Oakville Drives: 2016 Ford Edge AWD Sport: A Professional Driver’s Perspective

2016 Ford EDGE Sport AWD
Oakville Drives: 2016 Ford Edge AWD Sport: A Professional Driver’s Perspective

About the Author

R. G. Beltzner

R. G. Beltzner

A long time automobile enthusiast, and competitive race driver, Rainer Beltzner provides performance driving and racing instruction for Porsche, BMW, and Ferrari owners and clubs. He's been doing this for over 25 years. Often, Rainer is found driving/teaching on one of the Canadian Tire Motorsport, Shannonville or Watkins Glen tracks. During the “off-season”, Rainer spends his spare time driving and evaluating a broad range of vehicles. Follow Rainer on Twitter @redy2rol.

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After one week of driving the Edge AWD Sport mid-size SUV, I would happily have kept it for quite a bit longer. The 2016 Ford Edge is available in four different models (SE, SEL, Titanium and Sport). The SE, SEL and Titanium models are available in both FWD and AWD and come standard with the 2.0L EcoBoost (turbo) engine. Given the weight of this SUV, the 2.0L engine with 245hp is sufficient to get you moving but may not be adequate to give you the acceleration and pulling power that you want. I would seriously consider the 280 hp 3.5L V6 as an available option on the SEL and Titanium models. The Edge Sport is only available as an all wheel drive equipped with the 2.7L V6 turbo that provides a satisfying 315hp and 350 lb-ft of torque coupled with a six speed automatic transmission.

Front Interior for Ford Edge 2016

This fully equipped Edge Sport is a very comfortable vehicle for driver and front seat passenger.

Handling characteristics

The Edge Sport handles very well in both city and highway driving. While all of the Edge models have 4-wheel independent suspension, the Edge Sport benefits from a unique tuned suspension (stiffer springs, etc.) and huge 245/50R20 all season tires that combine to provide a solid and predictable ride. The Edge is equipped with electric power-assisted steering that adjusts the steering response of the wheels based on the speed of the vehicle. On the highway, the steering felt tight and responsive. Once parked or at slow speed, it became much lighter allowing for easier turning. The 6-speed automatic transmission is smooth and can also be manually shifted (within allowable range) with the available sport-like paddle shifters. Despite Ford’s claim of “for ultimate control”, there is little value in using the paddle shifts on this vehicle.

Ford Motor Company of Canada

Model: 2016 Murano Platinum AWD
Engine: 3.5L 24-V, DOHC V6
Base Price: $43,998
Price as Tested: $45,893

Comfort

This fully equipped Edge Sport is a very comfortable vehicle for driver and front seat passenger. It came equipped with heated and cooled leather-trimmed 10-way power sport seats and a heated steering wheel with a power-tilt/telescoping steering column. The Sony 12 speaker audio system is coupled with Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment, voice recognition and command system that provides sensible and easy to use interfaces including through the 8” color screen. The voice command system for audio and navigation is easy to use and helps to keep your attention on the road. However, I was not thrilled with the steering wheel mounted controls that I found to be less than ideal in both placement and size. And perhaps one day, Ford will figure out how to provide easy to comprehend wiper and other controls on something other than prehistoric column sticks. Rear seating for three is provided by a well appointed and heated seats that fold down to provide additional storage space. This vehicle included a foot-activated hands-free rear power liftgate that is a great feature leaving your arms and hands free to carry things. Other options on this vehicle included aluminum brake and accelerator peddle covers, ambient lighting, carpeted floor mats, universal garage door opener, panoramic roof; and a remote start system.

This vehicle included a foot-activated hands-free rear power liftgate that is a great feature leaving your arms and hands free to carry things.

This vehicle included a foot-activated hands-free rear power liftgate that is a great feature leaving your arms and hands free to carry things.

Safety

The Edge Sport comes loaded with many good standard safety features including AWD, Curve Control and power disc brakes with Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS). My test Edge Sport included the blind spot information system with cross traffic alert; lane keeping system; driver alert system; enhanced active park assist with side parking sensors; front 180 degree camera; reverse sensing system; rearview camera; adaptive cruise control; collision warning with brake-support; inflatable rear safety belts; HD auto high beam headlamps; rain sensing wipers; and much more. All of these features add to the overall safety of the vehicle but they require the driver to be properly informed as to their use and limitations. Gone are the days when you can simply get into a car, drive off and expect to intuitively know of and understand the available features and controls. Without proper awareness and instruction, some of the vehicle’s reactions can be startling. For example, the lane keeping system tuned to “high” can give the uninformed driver a very surprising steering wheel vibration. The first time that the collision warning system activates with its bright red lights on the windshield can come as a shock – possibly resulting in an unintentional reaction from the driver. Finally, when backing into a tight spot, you may experience a variety of audible proximity warning sounds going off at the same time causing you some confusion as to what is really there to avoid. With so many safety-warning features, it is sensible to become aware of and learn the adjustments/tolerances of each, before driving off the dealer’s lot with your new vehicle. Most dealers will be more than happy to spend the required time with you to fully instruct you on these important safety features.

Things to consider

The Ford Edge is a very good mid-sized SUV with many excellent features and available options for both comfort and use. As with most vehicle brands, there are important differences in capability, comfort and features across the full vehicle line. With the Edge, focus on the FWD/AWD option as well as the choice of engines. For conventional city and highway driving, the 2.0L EcoBoost engine is perfectly acceptable. If you plan to trailer often, you might want to consider the 3.5L V6 with its higher horsepower and torque. If you enjoy a more performance-handling vehicle, the Sport model with its 2.7L turbo-charged V6 would be the right choice. As always, your choice of “comfort” and “style” options are personal preferences that can add to both the cost but also the enjoyment of the vehicle.

Fuel consumption for this Edge Sport 2.7L EcoBoost vehicle is rated at 13.6 L/100 km city and 9.8 L/100 km hwy. After more than 500 kms and a week of driving in both city and highway conditions, I managed to average a very respectable 11.9L/100km.

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