We're actually hard pressed to call what Ford has done to the 2011 Ford Edge a simple refresh. Pick nearly any aspect of the popular mid-sized SUV and the Blue Oval's engineers probably tweaked, restyled or replaced it. Indeed, so far, it looks and sounds like an all-new edition.
Ford is offering three new powertrains and a revamped transmission to the Edge's SEL, Limited, and Sport lineup. Previously, customers could outfit their Edge with a grand total of one engine and transmission. Now, there's a base 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that's expected to deliver best-in-class mpg (though no figures have been released), some 15% better fuel economy than the Edge's current 3.5-liter six. A reworked 3.5-liter (285hp/253 lb-ft) puts out 20 more ponies versus the previous edition and is also said to be cleaner and more fuel efficient than anything preceding it.
The big brother of the mix is a 3.7-liter V-6, which cranks out a robust 305 hp and 280 pound-feet of torque (equal to the 2011 Mustang V-6) and is standard equipment on the Edge Sport. Also like the Mustang, both V-6 mills use Ford's TiVCT, or twin independent variable camshaft timing, for improved fuel economy and horsepower, as well as lower emissions. Power is routed through a recalibrated first-generation SelectShift six-speed automatic transmission, though the Edge Sport gets the same unit, but with steering wheel mounted paddles for more of an engaging drive. Slip the gearshift into manual mode and the ECU allows for quick shifts at the rev limit.
Peer closely at the new Ford Edge's exterior and you'll notice the slight, but distinguishable changes. Upgrades like slimmer headlights, a bolder front grille, fresh wheel designs, and a more pronounced chin spoiler create an overall clean and sophisticated look that's better aligned with its named competitors, the Lexus RX350, BMW X5, Audi Q5, Acura MDX, and Nissan Murano. The A-pillars match more seamlessly with the redesigned hood. At the rear, new taillights achieve a jewel-like appearance and are mated with four-inch chrome exhaust pipes. A blacked-out grille with matching smoked head and taillights -- plus some painted bodywork -- differentiate the Sport from other trims. Ford calls the design updates "more expressive" and "bolder". From what's been shown so far, we tend to agree.
The front lip spoiler was built with two functions in mind. Along with underbody shields, its secondary role is to aid in reducing interior noise levels by controlling passing air. Thicker rubber subframe mounts and a more robust windshield also help to mitigate the first generation's relatively high NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) levels.