- Nice, showy appearance—if you like chrome
- Comfortable seating all around
- Perky powertrain is good even with loads and on hills
- Six-speed automatic lacks manual controls
- Interior styling and materials are a little plain
If you don't require a third-row seat, the 2008 Ford Edge is a fashionable, satisfying alternative in the crowded pack of mid-size crossovers.
The Edge bowed last year as a mid-size, four-door, five-passenger crossover--a tall utility vehicle that's quite carlike in its performance. The 2008 Ford Edge comes standard with a 3.5-liter, 265-horsepower engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, and it offers front-wheel drive or an available all-wheel-drive system.
The Edge's large, bright grille is the prominent design feature on the outside. Factor in the smoothly arched roofline and attention to details, and the 2008 Ford Edge has one of the more attractive profiles among so-called crossover utility vehicles.
The interior of the 2008 Ford Edge feels a little more traditional, with a sporty, upright design for the instrument panel and controls. It's a simple, attractive layout, but the materials and surfaces aren't quite in line with what's available in this tightly competitive class. Front seats are ample and supportive; in back, there's a 60/40 reclining split second row--roomy enough for three adults across--that folds to provide a level load floor for carrying equipment in the large cargo area. When the front passenger seat is folded down, items measuring up to eight feet in length can be transported within the Edge; however, the cargo area at the back is restricted a bit by the sloping rear window. Each rear seat can also 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.
Maintaining an ideal balance between a supple ride and responsive handling is the Edge's strength; the suspension is tight enough to give it relatively crisp handling, yet soft enough to soak up the more jarring bumps. It's not downright sporty, though; there's some body lean if you go into a corner too quickly, but it maintains its poise. The V-6 has plenty of power to move the 2008 Ford Edge briskly with full loads or up mountain grades, but it doesn't come with the full manual control that makes the experience more entertaining.
Standout features available on the 2008 Ford Edge include Ford's SYNC system for controlling entertainment and communication systems, a voice-activated navigation system, and a new, large, panorama-style Vista Roof. A power liftgate is now optional, as are 20-inch chromed wheels and brassy red-trimmed front seats.
Standard safety equipment includes AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, anti-lock brakes, front-seat side airbags, and side-curtain airbags. The 2008 Ford Edge gets top scores across nearly all of the federal-government and insurance-industry crash tests, and it's an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2008.