Thursday, March 24, 2011

2011 Ford Edge - My Second Look

If you read my first review of the 2011 Ford Edge, you know that I really, really liked it. I like the looks, the drive, and especially the technology. I know the front grill isn't popular with everyone, but it does demand attention and Ford deserves a nod for going bold. If you've read all my reviews, then you know that I'm impressed with how Ford has designed and developed their brand in the last 2 years. I think the partnership with Microsoft on the Sync(R) system was brilliant.

As for the Edge itself, it is the right design at the right price in the HUGE crossover segment. Sure, the Limited gets expensive when you add every bell and whistle (around $43,500), but the base SE model starts at around $27,000 and is equipped with stability control, MyKey(TM), power windows, halogen headlights, 3.5L V6 engine, SOS Post-crash Alert System, and a 60/40 split rear seat. I think the price is right for all models because luxury buyers are a unique breed: they want a good deal, the latest technology, something flashy, but don't want to pay too little. So a tricked-out Edge Limited for $43,500 is going to get a luxury buyers attention and then reel them in with the technology and a price lower than $50,000.

Since the technology is my favorite part of the new Ford story, I'll focus more on that in this post. You can find all of the same techy features in most other Ford models starting in 2011. The Ford website and facebook fan pages have good tutorials and information on these features and are worth a look if you can't get your hands on a new Edge to drive today.

MyFord Touch(TM) with Sync: The MyFord Touch system with Sync is a well planned control center for the vehicle. The Edge base models have a MyFord system that isn't touch sensitive (think iPod Touch vs. first generation iPod) and doesn't have Sync, but you can still monitor the car from a display screen in the center stack and in the instrument cluster. The placement of information in the instrument cluster helps keep your eyes on the road and allows for glancing down to the same area as the speedometer. And a glance is all you need. 

When you add the Sync feature (which syncs your phone, text messages, music and photos) you get voice controls that actually work on the first attempt. Once you get the hang of the steering wheel controls (I suggest practicing in your driveway until you have it memorized) you can keep your hands at 10-and-2 and eyes on the road and never look at the LCD screen in the center stack. And that's the whole point.

My response to people who complain that the MyFord Touch system with Sync is too distracting: Take time to train yourself. You won't have it memorized after a short test drive, or even a week of driving. It takes time for even the biggest brains to learn a new system.

MyKey: Our oldest child will learn to drive in 5 years, not something I think about very often -- I'm more concerned with getting him through his 5th Grade poem assignment this week. But our neighbor just got her permit. I actually don't worry about her driving, but we do have some fast teenage drivers in our neighborhood who I do worry about. This is where Ford's MyKey comes into play. This feature allows you to set certain limits based on the key used: for example max speed and max stereo volume. The seat belt chime won't go off until all occupied seats are buckled -- something I didn't think would be an issue in 2011, but I see teens driving without seat belts all the time. That's just plain dumb, so any feature on a car that will annoy the heck out of a teen and get them to buckle up is a good thing. If one of my kids was within a year or two of driving, I would seriously consider this type of technology in my next car.

SOS(TM) Post-Crash Alert System: Like the On*Star system you find in all Chevy's, Ford now has a similar system that is standard on all models of the Edge. An excellent safety feature that alerts 911 if a crash is detected.

BLIS(TM) (Blind Spot Information System): With radar beaming out of the rear quarter panels of the Edge, you'll get an audible warning and a blinking light if something is in your blind spot when backing out of parking spaces and driving. Not only will it warn you of stationary objects, but also cross-traffic -- vehicles that are moving into your path. Now your kids will believe you really do have eyes in the back of your head.

As a mom who recently stopped using the car seat tethers behind the back seat, I really appreciate that the Edge LATCH tether hooks are covered when not in use. Having the tether hooks covered means they stay clean, things don't snag on them, and when you don't need them, you don't see them.

Vista Roof(TM): The Great Glass Elevator? No, just a great glass roof. I don't use my sunroof very often, so having one in my car isn't a big deal. But when I lived in the Midwest, I opened my sunroof on almost every sunny day (you'll do that when it's cold or gray 7 months out of the year). The Vista Roof is basically a glass roof with one big panel that opens in the front and one fixed panel over the second row. Both panels have shades that close so you won't be blinded when the sun comes out.
Auto-fold Rear Seats (60/40 split): Called EasyFold(TM), the rear seats of the Edge fold at the touch of a button. Certainly makes life easier when your arms are full of kids or a dog. But the big news is that you can get EasyFold seats on 3 models: SEL, Limited and Sport. Most other auto-fold seats are only found in the top-of-the line models.

Back-up Camera: Most SUV's and crossovers now have back-up cameras, but the camera in the Edge is one of the most clear. Again, I didn't think much of it until I experienced some of the bad back-up cameras on other vehicles. You really do want a clear image on your screen.

Fold-Flat Front Passenger Seat: The Edge doesn't look like it'll easily haul long items, but you can fold the front passenger seat flat in the Limited, Sport and SEL models. According to the Ford website, you can then haul something as long as 8 feet. IKEA: Here we come!

Ambient lighting: You may not think about the light in foot wells and cup holders, but someone at Ford does. The option to choose and change the colors of your ambient lighting is a fun option. Not anything that will enhance safety, but it may enhance your mood. 

I gave the Edge a good second and third look and I suggest you do the same. The Edge is the right car if seating for 5 is sufficient, and you don't need serious 4-Wheel Drive. (Ford put together a fully re-designed Explorer to meet those needs.) 

Photos from
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1 comment:

  1. I like the Ford Touch system. It's very easy to use, and it's not distracting at all. But it has room for improvements. Maybe they could put a Heads Up Display on the windshield so that the driver won't have to look down on the dash.