SUVs are usually much more expensive to rent than a regular car but I lucked out this time and was able to rent a standard SUV from Avis for about the same price. Vacation was one week in Florida, a welcome change in weather and scenery after 6 months of cold temperatures, snow and grey skies during the northern Michigan winter.
I knew the Ford Edge by name and have been a passenger in one many years ago. It just never really grabbed my attention. The rental agent at Fort Lauderdale airport named a few crossovers they had available and the Ford Edge Limited with leather seats and low miles stood out from the Kia / Hyundai and GMC Terrain. So the Ford Edge was my travel companion during this week of fun in the sun. The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport would have been my second choice.
Travels included a day to the southern edge of the Everglades, some sightseeing and meeting friends in SE Florida and a short road trip up the coast of the Gulf of Mexico towards Tampa. Total distance was 1280 miles during 7 days and that’s a good amount of time and distance to get familiar with a vehicle and discover its good and bad sides.
The color of this Edge is Sunset, somewhere in between red and orange. Quite a nice color and something different from the black, white, silver and any shade of grey you see so often. The leather seats are nice quality, even though the seat bottoms were a bit too short for me. But I have this issue with many car seats so this is not uncommon. They were comfortable though and just right, not too soft and not too hard. The Edge range begins with the SE model ($28,100), followed by the SEL ($31,300), this Limited ($35,100) and the top model is the Sport ($37,600).
The Sync with MyFord Touch and the Sony audio system with HD radio takes a little while to get used to. There are many features and the sound quality was great. You can pair your phone with Bluetooth but I didn’t test this out because I don’t use my phone very often. Much more important was the ability to plug in my iPhone with a USB cable and use my music library through the Edge’s sound system.
The system worked allright most of the time,, even though it is a bit difficult to scroll through artists, songs and playlists when you have a lot of music on your music device. Most of the time, I just used the iPhone itself to flick through my 130 playlists and find music that way. Unfortunately, there was no navigation so my stick-on-the-windshield Garmin had to guide me during this trip.
The gauges like the tachometer, fuel and temperature in the area behind the steering wheel are mostly electronic as there is only the fixed speedometer. You can select what kind of info you want displayed, including what’s currently playing on the audio system like artist and song info. Very high tech but a little bit too flashy for my taste and sometimes information is hard to read.
The SE, SEL and Limited have the same 3.5L V6 engine with 285 hp and 253 lb-ft. The Sport comes with a 3.7L 305 hp / 280 lb-ft engine. Not a huge difference and I wonder if you will really notice the extra power. The 3.5L engine was a good match for this size crossover and performed as expected. The transmission was a bit balky at times and often wasn’t sure what gear it should be in. It wasn’t really bad but there was definitely some room for improvement.
The suspension and ride was comfortable and the sporty feel was better than expected. On really bad roads, it sometimes was a little bit too hard but you have to make a trade-off somewhere. Steering feel was just right for a crossover like this. Not too fast or too slow and a direct feel with decent feedback of the road.
Visibility to the outside was good and average for a modern crossover like this. The backup camera was a helpful companion in backing up and parking. It was not equipped with any other electronic gizmo’s like lane departure warning of blind spot detection. However, the outside rearview mirrors had their own clever blind spot view mirror built in which worked great. After a while, I got used to it and there often was no need to look over your shoulder anymore when changing lanes.
This is not an in-depth review and I won’t go into much detail about any of the other features. The Ford Edge is just a very nice crossover that falls in between the Escape and Explorer. It is just the right size and not too big or too small. The interior is not as busy as its little brother Escape which I don’t particularly care for. Ford has come a long way when it comes to interior quality and the Edge has a luxurious and quality feel. The difference between average and premium brands has definitely become smaller in recent years.
Would I buy an Edge if I was in the market for a mid-size crossover? That’s difficult to say without testing other competitors first but I think it would be a toss up between the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport with the 2.0 turbo engine or perhaps even a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Edge certainly is very good value for money and it would be near the top of my list.