2011 Ford Edge Review and Prices
The 2011 Ford Edge is the best midsize crossover SUV for you if you fancy iTunes tagging and iPod linking but not ingot styling.
The 2011 Ford Edge undergoes its first major change since its model-year 2008 introduction. The body is revised and the dashboard is redesigned around the cutting-edge tech of the MyFord Touch connectivity suite. This five-passenger crossover SUV also gets a more powerful base engine and adds a hot 305-horsepower V-6 from the Ford Mustang.
Should you buy the 2011 Ford Edge or wait for the 2012 Ford Edge? Wait for the 2012 Edge if you’re interested in one equipped with Ford’s intriguing turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, which promises the performance of a V-6 with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder. Buy the 2011 Edge if either of this crossover’s strong, smooth V-6s suits you better. Other than EcoBoost availability, the 2012 Edge isn’t likely to get any changes worth waiting for. With the 2011 Edge, you get the looks and technology that’ll carry this crossover to the conclusion of its design generation, probably in model-year 2014.
2011 Ford Edge Changes back to top
Styling: The 2011 Ford Edge gets a new nose that softens the squared look this crossover has celebrated since its model-year 2008 launch. The 2011 Edge returns with Ford’s signature three-bar grill, though with a slightly less severe appearance. It’s combined with lowered fender lines and new headlights to soften some of the front end’s angles, creating a more flowing, aerodynamic face. The new front fascia in all but the base-model 2011 Edge includes vertical running lamps that use LED “light pipe” technology to create beads of bright white illumination. Revisions to the taillamps and the bumper shape contribute to a crisper visage from the rear.
The 2011 Edge comes in four trim levels: base SE, volume-selling SEL, luxury Limited, and performance-oriented Sport. The 2011 Edge Sport stands visually apart from other Edge models with a black grille, smoked headlamps and taillamps, oval chrome exhaust tips, body-colored exterior trim, and 22-inch polished alloy wheels -- the largest wheels in the midsize-crossover class.
The restyling doesn’t alter the basic shape and dimensions of the 2011 Edge. It remains smack dab in the middle of its class for size, though it also remains slightly heavier than most rivals. While Edge is a five-passenger wagon, several similarly sized competitors squeeze in a toddler-accommodating third-row seat to qualify as seven-passenger vehicles. Within Ford’s own family, Edge is larger than the compact-class, five-seat 2011 Ford Escape but smaller than the seven-passenger 2011 Ford Flex. It plays the suave, urban cousin to the redesigned 2011 Ford Explorer, a truckier-looking crossover that’s among the midsize SUVs that shoehorns in a third-row seat.
The 2011 Ford Edge qualifies as a crossover because it uses car-type unibody construction in which body and frame are a single unit. This contrasts with old-school truck-type SUV design in which the body attaches to a separate frame. Unibody is lighter, for better handling and fuel economy, though it’s not as suited to heavy-duty towing, hauling, or off-road punishment. Edge derives its basic engineering from the platform that underpins the Ford Fusion sedan. The same platform is used for the Lincoln MKX midsize crossover, which also undergoes a midcycle freshening for 2011. As sidelight, the Ford Explorer switched from body-on-frame to unibody construction as part of a model-year 2011 redesign but retains its classic-SUV look and has better off-road capability than the Edge.
Mechanical: The 2011 Ford Edge overhauls its engine lineup and is on its way to offering the most interesting roster of powertrains in the class.
The 2011 Edge SE, SEL, and Limited models return with an updated version of the 3.5-liter V-6 that was the 2006-2010 Edge’s only engine. For 2011, the 3.5 is significantly upgraded with Ford’s Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing and other mechanical advances; it now rates 285 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. That’s an improvement of 20 horsepower and 12 pound-feet of torque over the previous 3.5 V-6. (Think of torque as the accelerative force you feel and horsepower as the energy that sustains momentum.)
Exclusive to the Sport model in the 2011 Edge lineup is a 3.7-liter V-6 borrowed from the 2011 Ford Mustang and the 2011 MKX. It’s rated at 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Not only do both 2011 V-6s use efficiency-promoting variable timing, they also gain a technology Ford calls “aggressive deceleration fuel shutoff.” This saves gas by temporarily halting fuel flow to the engine if power isn’t required, as when coasting at freeway speeds. All vehicle control and accessory functions remain active during the shutdown.
Due in early calendar 2011 is the 2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost, which will feature the 2.0-liter four-cylinder from Ford’s new EcoBoost family of engines. It uses turbocharging and advanced direct fuel injection to produce the power of a V-6 with the fuel-economy of a four-cylinder.
All 2011 Edges retain a six-speed automatic with a floor shifter as their sole transmission. The shifter in SEL and Limited models has a separate gate for manual-type gear control while the 2011 Sport model’s transmission augments with manual-shift steering-wheel paddles and can trigger manual-type changes without moving the floor lever out of its main gate.
The 2011 Ford Edge SE comes only with front-wheel drive; all other 2011 Edge models offer front- or all-wheel drive (AWD). Front-wheel drive concentrates the mass of the powertrain over the tires that also propel the vehicle. This enhances traction on slippery surfaces and creates efficient packaging by freeing up most of the body for passenger and cargo room. Edge’s AWD system is typical of a crossover SUV. It isn’t intended for off-road use and normally operates in front-drive but can automatically shuffle traction-restoring power to the rear tires if the fronts slip.
The 2011 Edge gets a retuned suspension for better ride and handling and upgraded brakes for better stopping power. Chassis revisions and additional sound insulation are intended to reduce vibration and noise. And Ford’s Trailer Sway Control designed to improve stability while towing is newly available.
Features: The 2010 Ford Edge feature story is headlined “MyFord Touch.” This infotainment system is powered by Ford’s Microsoft-developed Sync software. MyFord Touch controls many audio, climate, communications, and navigation functions through two touch-sensitive dashboard surfaces.
One is an eight-inch screen located high in the center of the instrument panel; the other is below and essentially supplants the traditional radio faceplate. MyFord’s “driver connect” component flanks the speedometer with two 4.2-inch color LCD screens that display myriad vehicle-status readouts and infotainment settings. The various MyFord functions respond to screen taps, to voice commends -- which accept more conversational instructions than before – and to cell-phone-type five-way buttons mounted on the steering-wheel spokes.
MyFord Touch (and MyLincoln Touch in the MKX) pioneers the use of iTunes tagging in a car. Tapping the “tag” icon on the MyFord screen digitally captures a song being played through the available high definition radio. Up to 100 songs can be stored in the radio’s memory for later purchase from iTunes via a docked iPod. MyFord Touch-equipped Edges get a connectivity-rich center console that houses two USB iPod interface ports, three RCA jacks, and a slot for a digital media card; it also accepts a mobile broadband card. The full MyFord Touch setup is standard on Limited and Sport models and is optional on the SEL.
Also among new features for the 2011 Edge is Ford’s Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support. This senses a potential crash and audibly warns the driver while automatically reducing vehicle speed and pre-charging the brakes for a quicker stop. The 2011 Edge is also newly available with Ford’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert, which warns of traffic in adjacent lanes and of approaching vehicles when reversing from parking spots.
Also new to this crossover is the company’s MyKey teen-driver safety system. MyKey enables Edge owners to program limits on vehicle speed and to encourage seatbelt usage with persistent beeping and reduced audio volume. The 2011 Edge returns available features that include a power liftgate and a Vista Roof that combines a sliding sunroof with a large glass panel over the rear seats.
2011 Ford Edge Prices back to top
Prices for most versions of the 2011 Ford Edge remain comparable with their model-year 2010 equivalents. The front-wheel drive SE features a base price of $27,995, not including options. This places it at the high-end of the price spectrum among non-luxury-branded midsize crossovers, most of which offer lower-cost four-cylinder models. (Base prices in this review include the manufacturer’s destination fee; Ford’s fee for the 2011 Edge is $775.)
The 2011 Ford Edge SEL has a base price of $30,995 with front drive and $32,845 with AWD. To the SE, the SEL adds such features as automatic climate control, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and 18-inch wheels and tires. A package with MyFord Touch, Sync and a rearview camera for the SEL is priced at $1,000; it’s $2,500 with added ambient color-selectable lighting, leather upholstery, and power heated front seats. A navigation system costs $795, while the Blind Spot Information System costs an affordable $395 with rain-sensing wipers included. The Vista Roof sunroof is priced at $1,595 and a dual-screen DVD entertainment system costs $1,995.
The 2011 Ford Edge Limited’s base price is $34,995 with front drive and $36,845 with AWD. To the SEL, the Limited adds such standard amenities as MyFord Touch with Sync, power-folding heated side mirrors, a built-in programmable garage-door opener remote, heated front seats, leather upholstery, and a rearview camera. A package that bundles the sunroof, alarm system, power liftgate, remote starter, high-intensity headlamps, and the navigation system sells for $3,500; further adding the Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning feature boosts that package’s price to $5,000. Twenty-inch chrome wheels are available on the Limited for $895.
The 2011 Edge Sport model includes the 305-horsepower V-6 engine, 22-inch wheels and tires, and specific trim items and has a base price of $36,995 with front-wheel-drive and $38,845 with AWD.
2011 Ford Edge Fuel Economy back to top
EPA mileage estimates for the 2011 Ford Edge show a modest improvement in fuel economy with the updated 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The 2011 Edge SE, SEL, and Limited rate 19/27 mpg city/highway with front-drive and 18/26 with AWD. By comparison, the 2010 Edge with the previous 3.5-liter V-6 was rated at 18/25 with front-wheel drive and 17/23 with AWD.
The 2011 Ford Edge Sport with its 3.7-liter V-6 is rated at 18/25 with front-drive and 17/23 with AWD.
Expect the 2012 Edge with the EcoBoost to average something like 22/32 mpg and to be available with front-wheel drive only. As with the two V-6s, Ford says the EcoBoost four will run on regular-grade unleaded gasoline.
2011 Ford Edge Release Date back to top
The 2011 Ford Edge is now on sale.
What's next for the 2011 Ford Edge back to top
Ford initially announced that the EcoBoost engine would join the Edge lineup during the 2011 model year. But it never said precisely when, and as of late November 2011, sources within the company pegged it for an early calendar 2011 arrival, with the version getting the turbo four tabbed a model-year 2012 Edge. Other details were sketchy, though we do know the 2012 Edge EcoBoost will be available only with front-wheel drive and will cost perhaps $1,000 more than a comparable 2012 Edge with the 3.5-liter V-6.
Otherwise, the styling, features, and mechanical changes to the 2011 Ford Edge should carry this crossover to the conclusion of its first design generation, likely in model-year 2014. And big changes are afoot.
The next-generation Edge will migrate to Ford’s “global” mid-size vehicle platform, as will the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans and the Lincoln MKX crossover SUV. This means it will become a slightly smaller vehicle, with the EcoBoost four-cylinder engine likely becoming standard. We may see a hybrid gas/electric version of the Edge at some point, sharing powertrains with the Fusion and MKZ Hybrid models.
2011 Ford Edge Competition back to top
2011 Chevrolet Equinox: Chevy’s five-seat crossover meets Edge head-on with clean, handsome styling and gains a big price advantage thanks to a base four-cylinder engine. Class-benchmark ride comfort and rear-seat room are highlights; tepid acceleration a demerit. Prices start at $23,490 ($25,240 AWD) with the 182-horsepower four-cylinder, which rates a category-topping 22/32 mpg with front-wheel drive, 20/29 with AWD. Starting price is $26,155 ($27,905 AWD) with the 264-horsepower V-6, which rates 17/24 mpg with front-drive, 16/22 AWD. The current-generation Equinox bowed for model-year 2010 and is due a facelift for 2013.
2011 Nissan Murano: Tussles with Edge for the style-conscious crossover crowd and beats the Ford for driving pleasure and overall comfort. This Nissan comes only with a V-6 but wrings the most out of its 260 horsepower thanks to the efficiency of a continuously variable transmission in place of a conventional automatic. The CVT helps Murano achieve a pleasant 18/23 mpg rating with either front- or all-wheel drive. Base prices range for the five-passenger, four-door Murano wagon is $29,300-$39,940. Murano was redesigned for 2009 and gets a midcycle facelift for model-year 2011. It also adds the 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet, a four-seat, two-door convertible version with the same powertrain but a $47,190 starting price.
2011 Toyota Venza: A sleek, new-age alternative to Edge’s big-box form, this five-seat Carmy-based crossover comes across as a pumped-up station wagon rather than a toned-down SUV. Indeed, Versa is 63.4-inches tall overall compared with 67 inches for Edge and Murano and 66.3 for Equinox. That lower center of gravity helps handling. Yet Venza has the most ground clearance of the bunch. Passenger space is generous, too, and cargo room competitive despite the low roofline. With the surprisingly lively 182-horsepower four-cylinder engine, Venza’s base price is $27,235 with front-wheel drive (21/27 mpg) and $28,685 with AWD (20/25 mpg). With the capable 268-horsepower V-6, base price is $29,060 with front-drive (19/26 mpg) and $30,510 with AWD (18/25). Venza was introduced for model-year 2009. Look for a facelift for 2012.