2008 Ford Edge Review

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Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
July 2, 2008

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.

As TheCarConnection.com assembled this review on the 2008 Ford Edge, some of the best review sources on the Web were consulted. Then TheCarConnection.com’s editors added some of their own insights and driving experience with the Edge to make the review especially useful.

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.

Review continues below

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.

8

2008 Ford Edge

Styling

If you can live with the unexciting interior, the 2008 Ford Edge is a handsomely styled vehicle.

The Ford 2008 Edge holds substantial external visual appeal according to most of the reviews seen by TheCarConnection.com's team of experts, but the interior is another story.

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 designs among so-called crossover utility vehicles. Car and Driver expresses some mixed perceptions in its very detailed and thorough description of this 2008 Ford: "[it has] the tough look of a sport utility vehicle...[but] looks like a bulky wagon in profile." Cars.com proclaims it "a good-looking...capable crossover," noting that its distinctive front grille "gives the Edge some edge." Kelley Blue Book also comments on the unique three-bar grille, citing it as one of the elements that gives "the [2008 Ford] Edge the sleeker, sportier profile that helps set it apart from the crowd."

The interior of the 2008 Ford Edge feels a little more traditional, with a sporty, upright design to 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. In contrast to the exterior, "the cabin of the [2008 Ford] Edge is rather ordinary," according to Edmunds. Car and Driver refers to "a cheesy $525 Interior Appearance package (lots of red leather and stitching to relieve you of hard-earned cash)," which Cars.com describes as "red leather inserts." This source says that "the high point is the aluminum trim that comes in the SEL and SEL Plus" versions of the 2008 Ford. Nonetheless, Kelley Blue Book reviewers were disappointed with this interior: "more familiar interior styling doesn't quite live up to the expectations set by its cutting-edge sheetmetal, but it's nonetheless attractive."

7

2008 Ford Edge

Performance

There's plenty to like about the way the 2008 Ford Edge drives and handles; just don't expect a sporty driving experience.

A “gutsy” engine and a busy transmission combine with a superior suspension to make driving the 2008 Ford Edge a mixed experience.

The Edge is powered by a 3.5-liter Duratec V-6. For those who have not so fond memories of the Freestyle's 3.0-liter version, Car and Driver assures us at TheCarConnection.com that "it's all-new, beyond its general layout--60-degree cylinder banks, twin cams, four valves per cylinder--it shares nothing with previous Duratecs." Cars.com initially expresses similar misgivings, fearing "that it was a bored-out version of the played-out Duratec 3.0-liter." However, this reviewer finds that at 265 horsepower, it's "more modern, refined and gutsy." ConsumerGuide reports that the 2008 Ford Edge "has good power from a stop" and can "do 8.4 sec 0-60 mph." Kelley Blue Book praises the engine's performance, reporting that "the 2008 Ford Edge met or exceeded nearly all of our high expectations," noting several improvements, and commenting on "how quickly the Edge was able to merge and pass was how pleasantly it did so, with none of the racket and drama we might have expected from such a vehicle only a few years ago."

This 2008 Ford's six-speed automatic transmission is another story. "Available in front- and all-wheel-drive forms," the Edge, as reported by Car and Driver, has a transmission that "tends to hunt annoyingly at highway cruising speeds." They also question that "if the Edge is supposed to be sporty, how come the tranny has no manumatic function?" Kelley Blue Book suggests that "for the small percentage of drivers that would utilize it, the Edge's lack of manumatic shift capability could be a disappointment."

Cars.com reports that this 2008 Ford's "6-speed automatic was developed with GM" and is installed in several GM vehicles. In contrast to the previous review, however, Cars.com reports "little if any lag between the pedal and the engine response...[leaving] little to be desired in terms of quickness," adding that "thanks to the six gears, and the drivetrain's quick reaction times, passing power is at the ready at any speed." ConsumerGuide notes, "The transmission is generally responsive," but like Car and Driver, found that "one test example was hesitant to downshift without a deep stab of the gas pedal."

Car and Driver deems "gas mileage [for this 2008 Ford] is midpack, with EPA ratings of 16 mpg city and 24 highway for front-wheel-drive versions." This was a disappointment for Cars.com, which said "[the 2008 Ford] Edge's EPA-estimated gas mileage isn't what one might expect from a car-based vehicle of this size with a V-6 and a six-speed transmission."

Car and Driver reports that this Ford 2008 model's "car-style unibody underpinnings [give] it more sophisticated handling and better ride quality than a traditional body-on-frame SUV." ConsumerGuide is in agreement here: "Edge smothers bumps better than many competitive crossovers. Some testers say slight float over highway swells taints otherwise fine ride control." Brakes, on the other hand, left something to be desired, according to Cars.com: "They're not the car's greatest attribute. I found the pedal mushy and the stopping power only fair." Overall, however, Kelley Blue Book considers "the suspension, steering and brakes ideally balanced for the vehicle's purpose in life," noting its limitations "only when the road began to wind and curve, and we began to push it harder."

8

2008 Ford Edge

Comfort & Quality

The interior of the 2008 Ford Edge feels better than it looks, but cargo room is a little shy, thanks to the sloping roofline.

If the interior of the 2008 Ford Edge is lacking in appearance, it makes up for it in comfort.

TheCarConnection.com sees nothing but positive comments regarding this Ford 2008 model's interior feel. Singing its praises, Car and Driver says that "inside, the Edge is spacious...that smooth sheetmetal surrounds a roomy interior with ample space for five," adding that "unlike many so-called five-seaters, the center rear seat is adult habitable for more than seven minutes." Cars.com adds that this 2008 Ford's "car-based design means it's easy to get in and out without climbing."

ConsumerGuide reports, "Legroom is ample [and] the seats are all-day comfortable," confirming that "the rear bench is supportive and offers generous legroom, knee clearance, and foot space." Kelley Blue Book notes "an especially roomy back seat with reclining seatbacks and a center console big enough to swallow a laptop or purse."

The 2008 Ford Edge has no shortage of cargo space: "in addition to folding flat to expand cargo room...the front passenger seatback also folds flat to accommodate long stuff, such as your custom boar-hunting spear," according to Car and Driver, which notes "cargo room behind the rear seats at 32 cubic feet, 70 cubes with the rear seatbacks folded." The only drawback is the "sloping rear window that makes the [2008 Ford] Edge look sporty but diminishes cargo room when compared to a squared-off design," according to Cars.com, which nonetheless notes a "generously sized center console storage bin." ConsumerGuide also comments that this 2008 Ford's "cabin storage is very good, highlighted by a large glovebox" in addition to the aforementioned center console "that can hold a notebook computer."

There are some mixed reactions to interior materials; ConsumerGuide notes that "hard plastic trim dominates Edge's cabin, but most pieces don't look cheap," adding "assembly quality has been fine." Edmunds, on the other hand, has harsher things to say, commenting on this 2008 Ford's "lackluster interior design and materials" and adding that "the cabin of the Edge is rather ordinary and not smartly designed...many of the interior materials are of low quality."

Cars.com notes that at highway speed, the Ford 2008 Edge's "engine sound penetrates when it's working its hardest, but overall the cabin is noticeably quiet." ConsumerGuide elaborates: "The engine sounds gruff in full-throttle acceleration, but it settles down while cruising and at idle," and adds that "some tire noise is evident on coarse surfaces, but it's not enough to be a bother." On the other hand, the optional "Vista Roof causes a lot of wind ruckus at highway speeds if it's left in its tilted position."

9

2008 Ford Edge

Safety

The 2008 Ford Edge scores well in crash tests, and it has extensive standard safety equipment.

TheCarConnection.com gives the 2008 Ford Edge high marks for safety.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awards this 2008 Ford four and five stars in all tests, including a five-star rating for side impacts (the most common type of injury accident). Car and Driver also reports that the "Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which is notoriously difficult to please, made the Edge a Top Pick for safety." The Edge’s IIHS rating is also noted by Cars.com, which says that the "Edge's crashworthiness is top-notch."

Car and Driver reports that the 2008 Ford Edge comes with "a panoply of safety equipment, "including a full set of airbags as well as ABS and stability control. According to Cars.com, the Ford 2008 models' "AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control...monitors body lean and intervenes if it senses an impending rollover in order to keep the vehicle's wheels on the ground." In addition to all of this, Edmunds mentions that "rear parking sensors are optional on SEL and Limited models" of this 2008 Ford.

"A low dashboard and chair-height seats provide good overall visibility" in the 2008 Ford, reports ConsumerGuide, "though the rear headrests partially block the view astern." Cars.com adds, "while visibility is pretty good to the rear, a rearview camera--an increasingly common feature worth having--is not yet offered on the Edge."

9

2008 Ford Edge

Features

The 2008 Ford Edge offers the cutting-edge entertainment options like its big sibling, the Flex—including SYNC.

As is usually the case, the features you get with the 2008 Ford Edge depend on how much extra you want to pay. TheCarConnection.com found most reviewers to be impressed with the options that the Ford 2008 Edge offers.

Cars.com reports that "there are three Edge trim levels: SE, SEL and SEL Plus." Car and Driver points out that "as with so many makers, options are tied to the model...and SE buyers get a limited menu of choices." The available choices for this 2008 Ford's base model include a six-disc in-dash changer, a backup sensor, and the SYNC entertainment and communications system. This source notes that "perversely, you can only get the navigation system in concert with the sunroof," and comments that the top-of-the-line Ford Edge 2008 Limited "is already as well equipped as the average army base, so options are limited."

According to Cars.com, in 2008, "Ford's new SYNC hands-free system, a joint venture with Microsoft...allows drivers to control Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and MP3 players with steering-wheel buttons and voice commands"--not a bad thing for today's drivers who cannot take a moment away from their cell phone conversations.

Other optional equipment for the 2008 Ford Edge "includes a DVD-based navigation system that for 2008 adds voice-control, Sirius Satellite Radio and a backseat DVD entertainment system that includes a flip-down, 8-inch screen and wireless headphones," while ConsumerGuide reports that for 2008, Ford offers "a power closing feature for the tailgate" as an optional upgrade.

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8.2
Overall
Expert Rating
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Styling 8.0
Performance 7.0
Comfort & Quality 8.0
Safety 9.0
Features 9.0
Fuel Economy N/A
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