By on October 17, 2017

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If you’re new around here, you might not be aware that I’ve been accused of being a Blue Oval homer, or even being “bias.” (Bark’s tip of the day: “bias” is a noun, “biased” is an adjective.) I make no secret of the fact that the last four vehicles I’ve purchased have been straight from the Mind of Dearborn, but I don’t think that necessarily makes me FordPro Bark. In fact, some of my harshest rental reviews of days yonder have been directed toward Ford products.

But there can be no denying that I’m drawn toward Fords on rental row, simply because I have a large degree of familiarity with them. I don’t have to learn new infotainment systems or dash layouts, and everything from the steering wheel to the seats just feels right to me. As such, I found myself throwing my bags into the cargo area of a Ford Edge Titanium last week in Miami. The Edge is a resident of that strangest of vehicle segments, the large two-row CUV, living on the same street as the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Nissan Murano. The Edge can’t have a third row of seating, because then it would be an Explorer, and it can’t be any smaller, because then it would be an Escape. So it just kinda…exists.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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That lack of third row means second-row passengers have more than enough legroom to satisfy all but the lankiest of high school basketball players. The optional white leather offered in the Titanium is striking at first glance, too, but as my 20,000-plus mile rental example shows here, it shows the dirt rather easily, as did the white headliner.

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And that lack of third row also means the cargo area is larger than Harvey Weinstein’s bathtub. It’s so large that it looks like it’s actually missing something that should be there. Like, I don’t know, a third row of seats?

However, once I got past my obsession with the number of seats offered in the Edge, I began to drive it. For cruising the mean streets of Miami, one could certainly do worse than the ride offered by this midsizer. The ever-present parts-bin steering wheel found in nearly every single Ford in the world comforted me with its familiarity as well as its quick response. Road noise is kept to a minimum inside the vast cabin, and even though, yes, it gets dirty quickly, I appreciated an interior color that was something other than black or beige.

The color of my rental, efficiently labeled “Magnetic” by Ford, helped me disappear amongst the neon shades of Miami’s omnipresent exotics. Media of acceptable tone quality was effortlessly delivered by Sync 3, and the driver’s seat was firm and comfortable. All good, right?

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Well, it was, until I found myself in need of some acceleration. Good God, the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder sucks in this application.

It’s hard to explain just how 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque could ever be so completely ineffective in motivating a vehicle to action, but you can forget any performance numbers that might be extant when it comes to the EcoBoost Edge — acceleration in the Edge is a mere concept, not an actual event. In Miami, one often needs to turn quickly in front of traffic to have any shot at all of making a left turn, and the Edge’s 4,200 pounds or so is just insufficiently inspired to do so.

Of course, the Edge isn’t intended for the sporting set. The combined fuel economy I observed in my time with the Edge in Miami-Dade, an area of the country known for some of the most formidable traffic known to man, was just over 24 mpg, which is an impressive number for such a large vehicle. The two-point-slow EcoBoost may not inspire much hooning, but that’s a good thing when it comes to keeping your trips to the fuel pump as infrequent as possible. Fortunately, there’s another available EcoBoost motor that provides a lot more Boost and a little less Eco that would make this crossover less painful to drive.

Unfortunately, in order to get the 2.7-liter twin-turbo, 315-horsepower EcoBoost in the Edge, one must crack open their wallet and make the leap to the Edge Sport, which is a $5,000 penalty and comes with ride-destroying 20-inch rims wrapped with rubber band tires. My choice would be to stick with the Titanium and try to find one equipped with the 3.5-liter V6 that can also be found under the hood of my personal Ford Flex — a car that weighs even more yet manages to feel significantly less sluggish than the EcoBoost Edge.

It’s a shame that this motor and crossover are so poorly matched, because the rest of the package is quite good.

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The Edge is the perfect size for a family like mine — two adults with two elementary school kids. The third row in my Flex is folded flat nearly 100 percent of the time, making way for the storage of groceries, folding chairs and tents for soccer games, lawn supplies, etc. With the extremely rare exception here or there, I would prefer having the extra legroom in the second row for passengers and the bonus cargo area. Like many CUV buyers, I was probably tricked into thinking I needed a third row when, in fact, I’d be better off without it.

Subjectively, I find the Edge to be a handsome vehicle, one that appears to have been consciously styled to appeal to the masculine CUV intender. As its most similar and direct competition is the Jeep Grand Cherokee, this is probably not a coincidence. But, as a great poet once said, ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby.

The Grand Cherokee’s Pentastar motor matched with the eight-speed auto is a drastically better powertrain combo than anything offered in the Edge south of the Sport trim, and the interior is a nicer place to spend one’s time, as well. Uconnect is lightyears better than Sync, and the styling of the GC is timeless and oh-so-very Jeepy.

Combine all that with the fact that the Edge Titanium Ecoboost, when optioned exactly like my rental, ticks just past the $38,000 mark, and it’s difficult to find a reason to put this particular iteration of the Edge in your garage. Like Michelle Obama says, when they go low, I’ll go high —make my Edge the Sport, and I’ll suffer the decreased ride quality to get the more powerful motor. Better yet, I’d just buy a Jeep.

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[Images: © Mark “Bark M.” Baruth/The Truth About Cars]

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49 Comments on “2017 Ford Edge Titanium Rental Review – Needs More Boost, Less Eco...”


  • avatar
    r129

    I guess my aunt made the right decision when she insisted that, above all else, her new Ford Edge must be equipped with a V6. She wanted it because in her mind, any 4 cylinder engine is slow and will break down. She was at least half right.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “Better yet, I’d just buy a Jeep.”

    MKX? You can get an AWD “Select” with 18s and the 3.7L for like $41k.

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    Had one of these recently as a rental in your neck of the woods (Ohio, Ontario, Michigan, back to Ohio). Pretty sure it was the 2.0T (had initially thought it was the 2.7TT at the rental agency, but alas..).

    1) Not too bad, if, like any turbo, you predict traffic enough to pre-accelerate (i.e. hit the throttle 2-3 seconds BEFORE you need the power, and are prepared to back off if you don’t). I’ve kinda gotten used to it with almost 13 years of a Legacy GT.

    2) They need to change the tires they come with from the factory (I think). ANY rain on the ground, and I could spin the front tires at will at any point, even at high as 40 mph. They would just spin and spin..

  • avatar

    I’ve experienced the Pentastar 3.6 in both car and SUV forms. Both times it was smooth, powerful, refined, quiet, and economical for the weight/size of the vehicle. Put that with the better interior of the JGC and I think it easily bests the Edge.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    I found the rear seats in the Edge to be the most uncomfortable of any that I sat in in the last 15 years. And, I’m not that picky about seats as I find most acceptable. Somehow, Ford managed to design these seats so that more than 10 minutes in them gets painful at least to me. It wasn’t just one case either. I have sat in three different Edges over the past five years and the rear seats were the same in all of them.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    A friend had an older Edge Sport. His came with 22 inch wheels, which made the whole car an expensive mistake. Did Ford actually reduce the Sport’s rim diameter this generation? Is it a sign of smarter rim diameters to come?

  • avatar
    haroldingpatrick

    The Edge is on the short list for my next ride. I’ve test driven the 2.0 ecoboost and 3.5 NA V6. Of those two the 2.0 is the better engine for me because all the torque is everywhere – There is no where near as many up and down shifts on rolling terrain as there is with the NA V6. Nothing is flat where I live and incessant transmission shifting is one of my biggest pet peeves. The smallest hill causes the 3.5 NA V6 to downshift where the 2.0 just pulls right up it. I could care less about 0 to 60 times. The Edge, like most Ford products is so quiet that speed builds very quietly and smoothly, which one can perceive as slow.

    • 0 avatar
      blppt

      “The smallest hill causes the 3.5 NA V6 to downshift where the 2.0 just pulls right up it. I could care less about 0 to 60 times.”

      THIS. One of my favorite highway cruising engines before the turbo craze was the 3.8 Essex from Ford. Sure, it wouldnt last very long *cough head gasket cough*, but it was a breath of fresh air to be able to climb grades on the Taconic Parkway without having to shift out of lockup, and then O/D to maintain 65mph. In the Taurus anyways, dunno how it was in the heavier ‘stang.

      Meanwhile, my Fathers’ old Fusion Sport AWD with the 3.5 would downshift out of 6th all the time on the same hills, and couldnt maintain 65mph when using the transmission’s manual mode to *attempt* to lock in 6th gear.

  • avatar
    JMII

    “Like many CUV buyers, I was probably tricked into thinking I needed a third row when, in fact, I’d be better off without it.”

    At least you admit it. My parents have this same combination (Ecoboost + Titanium + Light interior) but in the Escape where it seems perfectly acceptable. Theirs is the lighter shade of grey, I have no idea what Ford’s corporate name is, but I would call it PMS Cool Grey 11.

    Congrats on surviving Miami-Dade. I live in Broward and work in Palm Beach, and us locals know to avoid that nonsense as much as possible. The area around MIA is only for the bravest of souls. I only venture down there for games at the stadium formally known as Joe Robbie and to reach Homestead for track days.

  • avatar
    carguy

    What Ford also needs is better build quality. Panel gaps, rattles and detaching rubber seals are difficult to accept in this price range.

    Unfortunately, buying a Jeep doesn’t improve that situation.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    China gets a three-row Edge, interestingly enough.

    https://www.ford.com.cn/suvs/edge/models/ecoboost_245_titaniun_2wd/

    (amusingly, Chrome translates “Edge” as “Ford Sharp sector” and “Ford Sharp circles”)

  • avatar
    Der_Kommissar

    My father has the SEL with the 3.5 V6. It’s a very comfortable highway cruiser, which is what he uses it for on his trips between his home in the Midwest and his condo in Florida. It has enough room to hold him and my 2 + 2 family when we visit (three abreast in the rear is just fine). But I’ve never felt so much engine produce so little effect- the car is just too heavy for its own good. I would call the 3.5 slow but predictable. I can only imagine how underwhelming the 2.0 would be. The gap in 0-60 between the two v6’s is much larger than you would expect given the horsepower difference- I think 5.6s 0 to 60 on the Sport has to be generous when the 3.5 is easily in the 8’s.

  • avatar
    david42

    Every Murano, regardless of trim level, has a 3.5 V6. It has similar specs on paper to this EcoBoost, but it’s pretty speedy in real life (we have one).

  • avatar
    Der_Kommissar

    Also- the three row edge used to be the Madza CX-9. That’s no longer true, but I suspect that’s one reason you have not seen ford market one.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    As I keep saying, if you need a third row, you really need a minivan. Or “van” since they don’t really sell minivans anymore.

    Though I found the 2.0T Edge perfectly acceptable as a rental. How fast do you need to go in something like this?

    I really like the Grand Cherokee a lot, but you pay a big penalty for the genuine off-road ability compared to something like this. Both in cost and interior space.

    Having some travel dilemmas today that mean I will be Ubering from airport to hotel then picking up something from Hertz Local in the morning. Bound to be utter dreck.

    • 0 avatar
      MoparRocker74

      ^This^. The one the the Edge has going for it is that the lines are somewhat sporty as CUVs go. As to actual performance, well…

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I didn’t know the Pacifica, Sienna and Oddyssy are the same size as the Express, ProMaster and Transit.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        They are a heck of a lot bigger than an original Caravan. Van and Commercial Van would be my take on it. A minivan is a Mazda5 or Transit Connect – which ARE about the size of the originals.

        • 0 avatar
          Chris FOM

          And a 3-series is the size of the original 5-series, the 2-series is BIGGER than the original 3-series, an F-150 is the size of an F-250 not that long ago, etc. Cars have gotten bigger across the board for any number of reasons. A minivan the size of the original Caravan isn’t really desirable anymore, hence the Mazda 5 flopping. And even then the long wheelbase Grand Caravan launched just 3 years after the original Caravan, and compared to the original the current GC’s wheelbase is a whopping 2” longer while the length has grown by a foot over 20 years. The Pacifica and Odyssey are 13” longer than the original GC, while the Sienna is only 8” longer. Wheelbases are again all within 2” of the original GC. And compared to a true full size van they’re absolutely “mini.” So do you have any point beyond a generic gripe about cars getting bigger over time?

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    Everybody on here, and their brother, and their sister, complain that the Mazda CX-9 should be only a 5 seater. Or that Mazda should offer something to compete with this.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I don’t really get the complaints about acceleration, I’ve had 2 of these Titanium Ecoboosts as rentals, are really quite like them. Comfy ride, quiet, some lag and then a wave of torque easily gets you up to speed. I saw an identical 24mpg in mixed highway/city/rural driving. I used to likewise criticize this “tweener” two row class, but now I get it. Substantially more refined than the compact CUVs which technically might have equal cargo/people room, but in practical terms are narrower, noisier, and rougher riding. My biggest qualm with the Edge is the crappy fit and finish on exterior trim and panel alignment. Paint quality looks excellent, however.

  • avatar
    mojeimeje

    I am renting a Fusion Titanium at the moment (dropping it off at BWI in an hour) and I feel the same about the power from that 2.0 turbo. It feels a lot slower than my WRX

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I’d be curious to know what the 0-60 time on this is. My wife’s MKX has the 3.7 V6, and coming from my G37 it’s a dog. BUT it also can only do about 19MPG- doesn’t matter if it’s in the city or on the highway (where above ~80MPH mileage actually edges towards 17-18 MPG). I’d be OK with the lack of speed if we got some better gas mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Automobile Catalog says 7.2 seconds. They tend to be on the optimistic side, but it’s not as slow as the article suggests.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Car and Driver got 8.3 on the 2.0T and 7.6 on the 3.5L.

      caranddriver.com/reviews/2015-ford-edge-titanium-20t-ecoboost-awd-test-review

      caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-ford-edge-35l-v-6-awd-review

      FWIW, The old MKX 3.7L was 6.4 seconds (they haven’t tested the current gen with the NA V6).

      caranddriver.com/reviews/2011-lincoln-mkx-road-test-review

  • avatar
    spyked

    The other choice in this segment (2 row SUV of mid-size proportions like Edge and Murano and Jeep GC) is interesting. Now that the VW Touareg is going away in the U.S. (at least temporarily), you can get the base model (Sport/Tech) which has heated everything, NAV, BT audio streaming, RWD-based 4MOTION, and a 3.6 V6. Tows over 7500 pounds right off the lot. It’s selling for $40-41k depending on the market. MSRP of at least $51k. The VR6 is bulletproof and the transmission is made in Japan and it’s a much simpler ride than the first gen Tregs. Makes you feel a bit more special than the VW Atlas does, more premium somehow even though it’s much “older” in design.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. Not even a choice Id have to think about. Check off the Hemi box, keep the add on techy bits to a minimum and that’s the ‘SUV’ Id want to own. That’s the one with the offroad goodies (If I’m going more muscle car SUV, then a Durango of course) and it has some styling elements that appeal to my love of muscle cars, what with the sporty lines, lack of chrome and the blackout hood stripes.

    The biggest issue I have with the GC is that the color pallet is absolute GARBAGE. On the blingy Limited, theres True blue which is what Id want but not on the TH. The only thing that isn’t grayscale on the is a couple of metallic reds…one looks like it would only be at home on grampas buick and the other is Redline which is tolerable.

    I realize the GC is an upscale vehicle but that doesn’t mean the paint choices should be restricted to only what a 70 year old granny would find appropriate.

  • avatar
    jvossman

    If you are going to keep visiting us in miami I can recommend both good restaurants and where to go mountain biking if that is still a thing for you after your crash a few years back. I assume this thing gives you or email or you can find me on Facebook. Cheers. Jv

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    What is the ongoing infatuation with third-row seats?

  • avatar
    theonlydt

    I find the throwaway line about Harvey Weinstein in extremely poor taste. Extremely misogynistic. I guess you’re indicating you don’t give a shit about 50% of the population as you’re happy making a cheap joke at their expense.

    Can you edit the article please? It’s not car related. It’s not funny. It’s insulting.

    Yours, 32 year old white male, soon to be called a libtard.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I really like these SUVs that are big and roomy without the 3rd row.

    I get the Grand Cherokee comparison. A car I recently drove for the first time and was seriously impressed with.

    I find the Edge quite appealing as well from a style perspective, and I have always really liked how the recent Fords drive (firm but not harsh, good handling, good braking, quiet).

    How do the cargo areas of these two compare? I did get the feeling in the GC that the interior space was not particularly roomy given the exterior dimensions.

    But yes the Pentastar and ZF 8 speed (Or whatever the chrysler version is called) is a fantastic combo. That the GC has some nice off-road chops (good for forest roads, mountain camping etc) makes it appealing as well, without the extremely outdated feel of a 4runner or Wrangler kinda thing.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      They seem close on paper, but the Edge is the definite winner both in terms of seats-up cargo space, as well as people space. But I agree, the Grand Cherokee still has substantially more capability offroad. If cargo space is the focus however, that 4Runner you mentioned thoroughly trounces both.

  • avatar
    theloop82

    Loooong time lurker here, I created a profile to defend the honor of the humble Edge. I bought a used former rental 2016 Titanium last year (17k mi, 27,000$, No weird smells!) with the 2.0 EB and it has plenty of power for 99% of the situations I use it for. The Transmission is a little slow to kick down, but if you hit the downshift paddle once or twice a second before your passing maneuver it is plenty quick to pass a big rig on a 2 lane road going up a pass. Also, on the beach if you turn off Traction Control and put it in sport, you can hoon and cut brodies like nobodies buisness. I have a few gripes, the automatic rear door sensor has caused me to have an open door all night and a dead battery on 2 occasions, and the weird door openings with 1′ of dead space between the exterior and interior get dirty often. Rubber trim around the door seals has a nasty habit of falling off, you know, basic Ford problems. The drivetrain is money for what I use it for. Looking forward to getting some better tires on the handsome 19″ stock rims when the factory ones wear down a bit more.

  • avatar
    scottcom36

    People love that third row, whether they need or use it is another question. My friend was trying to sell an Envoy and every caller asked if it had a third row and turned up their nose when the answer was no. He ended up trading it in.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    Just after the Equinox article I wondered why this 2.0 turbo is so different to that 2.0 turbo.

    One is a rocket, one is a slot.

    Then… 4,100lb vs 3,800lb… I also wonder what space ‘advantages’ this has that the Equinox doesnt?

    The Edge is a size up I guess?

  • avatar
    eyeofthetiger

    I can’t believe you can’t spec a 1.0 Ecoboost as a $995 option over the 2.0 Ecoboost. Ford doesn’t make any sense anymore.

  • avatar
    TurboMark

    “If you’re new around here, you might not be aware that I’ve been accused of being a Blue Oval homer, or even being “bias.” (Bark’s tip of the day: “bias” is a noun, “biased” is an adjective.)”

    I hate to pee in your Cheerios, but in your use of the word “bias” as something you’ve been accused of being you are using it as an adjective. Therefore the correct word is in fact “biased”. You cannot be bias, just the same way you cannot be energy, you can only be energetic.

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    I leased a ’13 Edge Limited… fully loaded, with the 3.5L NA V6. It was “adequate” in the power department, but no more. VERY comfortable vehicle… tomb-like quiet inside… nicely balanced ride & handling. Mileage was mediocre. Best I ever did was 24 mpg on a highway trip. I averaged about 14 mpg around town (in the mountains north of L.A.). You definitely felt the weight of the Edge. Prior to that, I had an ’04 Saturn Vue with the Honda V6. That thing was a rocket! Very quick, light on it’s feet, loads of power, & great mileage. The downsides were the cheap, plasticky interior & the huge panel gaps with made wind noise horrendous. By far my favorite, most-dependable vehicle though.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Ford hasn’t cared about the Edge in years. It’s a mediocre vehicle that has so-so quality and poor engine choices. The last minor refresh was laughable. Why did they even bother? Very similar approach to what they did with the most resent Fusion. A refresh that really amounts to nothing.

    “Better yet, I’d just buy a Jeep.”

    That, folks, is the most honest thing ever written on TTAC since the Farago days.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      Er, the last “minor refresh” (2015) was actually a completely new vehicle on a different platform.

      I have a 2014; will probably trade it on a 2018 when the lease is up. Admittedly I’m “bias” (I buy on A-plan), but I’ve spent a lot of time in both the current Edge and the GC through frequent rentals.

      Objectively, the GC is the better vehicle; hard for me to deny that. But as a daily driver, the Edge is the better compromise. Easier to get in and out of, way easier to park, and better behaved in city driving, which is mainly what I do.

      In fact, I would say this size class is the unsung hero of urban comfort. The Edge is as wide as an Explorer, and has better 2nd row ergonomics thanks to the lack of third row seating. And yet, it’s a foot shorter than a midsize sedan, which makes it much better suited to parallel parking and other similar city annoyances. The cargo area is also cavernous, making it great for IKEA trips and for reducing the frequency of suburban warehouse store excursions (pun intended).

      Unrelatedly, I think vehicles like the Edge are probably the closest thing we have to a modern replacement for a “personal luxury coupe”; they’re about as well equipped as you can get in a non-luxury marque.

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