Ford Edge Sport AWD Road Test: 2010

Ford Edge Sport AWD Road Test: 2010

10.02.2010: Text & Images: Iain Shankland I last drove the Edge back in April of 2007 and I quite liked it. I wasn’t really setting out to request another road test with it, but Ford suggested I give the Edge Sport a try

Text & Images: Iain Shankland

 

I last drove the Edge back in April of 2007 and I quite liked it. I wasn’t really setting out to request another road test with it, but Ford suggested I give the Edge Sport a try. It had that one thing going for it … the designation “Sport” or “GT” … that always grabs my attention regardless of the vehicle – save a Hummer. But it had better live up to the name or I’d be more than a little perturbed!

Fear not, the Edge Sport is actually sporty – if you can call a CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) “sporty.” It kinda helps with those big honkin’ 22 inch wheels and the body colored lower cladding – that makes it look sporty enough – but how does it drive? Let’s find out…



First Impressions


The new Edge Sport model is aimed at customers who want a sportier look and a personalized vehicle. Making the Sport look completely different from the run of the mill Edge, it has an eight-piece body kit that includes a unique front air dam, side skirts, lower door caps and a rear skirt, all finished in body color, instead of the usual dark lower finish on other Edge models.

Ford has come up with the first factory-customized crossover, with class-exclusive 22-inch wheels mounted on 40-series Pirelli Scorpion Zero tires and a tasteful body. Painted in the “Sport Blue” of the test vehicle along with the optional 22” tires – it’s stunning to look at. Note: the 22” wheels and tires come standard in the U.S. and are optional in Canada – see below for other included vs. optional items ...

Last year, the Edge was given the next generation, voice-activated navigation system and includes free SIRIUS Satellite Radio Travel Link for six months (Travel Link gives drivers and passengers access to up-to-the-minute information and entertainment including coast-to-coast coverage of real-time traffic and weather reports; fuel options from more than 120,000 stations sorted by price and distance; major league pro and college sports as well as movie listings from more than 4,500 theatres). Also new, was an ambient lighting package offering numerous color options of soft lighting to illuminate the vehicle’s foot wells and cup holders. It looks pretty cool, but $300 Cdn cool – don’t know about that. Americans get to enjoy it for free.

The Edge Sport comes with standard 20-inch premium painted wheels, or you can get the optional and highly recommended 22-inch polished aluminum wheels to really give it a unique look. According to Ford: “The Edge Sport 22 inch wheel/tire handling package elevates the already sporty Edge to a new level of handling and control. …It feels at home on a road course or twisty mountain road, but still delivers a ride agreeable for even a daily driver…. Performance tuned shocks, springs and steering components deliver stunning handling.”

Usually the media garb is overly exaggerated or in the odd case complete lies. In the case of the Edge, I’d have to say its spot on. The description is perfect for the way it handles and drives!

Opening the door, I first get a whiff of the leather interior. Mmm… I love the smell of new car leather. With only 1,100 kms on the odometer the Edge Sport is as new as possible, so no one’s had an opportunity to abuse it yet. I’m always skeptical when a manufacturer labels a vehicle with Sport, because for me it has to really stand out and I expect more than just nice wheels and a body kit – it has to impress me.

Looking at the interior of the Edge Sport for the first time, the black leather-trimmed seats with Alcantara suede inserts look very smart and certainly more up-market from the usual Edge. So far, so good. With partial power and manual seat adjustments I get into my sweet spot instantly and it’s a pretty comfortable seat – firm but comfortable – just the way I like it.



Everything looks just like a regular Edge – not a bad thing I might add, because the Edge certainly has a very nice interior anyway. Ford has given the Edge what has to be one of the best available power moonroofs - the panoramic Vista Roof features a large 69 cm x 75 cm (27.3” x 29.4”) forward panel that offers tilt and slide opening, and a 40 cm x  79.5 cm (15.75” x 31.3”) fixed rear glass panel.

The oversized front panel provides open-air touring and is surprisingly quiet when traveling at highway speeds. The enormous skylights allow plenty of natural light into the cabin and give the vehicle a very open and airy feel – almost as good as a convertible without the wind. Twin power-operated cloth shades can be closed simultaneously to block 100 percent of ultra-violet rays. Travelling at 100 km/h with the roof fully open, there was virtually no discernible difference than with it closed – that’s how good this roof is!

The large centre console/armrest uses a removable divider and tray to organize the space both vertically and horizontally for secure storage of everything from a laptop computer and handbag to phones and MP3 players and has small slots molded into the side of it to keep phone and MP3 cords neat and organized. Up front there are two power points along with an MP3 audio jack and a power point inside the centre console. An additional power outlet is in the rear cargo area beside the power rear seat folding button.

With the optional 20 cm (8”) Sat-Nav screen placed high on the centre stack, it’s conveniently sized for both front occupants to read it – and thankfully now it allows the passenger to operate while the vehicle is in motion.  Even though the screen shared space with the audio system and the climate control info, it was still very useful.  The system included the Ford/Microsoft SYNC system.

I’d previously experienced it in the Flex and completely ignored it in the F-150, so I thought I’d give it another go this time round. It’s pretty much as useless as giving Stephen Hawking a tennis racket, or Daffy duck a pair of shoes. It’s so useless that a kitchen sink would be more useful than this! How so? Well I loaded up my 2 GB jump drive with a combination of wav and mp3 song – just in case it wouldn’t accept one or the other… it acknowledged the files but wouldn’t play them and certainly wouldn’t allow me to transfer them onto the 10 GB hard drive.

I tried the same thing with my MP3 player – same result.  Next up – a CD with lots of mp3 songs. It played the songs no problem, but won’t let you rip them to the hard drive. So that means you have to carry a fist full of regular audio CD’s into the vehicle and spent time ripping them. Who carries a load of CD’s around with them nowadays? I thought this was state-of-the-art and convenient? I can understand the system not allowing me to rip a CD and then download it off the hard drive – but this is just plain stupid!!

As for the rest of the audio system.. the Edge Sport had the optional Audiophile unit that is good but not a spectacular as Ford’s own Sony unit that was in the F-150. Because of the Sat-Nav you lose the 6-disc player, but you gain a DVD player - the system comes with an AM/FM/MP3/single-disc CD, DVD-Video as well as auxiliary points for portable MP3 players. The audio controls are perfect in their simplicity with clearly labeled knobs and buttons.


The ride quality of the Edge Sport was exceptional, with a nice firm suspension that is very compliant over potholes and rail road tracks. Diving into sharp corners, the Sport barely leaned – this is definitely a lot more sporty than I’d expected. On one particular S-bend that I frequent it’s quite hard to find a car that can take it at 80 kph or more without feeling like you’ll end up crossing the centre line, but the Edge Sport had no problem going around it with no body roll whatsoever – and in the rain to boot!

Rear Seat /Cargo Space

As with the front, the rear seats are easy to get in and out of thanks to large wide doors. Like the front seats too, rear seats are very firm but comfortable. Rear seating is very generous for two, with plenty of foot space under the front seats, and provides plenty of knee, leg, hip and shoulder room, however the middle seat is extremely narrow. The reclining 60/40 split rear seat has a folding arm rest that incorporates two cup holders. One omission is that the rear seats don’t slide fore and aft to offer more leg room or more cargo room - many of the competition’s CUV’s offer this feature.

With the second-row seat folded it provides a level load floor and a large 1,954 litres (69 cu.ft) cargo area. Without folding the rear seats, you still get a very commendable 912 litres (32.2 cu.ft) cargo area. With the available fold-flat front passenger seat, the Edge can transport items as long as 2.44 m (8’). Each rear seat can be folded manually using a single-hand release or automatically with a power release in the rear cargo area – which have now they’ve been clearly marked – hooray!

Conveniently placed passenger grab handles have been added, as have cargo hooks, tie-downs and a cargo net – all standard. Since the wheel wells don’t infringe on the cargo area, it’s almost perfectly square. I measured 900 cm (35” x 48”) with the seats up and 1.9 m (75”) in length when the seats are folded flat. The height is 736 cm (29”) whether the seat is up or down. Unfortunately the rear hatch window doesn’t open independently of the rear door.
       
Standard features included on the Sport model: Four-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS); Air conditioning; Power side mirrors; Power windows, locks and mirrors; One touch up/down driver window; Dual-speed rear wiper; Remote keyless entry; Four 12V power points (IP, front console, 2nd row and cargo area); Audio/MP3 input jack; Manual tilt and telescope steering wheel; Advance Trac w/RSC; Personal Safety System; SecuriLock passive anti-theft system; Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS); Chrome exhaust tips; Fog lamps; Illuminated door entry keypad; AM/FM stereo/clock/CDx6/MP3 with four speakers;

Sirius Satellite Radio; Automatic headlamps with wiper activation; Dual illuminated visor mirrors; Auto-dimming rearview mirror; Message center with trip computer and compass; Leather-wrapped shift knob; Leather-wrapped steering wheel with speed and audio controls; Aluminum instrument panel finish; EasyFold second-row seats; unique center stack; unique grey suede-feel patterned seat inserts w/ contrast stitching with six-way power driver manual driver lumbar and driver/passenger recline; All-wheel drive with Sport-tuned suspension.

Optional features included on test vehicle (All prices quoted are in Canadain Dollars): Panoramic Vista Roof  $1,850; Block Heater $80; Reverse Sensing System $400; Voice-activated navigation system $2,300; 22" Wheels and tires $1,200; Rubber Floor Mats – a good deal and must-have $100; Ford SYNC $500 still not sold on that…; Power Remote Start $350; Ambient Lighting $300 and Audiophile System $400. Also added was the Sport Premium Package $900, consisting of: universal garage door opener; heated power side mirrors; memory pre-sets; power lift gate and SYNC with 911 Assist (with no monthly fees – to the industry-first system of voice-activated control and connectivity for mobile phones and MP3 players).

The Conclusion

I think the Edge sport has to be one of my favorite CUV’s available right now. It does everything exceptionally well and is far sportier than you’d expect. Only the Mazda CX-7 and Acura RDX are its real competition, and they are a bit smaller. Fuel consumption is a little higher than I would have liked, but it is AWD and also in line with the competition.

What really burns my butt is the destination/delivery charge. The Edge is built in Oakville Ontario - 50 kilometres / 30 minutes from my home, but I’d be charged a whopping $1,350. However if I lived 2,000+ miles away in California, it would only cost $775. Where’s the logic or justice in that?


+ PLUSES:


Fabulous suspension – something you wouldn’t expect of a CUV
Great engine/transmission combo
A good vehicle that is now transformed into an amazing one
Awesome moonroof

- MINUSES:


Some options are questionable – the good thing is… they’re optional.
Flush the SYNC down the toilet
With all the included options it’s a little pricey for my taste, but not out of line with the competition
The “Sport Blue” color is a limited availability, so grab it while you can

Immediate Competition:
Acura RDX, ZDX and MDX, Ford Flex, Hyundai Veracruz, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mazda CX-7 and CX-9, Mitsubishi Endeavor and Toyota Highlander or Venza

By The Numbers…

Please visit your local dealer for the latest prices and incentives. For more details and options go to: www.Ford.ca

Pricing for the 2009 Ford Edge Sport:
As tested: $46,529
Base price: $39,499
Destination & Delivery: $1,350


By The Numbers…

Powertrain:                     3.5L Duratec V-6; 6-speed automatic transmission; All-Wheel Drive
Horsepower (Kw):    265 (198 Kw) @ 6,250 rpm
Torque (N.m):         250 (339 N.m ) @ 4,500 rpm
0-100 km/h:         N/A

Curb Weight:         1,694 kg (3,727 lbs)
Cargo Capacity:     Rear Seats Up: 912 litres (32.2 cu.ft.)   //  Rear Seats Folded:  1,954 litres (69 cu.ft.)
Maximum Towing:        1,590 kg  (3,500 lbs)


Fuel Consumption: [Unleaded - 87 Octane]

City: 15.6 L/100 kms  //  Highway: 10.7 L/100 kms
According to the on-board computer I averaged 13 - 14 L/100km during freeway driving. In actual fuel used, it worked out to be 15.6 L/100 kms

Warranty:


Bumper To Bumper for 3 years/60,000 kms, plus a 5-year/100,000 kms Powertrain warranty.
Roadside assistance is also included for 5 years 100,000 kms.


Copyright © 2010 by Iain Shankland – www.twitter.com/Road_Test  
This original, copyrighted material may NOT be copied, used in whole or in part in any way, cut and pasted, published or otherwise reproduced in any form or in any medium - which means DO NOT post this on another website or BBS. If you want somebody else to see this, send them a link or post a link to this page.

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10.02.2010 / MaP

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