2017 Ford Edge Titanium Rental Review - Needs More Boost, Less Eco
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
[Images: © Mark “Bark M.” Baruth/The Truth About Cars]
427Cobra on Oct 18, 2017
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.
EBFlex on Oct 18, 2017
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.
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