Until this year, the Ford Edge has been available only with six-cylinder engines. For 2012, Ford's brought fewer cylinders to the party, but with turbocharging, the newest drivetrain's a solid option for those wanting 30-mpg highway ratings under the hood.
The base engine on the 2012 Edge continues to be a 285-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6. With 20 more horses than it had in 2010, the engine spins out plenty of torque to move the Edge with authority. With the smooth-shifting six-speed automatic, it's a drivetrain made for cruising, though the quick throttle tip-in can make urban takeoffs a little jerky. All-wheel drive is an option, and it adds almost 200 pounds to the Edge's already hefty curb weight of about 4000 pounds.
One step up the pricing ladder is the new EcoBoost option. Available for $995 on any Edge except the Sport, the EcoBoost turbocharges a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, applies direct injection and teams it with a six-speed automatic and front-wheel drive. We've driven the new engine in both the Edge and the Explorer, and in the Edge it's a much better alternative to the V-6, thanks to the Edge's lower curb weight. The boost comes on low in the rev range, giving the Edge EcoBoost perky acceleration that's only about a second off the six-cylinder in the 0-60 mph run. Fuel economy of 21/30 mpg is a magnitude better than V-6 mileage, and there's just a bit more four-cylinder noise to endure to get that fuel economy. We're eager to see how many shoppers will pay more for fuel economy, and how long Ford holds out until rising EPA gas mileage standards force it to cut the price of the more efficient four.
Above all these versions, the Edge Sport offers a 3.7-liter V-6 with 305 horsepower, the same as it does in the Mustang pony car. With paddle shifters, it's the straight-line runner of the group, but fuel economy drops a lot, especially with all-wheel drive.
Overall, the Edge handles decently well, with improvements in steering feel and ride quality. It's more reassuring and buttoned-down than sport-utes like the Expedition, but just can't respond like a sports sedan, with its height and weight. Even the 22-inch wheels on the Sport model don't generate much excitement, though they don't impact the car's generally well-damped ride much.
All Edge models will tow up to 3500 pounds, and braking has been revamped with the current Edge for better pedal feel and braking performance.