The 2011 revamp of the Ford Edge brought better performance from its V-6 engine, and in 2012 Ford added a new, thrifty turbocharged four-cylinder option for 30-mpg fuel economy. The lineup's unchanged for the 2013 model year, leaving the Edge with a trio of powertrains that serve all kind of crossover needs, from light urban driving cycles to fully-laden interstate treks.
The basic Edge SE and SEL are powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 that puts out 285 horsepower. It's up 20 hp over the 2010 model, and torquey enough to take advantage of the six-speed automatic that's standard across the Edge lineup. The transmission's now fitted with sport-shift modes, and all-wheel drive is now offered on the SE model, too. The base drivetrain's fine for cruising, though it's set up with quick throttle tip-in, which means abrupt transitions from a full stop to even moderate acceleration, which can make urban driving feel a little more jerky than it needs to. The Edge already weighs more than 4,000 pounds, so unless you're faced with regular winter weather, we'd recommend you skip the almost 200 extra pounds of all-wheel-drive hardware. It's a drain on acceleration and gas mileage, estimated at 19/27 mpg or 18/26 mpg with AWD.
An option on the SE and SEL may throw you for a small loop: it's a $995 turbocharged engine that's smaller in displacement and less powerful than the base six. The "EcoBoost" four puts out 240 horsepower, and teams up with the same six-speed automatic, but only is offered with front-wheel drive. The turbo's tuned for low-end boost, so the power losses aren't all that noticeable when the Edge is carrying just a passenger or two; Ford says it's only at most, a second slower to 60 mph than the V-6-powered Edge. The gain comes at the gas pump, where the four-cylinder turns in EPA ratings of 21/30 mpg. Ford says it's been pleased with the number of shoppers paying more for fuel economy; we're waiting to see how long they maintain the price premium in the face of rising EPA gas mileage standards.
Above either of these powertrains, there's the Edge Sport, which slots a 3.7-liter V-6 with 305 horsepower under the Edge's hood. It's pretty much the same engine as the one in the base 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.