Written by: Don Cheng
Photography by: Don Cheng
Perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve always found the etymology behind car names to be incredibly interesting. I like knowing the little stories behind how a car received its name. Take the Toyota Camry for instance. It’s an Anglicized phonetic transcription of the Japanese word kanmuri, which means crown. Whether the name sounds fast or exotic, it’s all there for a purpose… for the most part. But like all things, every once in a while there’s an exception, like the Ford Edge.
When you first hear the name your mind probably conjures up thoughts of an edgy sports car. Something wide, low, aggressive, and looks like it will outrun anything on four wheels. You’d be in for a surprise then when you finally set eyes on the Ford Edge, which looks about as “edgy” as a wheel. Despite the ill-fitting angular nomenclature, the model name shouldn’t sound too foreign to you as the Edge is currently on its second generation.
For the 2015 model year, the Edge receives a complete overhaul featuring new grills and a design language that follows the rest of the Ford family: muscular bodylines, edgier taillights, and a fast sloping rear window. Don’t let the big changes fool you; at its core the Edge is still very much like its predecessor.
While it may sound like dreadful news, it actually isn’t. To understand why, one must realize where the Edge sits in the company’s portfolio. Slotted above the Escape and right below the Explorer, the Edge is the company’s Goldilocks crossover: not too big, and not too small, just right. With such a heavy weight on its shoulders, Ford can’t risk mucking it up, and thus out comes a crossover that does a whole lot right and very few bits wrong.
The Edge Sport sits firmly atop the totem pole of the Edge lineup and is remarkably well equipped for the money. Thanks to the shared Ford Fusion platform, the new Edge is about 100mm longer than its predecessor - a difference that pays dividends on the inside. The cabin is spacious and very comfortable; I love all the little cubbyholes Ford has implemented all over the interior.
The seats are very comfortable and offer great support for long journeys – I’m also a big fan of the suede seat inserts. Ford has done a stellar job beefing up the utilitarian features of the car, the center console is like a cave – literally my entire arm fits inside it. And while these details may seem trivial at first, they do add up when the car is packed full of occupants for a long road trip.
Speaking of road trips, for a mere $4,350 premium the Edge will come loaded with all the latest safety technology to keep the driver alert and out of a ditch somewhere on the side of the road. The car comes with blind spot assist, lane departure warning, park-in/park-out assist, and lane keep assist. The last option is the really nifty one; when the car has decided that you’re veering too far from the lane, it will actually intervene on the steering and nudge the car back.
The first time that it happens, the experience is jarring and I suppose that’s the point to wake sleepy drivers. But over time you learn to appreciate that the system is there watching out for you. Be warned, if you lane change without using the blinkers, you’ll encounter some heavy resistance from the wheel – not like we’ve tried or anything.
Park-in and park-out assist is brilliant. Hit the button located on the right of the gear selector and the car will begin scanning for available parking spots. When it does find one, it helps park the car in for you. If you’re particularly lazy (or in an extremely tight spot) the car will also help you exit the parking space. Finally, as an added convenience option, the Edge’s power lift gate will open if you wave your foot around the bottom of the car. Again, all the utilitarian features of the car are a welcome addition for burgeoning families.
While the majority of other manufacturers introduce a “sport” model that almost always stops short at everything but performance; it’s nice to see that Ford has gone the extra mile and tried to “sport-en” up their crossover. The Edge Sport receives Ford’s 2.7-litre twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, an engine that is exclusive to the Sport trim (but not the rest of the Ford lineup). In addition to the upgraded power, it comes with a unique set of wheels and a firmer suspension.
The addition of two turbochargers on the V6 gives this car a healthy power bump from the standard 3.5 V6 to 315 horsepower. Peak torque comes relatively early in the RPM range at 2750, and when you plant your foot down the car elicits a growl that is rather unexpected from a family SUV.
Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the hefty SUV handles just fine in the city – until you try to make a pass on the left lane. The six-speed is really hesitant to downshift. It’s almost as if the car would take a moment to ask “are you sure you want to press the throttle that hard? Crazy things will happen if you do!” When it finally has confirmed that you indeed want to make a pass, the transmission will drop down a gear (rather abruptly too) and you’re treated to the loud growl of the V6 building boost. This procedure takes a solid second or two and can make some highway passes really awkward.
The upgraded suspension however helps minimize some of the body roll and the car definitely feels firmer on the road. Steering feedback also benefits from the stiffness but the overall driving experience is still far from sporty. Regardless, the ride comfort doesn’t take much of a toll and the Edge manages to keep your drink from flying everywhere in the cabin. Make no mistake, all the extra go-fast bits won’t equivocate to the driving dynamics of a true fast SUV, the X5 M more or less sets the bar for that. Keep the Edge within the edges of its confines (pun intended) and the car will keep occupants very happy.
A quick glance across the midsize crossover market and it becomes rapidly evident that a Ford Edge devoid of any rough edges is really what the segment needed. While other manufacturers all offer some variant on the standard crossover formula, they always come with a caveat. The Edge Sport might be a little pricey at an all-in price of $51,539 (including the $200 Sport-exclusive Electric Spice paint option). However, if you opt for the fully loaded Titanium trim with the 4-cylinder EcoBoost, you’d save just about $9,000 for what amounts to be a well-sorted family hauler free of any major critical flaws. That’s the Edge that we think will throw Ford up to the top of the crossover podium.
型号 Model: 2015 Ford Edge Sport
顏色 Paint Type: Electric Spice ($200)
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $45,199
試車售價 Price as Tested: $52,999
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,849
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,779 / 2,179 / 1,742
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,850
引擎 Engine: 2.7L EcoBoost V6 twin-turbocharged, direct-injection engine
最大馬力 Horsepower: 315 hp @ 4,750 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 350 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 6-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
前懸 Suspension-Front: Independent, MacPherson struts and L-shaped lower control arm with isolated subframe and stabilizer bar
後懸 Suspension-Rear: Independent multi-link suspension with trailing blade control arms, isolated subframe and stabilizer bar
油耗 Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ): 13.6 / 9.8 / 11.9 L/100km
輪胎尺碼 Tires: Pirelli Scorpion Verde; 265/40R21