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REVIEW
From Edmunds.com
2015 Ford  Edge Picture
PROS
  • Sophisticated ride quality
  • Room for five and their stuff
  • Quality cabin materials
  • Efficient base engine
  • Powerful Sport model
  • Many available technology features
CONS
  • Touchscreen interface isn't as easy to use as others in its class
  • Automatic transmission's occasionally sluggish downshifts

The Ford Edge, which debuted for the 2007 model year, was among the first wave of midsize crossover SUVs that aimed to combine the ride and handling of a sedan with the space of a wagon and the raised ride height of an SUV. The Edge been a strong seller for Ford, and various refinements through the years have kept it relatively fresh. But now a fully redesigned, second-generation Edge has finally arrived for 2015, and with it comes added refinement in nearly all areas.

For starters, Ford has given the new Edge a stiffer body structure and more sophisticated front and rear suspension designs this year. As a result, the Edge delivers a more pleasant and upscale driving character than before. Ford has also improved the Edge's engine choices. A thoroughly revised turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder becomes the Edge's new base engine, and it delivers more power and better fuel economy than the outgoing 2.0-liter, which was optional for the last-generation Edge. You can still get a 3.5-liter V6 if you want, but the more interesting upgrade this year is an all-new 2.7-liter turbocharged V6. Standard on the Sport model, this 315-horsepower engine makes the 2015 Ford Edge one of the quickest models in its class.

The Edge also grows with its 2015 redesign, gaining 3.9 inches of length that results in additional interior space for passengers and cargo. Edge buyers will also appreciate the noticeable improvements in the quality of the interior materials. More soft-touch surfaces give the Edge a richer, more premium feel. The available (and much maligned) MyFord Touch control interface is still here, but thanks to added physical buttons and the latest software upgrades, it's less frustrating to use than in past years. There are also many new available features for the 2015 Edge including automated parking, adaptive cruise control and lane keeping intervention.

One thing that hasn't changed is the Edge's place in the crossover segment. Truth be told, midsize five-passenger crossover SUVs are often passed over by crossover shoppers who gravitate toward the smaller and less expensive compact crossovers like the Ford Escape or move up to the bigger ones like the Chevrolet Traverse to get three-row, seven-passenger functionality. But the Ford Edge still gives you a nice middle ground. It's more spacious and refined than a compact SUV but not as bulky to drive as a large crossover.

With its redesign, the 2015 Ford Edge is more competitive in its class. However, there are a few rivals that are also worth a look. Topping that list is the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Its road manners are a match for the Edge, but it also offers go-anywhere off-road capability, as well as diesel or V8 power. The 2015 Nissan Murano, which is also redesigned this year, is more stylish than the Edge. You could also check out the more luxurious (but pricier) 2015 Volkswagen Touareg or, if you want a midsizer with a third-row seat, the Kia Sorento. Overall, though, we think the new Ford Edge is an ideal choice for crossover shoppers wanting a compelling mix of interior space, driving refinement and the latest technology.

WHAT'S NEW FOR 2015

The Ford Edge has been fully redesigned for the 2015 model year.

2015 Ford  Edge Picture

TRIMS & EQUIPMENT

The 2015 Ford Edge is a midsize five-passenger crossover SUV offered in SE, SEL, Titanium and Sport trim levels. All models come with front- or all-wheel drive.

Standard features of the SE model include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, air-conditioning, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, a 4.2-inch screen in the center stack, a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and USB and auxiliary inputs. Also included is Ford's Sync system that features voice recognition, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, 911 Assist, and the ability to run apps such as Pandora Internet radio through a smartphone.

The SEL adds heated exterior mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, rear parking sensors, an exterior keyless entry pad, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with power lumbar), a leather-wrapped steering wheel and satellite radio.

The SEL is available with Equipment Group 201A, which adds the MyFord Touch infotainment system with an 8-inch center screen, two configurable screens in the instrument cluster, an additional USB port, an SD card reader and Sync Services such as traffic information and turn-by-turn directions. Also included in this package are leather upholstery, heated front seats, a six-way power front passenger seat and a premium nine-speaker audio system.

The Titanium gets the above equipment as standard plus 19-inch wheels, a hands-free tailgate, LED taillights, upgraded interior trim, ambient interior lighting, heated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat (with power lumbar), driver memory settings and a Sony 12-speaker audio system with HD radio.

To the SEL, the Sport adds the turbocharged 2.7-liter V6, 20-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, LED taillights, unique front and rear lower fascias, ambient lighting, leather-and-suede front sport seats, the eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat and the same electronic features as the Titanium.

Options for the SE include roof rails, second-row outboard inflatable seatbelts and a rear DVD entertainment system. Available on all but the SE are a panoramic sunroof and a Class II tow package with trailer sway control.

A Technology package for the SEL and Titanium consists of a navigation system, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, remote start, an auto-dimming driver side exterior mirror and a 110-volt power outlet. The SEL's Utility package adds a hands-free liftgate, a perimeter alarm and a universal garage door opener. A Cargo Accessory package comes with a rear cargo cover, a cargo area protector and a rear bumper protector.

The Titanium is offered with Equipment Group 301A, which adds the features of the Technology package plus a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front sets, heated rear seats and the panoramic sunroof. Equipment Group 302A includes those features plus a lane departure warning system with lane keeping assist, xenon headlights with automatic high-beam control, automatic wipers, second-row outboard inflatable seatbelts, a 180-degree front camera and an automated parking system for parallel and perpendicular parking (Ford's Enhanced Park Assist system).

The Ford Edge Sport is available with Equipment Group 401A, which adds the features from the Technology package plus ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, lane departure warnings with lane keeping assist, the hands-free liftgate, xenon headlights with automatic high-beam control, automatic wipers, the 180-degree front camera and the automated parking system. A Driver Assistance package for the Sport (late availability) adds adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system with automatic braking, and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Sport buyers can also get 21-inch wheels (with optional summer tires).

2015 Ford  Edge Picture

INTERIOR & SAFETY

The 2015 Edge's interior takes a significant leap forward. Soft-touch materials replace hard plastics on many surfaces. In fact, the dash, doors and center console are all soft to the touch from hip level and up. That means that just about every surface the driver interacts with has a quality feel. The exception is the center stack, which is hard plastic and features a series of round plastic buttons. It's an unexpected bit of cost-cutting that's out of character with the rest of the Edge's cabin.

The optional MyFord Touch interface carries over largely unchanged from the 2014 model. It features a large center screen on the dash and a pair of screens in the instrument cluster. The system is controlled by touch, two sets of small buttons on the steering wheel, or by voice commands. The system is certainly better than it used to be, though it still suffers from some small virtual buttons and mediocre response times. If touchscreen interfaces are important to you, check out the superior system in the Grand Cherokee. It's expected that Ford will roll out an all-new infotainment system (Sync 3) for the 2016 model year.

An additional 3.9 inches of length makes the Edge's already roomy interior even more spacious. Front-row occupants sit on supportive bucket seats, and an additional inch of rear legroom provides comfortable accommodations for adults riding in back. The Edge is also wide enough to make three-across second-row seating a viable proposition for families of five.

The extra length also improves cargo space. With the rear seats up, the Edge has a useful 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space available. With the seats down, that expands to 73.4 cubic feet. Both of those figures are at or near the top of the class.

The 2015 Ford Edge comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, Ford's Curve Control, front knee airbags, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. The Ford Sync system includes an emergency crash-notification feature that automatically dials 911 when paired with a compatible cell phone. Also standard is Ford's MyKey, which can be used to set certain parameters for secondary drivers such as teens or valets. All but the SE also have rear parking sensors.

Optional safety equipment includes inflatable outboard rear seatbelts, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, a lane departure warning and intervention system, and a forward collision warning system with brake support that pressurizes the brakes for maximum stopping power when it detects an imminent collision.

2015 Ford  Edge Picture

PERFORMANCE & HANDLING

The 2015 Ford Edge is available with one of three engines as well as either front- or all-wheel drive. All models come with a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard on all but the Sport is a new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 245 hp and 275 pound-feet of torque. The EPA estimates that a front-wheel-drive Edge with the 2.0-liter engine will achieve 24 mpg combined (20 city/30 highway). That drops a bit to 23 mpg combined (20 city/28 highway) with all-wheel drive. An automatic engine stop-start function is optional for the front-drive, four-cylinder engine configuration to further save fuel.

SE, SEL and Titanium buyers can opt for a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 280 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. The fuel economy ratings for the 3.5 are 21 mpg combined (18 city/26 highway) with front-wheel drive and 20 combined (17/25) with all-wheel drive.

The Sport model comes exclusively with a 2.7-liter V6 engine. This turbocharged engine churns out 315 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. The 2.7 is EPA rated at 21 mpg combined (18/27) with front-wheel drive and 20 mpg combined (17/24) with all-wheel drive.

The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine was not rated to tow in the last Edge, but it is now. It maxes out at 3,500 pounds when properly equipped, as do the 3.5-liter and 2.7-liter V6 engines.

Thanks to various improvements to its body structure and suspension, the Ford Edge now has a more controlled, more carlike character. On the road, the 2016 Edge truly feels like a raised sedan, with a composed ride, direct steering and little body lean when going around turns. It's quite an improvement over the less-than-sporty outgoing model. We're also impressed with the Edge's low levels of wind and road noise.

The new turbocharged 2.0-liter engine is smooth for a four cylinder, and it offers respectable passing power when required. The carryover 3.5-liter V6 is fine, too, but given its similar power, lower fuel economy and extra cost, we'd just stick with the base four-cylinder. If you really want power, the turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 is the way to go, offering plenty of thrust when your right foot asks for it. It also sounds pretty cool and it can be fairly fuel-efficient for drivers who go light on the gas pedal.

All three engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. It comes with steering wheel shift paddles in the Sport model. If we have one complaint about the Edge's powertrains, it's that this transmission can sometimes be tardy to downshift when more power is needed.

VERDICT

With carlike road manners, a quality cabin with plenty of passenger and cargo space, and an efficient base engine, the 2015 Ford Edge is a sensible choice for a five-passenger midsize crossover SUV. Shoppers wanting more sizzle can go with the Sport model, which has a powerful turbocharged V6 engine and sportier suspension tuning.

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