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CUTTING EDGE

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Wed, Mar 7, 2007

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

© All photos by Harvey Schwartz

CUTTING EDGE By HARVEY SCHWARTZ

With sales of mid-size, sport utility vehicles on the way down in 2006, Ford has joined the growing list of crossover sport utility vehicles by introducing the all-new 2007 Edge. Crossovers has been gaining sales because they are easier to drive, park, give a more comfortable, sedan-like ride, get better fuel mileage, and provide about the same amount of people or cargo-carrying capacity. After testing the all-new Edge, I have to say that Ford did a great job of transferring its sport utility expertise with the best selling Ford Explorer to this new segment. The Edge has bold styling, exhibits good power and performance on pavement, and with the optional all-wheel drive system, can drive over sand, snow and water with eight inches of ground clearance. The unique interior seats five in comfort, offers a panoramic glass sunroof, a center console that fits a laptop computer, and has about the same storage capacity as the Explorer.

"Edge underscores the bold, American design direction for all Ford vehicles going forward" says Mark Fields, Executive Vice President of Ford. Edge is not an off-road adventure vehicle, and it doesn't look like one. It is contemporary in design with an adventurous spirit. The Edge's dynamic prowess starts with its bold front fascia of three chromed horizontal bars with a big blue Ford oval in the middle. An aggressively raked windshield and fast-sloping back window with high-mounted rear spoiler accentuate the feeling of motion. The quad halogen headlamps behind clear lenses, and a power dome hood accentuate the purposeful front end look. Each wheel is planted at an extreme corner, giving Edge a powerful, yet graceful stance. The raised beltline emphasizes strong, sculpted shoulders formed around sharp wheel arches. A matte black lower front and rear fascias and lower side rocker panels emphasize Edge's sporty character. The Edge's modern exterior styling flows into the roomy interior, highlighted by the unique instrument cluster and center stack. Aluminum trimmed, the instrument cluster is both easy to see and understand. The center stack design incorporates two 9x2-inch vertical vents that bracket the audio controls, dual electronic climate control switches and optional navigation system. The bucket seats are very comfortable and supportive - plus the optional leather seating surfaces feature contrasting stitching for a great look. All buttons, switches, and dials are within easy reach and fully illuminated for safe nighttime travel. The Edge is perfect for just about anything you need personal transportation for. It comfortably seats five adults, offers best-in-class adult headroom and legroom for the second row, has a flexible seating and cargo hauling capability - with just a few less cubic feet of storage space than the best selling Ford Explorer.

The Edge is designed to fit the customer's need for style as well as cargo space and adaptability. The large center console uses a removable divider and tray to organize the space both vertically and horizontally for everything from a laptop computer, handbags to MP3 players. An optional concealed plug means that the Edge has four power points, three within your reach, along with a segment-first MP3 audio jack. Small slots molded into the side of the console keep phone and MP3 cords neat and organized. The console lid has a ticket clip, two pen holders and a tissue holder. Edge is also big on details. A 20-once cup holder is included in each front-door map pocket, along with juice box holders in the rear door pockets, two super-size-cup holders in the center console and two in the rear armrest. The 60/40 reclining split second row folds flat to provide a level load floor for carrying equipment in the large cargo area. Edge can transport items as long as eight feet inside, with a front passenger seat that folds flat. Each rear seat can be folded manually using an industry-first single-hand release or automatically with an optional EasyFold electro-mechanical remote release accessible from the rear cargo area. Other Edge options include heated front seats, and a drop-down eight-inch screen DVD entertainment system with two pairs of wireless headphones. Edge's class-exclusive Vista Roof glass roof brings open-air motoring to the crossover segment. The roof features a large 27.3x29.4-inch forward panel that has tilt and slide openings, and a 15.75x31.3-inch fixed glass rear glass panel. When preferred, the twin power-operated cloth shades can be closed simultaneously to block glare. The all-new Ford Edge gives a look and sense of adventure. Under its skin, Ford has given the Edge a balanced, agile and fun-to-drive dynamic. Getting to where you want to go is part of the fun and adventure.

Powering the Edge is a robust, all-new 3.5-liter, DOHC, all-aluminum V6 engine generating a healthy 265 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 250 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. The all-new six-speed automatic transmission uses a wide 6.04:1 gear ratio to deliver good fuel economy and performance. Short first and second gears provide impressive launch and acceleration, while the tall overdrive gears deliver seven percent better fuel economy than the usual four-speed automatic. Edge's available intelligent all-wheel-drive (AWD) system was tuned with an emphasis on performance while offering confident all-weather driving. By constantly monitoring and predicting traction, the system delivers torque to all four wheels, even before the wheels begin to slip. An active-on-demand coupler can deliver the precise amount of torque to the rear wheels. Paired with available Advance Trac traction control, intelligent AWD can transfer torque front-to-rear and side-to-side. Edge's modern, car-based foundation facilitates its excellent driving dynamics with excellent control of your direction with quick response to your inputs. The front suspension features MacPherson struts, stabilizer bar and an isolated subframe, firmly attached in six locations. To further smooth out the ride, hydro-bushings are used. The four-link independent rear suspension also uses a subframe to add rigidity and control, and uses stamped steel control blades for precise suspension tuning. The rear shocks are mounted as far outboard as possible in the vehicle and behind the wheel center to improve ride and handling. A stabilizer bar keeps the rear flat in the turns. Further enhancing stability is the wider 65-inch front and rear track of the wheels and tires. The power-assisted rack & pinion steering system gives excellent feedback from the road and is quick to react to your inputs. The standard, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS quickly and safely slows the Edge down from speed.

The Edge rides on standard 17x7-inch wheels. You can option for 17x7.5-inch aluminum or 18x7.5-inch chrome wheels. All-season radial tires come standard. The Edge is tuned to be very responsive giving a confident ride without losing its fun-to-drive character. Two models are available: The SE and SEL. The SE comes standard with Advance Trac with Roll Stability Control, spoiler, remote keyless entry, manual fold power side mirrors, cloth bucket seats, second row 60/40 split-fold bench seats with enter head rests, side airbags, Safety Canopy, 3-point safety belts in all positions, front row height adjustable seat belts, Belt-Minder, Personal Safety System, child safety locks, LATCH, front/rear floor mats, front console, manual A/C, power windows/door locks, cruise-control, premium AM-FM-single CD/MP3 capable audio system and four-speakers. SEL adds fog lamps, six-way power driver seat, overhead console, premium six-speaker CD with 9-speakers, steering wheel audio controls, unique interior treatments, message center/compass, chrome exhaust tips, dual illuminated visors. Options include an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a roof rack, and a rear cargo management system. SEL options include leather seats, six-way power passenger seat, passenger fold-flat seatback, heated front seats, memory driver seat, remote release on second row fold-flat seats, dual electronic automatic temperature control with air filter, manual fold power heated side mirrors with puddle lamps and memory, audiophile sound, DVD entertainment system, navigation system, and redundant climate controls on the steering wheel. SEL only options are the panoramic Vista Roof, reverse sensing system, 18in. wheels and tires. After test driving the all-new Ford Edge I have to say that it has the edge on the competition with great looks, a roomy comfortable, versatile and safe interior with fun-to-drive dynamics.

© All words and pictures supra by Harvey Schwartz SIDEBAR COMMENT Ford needed this vehicle badly. It can thank sister car company Mazda for providing the platform for this excellent crossover vehicle. The powertrain is all Ford, however - and it's a good one. The 3.5 DOHC V6 is all new and provides plenty of get-up-and-go as well as pretty decent gas mileage. The new Ford Edge looks great and drives well. It's every bit the match of its worthy competition - and the novel sky roof does the competition one better by providing a sense of openness and air that is unique in this class. - Roy Nakano SUMMARY JUDGMENT It not only cuts the mustard, it also passes muster with some flying colors. For more information on Ford products, go to www.fordvehicles.com. More photos from Harvey Schwartz can be found at www.autofotos.com SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2007 Ford Edge SEL AWD Price of vehicle $25,995.00 base price $30,720 SEL AWD model $36,775 as tested Engine type: 3.5 liter DOHC V6 Horsepower: 265hp at 6,250 rpm Torque: 250 at 4,500 rpm Drive configuration: Front engine all-wheel-drive Transmission type: 6-speed automatic AWD Front suspension: Independent, MacPherson struts, L-shaped lower control arm with isolated subframe and anti-roll bar Rear suspension: Independent, trailing blade, integrated knuckle and lateral links, coil springs, gas-charged shocks, and anti-roll bar Wheels and tires: 17X7 standard steel wheels, optonal 18X8 aluminum wheels, 235.65R17 standard, 245/60R18 optional tires. Brakes: Front-11.7-in vented disc Rear: 11.5-in. solid discs Overall length: 185.7 inches Overall width: 75.8 inches Overall height: 67.2 inches Curb weight: FWD - 4,073 lbs. AWD - 4,282lbs. EPA fuel economy: FWD-18 mpg/city, 25 mpg/highway, AWD-17 mpg/city, 24 mpg/highway

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