DETROIT - Good Grief! We love the Ford Edge but we certainly hate the way it has been launched. That's because the Edge is the best vehicle to come out of Ford since the Mustang.
First, the Edge has a low silhouette, Ford's new three- bar grille and an élan that simply has not been there in past models. Our test vehicle was powered by 3.5 liter V6 that made 265 horsepower and 250 pounds- feet of torque. It was mated to a six speed automatic transmission and it was equipped with optional all- wheel- drive.
Although it was a crossover vehicle, the Edge had a high seating position that gave us a command view of everything around us. With that came a sense of security that only road height provides.
The streets here are worse than usual because or road construction. So traffic was slower, there's was more of it because of detours and there was a bunch dust, dirt, narrow lanes and makeshift corners. What we're faced with for the rest of this year is an automotive obstacle course. The Edge handled it all pretty well.
The suspension smoothed out most of the bumps. Steering was precise and responsive. But one we needed to get ware of real quick was that although Edge looks sleek, it is a sizable vehicle. Several times we found ourselves looking over the top of vehicles to either side and just off our shoulder. Thus, we had to really check the side view mirrors when switching lanes. It was a form of defensive driving.
With the second row seats folded flat, our Edge had almost 70 cubic- feet of cargo space. There 32 cubic- feet of cargo space with the second row seats up. There interior design was clean and unfettered. Just about every knob we needed was within easy reach on the center stack.
Our test vehicle had nice touches like a telescoping steering wheel, dual climate controls, heated front seats, leather trim, power heated side view mirrors, fog lamps and dual chrome exhausts tips.
And there was more but first let's talk about the launch of the Edge. There was a problem with a major component manufactured by one of the Edge's suppliers help up shipments to dealers. Then there was the bad press about the misfortunes of Ford. It reminds us of the Thunderbird which got buried in the wake of press reports about turnovers caused by defective Firestone tires. It not quite that bad for the Edge but press reports about the business of Ford don't help.
Yes, we would have liked to see the Edge's gas mileage a bit better. Our AWD model was rated at 17 mpg in the city and 24 on the hwy. We think it was on the low end because we had put some gas in it twice during the course of a one- week road test. We did a far amount of driving with a couple of runs to the airport and to the East Side. The climate control fan could have been quieter. Unless its running at maximum, and it wasn't, we should have heard it. And the engine could stand some more soundproofing. We heard it at speeds that we shouldn't have heard it.
But here's the deal. We had the SEL model Edge. It had a navigation system, satellite radio, an in- dash six- disc CD changer, reverse sensing system; we knocked over a rubber garbage can despite its beeps, 18- inch wheels and a glass retracting roof. The sticker on our test vehicle was $36,850.
In a phrase, that's a deal. We can only hope Ford does a much better job of advertising the Edge. It's a really good vehicle at a really great price.