2011 Ford Edge
On the verge of Crossover Land

WE LIKE: Powerful engines, upgraded interior quality, Sync system.
WE DON'T LIKE: Edge Sport's weight, price, heavy 22-inch wheels, and especially the brakes.

Can Ford repeat its Fusion magic with the 2011 Edge? They share a platform, and the Edge benefits from the same level of improvement as the '10 Fusion. Problem is, we never thought as much of the original 2007 Edge as we did of the 2006 Fusion.

For 2011, the base engine remains Ford's 3.5-liter V-6 coupled to a six-speed automatic. Ford includes manumatic shifting, though it's a cumbersome gearshift toggle button. The Edge Sport's six-speed comes with paddle shifters, and its standard engine is a Mustang-based 3.7-liter. A 2.0-liter EcoBoost option will be added in 2011.

The lighter, front-drive 3.5-liter Edge SEL is 0.5 second quicker in the 0-60-mph test and 0.2 second quicker in the quarter mile than our all-wheel-drive Edge Sport, despite the Sport's 30-horsepower, 27-pound-foot advantage. The Sport is 0.9 second quicker in MT's figure eight, though, and its ride, while stiff, is not harsh like those of many crossovers with sport-sedan aspirations. Staffers prefer the SEL's ride as more appropriate for a family crossover. The Sport's optional 22-inch wheels add too much unsprung weight. And Ford failed to upgrade the brakes to match the Sport's image and big wheels. We recorded a best 60-0-mph stop of 124 feet, but braking performance deteriorated to 148 feet with subsequent stops, and, after taking time to cool the brakes, 155 feet. Unacceptable.

All Edges feature the MyFord Touch updated Sync system paired with premium Sony audio in the Sport. A $2870 package on our SEL upgraded the system with an 8-inch screen and a rearview camera, plus leather-trimmed seats, and ambient lighting. Technoids find Sync essential for voice control of nav, entertainment, and temperature. Some of us found it too fussy. Sync and MyFord are wrapped in a state-of-the-art interior with fit and finish among the best for a middle-priced model.

Ford's improvements to the Edge were enough to qualify it as a finalist for sport/utility of the year, far better than it did four years ago. Substandard brakes and too much mass helped keep it from serious consideration to win our calipers. - Todd Lassa

2011 Ford Edge
Base price $27,995-$38,845
Price as tested $35,055; $40,535 (*SEL; sport AWD)
Vehicle layout Front engine, FWD; AWD*, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
Engine 3.5L/285-hp/253-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6; 3.7L/305-hp/ 280-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6*
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Curb weight (f/r dist) 4075 lb (59/41%); 4405 lb (58/42%)*
Wheelbase 111.2 in
Length x width x height 184.2 x 76.0 x 67.0 in
0-60 mph 7.1 sec; 7.6 sec*
Quarter mile 15.7 sec @ 91.0 mph; 15.9 sec @ 88.9 mph*
Braking, 60-0 mph 139 ft; 124 ft*
Lateral acceleration 0.76; 0.82 g (avg)*
MT Figure Eight 27.9 sec @ 0.62 g (avg); 27.0 sec @ 0.65 g (avg)*
MT observed fuel econ 16.9; 14.4 mpg*
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 19/27; 17/23 mpg*
CO2 emissions 0.88; 1.01 lb/mile*
INTERIOR/Functionality ****
Significant improvements, but it's no Fusion.