Behind the Wheel – 2011 Ford Edge Limited

We take Ford's Edge crossover out for a ride.

CraveOnlineby CraveOnline

Ford Focus Limited

Stable, expansive and adequately powered, the Ford Edge Limited packs together everything a man would need in a mid-price range crossover. The well-appointed city cruiser feels comfortable off-road and suffers only from the presence of clunky in-car luxury gadgets.


The $36.650 Edge Limited is Ford’s challenge to near-price competitors like the Chevrolet Equinox or the Toyota Venza and an alternative to high end luxury crossover like the Lexus RX and the BMW X6. In terms of pure drive quality, the $ Edge runs well alongside the higher end models.


More importantly, with a lower center of gravity than an SUV, the Edge Limited avoids the big vehicle trap of feeling so smooth that the driver loses any feel or contact with the pavement. Ford preserves just enough of the on-road experience in the steering and acceleration to keep at least some fun in driving the crossover.


The Edge Limited’s 3.5 liter V6 surprises when called upon to provide a little extra pick-up in traffic. In fact, on a couple occasions, I managed to leave a little bit of rubber on the intersections of Los Angeles – leaving me with that raised eyebrow of pleasant surprise.


The front and rear independent suspension gives the driver confidence that the Edge will go where you point it, even if it’s difficult for any car short of something along the lines of the Porsche Panamera to feel genuinely nimble at the Edge’s size and weight.


Riding high on 18” chrome wheels, the smooth, if squat lines of the Edge Limited make the vehicle look bigger than it drives, which is the whole idea behind a crossover. The buyer wants more cargo and passenger room that a standard hatchback or sedan – and probably more power under the hood. But, they want all of that without the


The Ford Edge did have a profound shortcoming – a problem shared by many of the cars in the Ford line in 2011. It’s in-car radio, satellite navigation and voice command system (including Ford Sync – designed with Microsoft) is needlessly complicated – actually delaying driving and interfering with the enjoyment of what is – in every other way that matters – a well-made crossover.


Ford Focus


The in-car tech never lacks features and Ford didn’t skimp on the overall touch-screen and voice command capabilities. It’s simply a question of an interface so complicated and eventually irritating that the driver might avoid using all the available – or, worse for Ford, a buyer might avoid writing out that down payment check.


I’m not the first car writer to give Ford heat for offering too complex an in dash system. It was well-battered for forcing drivers to glance away from the road to activate functions – unless those drivers chose to pull over. Fortunately, this is a weakness that will be addressed in the coming model year as Ford is rolling out a new Sync interface and improved in-car app technology.


The 2012 MyFord Touch combines a variety of technologies into a more intuitive interface. MyFord Touch replaces many of the old interfaces buttons, knobs, switches and gauges with voice commands, steering wheel-mounted control and customizable LCD screens.


The new SYNC AppLink was rolled out at this summer’s Forward with Ford conference in Deerborn. It controls smartphone apps via voice control and can access Android and BlackBerry smart phones using Bluetooth and through a USB connection for iPhones. The first apps enabled by SYNC AppLink include Pandora internet radio, Stitcher news radio and OpenBeak for voice-controlled following of Twitter streams.