The five-passenger Ford Edge midsize crossover is back with essentially no changes for 2017 after a complete makeover just two years ago.
But there are four new exterior color choices this year -- blue jeans, white gold, burgundy velvet tinted clearcoat, and, included on our sport tester, canyon ridge metallic, which is a burnt-orange hue (think UT-Austin orange).
There is also a new 20-inch wheel option for the titanium model.
Prices for 2017 start at $28,950 (plus $895 freight) for the base SE model with front-wheel drive and the standard 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
They range as high as $40,900 for the sport all-wheel-drive model with a twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine and six-speed automatic, the version we tested for this report.
Our vehicle had $5,685 in options, including 21-inch premium painted-aluminum wheels ($995), bringing the total sticker price to $46,980, including freight and a $500 discount for the all-wheel drive.
In between the SE and sport models are the front-drive SEL ($31,790) and titanium ($35,600). The top-of-the-line sport comes only with all-wheel drive, but the Edge’s intelligent all-wheel drive system can be added to SE, SEL and titanium models for $1,495 extra.
With the remake two years ago, Ford made the Edge nearly four inches longer and gave it more interior space. The cargo area, with the rear seat in place, now has 39.2 cubic feet of space, up from 32.2 cubic feet before. With the rear seatback folded, space expands to a whopping 73.4 cubic feet, up from 68.9.
During a weekend trip to the beach with three adults on board, we had plenty of room for our luggage and beach gear.
We also had plenty of power from the 2.7-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6 engine that comes in the sport. It produces an impressive 315 horsepower and 360 foot-pounds of torque.
Coupled with the six-speed automatic, this engine provided all of the power we needed for interstate highway uphill on-ramps and two-lane back-road passing.
The all-wheel drive performed well in the sand on some fun beach driving, and also provided great traction on some unpaved park roads. This system is not designed for serious trail driving, however, as it does not include low-range gearing or locking axles.
The Edge’s sport-tuned suspension gave it a decent ride on and off the pavement, but it did let some bumps through to the passengers. Overall, though, that was a worthy trade-off for the Edge’s excellent roadhandling.
Much of the weekend we drove around with two adults up front and three in the rear, and the backseat passengers were mostly comfortable. There was one major annoyance, though: The outboard rear seatbelts – which came with Ford’s optional self-inflatable straps -- are extremely difficult to fasten for adults already sitting in the seat. That brought a lot of moaning and complaining every time my passengers got into the vehicle. Ford should revisit the design of those belts, for sure.
As for other available powerplants, the base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the Edge produces 245 horsepower and 275 foot-pounds of torque, while the optional normally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 turns out 280 horsepower and 250 foot-pounds of torque.
Both of these engines are connected to six-speed automatics. But this actually puts the Edge behind some of its competitors that offer automatics with eight or nine speeds for better highway fuel economy.
EPA ratings for the Edge are 20 mpg city/29 highway/24 combined for the four-cylinder engine with front drive and 20/27/23 with all-wheel drive; 17/26/20 for the front-drive 3.5-liter and 17/24/19 for the AWD 3.5-liter; and 17/24/20 for the 2.7-liter with all-wheel drive, included on our tester.
During our weeklong test of the Sport with the 2.7-liter engine, we averaged just under 20 mpg, with about a 50-50 mix of local and highway driving.
Among standard features on our Edge sport’s exterior were active grille shutters, black beltline molding, a capless fuel filler, dual exhaust tips, wiper-activated automatic high-intensity-discharge headlights, LED signature lighting, a hands-free power liftgate, power/heated/folding outside mirrors with approach lights and memory, privacy glass, and LED taillights with a light bar.
Interior standard sport features included dual automatic climate control, aluminum pedals, ambient lighting, leather seats with 10-way power adjust for the two front bucket seats (memory on the driver’s side), self-dimming rearview mirror, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, and keyless entry with pushbutton start.
The cabin was well equipped for passenger comfort and support of gadgets, with dual smart-charging USB ports at the front of the center console tray (in front of the shifter), along with a total of eight cupholders and some strategically placed 12-volt power outlets.
Some of the technology features included adaptive steering, a Sony 12-speaker audio system with awesome sound, hill-start assist, rearview camera system, a reverse-sensing system, universal garage/gate opener, and a 60/40-split/easy-fold rear bench seat.
The audio system included the Ford SYNC system with an eight-inch touch screen.
Our tester came with equipment group 401A ($3,345), which added a voice-activated navigation system, blind-spot information system with warning lights in the outside mirrors, remote start, auto-dimming driver’s side outside mirror, lane-keep assist, heated/cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a front 180-degree split-view camera system, enhanced active park assist (for automatic parallel and perpendicular parking), and rain-sensing wipers.
We also had the adaptive cruise control with collision warning ($1,150), and those inflatable outboard rear seatbelts ($195). The only other option was the 21-inch wheel package.
Among standard safety features were electronic stability control with traction control, driver and front passenger knee air bags, overhead safety-canopy air bags, individual tire-pressure monitors, a perimeter alarm system, a personal safety system, and the SOS post-crash alert system.
The rear seat had LATCH child safety-seat connections in all three positions.
Our vehicle came with the black perforated-leather seats that included suede cloth inserts.
The Edge is assembled at Ford’s Oakville plant in Ontario, Canada.
The automotive columns of G. Chambers Williams III have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 1994. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter @gchambers3.
2017 Ford Edge
The package: Midsize, front- or all-wheel-drive, five-door, five-passenger, turbocharged four-cylinder or V-6 powered crossover utility vehicle.
Highlights: After a complete makeover two years ago, the midsize Edge crossover offers the latest Ford engines and other technology, and rides on the same architecture as the Ford Fusion sedan. It remains one of the nicest crossovers on the market, with a roomy and comfortable interior, great engine choices, and lots of high-tech options.
Negatives: Can get as pricey as a luxury brand with all the extras added; no third row available for expanded passenger capacity.
Overall length: 188.1 inches.
Curb weight range: 3,912-4,078 pounds.
Engine: 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder (turbocharged); 3.5-liter V-6 (normally aspirated); 2.7-liter V-6 (turbo).
Transmission: Six-speed automatic.
Power/torque: 245 HP./275 foot-pounds (2.0-liter); 280 HP./250 foot-pounds (3.5); 315 HP./360 foot-pounds (2.7).
Brakes, front/rear: Disc/disc, antilock.
Cargo volume: 39.2 cubic feet (behind rear seat); 73.4 cubic feet (rear seatback folded).
Towing capacity: 3,500 pounds (may vary by trim/powertrain).
Electronic stability control: Standard.
Side air bags: Front seat-mounted; roof-mounted side-curtain (both rows).
EPA fuel economy: 20 mpg city/29 highway/24 combined (2WD/2.0-liter); 21/29/24 (2WD/2.0/w/start-stop); 20/27/23 (AWD/2.0); 17/26/20 (2WD, 3.5-liter); 17/24/19 (AWD/3.5-liter); 17/24/20 (AWD/2.7).
Fuel capacity/type: 18.3 gallons (front drive) or 19.2 gallons (AWD)/unleaded regular.
Main competitors: Nissan Murano, Infiniti QX70, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Venza, Hyundai Santa Fe, Dodge Journey, Kia Sorento, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain, Cadillac XT5, Lexus RX 350, Acura MDX.
Base price range: $28,950-$40,900, plus $895 freight.
Price as tested: $46,980 including freight, options and $500 AWD discount (Sport AWD model).
On the Road rating: 8.7 (of a possible 10).