I was always a fan of the Ford Edge from the get-go. When the Edge debuted in 2006, Ford was a company in dire straits. At that time, the Ford Edge was considered a beacon of âchangeâ at Ford. It was also the first car that Alan Mulally (then, the new CEO) launched under his tenure.
The Edge was considered to be a radical styling departure for Ford. But the current generation Edge did have its flaws: notably, a shoddy interior, poor braking performance and subpar fuel economy â all of which Ford has addressed in this refresh.
The 2011 Edge is more than a traditional refresh. Fordâs refresh mantra includes a radical restyling of the frontend and a completely redesigned instrument cluster, dash and center console. Ford has mastered this type of radical refresh on 8 models now including the Focus, Fusion and Escape.
After spending some time observing the new Edge in the metal flesh, I think Ford did this new frontend treatment just right. As I said to several people on the floor of CAS10, this vehicle is the best interpretation of the Ford Interceptor Concept thus far.
The three-bar grille is now so large it will most likely offend some customers. I think thatâs a good thing though. Carmakers shouldnât design vehicles to be all things to all people; otherwise all youâre building is a Toyota doppelganger. I also like the fact that Ford has decided to give different nameplates their own fonts, the âEDGEâ logo looks quite unique now.Â
The raised, clamshell hood has become a trademark of Fordâs American design aesthetic (found on the Fusion and Mustang). Overall, the new frontend is less âedgyâ and more organic looking, with fewer cutlines and tighter gaps. The front headlamp design is similar to that found on the new Taurus and is a design element thatâs supposed to tie in American Fordâs with their European counterparts (at least stylistically). The Edgeâs lower intake, diffuser and lower front fenders are also of the European âkinetic design.â
Also notice how the fog light piping is a design element that ties the Edge in with the new Fiesta. While Ford apparently moved some things around on the rear end, itâs almost impossible to tell any difference between it and the current generation. The same boring side profile remains on this Edge as it does on the new Fusion. That is a design element that will have to be seriously addressed in the full redesign (I want to see crazy sculpting on the next-gen!).
The interior is a dramatic departure from the current Edge, which had a modular, cheap looking design. While the seats and door trim are the same, the dash, instrument cluster and center console are all new. The new dash and center console feature improved materials and overall better execution. Ford claims that the ergonomics are vastly improved, but that remains to be seen.
I thought the layout to be confusing, but I was only in the car for 20 minutes. Iâm sure owners would adjust. The instrument cluster and center stack features Fordâs new MyFord Touch, standard on 2011 Edge Limited and 2011 Edge Sport and optional on the other trims. The center cluster features two 4.2-inch LCD screens that display information like fuel economy, torque or what radio channel youâre listening to.
As for the center stackâs capacitive touch screen technology Iâm a bit dubious. I thought the system felt laggy and wouldnât function well without the driver looking at the button they are trying to hit.
Overall, the Ford Edge is another attractive offering for Ford dealerships and was one of the few noteable debuts at the Chicago Auto Show.
***I will post additional information on the powertrain and chassis improvements later today.