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REVIEW
From Edmunds.com
2017 Ford  Edge Picture
PROS
  • Ride quality is smoother than many of its competitors
  • Plenty of space for passengers and luggage
  • Fuel-efficient and performance-oriented engines
  • Many available tech and luxury features
CONS
  • Base engine may be too sluggish for some drivers
  • Transmission is occasionally slow to react

Most crossover SUVs fall into one of two categories: You've got your two-row subcompact and compact crossovers and then the larger three-row large SUVs best suited for family duty. However, there are a few midsize models that slot between the compact and large crossovers. These offer superior rear seat accommodations compared to a compact crossover but without the large footprint of one of the big guys. Of these, the 2017 Ford Edge is a great choice if you want something modern, fuel-efficient and comfortable.

Unlike its corporate stablemate, the Escape (a comfortable vehicle by compact crossover standards), the Edge is wide enough that three adults can sit side by side in the back without feeling too cramped. There are three engines available, too, from a fuel-efficient turbocharged four-cylinder to the muscular twin-turbo V6 found on the Sport. We also like that many features packages are available on multiple trim levels, so you can really customize the Edge the way you want it. For instance, most models can be equipped with advanced safety and entertainment equipment such as blind-spot monitoring and the excellent Sync 3 infotainment interface.

If the Edge doesn't float your boat but you still want a versatile midsize crossover, a few rivals are worth considering. The Nissan Murano offers bold styling, extremely comfortable seats and a strong V6 engine that outperforms the Edge's turbocharged four-cylinder while achieving about the same fuel economy. The Jeep Grand Cherokee differentiates itself with its off-road ability and an available diesel engine. You could also go with redesigned 2017 GMC Acadia, which is smaller and more nimble than last year. But overall we think the Edge is one of the best all-round vehicles in its segment.

WHAT'S NEW FOR 2017

The 2017 Ford Edge is essentially unchanged from last year.

2017 Ford  Edge Picture

TRIMS & EQUIPMENT

The 2017 Ford Edge is a five-passenger midsize crossover SUV offered in four trim levels: SE, SEL, Titanium and Sport.

Standard features of the SE model include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, dual exhaust tips, an active grille shutter, an acoustic windshield, rear privacy glass, LED taillights, remote locking and unlocking, air-conditioning, 60/40-split folding and reclining rear seatbacks, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with shift paddles, cruise control, a 4.2-inch central display screen, a height-adjustable driver seat, 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, which features voice recognition, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, 911 Assist, and the ability to use apps such as Spotify and Pandora with voice commands.

The SEL adds LED headlight accents, heated exterior mirrors with puddle lamps, rear parking sensors, an exterior keyless entry pad, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, upgraded cloth upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with power lumbar adjustment), a six-way power-adjustable passenger seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and satellite radio.

The SEL is available with Equipment Group 201A, which adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, a nine-speaker audio system and the Sync 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, two configurable screens in the instrument cluster and an additional USB port.

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

To the Titanium's equipment roster, the Sport adds the turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 engine, 20-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, unique front and rear styling, variable-ratio steering, a power-adjustable steering wheel, sport-themed interior trim and perforated leather and simulated-suede upholstery.

Some of the fancier standard items are available on lower trim levels as options. The Technology package for the SEL, Titanium and Sport adds an auto-dimming driver-side mirror, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, remote start, a navigation system and a 110-volt power outlet. The same three trims are also eligible for a Cold Weather package that includes a heated steering wheel, all-weather floor mats and a windshield wiper de-icer.

For the Titanium, Equipment Group 301A includes the Technology package and adds ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and a panoramic sunroof, while Equipment Group 302A throws in a lane departure warning and prevention system, xenon headlights with automatic high-beam control, automatic wipers, second-row outboard inflatable seat belts, a 180-degree front camera and an automated parking system. The Titanium Driver's Package borrows the variable-ratio steering and power-adjustable steering wheel from the Sport, also adding adaptive cruise control and a forward collision warning system.

The Ford Edge Sport is available with Equipment Group 401A, which largely mirrors the Titanium's Group 301A but lacks the panoramic sunroof and inflatable rear seat belts, both of which are available separately. Also on tap for Sport buyers is a set of 21-inch wheels (with optional summer tires).

Optional on every Edge is a rear entertainment system. Other stand-alone options, depending on trim level and configuration, include roof rails, a tow package, and 20- and 21-inch wheels.

2017 Ford  Edge Picture

INTERIOR & SAFETY

The 2017 Ford Edge's cabin is mostly covered in soft-touch materials. 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 only exception is the standard center stack, which is made primarily of hard plastic, basic controls and a tiny display. Thankfully, the optional Sync 3 infotainment system transforms that whole section of the dashboard into a sleek, modern interface.

Speaking of Sync 3, we haven't tested it in the Edge yet, but our experience with the system in other Ford vehicles is that it's quick and easy to use. The 8-inch touchscreen offers a modern, smartphone-like layout with large square virtual buttons lined up on the bottom of the screen. If you're into the latest technology, Sync 3 is well worth the upgrade over the standard configuration, but bear in mind that you'll need at least the SEL trim level to get it.

The Edge's cabin is expansive, with plenty of room for all passengers. Front-row occupants sit in supportive bucket seats, and the rear seats provide comfortable accommodations for adults. The Edge is also wide enough to make three-across second-row seating a viable proposition for families of five.

Cargo space is similarly impressive. 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 2017 Ford Edge comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, Ford's Curve Control, front knee airbags, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, a rearview camera and hill hold assist. The standard Ford Sync system includes an emergency crash-notification feature that automatically dials 911 when paired with a compatible cellphone. Also included is Ford's MyKey, which can be used to set electronic parameters for secondary drivers such as teens or valets. All but the SE have rear parking sensors.

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

At the Edmunds test track, an Edge Titanium came to a stop from 60 mph in 119 feet, a few feet shorter than average for a midsize crossover.

In government crash tests, the 2017 Edge earned a perfect five-star overall rating, with five stars for total front-impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. In crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Edge earned a top rating of Good in the moderate-overlap front-impact test and a second-best Acceptable in the small-overlap front-impact test. The Edge earned a Good rating for the side-impact, roof strength and seat/head restraint (whiplash protection) tests.

2017 Ford  Edge Picture

PERFORMANCE & HANDLING

The 2017 Ford Edge has three engine choices, all of which are paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard on every trim but the Sport is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, with all-wheel drive (AWD) available at extra cost. Front-wheel-drive models utilize an automatic engine stop-start function to help save fuel.

EPA fuel economy estimates were not available at the time of publication, but we don't expect them to change from last year. The 2016 Edge 2.0T was estimated to return 24 mpg combined (20 city/30 highway) with FWD and 23 mpg combined (20 city/28 highway) with AWD.

In Edmunds track testing, an Edge 2.0T with AWD sauntered to 60 mph in a leisurely 8.3 seconds. That's a few ticks quicker than the Kia Sorento 2.0T AWD but slower than the FWD Nissan Murano, which needed only 7.5 seconds.

SEL and Titanium buyers can opt for a non-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that makes 280 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. The 2016 model with this engine was rated at 21 mpg combined (18 city/26 highway) with FWD and 20 mpg combined (17 city/24 highway) with AWD.

The Sport comes exclusively with AWD and a turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 engine that churns out 315 hp and a substantial 350 lb-ft of torque. It's nearly as fuel-efficient as the regular V6, too: expect 20 mpg combined (17 city/24 highway).

The 2.0-liter and 3.5-liter engines can tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped, but Ford limits the Sport's 2.7-liter V6 to 2,000 pounds because it's not eligible for the tow package.

The 2017 Ford Edge has a controlled, carlike character from behind the wheel. It truly feels like a raised sedan, with a composed ride, direct steering and little body lean by crossover standards when going around turns. Even large bumps are soaked up by the forgiving suspension. We're also impressed with the Edge's low levels of wind and road noise. The Edge has enough refinement to give Lincoln MKX shoppers pause, as the Edge's upscale platform mate is, as expected, considerably pricier.

The turbocharged 2.0-liter engine is smooth and offers respectable passing power when required, but it's a bit sluggish off the line and clearly designed more for efficiency. The 3.5-liter V6 packs a stronger punch, but given its 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, delivering a serious wallop when your right foot asks for it. It sounds pretty cool, too. If we have one complaint about the Edge's powertrains, it's that the six-speed automatic transmission is sometimes reluctant to downshift when more power is needed.

VERDICT

You don't have to buy a three-row crossover just to get a roomy interior. Take the 2017 Ford Edge, for instance. It'll fit your family of five with room to spare and still fit into your garage with ease. It also boasts the latest technology, a smooth ride and a wide range of engines.

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