I can’t help but think crossover SUV’s are a little petite to be taken seriously.
And auto executives fall over themselves to shush anyone who says they’re trucks. Okay so, they aren’t trucks. In fact, I won’t even call them SUVs, either. So what are they?
Ford has begun marketing their extensive line of crossovers and SUV as family vehicles. The Porsche Cayenne and the Nissan Murano crossovers are more street racers than mountain climbers, so their marketing depicts sleek vehicles easing along city streets and catching the eyes of onlookers.
And so we’re introduced to the newest variation on the old SUV theme. Sporty vehicles better suited to perform in world of strip malls, soccer practice and rush hour commutes. Ford’s line of SUV’s now includes the Flex, the venerable Explorer and the enormous Expedition that can all carry up to seven or eight passengers.
On the other end of the spectrum is the Escape. No offense to Ford, but it’s just a little too cute for me particularly when it has a yellow paint job. That leaves the Edge. This crossover doesn’t bother with a third row seat or 5000 pounds of towing capacity. No, Ford had plenty of workhorse and family-size SUVs already. They needed a racehorse.
The Edge is Fords first urban SUV. There’s lots of shiny chrome on the front grill to catch the light falling from city streetlights and its shape draws on clean, rounded lines without the vast boxiness of its siblings.
I love the outdoors. On weekends I bike, fish, hike, work on a small farm and I spend any time I can outdoors. That being said, the Edge was never intended for dirt or any real work. Its towing capacity is 3500 lbs. which is the same as the Edge’s clearly female sibling, the Escape. But, before anyone starts scouring Craigslist for a used Escape, they should know that it only has 2.5 or 3.0 liter engine.
Obviously the Edge is light and that naturally cuts into its towing capacity. Bear in mind, too, that its towing capacity is still better than any of the competitors. Moreover, the standard 3.5 liter engine creates 285 horsepower. The Powertrain Sport Edition has a 3.7 liter power plant that generates 305 horsepower. With either engine there’s plenty of power and a wide stance that will provide stability when the driver decides to turn all of that horsepower loose.
While the Edge is in line with fuel consumption among its crossover competitors, the world is still waiting for a hybrid version. Ford rates fuel consumption at 27 mpg on the highway, 19 in the city and about 21 mpg average with the standard front wheel drive. Expect all wheel drive version to get lower mpg rates. The now standard six speed automatic transmission no doubt plays a big role in the improved mileage.
Moreover, the Edge lacks the length of Ford’s pure SUV. Four adults fit comfortably which means parents with more than two kids might not have enough space. But, again, this SUV isn’t designed for bussing the soccer team to Saturday morning practice.
While Ford has accessories that make the Edge very family friendly, many buyers will likely cave in and choose a boring, forgettable minivan or a gas-gulping, full-blown SUV if they have bigger families.
But, if the nest is empty-or at least smaller-what the heck. I’d order the leather seats, the panoramic vista roof, and Powertrain Sport Edition and enjoy what this crossover is really about.
While the Edge doesn’t scratch my itch for a hardworking, heavy duty SUV, it’s solid choice for small families, singles and empty-nesters looking for a crossover. Buyers should take a look at the long list of standard features as well and it’s low starting price.
Yes, the Edge is petite. But it’s fast, and who doesn’t love fast?