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The 2011 Ford Edge doesn't bring radical change to America—at least not from the outside—but it's a beefier take on the five-seat crossover that gave Ford new life after the Explorer fell to earth.
Ford's calling this Edge a "refresh." On the market five years already, the Edge has been pretty thoroughly refurbished but Ford doesn't call it "all-new"—possibly, to keep all its new crossover converts in the fold. But all the Edge's powertrains are new, and the interior's graced with Ford's MyTouch system, which mimics the sensitive interface you'd find on an Apple iPhone.
The 2011 Ford Edge is considerably sleeker from the front and front-three-quarter view than its predecessor. When that first 2007 Edge was launched, Ford was spreading its corporate grille—with three chrome bars—across all its passenger vehicles. The 2011 update pulls off the difficult trick of making the front end look lower and more streamlined by making the grille deeper but sweeping back the front light units, which are smaller. And most importantly, there's a curvy new instrument-panel design that finally eschews the boxy but basic look that has greeted Ford drivers for most of its vehicles for years.
Ford's focused more attention on the powertrains in the 2011 Edge. In the middle sits a revamped version of the Edge's 3.5-liter V-6, now putting out 285 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. The upscale option is the 3.7-liter V-6 found in Lincolns and in some Fords, as well as the Mazda CX-9. It produces 305 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, which Ford reminds, is more than the BMW X5 or Lexus RX 350. Ford claims improved fuel economy's improved, but no EPA figures are stated. Both engines are paired with Ford's latest six-speed automatic transmission. Also for the new model year, the 2011 Edge counters its bigger grille and tougher appearance with the first appearance of a new eco-friendlier engine, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that's a part of the company's "EcoBoost" family of engines. The bigger engine story—but the smaller engine—is the 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four. With a six-speed, dual-clutch gearbox, Ford points to a potential 30-mpg highway rating.
A retuned suspension gives all Edge models a slightly sportier feel, but it's the Sport model that adds paddle-shifters and appeals to those seeking a little more performance. Big 18-inch wheels will be offered on upper trim levels, while the Sport can be had with huge 22-inch wheels. A new braking system will be combined with anti-lock, traction and stability control; hill start assist; trailer sway control; and adaptive cruise control.
All Edges get Ford's capless fuel filler; a USB connection for music players; a blind-spot detection system; and MyKey system, which allows parents to program in driver-safety alerts for younger drivers. The MyTouch system will be standard on Limited models and the revamped Edge Sport. HD Radio is a new option, and with it comes iTunes Tagging, which lets drivers note a song on the radio and add it to a purchase list on their iTunes accounts via a docked iPod or iPhone.