The 2011 Ford Edge is a very well-equipped vehicle in many respects; but undeniably, the star of the feature set is the new MyFord Touch interface. With it, delicate tap on the screen adjusts climate or audio controls—and instantly renders click-wheel systems like iDrive and COMAND and MMI hopelessly out of, er, touch. Steering wheel controls also cycle the LCD screens on the instrument panel and let drivers customize the information displayed.
We think, altogether, it's possibly the best dashboard offered on mass-market vehicles today. MyFord Touch system will be fitted, Ford estimates, to 80 percent or more of 2011 Edge models, and it also lets drivers operate the telephone, entertainment, and navigation systems using voice commands, as did Sync, but now also the climate control.
While the multiple options for making something happen in the car take explaining, we found MyFord Touch easy to use, especially once we stopped stabbing at the central touch screen and began using the thumb controllers on each face of the steering wheel to supplement our voice commands. The array of voice commands and syntax has expanded from 100 Sync options to more than 10,000 today, and Ford has flattened the command structure somewhat. This means that drivers can tell the system to "play Elvis Costello" rather than having to specify "entertainment" or digital music first—though, oddly, it's still necessary to say "climate" to change temperature settings.
There are many more features to MyFordTouch than we could cover here; one is standard turn-by-turn navigation instructions (even without a nav system fitted) plus the ability to send routing instructions from Mapquest or Google Maps to the car through a paired device.
One of the few issues we had with the switchgear is that the hazard lights are also activated by a touch switch—and are too easily activated accidentally when reaching for other features.
All the basic utility features that you might expect in this type of vehicle are here as well; the 2011 Edge now has bottle holders in all four doors, as well as the usual (and growing) array of pockets, bins, trays, and other areas to put stuff. It also has a Volvo-esque recess and tray behind the console.
On all but base SE models, the central speedometer is flanked by twin displays that can be toggled to bring up a host of information—or very little—depending on the driver's preference. Beyond the mid-range SEL model which includes the electronics, Ford offers an Edge Limited package that's the most luxurious model you can order. The Limited includes a Start-Stop button and proximity key, it replaces the Edge SEL's mock carbon-fiber trim surfaces with matte-finish vertical wood grain, definitely a more elegant look. The Sony sound system, the high-end stereo option, is fitted behind a high-gloss black panel on the center stack that brings the Sony look even into some vehicle controls.
The more desirable 2011 Ford Edge Sport adds a black-finished grille, smoked headlamps and taillamps, new body-color side skirts and door cladding, and different front and rear fascias. Aluminum trim on the pedals and paddle shifters matches up with distinctive leather seats.