I went into labor with my daughter the day after I completed a Driver's Edge training course with my MotherProof.com colleagues. Driver's Edge is a nonprofit organization aimed at teaching teens real-life driving skills on a closed test course. The class is exciting, fun and, yes, you guessed it, edgy. My daughter consequently earned the nickname "Francie Edge," which is befitting because she's spunky, fast and lots of fun. I often feel beholden to all things edgy and was excited to give the 2009 Ford Edge a whirl. I expected it to embody some of the qualities that my daughter and Driver's Edge courses offer, but the Ford Edge didn't light my fire. There was no "edge" to this Edge.
The crossover's stout body and electric blue exterior color made me feel like a frumpy Cookie Monster. Furthermore, the rate at which the Edge ate gas resembled the rate to which that silly blue monster eats cookies. The Edge gets an EPA-estimated 17/24 mpg city/highway, but I never managed to hit those numbers. I had to fill 'er up twice in two weeks. This seemed like a lot given I don't log that many miles and usually fill up my own car once every two to three weeks.
While my overall experience with the Edge wasn't all polka dots and moonbeams, there were a couple of bright spots. The rear cargo space is huge, and the cubby in between the front seats is spacious and offers several trays for organizing my stuff. The seating is comfortable, the cabin provides ample legroom and the Edge gets high safety marks.
Short and fat. That's how the Edge felt and, vicariously, how it made me feel. It's funny, because I'm kind of tall and while I still might have a few baby bulges, I'm not that fat! I did a little research and, sure enough, the Edge is the widest vehicle in its class at 75.8 inches. No wonder I found myself asking if this car made me look fat. Needless to say, my hubby couldn't park his car in the garage while the Rubenesque Edge was in there.
I know I railed a bit on the Cookie Monster color, which is officially called Dark Ink Blue, but you might be into that. It's a pretty blue, it's just not my style. I think the Edge would look really sharp in another color.
The doors are heavy, but I could manage them if my hands were free. However, they became bothersome as I juggled the kids, my laptop, diaper bag and groceries. My toddler couldn't close his door on his own because it was too heavy for him to manage. However, he didn't have any problems climbing in, and neither did I, for that matter.
The rear liftgate was my worst enemy of all; it was so heavy that it took all my effort to lower it. If you buy an Edge and intend to use the rear cargo area for groceries, stroller storing or anything else, you must spring for the optional automatic liftgate ($555). I do lots of yoga and can balance my body weight on my hands, but I was defeated by the Edge's liftgate again and again.
The Edge comes with a few standard features, such as power mirrors, remote keyless entry and fog lights. If you want all-wheel drive, a sunroof or heated front seats, you'll have to pay extra. I'd love to see a couple more of these features standard on the Edge.
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Fair/Great
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Some
I didn't like the interior of the Edge either. The silver-and-black trim look a little chintzy, and the center stack is sparse-looking. Like I said, there's no "edge" to the Edge.
My test car had two-tone seats; they're black leather with a simulated suede insert in blue with blue contrast stitching. I can't believe people pay extra ($525) for them. The Cookie Monster, oops, I mean Dark Ink Blue and black seats in my test Edge were too much. Call me a simple mountain girl, but I like my seats to be one color.
Two-toned or not, the seats were comfortable, so I'll give them that. Additionally, there was a wealth of legroom both up front and in the second row, which made it easy to install my daughter's rear-facing infant-safety seat. I sat down between my kids' child-safety seats and there was room to spare, which is rare. The 60/40-split backseat also reclines, which helps when you're installing a car seat or two. The cupholders are easy to reach, especially in the second row. They pop out of the second-row armrest. Love that!
The Latch connectors are buried in the Edge's backseat. I lost a small diamond from my ring while trying to find the connectors. All I can tell you is that where there once were 10 tiny rocks on my right hand, there now are nine, but I'm not bitter.
Folding the rear seats is a breeze thanks to the easy-to-use-and-find lever and one-touch-folding button in the rear cargo area. Once you fold down the second-row seats, your cargo space more than doubles! I have no doubt you could haul some major cargo in this baby.
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample/Galore
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample/Galore
Alas, I've come to the point at which I can't complain any longer. The Edge is a star in the safety arena. It's even earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick award. To garner this award, a car must score Good in IIHS front-, side- and rear-impact crash tests, and it must have an electronic stability system.
The Edge has front-, side-impact and side curtain airbags and four-disc antilock brakes with traction control.
There are a few other standard safety features that deserve special attention, including the blind-spot mirror on the side mirrors, anti-theft key that immobilizes the engine in case of theft and the SOS-Post Crash Alert System, which continuously flashes the hazard lights and honks the horn after an accident to signal distress.
In Diapers: The cargo area is gigantic, which means it can handle a lot more than just a stroller.
In School: The doors might be too heavy for young kids to manage, but there's lots of room for booster seats.
Teens: There's plenty of legroom in the backseat, and it's got tons of safety features, which helps alleviate some fears when your teen is driving.