- Choice of EcoBoost, V-6 power
- Connectivity of MyFord Touch
- Adult-sized back seat
- Luxury features abound
- Patience required to master MyFord Touch
- Throttle's a little touchy
- Sport, Limited versions are pricey
The 2013 Ford Edge cuts through the crossover clutter with a 30-mpg turbo model, MyFord Touch's step-ahead connectivity, and exceptional interior room.
The Ford Edge has never been a sport-utility vehicle, in the truest sense. It was conceived of as a crossover vehicle, with all-weather duty in mind, and never has pretended to the dirty authenticity the SUV crowd demands. As a tall-roofed family wagon, the Edge cuts through the clutter of Ford's wagon lineup nicely, with its spacious interior and spare styling; for 2013, it's even better at saving gas and connecting to the outside world, though each of those choices comes with its own compromises.
The Edge was most recently updated in the 2011 model year, when it upped its base 3.5-liter V-6 by 20 horsepower to 285 hp, bettered its six-speed automatic and its handling, and upgraded the Sport's 3.7-liter to 305 hp. Last year, Ford dropped a new twist into the Edge, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four rated at 240 horsepower, good for decent acceleration and lineup-leading highway gas mileage of 30 mpg. It's a wide spread of performance, but it neatly bridges the five-seat experience now from Escape to Explorer, something it couldn't do without the front-drive EcoBoost model. The 30-mpg model is frankly pretty strained for acceleration with anything more than one passenger aboard, so don't wave off those stops at the QT until you've taken your own test-drive.
All Edge crossovers comport themselves with a carlike feel. They have a firm but not busy ride, relatively quick steering, and the kind of predictable tall-wagon handling that makes them great choices for family commuters and carpoolistas--even the Edge Sport, with its massive 22-inch wheels.
One of four Ford crossovers--there's also a new Escape this year, joining the Explorer and Flex--the 2013 Edge wears its mostly tasteful clothes well. We're not the most ardent fans of the VW-style grille that starts high at the hoodline and goes low, all the way to the chin spoiler, but otherwise it's neatly put together and free of built-in blemishes. The cockpit's a fault-free zone,depending on your take on MyFord Touch. It's almost devoid of button clutter, tightly built, and in this generation (since 2011), blessed with much-improved interior materials.
The Edge hasn't earned the best safety scores from the NHTSA, but the IIHS calls it a Top Safety Pick. With standard curtain airbags and anti-lock controls, the Edge can be upgraded with blind-spot monitors, parking sensors and a rearview camera, but it lacks the latest options for features like inflatable rear seatbelts found on the seven-seat Explorer and Flex crossovers.
All Edges get a USB port for music players; a capless fuel filler; and MyKey, which lets parents program in speed and volume limits for their younger drivers. Then there's MyFord Touch, which uses Bluetooth and touchscreens to take the place of dozens of buttons and switches, rendering the dash neat and clean while relying on voice or steering-wheel-button commands to drive secondary vehicle functions like navigation and climate control. It's complex, not always quick or precisely responsive--and sometimes maddening, a blip on the Edge's smooth personality.
2013 Ford Edge
Neat and conservatively detailed, the Edge's standout detail is its wide, deep chrome grille.
Crossover vehicles are the counter-effect to SUV styling, stripped of all the boxy authenticity that made sport-utes so real. Even if a HUMMER H3 was as far from reality as a sport-ute could possibly be.
In the place of all those hard SUV corners and bluff front ends, crossovers get softly rounded curves and gently tapered glass. The Ford Edge hews exactly to that template, and it has since it was brand-new. Today's version isn't so different from the first-generation model that tooled the streets from the 2006 to 2010 model years. It's been smoothed over, almost invisibly in some passages, but it's not radically changed from the outside.
Except up front. That's where a massive grille has taken up even more space than before, going from hibachi to full kamado in the span of one model year. Ford's aped the VW complex here, expanding the inlet almost to the bottom of its wide chin. It's more than pronounced--it's an outsized challenge to the rest of the clean, almost plain design. Does Bobby Flay look at it, and feel a new show coming on? Be patient. It'll pass, just like the same trend's already reversing itself quickly over at Volkswagen.The Edge's interior received a complete makeover in 2011, and nothing's changed for the 2013 model year. The latest design has better materials, softer-touch plastics, and a finer aesthetic appeal, with less blocky shapes, though we've had about enough of the mock carbon fiber trim found on SE and SEL editions.
There are vertical strips of woodgrain on Limited models, giving the console an architectural lift as the real wood trim does in a Range Rover, and the stack itself has been cleaned up to incorporate an LCD screen, sized medium or large, depending on whether MyFord Touch has been installed. On the Edge Sport, Ford adds on black-tinted metallic trim, a body kit, and grey inserts on the seats, with contrasting stitching.
On any model where it's fitted, the optional Sony sound system sits behind a glossy black panel on the center stack, and lends some high-end audio look to the design. MyFord Touch does the same, with its bright LCD glow.
2013 Ford Edge
Sport editions have quick acceleration and good handling; the Ecoboost edition's a tepid straight-line performer.
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.
2013 Ford Edge
Comfort & Quality
It's ideally sized to carry four adults, and the Ford Edge's interior is fitted with a high grade of trim.
There's no third-row seat to be found inside the 2013 Edge. Ford leaves the seven- and eight-passenger duties to its bigger Flex and Explorer crossovers, even to the Expedition SUV. The Edge has seating for five in its tall, wide body, though, and it's one of the larger crossovers in its class--which means adult-sized space even in the back seat, even without the benefit of a sliding rear seat.
The Edge's front seats all have some sort of power operation, the driver's side with power adjustment for both cushions, the passenger's with at least power slide for the bottom cushion. They're wide and a little flat, well sized for American tastes and for the kind of use the Edge will likely see. Step-in height is perfect for medium-sized adults, and not too high for pre-teens big enough to ride up front. Higher-priced Edges can be fitted with dual 10-way power seats--but no matter if the seats are cloth or clad in cow, they're surrounded by lots of head and knee room.
The second-row seat--there's no third-row bench, remember--has excellent leg room. Ford claims it's best in class, and we're inclined to agree after spending hours with the similarly sized MKX on a weeklong family outing. Two adults will have exceptional room, and enough space between them for a child booster seat. The seatbacks in the second row also recline, for more comfortable long-distance cruising.The back seat also folds down to boost the Edge's cargo hold from 32.2 cubic feet to more than 68 cubic feet. You'll bankrupt yourself at Costco before you exhaust the Edge's two-seat cargo capacity.
Ford's also molded in some handy storage throughout the Edge. Bottle holders can be found in all doors, and there are all kinds of pockets, trays and bins in the cabin, as well as a tray ahead of the shifter for media players.
2013 Ford Edge
The IIHS dubs it a Top Safety Pick, but the NHTSA finds a flaw or two with the Ford Edge's crash protection.
The 2013 Ford Edge comes with the usual standard safety equipment and offers some options you can't find in competitive crossovers, but its crash-test scores aren't as stellar as they once were.Among the standard features are full-length curtain airbags and stability control with integral hill-start assist, which keeps the Edge from rolling backward at stops. The stability system also factors in trailer sway control, adapted from Ford's F-150 pickup trucks to correct for the wagging induced by towed loads.
Ford also offers a blind-spot monitor system, which flashes a light on the outside mirrors when a car in in the adjacent lane out of sight; cross-traffic alert can sense traffic approaching from the side when backing the car out of a parking space. Adaptive cruise control and collision warning are options; they use radar sensors to figure the distance to the car ahead and to detect imminent collisions. The Edge does not offer the inflatable rear seat belts that are found in the mechanically similar 2012 Ford Explorer, though.
Now that both agencies have made their testing regimens tougher, the Edge still performs fairly well in federal crash tests, and earns top scores from the insurance industry. The Edge gets an overall rating of four stars in the revised, more stringent crash tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA's sub-ratings include three-star ratings for frontal impact and five stars overall for side impact. That's better than average, though less convincing than the old five-star rating it earned in prior years.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Edge is a Top Safety Pick. The insurance industry-funded group updated its rating after Ford made running changes to the roof structure in February 2011.
2013 Ford Edge
MyFord Touch is available--not mandatory--and the 2013 Edge has luxury options like a huge panoramic sunroof on call.
Carried over for the most part unchanged from the 2012 model year, the 2013 Ford Edge brings with it some minor equipment changes.
All versions including the basic Edge SE come with standard equipment that includes power windows, locks, and mirrors; an AM/FM/CD player with an auxiliary jack; 17-inch wheels; tilt/telescoping steering; and air conditioning. All-wheel drive can now be had in the SE model.
Stepping up into the Edge SEL and the standard features also include satellite radio; rear parking sensors; power front seats; and SYNC, the Bluetooth-driven system that allows drivers to control audio and phone features with voice commands. An SEL Appearance Package offers leather seating with Alcantara trim; 20-inch wheels; and body-color trim on the grille.
There's also a Sport model, with the largest engine in the lineup, and its own set of features. A black-finished grille, smoked headlamps and taillamps, new cladding and fascias, and aluminum cockpit trim mark the high-line model, as do special sport leather seats.
Options on the Edge include a fantastic glass Vista Roof, adaptive cruise control, leather upholstery (where it's not standard), blind-spot monitors, and on the SEL, a power tailgate.
The Edge Limited tops off the crossover must-have list with a standard rearview camera; Sony sound system; HD radio; a rearview camera; and MyFord Touch, the touchscreen- and voice-controlled system that made its debut in the restyled Edge in the 2011 model year.
MyFord Touch has its detractors, even among our car experts, but it's a dramatic break with the buttons and knobs of the past, and a superior setup to the knob-driven controllers like iDrive, COMAND and MMI. With MyFord Touch, the SYNC system is connected with steering-wheel controls and a large touchscreen on the dash to govern the climate controls, audio, phone, and navigation.
Some of us think MyFord Touch is the best control system on the market. It lets drivers run all these systems with voice commands, or to cycle through and run many of the functions with those steering-wheel controls. With more than 10,000 recognized voice commands, we've found it the best way to change functions without losing concentration on the road ahead. Want to hear a track? Just say "play Beyonce," and you're crazy in love in a few milliseconds.
It's also possible to control those functions on the LCD touchscreen, which can be the least satisfying way because of the screen's slow responses and its crowded layouts. However, the LCD panel lets Ford drop dozens of buttons from the dash, leaving a clean center stack with just an optical slider or two for swipe controls.
MyFord Touch also includes basic turn-by-turn navigation delivered via the satellite-radio services, as well as the ability to port in Google Maps or Mapquest instructions via a paired smartphone.
2013 Ford Edge
Ecoboost versions score 30-mpg EPA highway ratings--good, but not the best, in the five-seat crossover category.
Ford's boost in gas mileage carries over into the 2013 Edge crossover; V-6 and all-wheel-drive versions still aren't as fuel-efficient as the front-drive models, and the newest turbo four is the best of all.
The new EcoBoost four isn't the base engine, however. It's an option on Edge SE models and on higher trim levels. The turbocharged 2.0-liter four teams with a six-speed automatic to channel 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels for a best-in-lineup 21/30-mpg rating from the EPA. That's an excellent set of numbers for the five-passenger crossover market, though vehicles like the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain post even higher highway numbers.
The Edge's EcoBoost engine incorporates lots of technology to get its high gas mileage. Direct injection is a big factor in fuel economy, but Ford also uses lower rolling-resistance 18-inch tires to cut down on friction, while it also employs an active aerodynamic grill that closes at lower engine temperatures, improving airflow and reducing drag.
Other models aren't quite as frugal as the EcoBoost Edge. The front-drive Edge with Ford's 3.5-liter V-6 is rated at 19/27 mpg; adding all-wheel drive drops figures to 18/25 mpg. The 3.7-liter Edge Sport starts out at 19/26 mpg, a 1-mpg improvement on both sides over the 2012 model. An AWD Edge Sport has the least efficient drivetrain, at 17/23 mpg.