For 2016, Ford stocks its Edge SUV with more technology, including an adaptive steering feature and park assist that can handle even perpendicular spaces.
The five-passenger Edge also gets a Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system that's easier to use, responds faster than its predecessor and has two slick, customizable dashboard displays.
The Edge's dimensions and three engine choices haven't changed, retaining its comfort and a range of power. It's a recommended buy of Consumer Reports, which projects the vehicle's reliability will be "good," and it earned an overall five out of five stars in the federal government's frontal and side crash tests for occupant crash protection.
The Edge is not as big and unwieldy as a full-size SUV, though it is larger than many mid-size SUVs. In fact, the 40.6 inches of back-seat legroom are as much as some cars provide for front-seat passengers. Up front, there's 42.6 inches of legroom.
All 2016 Edge SUVs come with a six-speed automatic transmission
The starting manufacturer's suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $29,595 for a front-wheel drive, 2016 Edge SE with the base, 245-horsepower, turbocharged, four-cylinder EcoBoost engine.
The lowest starting retail price, including destination charge, for a 2016 Edge SE with the same engine and all-wheel drive is $31,090.
Ford also offers one non-turbo engine—a 280-horsepower V-6. And the 315-horsepower, twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 is available only on the top-of-the-line Edge Sport. The good news is the top-end engine doesn't require premium gasoline.
The test vehicle was the Edge Sport, which comes standard with all-wheel drive and has a starting retail price of $41,295. It impressed immediately with its wide, stocky stance and 21-inch wheels, which cost an extra $995, filling the wheel wells.
Front-seat passengers had to contend with thick pillars at the sides of the windshield that can obscure pedestrians and bicyclists when making turns.
The Sport has a firmer ride than what you'd expect from a vehicle its size, and, with the test vehicle, the heavier wheels at the corners.
The 2.7-liter, twin-turbo V-6 was pleasing, with strong acceleration moving the nearly 4,100-pound SUV as if it were a much lighter vehicle. Peak torque of 350 foot-pounds comes on at 2,750 rpm.
The six-speed automatic shifted smoothly much of the time. The new adaptive steering is Ford's next-generation variable ratio power steering and lets drivers select between normal and sport steering modes for both the regular "Drive" gear and the "Sport" gear on the transmission.
The result is a sizable SUV that takes a bit less arm movement to maneuver into garage-parking spaces and yet has a more precise steering feel than expected at highway speeds.
But the Edge's turning circle is large, and the tester's fuel economy was lackluster at 17.6 mpg in driving mostly on country roads and in the city. This amounted to a measly 338 miles on a 19.2-gallon tank of gasoline.
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