easier.

The Wired article also quotes a Ford spokesperson admitting that only 50 percent of Edge and Explorer customers actually like the MyFord Touch system.There is evidently a large number of consumers who aren’t that interested in having to tap and finger-jab their way to a slower fan speed or different radio station, and there are plenty of good alternatives being sold at virtually every other dealership.

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Review: 2011 Ford Edge http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/08/review-2011-ford-edge/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/08/review-2011-ford-edge/#comments Mon, 23 Aug 2010 04:01:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=363521 Okay, everybody, take out your old Waitresses or Bouncing Souls songbooks, and sing along with me: I know what girls like I know what chicks want I know what girls like Girls like …the Ford Edge. Ford’s rolled 400,000 Edges out the door since the model was introduced five years ago. For reasons I cannot […]

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Okay, everybody, take out your old Waitresses or Bouncing Souls songbooks, and sing along with me:

I know what girls like
I know what chicks want
I know what girls like
Girls like
…the Ford Edge.

Ford’s rolled 400,000 Edges out the door since the model was introduced five years ago. For reasons I cannot understand, it completely obliterated the Flex and the Freestyle/Taurus X at dealerships, outselling them combined by a factor of two or three in most months. Half of the Edges sold are registered to women, which likely means that far more than half of them were selected by, and are driven by, women. According to Ford, among buyers in this segment, “styling” ranks as the #5 reason to buy a vehicle, but Edge buyers rank “styling” as the number one reason they chose one.

So here’s the new one. Ford has made a solid effort to address the Edge’s shortcomings. It has more power, less weight (in some models), better brakes, and a much higher-quality interior. The dynamic package is significantly improved, and I had the chance to test that in a literally life-threatening situation, as we’ll see below. None of this will matter too much to the Coach-bag set, however. They’ll be blown-away by the new “myFord Touch” system… and if you care at all about the state of in-car electronics, you will be, too.

Welcome to the future. You’re looking at an analog speedometer (digital, of course, under the skin) and two full-color LCD screens that reconfigure on the fly, sometimes without your direct input, to provide information on everything from the name of that Larry Carlton track you’re hearing on SIRIUS “Watercolors” to the precise ratio of front/rear torque being delivered by the all-wheel-drive system under heavy cornering load.

The center screen is no less interesting. It’s almost endlessly customizable to meet your particular needs and it will overload you with data and gee-whiz graphics if you’re not careful. It was impossible to understand the full range of myFord Touch’s capabilities in a quickie press event, but here’s just one entirely factual scenario: You’re driving down a freeway. With the sweep of a finger, you’re visually browsing album covers to select tracks. On the left side of your speedometer is a full selection of instant fuel-economy data; on the right side, you’re browsing the contact directory on your phone. Your passenger is using the absolutely button-less center stack to “haptically” select temperature, and she’s also surfing the web on her laptop. Your rear-seat passengers are surfing as well, using the local WiFi network enabled by the Sprint WiFi USB “dongle” that’s plugged in next to your iPod. You touch the screen and are rewarded with a 3-D view of your destination city, including visually accurate depictions of individual buildings. You check and see that the weather looks good ahead and that your favorite movie is playing at 6:45pm. That gives you time to take a fast back road, so you take the next off-ramp and squeeze the downshift paddle behind the steering wheel… at which point the left-side display on your dashboard collapses and is replaced with a tachometer, shift-point indicator, and temperature gauge. You touch a control and the “dial” tach becomes a vertical-instrument tach, in the style of an WWII aircraft, and the space where the tach was is replaced by a torque-vectoring diagram. Time to hustle.

On the way to Ford’s “break stop”, I drove the FWD 3.5L Limited seen in the top photo. It’s noticeably faster and more tied-down than last year’s Edge, thanks to more power, bigger rear brakes, and a variety of minor friction and valving improvements in the front suspension. On the way back, I selected the 305-horse 3.7 Sport AWD. The extra 200cc of the Sport just about makes up for the extra weight of the AWD system and the “stunna” 22-inch forged wheels. Incidentally, this year’s Edge AWD is 40 pounds lighter than last year’s — good, if rare, news nowadays.

It’s raining with almost Biblical fury and although visibility is good, the amount of standing water on the road has slowed most traffic significantly. I’m hammering back to the hotel (readers of yesterday’s Accent review will understand why) with all available speed. Ahead of me, a long, empty dotted-yellow stretch of road… with an 18-wheeler doing 30mph up the hill. I pull into the left lane and accelerate to fifty or sixty. In many states, they won’t run a dotted-yellow past an intersection, but Tennessee does. I don’t think anything of it, since the intersection is empty, but then an old S-10 Blazer arrives at the crossroads and, without looking, simply whips directly into my path. The driver looks me right in the eye from fifty feet away and freezes like a deer, her foot full on the throttle, her cell phone falling from her left hand. There’s a gap between the S-10 and the semi-truck, with standing water shimmering menacingly. I relax my fingertips and steer lightly for the gap. With a “swoosh” I am past them both, the Edge placed less than an inch from my desired line. I look over at the passenger seat. My co-driver is reading his iPhone, completely undisturbed. “Did that woman just pull in front of us?” he inquires.

“As Felipe Massa would say… for sure.”

This is not to say that the Edge is perfect. It’s hard to understand why anybody would have chosen the previous Edge over the Flex, which offers more room, better steering, better ride, similar fuel economy, and a nicer interior for about the same money. I would continue to choose a Flex or — ssssshhhh! — a Taurus X over this Edge. If you’re shopping elsewhere, a Chevrolet Traverse also offers more room than the Edge for less money, and the Honda Crosstour is vastly cheaper with a very similar interior-packaging result. Toyota’s Venza also offers a less expensive alternative that’s bigger inside. It would also be remiss of us not to mention the fact that virtually everybody who chooses a vehicle of this type would be better-served by an actual family sedan.

Better-served, yes, but no family sedan has anything like the Edge’s panache, styling, solid feel, or super-tech interior. If you want to make a $40,000 statement of pure stylistic intent, this is your ride. The improvements in ride, handling, fuel economy (which is class-leading now and likely to be more so once the 2.0L Ecoboost arrives) and dashboard feel don’t really matter. When your neighbor sits in your 2011 Edge, hears you demand stock prices via voice control, and watches you “swish” album covers around on the main screen, how you do think she’s going to feel about her Honda Crosstour’s Commodore-64 nav screen and frumpy-ass 18″ alloys? I thought so. Ladies, your Edge is waiting.

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