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.
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.