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2011 Ford Edge Performance

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The standard 285-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 puts out 20 more horses than it did last year, and provides plenty of torque to move the Edge with authority; it's a good companion to the smooth, responsive six-speed automatic as well. "Linear and seamless" are descriptors that Ford provided for the powertrain, but that's not so true; the accelerator pedal, in fact, requires a bit of learning to avoid jerky takeoffs from the abundant power at the top of the pedal travel.

Later this year, another powertrain will be available: a direct-injected, turbocharged 2.0-liter four that puts out as much power as a V-6 with gas mileage at least 10 percent better.

Strong, responsive, and economical powertrains, combined with reasonably responsive handling, make the 2011 Ford Edge more satisfying to drive than you might expect.

Beyond the 3.5-liter, the other engine option comes only in the low-volume 2011 Edge Sport, fitted with a 305-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6—40 more horsepower than last year's, and the same engine as in the Mustang V-6—mated to the six-speed automatic, but with paddle shifters added for sportier gear changes.

The Edge overall remains merely acceptable for handling; don't expect it to respond like a sport sedan, but it's a lot more buttoned-down and reassuring than truckier utility vehicles. The Edge Sport, with gigantic 22-inch wheels and low-profile tires, corners flatter than the base model, although its roll center is actually a touch higher due to the huge wheels.

Specified with the trailer towing package, the 2011 Edge will haul up to 3500 pounds.

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