Now entering its second year, the Ford Edge five-seat crossover has the tough look of a sport utility vehicle but is based on a car platform, bringing many advantages compared to the conventional truck-based design. Mechanically, the Edge is unchanged from 2007, but it adds a new top trim level, the Limited, to the existing SE and SEL trims, and there are four new paint colors to choose from.
Some new features are available, including Ford's new Sync hands-free system, a joint venture with Microsoft that allows drivers to control Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and MP3 players with steering-wheel buttons and voice commands.
The term "wagon" may have become taboo among automakers who insist on more complex labels, but the Edge looks like a bulky wagon in profile. It also wears Ford's bold new chrome grille design, first seen on the Fusion midsize sedan.
The Edge's nose is quite upright. Front and rear wheel arches have pronounced bulges, and the Edge's body panels are free of cladding.
The rear features clear-lens taillamps, a spoiler on the roof's trailing edge, and a sloping rear window that makes the Edge look sporty but diminishes cargo room when compared to a squared-off design. Edge SE models have 17-inch all-season tires. Available again are 18-inch all-season tires, and for 2008 buyers can go as high as 20-inch chrome rims.
The Edge provides seating for five, and its car-based design means it's easy to get in and out without climbing. The instrument panel features white-faced gauges, and the higher trim levels — SEL and Limited — have metal accents on their dashboards.
Six-way powered and heated front seats are available. The 60/40-split rear seats can recline, but they don't slide forward and backward, as a growing number of SUV models' do. The 2008 model has added one-touch down/up operation for the driver's window, and the HomeLink universal garage-door opener — standard in the Limited and optional in the SEL. The Edge SE is ineligible.
Storage amenities include a generously sized center console storage bin. An auxiliary audio jack that allows you to play portable MP3 devices through the stereo is included. The rear door pockets include juice-box holders for the kids.
When the Edge is equipped with the available Vista Roof panoramic sunroof, the metal roof panel is supplanted by two glass panels: a moveable one over the first row of seats and a fixed one for the second row. Two power shades are included with the Vista Roof.
Optional equipment includes a DVD-based navigation system that for 2008 adds voice-control, Sirius Satellite Radio and a backseat DVD entertainment system that includes a flip-down, 8-inch screen and wireless headphones. Leather seats with contrasting stitching are offered, as is a new Interior Appearance Package with red leather inserts.
Ford modified the liftgate handle for 2008 after owners complained it was hard to use, and a powered liftgate is now optional. The 60/40-split rear seats fold forward easily thanks to spring-loaded backrests and, optionally, a power button in the rear of the cargo area that lets them loose remotely. Buyers can also option a fold-flat front passenger seat. With the rear seats and front passenger seat folded, the Edge can carry 8-foot long items like lumber or a bolt of carpet.
Under the Hood
The Edge's 3.5-liter V-6 engine generates 265 horsepower and 250 pounds-feet of torque and drives a six-speed automatic transmission with your choice of front- or all-wheel drive. The Edge can tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.
The Edge's crashworthiness is top-notch, having earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick award for front, side and rear-impact protection. All-disc antilock brakes are standard. Standard safety features include seat-mounted side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags designed to protect front and rear occupants in a side impact, and Ford's AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, an electronic stability system that also monitors body lean and intervenes if it senses an impending rollover in order to keep the vehicle's wheels on the ground. If a rollover does occur, the curtain airbags deploy to cushion occupants and prevent their ejection.
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