Last weekend I took advantage of having my husband home to watch the kids and the new puppy, and I went to Novato Ford to check out the new 2011 Edge. It was a great visit and I now have serious tech envy.
- Styling looks great
- Great Family Car for those with 2-3 kids
- Cool features to keep new drivers safe & reduce parent anxiety
- Good for both technophobes & technophiles(If you can use a smart phone, you can use this system)
- Will convert Import buyers
- Cool Mom Factor: 8 (Middle School kids won't be embarrassed)
(Scale of 1-10, with 1=Pacer and 10=Ironman II Audi R8 Spyder)
- We Highly Recommend a Serious Look
- A Must-drive in the Crossover category
Tech Envy Starts Here
The Edge is one of Ford's two crossover vehicles (the other is the Flex) and it's about the same size as my Lexus RX. But that's where all similarities end. The technology that Ford put into this new model year is AMAZING. The MyFord Touch(TM) and the voice-activated Sync(R) systems are extensive and after a short lesson in the lot, relatively easy to use. From what I've seen, Mercedes and BMW may not hold a candle to this new tech Ford has -- they might have the bells and whistles, but that only matters if you can figure out how to use them. My iPhone 4 was easy to sync and within seconds I could make Bluetooth calls from my contact list and listen to my playlists using voice commands (no cords were involved). You can even use your own photos as the wallpaper for the main touch screen. They really did think of everything. (Walt Mossberg wrote a review of the MyFord Touch & Sync systems in the Wall Street Journal last week.)
The 2011 Edge I drove was a Limited with All Wheel Drive (Ford has SE, SEL, Limited, and Sport packages for the Edge). It was Tuxedo Black with black leather interior: very sharp. According to the Ford website, the Edge Limited AWD starts at $36,070. My tester had several packages that bumped the price to $43,210 with discounts. It has a 3.5 liter V6 engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual option and paddle shifters on the steering column (Ford calls this SelectShift Automatic(TM)). I love the option of shifting for myself so this option gets a big thumbs up.
After ogling all the cool touch screen and Sync capabilities, my initial thoughts when driving were: 1) easy to drive (all those bells & whistles did not interfere with driving); 2) good visibility; and 3) super quiet with virtually no road noise. I expected the first two, but was surprised by how little I could hear from outside the car as I drove. (I was hoping a Harley would pass me so I could do a real test of the noise insulation, but no such luck. Maybe on my next drive.)
My experience at Novato Ford was excellent. Two out of the three salesmen who helped me were relatively new to the dealership, but they knew how to get my questions answered quickly. Since I was looking at the brand new Edge, there are some detail changes and differences compared to the 2010 -- a few I knew about and the salesmen didn't. But luckily they didn't infer that I didn't know what I was talking about, and they admitted that they hadn't yet learned all they need to know about this new, cutting edge Edge. When a salesman can admit that, they get instant credibility with me. I appreciated that they believed that I had done my research prior to stopping in to drive the cars.
I also tried out the "Build & Price" option on the Ford website. Ford sent my contact information (email and phone #) to Novato Ford and I was contacted via email and a phone call within minutes. Ford also called me a few days later to ask if the dealer contacted me and if I had questions. Excellent response time for those seriously looking for more information and a test drive.
My History with Ford
Growing up on a farm, I was raised to understand there are two kinds of people: Ford People and everyone else. If I told my Dad that I didn't like my teacher he was likely to respond, "That's because she drives a Chevy." And I think he meant it.
We've all moved on and become more understanding about car choices (my Dad now drives a 2006 VW Beetle and my Mom has a 2010 Subaru Forester), but I couldn't help feeling proud of Ford last week. I still feel that connection to the car company of my youth. You can't help but notice how much energy and effort Ford is putting into their cars: they really understand what people want. Not many people can afford a $90,000 car, but most of us like cool tech features. Ford responds to that by making some of the cool tech and ALL of the safety features available on base models. Thank you, Ford, for paying attention.
There are so many awesome family-friendly features of the 2011 Edge that I'm going to start a new post. Stay tuned...
Thanks to Novato Ford for their time and generosity.
Photos from www.fordvehicles.com and Erika Fish.
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