Ford has let the cat out of the CUV bag: "Edge is not an off-road adventure vehicle and doesn't look like one."
Continues Peter Horbury, executive director of North American design: "Edge has an expressive look that evokes a connection with the customer's lifestyle. It was important we design Edge to have maximum flexibility in the amount of gear it can accommodate while still offering a contemporary vehicle that can go out on the town."
In other words: Forget the mud-splattered windshield. It's the highly styled car in car utility vehicle that counts. So does responsive handling, minivan-like room and an all-wheel drive (awd) for those unplowed winter roads.
That optional (and highly recommended) awd also helps stick the Edge to the twisty turns. Acceleration is helped because the system can predict a wheel losing traction and deliver power to all four wheels before one loses traction.
Thus the 3.5L V-6 of 265 horsepower kicks the Edge to 60 mph in a sterling 7.8 seconds. Indeed, the six-speed automatic transmission is geared for low-end acceleration while overdrive top gears turn in 17 city and 24 highway miles per gallon.
•Engines: 3.5L V-6
•Dimensions: 111.2" wheelbase; 185.7" lengthli>
•Base price: $25,995; As tested $36,475
•Fuel economy: 18/25 fwd; 17/24 awd
All this graceful giddyup is accompanied by a civilized, comfortable ride. Edge is a long-distance traveler for four people (though it will seat five.) The available GPS navigation system can be viewed with polarized sunglasses. But alas, many radio controls use the same screen.
Sunroofs usually benefit front-seat occupants. Edge's Vista Roof adds the back row to that. It's also a striking roof design.
So is the front end of the Edge with a big three bar chrome grille with the Ford blue oval in the center. This is a refreshing return to making the front end of a vehicle look like the front end instead of body-color mush.
On the inside, the back seat can fold up automatically. Upright it provides seating with plenty of second-row legroom. Front seat options include heating and six-way power. A 20-ounce cupholder is in each front door map pocket and juice box holder are in the rear door pockets. There's another two-cup holder in the center console and two in the rear armrest.
Edge starts out at a $25,995 with front-drive only. The top of the line SEL is $31,395 with all-wheel drive. Our tester ran that to $36,475 for all the bells and whistles.
Car-based SUVs are the fastest growing segment in the nation. CUVs are zooming at a faster pace than did SUVs in the 1990s. The Ford Edge is up there at the front of the pack. It compares favorably with the luxury segment leaders. It's that good.