2009 Ford Edge Sport: Crossover by definition
By Mike Blake, Carlisle Events
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Looking for an edge in the highly competitive CUV market segment, Ford created the Edge in 2006 as a 2007 model as a choice for those who wanted a minivan layout and sports utility. While the 2009 Edge doesn’t offer a third row in true minivan fashion, it does provide excellent cross-over capabilities.
Featured in the James Bond film “Quantum of Solace,” Edge is not an edgy, extreme, secret-agent type vehicle. It is, however, a reliable, conservative, family mover.
Manufactured at Ford's Oakville Assembly Complex in Ontario, Canada and with an all-American look that is classic, from the Ford signature three bar-chrome grille to its aggressively raked windshield and fast-sloping back window with high-mounted rear spoiler, my Sport Blue Metallic test Edge fares well against the competition. Measuring 185.7 inches in length, 75.8 inches in width and 67 inches in height on a 111.2-inch wheelbase, Edge fits right in with its crossover marketing campaign.
Standard exterior items include dual chromed exhaust tips, dual power mirrors, fog lamps, keyless entry keypad, the rear spoiler – nearly every vehicle has a spoiler nowadays – and body color front and rear lower fascias.
My Sport model also came with a $1000 add-on that included 22-inch forged, machine-polished aluminum wheels. Those impressive wheels are covered with high performance P265/40-R22 Pirelli Scorpion Zero tires and are accompanied by performance-tuned shocks, springs and steering components for excellent handling.
Power is delivered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine linked to an automatic overdrive transmission. The set-up produces 265hp and 250 lbs.-ft. of torque, which was enough to hesitantly propel the 4078-lb. FWD vehicle from zero to 60mph in 8.4 seconds during tests that also saw a 16.5-second quarter-mile run.
Rated at 17 mpg in city driving and 24mpg on the highway, a full week of mixed-use tests got me an average of 20.2mpg.
On the road, acceleration was not instantaneous, but passing power was available and acceptable in all ranges. Handling was confident, but not nimble, and upper-vehicle wobble was in average range for the class. Steering is a bit boatlike, but cornering is sedanlike, which is not a bad thing in a crossover, though quick maneuvers are best left to a small vehicle. Macpherson struts, isolated subframe and stabilizer bar up front and a 4-link independent rear suspension with isolated subframe and stabilizer bar make for a comparatively smooth ride over minor ruts and road inconsistencies.
With seating for five, the black-themed interior is roomy with 40 inches of front headroom and 39.3 in row two, 40.7 inches of legroom in the first row and 39.6 behind and 58.9 inches of shoulder room in the front seats with 58.8 in the second seats.
Edge can transport items as long as 8 feet with the available fold-flat front passenger seat. Each rear seat can be folded manually using an industry-first single-hand release or automatically with an available EasyFold™ electro-mechanical remote release accessible from the rear cargo area.
Standard interior niceties include Alcantara leather inserts, air conditioning, AM/FM in-dash CD/MP3/Satellite radio capability, synchronized voice activated system, center console, message center with compass, 6-way power driver’s seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel with cruise and audio control, telescoping steering column and ambient lighting.
Easy-to-read gauges make for an enjoyable driving and passenger experience, and make Edge’s cabin quiet and comfortable on the road and in town. The lay-out is pedestrian and overuse of perceptibly lower-grade plastics belie a mid-$30s price tag. That is alleviated somewhat by the use of Ford’s new ambient lighting package that offers soft illumination to show off the vehicle’s footwells and cupholders.
Additionally, the controls are less than intuitive, and blind spots and difficult sightlines in the rear take away from the otherwise non-stressful driving operation.
Touted as a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Edge achieved front and side driver five-star crash-test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Safety features include side impact door beams, 4-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock brake system, reverse sensing system and AdvanceTrac with RSC – Rollover Stability Control, a system in which a gyroscopic sensor determines the vehicle's body roll angle and roll rate.
Other standard safety features include Ford’s exclusive Safety Canopy™ side curtain air bags and the Ford Personal Safety System® of dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags, thorax side air bags for front seat occupants, safety belt pretensioners, seat weight sensing system for the passenger and seat and crash severity sensing.
Ford has priced the 2009 Edge at $33,755, but with the $1000 wheel package, $1995 navigation system option, $385 audiophile 9-speaker sound system upgrade and $775 destination and delivery charges, my test ride stickered at $37,910.
It isn’t a minivan … it isn’t a truck … it isn’t a sports utility vehicle. It isn’t edgy, but it isn’t quite conservative either. All of that said, Edge definitely fits the definition of crossover. And for those with families who seek something in between a minivan and a full-blown sports-utility vehicle, Edge is the crossover that could fill the bill.
Visit www.CarlisleEvents.com for more on the automotive hobby.
Mike Blake, former editor of KIT CAR magazine, joined Carlisle Events as senior automotive journalist in 2004. He's been a "car guy" since the 1960s and has been writing professionally for about 30 years.
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