Review – 2011 Ford Edge SEL: One Sharp Edge

2011 Ford Edge SELWhen you have a vehicle that sells well, a redesign can keep product planners up at night. The Ford Edge is just such a vehicle. So is the second generation a sharpened Edge, or did Ford mess with a good thing?

I recently spent a week with the second generation Ford Edge SEL to see if it is even better than the first generation.

2011 Ford Edge SELThe exterior of the Edge is more evolution than revolution, which makes sense since this is a refresh not a completely new vehicle. Up front the headlights are significantly smaller and now feature projectors. One cool detail in each headlight is a little plastic piece with EDGE etched into it – the piece sits in front of the turn signal indicators.

The mass-to-headlight ratio seems a bit off now that the headlights shrank in size. There is a lot of paint on that front end. The grille is huge and features Ford’s three-bar chrome set-up. The fog lights have morphed into LED light pipes that are more about style than light output.

2011 Ford Edge SELThe actual shape of the Edge hasn’t changed. In fact, from the side view you really don’t notice the evolution. The rear features new taillights that actually remind me of those that are on the current Hyundai Accent. All Edges feature dual exhaust peaking out from below the rear bumper.

Overall the exterior of the Edge feels more polished and complete, leaving the general shape and styling direction of the first generation while moving it forward and keeping it fresh. It definitely is still instantly recognizable as a Ford Edge.

2011 Ford Edge SELThe interior is where the Edge really needed an update. The last generation featured hard plastic, some of it quite cheap feeling.

The dashboard now features a soft touch material that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Lincoln. The doors still feature some hard plastic but much of it is now covered in a nicely grained material.

The seats are comfortable, if a bit on the soft side. My fiancée noted that she felt the bottom of the front seat cushions were a bit short for her taste. I’d have to agree with her.

2011 Ford Edge SELMy tester featured Ford’s new MyFord Touch system. This puts two four-inch screens flanking each side of the speedometer. These screens are controlled by D-pads on each side of the steering wheel. The left screen handles all the of the settings, fuel economy, and trip computer information. The right screen handles infotainment functions.

An eight-inch screen dominates the center stack with touch sensitive “buttons” sitting below. Each corner of the screen is a different color and correlates to a different function: phone, climate control, navigation, and sound.

I have read many other journalists reviews on the MyFord Touch system. Consumer Reports finds it so distracting that it does not recommend the system. While I had played with the system before, this was my first time living with it for a week.

2011 Ford Edge SELMy first thought was instantly: wow this is awesome. There is so much technology packed into this thing that a few years ago we were only dreaming about. Then everyday living sank in, along with reality. The processor or software, or maybe both, just aren’t meshing. The system is slow and lags when making choices. I have to be deliberate in my selection and move slowly. It is always one step behind where I want to be. After a little while, it gets frustrating. There’s also so much packed into this system that some of the buttons are quite small.

After a week, there is no question the MyFord System is advanced. It’s terrific on paper. But in reality, it could use some work. There’s also no doubt in my mind that this system is distracting to the driver. With more refinement I do believe it could become less distracting.

2011 Ford Edge SELAll trim levels of the Edge other than the Sport feature a 3.5-Liter V-6 putting out 265 horsepower and 250 pound feet. The power is channeled through a once choice six-speed automatic transmission that does have manual shift controls. You can choose front or all-wheel dive. My tester was the former. We received a small amount of snow during my week with the front-wheel drive Edge, and it was more than capable of handling a few inches of the white stuff.

The first thing I noticed instantly was that the exhaust note coming out of the dual exhaust both when outside of the Edge and inside of the Edge is a nice deep tone. I’m actually quite surprised.

There is more than enough power to hustle this CUV down the highway. While it by no means is a sportscar, the acceleration and handling are sure to surprise more than a few people.

The steering felt very direct and nicely weighted. The Edge actually drives smaller than it is. The suspension isn’t harsh, but it keeps everything controlled. This is definitely a CUV that handles better than you would expect.

I saw an average of 21.3 mpg in mixed driving. Not bad considering the front-wheel drive Edge is rated at 19/27.

2011 Ford Edge SELMy tester carried a sticker price of $34,685 which included over $4,000 in options. This puts the Edge right in the heart of the CUV market. While that price isn’t undercutting the competition, there is a lot of technology packed into this package that the competition can’t touch.

Let’s cut to the chase: the first generation Edge was a great vehicle. I am happy to say that the second generation Edge takes everything I liked from the first generation and gives it a great interior with a sleeker exterior. It’s all in the details, and this is one sharp Edge.

Full Disclosure- The review vehicle was provided by Ford

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2 Responses to “Review – 2011 Ford Edge SEL: One Sharp Edge”

  1. Great review man! I really like this new Edge. the old one was ok but I really like what they did with this one!

    03/25/2011 at 6:55 pm Reply
  2. Ray #

    Hello,

    I purchased a new 2011 Ford Edge SEL about 4 weeks ago. So far, I’m very pleased with the vehicle. It’s quite, has a very solid ride and has good acceleration. The MyFord system takes some getting used to. I agree with you that “it needs some work”. It sometimes locks up and when I restart the engine, the radio always defaults to AM. Aside from these annoyances, I’d still buy it again.

    07/12/2011 at 9:19 pm Reply

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