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|21st January 2008, 09:27||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Keep Travelling
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Ford Edge Reviewed
CUV or Crossover Utility Vehicles; basically a Crossover SUV has been in the market for quite a long time. Sadly, they never reached their sales target. This segment evolved as a result of that and the SUVs being considered over-sized and a cotton-mouth when it came to fuel consumption. And, the other reason – ready for some surprise? Station wagons – due to their steady decline in popularity, they were re-christened as CUV. It is a ubiquitous term only localized within the automotive industry. Therefore, we can redefine CUVs as 5-door hatchbacks or station wagons or a minivan with peculiar truck-like characteristics like upright steering, upheaved suspension and built on a unibody “assured” to be fuel-efficient.
The Moskvitch 410 in 1957 began the segment. Lada continued with it and many more companies joined it. The one that became prominent and turned eminent was Lexus RX300 in 1998. Less known fact – This vehicle is based on Toyota Camry. Hence, it gives a psychologically satisfying imagery of an SUV and performs like a fuel-efficient car. Let me let you with another secret. Improbable SUVs are at-times honestly “crossed” with platforms from cars and sometimes just stepped down from the SUV category and re-launched with open-and-shut features as CUVs. Collectively then, this is a good combination; expected to be fuel-efficient, handle well, reasonably priced. But, where are the SUV’bilities?
A product from Oakville, Ontario, Canada’s Ford assembly plant – Ford Edge. This CUV is based on a Ford CD3 Platform; the fantastic Mazda 6 base. So, I am expecting this to handle well. So, it is kind of a cross-over between platforms for Mazda 6 and Fusion (both cars), Taurus X and Territory. I must say it looks very American especially with the jing-bling – 3 bar chrome grill and chromed wheel rims. The interiors are made of below-premium quality with plenty LEDs; the space-age electronic console feels hard-plasticky – that explains the price-tag. The vista roof is impressive. It appears to be shapeless compared to the similar looking MDX from Acura. The designers in Acura were bold enough to give fiercer wheel arches. The Edge looks more like Lincoln MKX as they are from the same parent company, but wears more chrome. Precisely, the styling is good but falls back by the quality. It is like Satish Kaushik modeling for Jockey. The Edge as all Fords is spacious; I wasn’t surprised as most Americans are a size 36 and above – much above. The electric seats for the passengers can be reclined. It feels more comfortable than Nissan Murano and similar to Mazda CX-7 and CX-9. Let us now talk about the boyish stuff.
This 3.5 Liter Duratec 35 V6 engine delivering 265 hp is good for a mid-range vehicle. And, it is also been awarded as one of the best engines made. Remember? I mentioned that since it is based on a CD3 Platform, it must handle well. Well, it lets you down once you start driving it slightly more than a luxury car. I believe I must stick to my theory that Americans do not know how to make an overall good vehicle. Yes, one may argue and I shall agree with an extra addition; Ford Focus 2007 is a good machine because it is German engineered. The Edge handles very well only in slow-speeds but on higher revs it makes this really frightening whining noise. Once speed is finally gained in this heavy vehicle and you shift lines/lanes it makes you feel like a snake; hmmm… PCDs’ - sway!!! And, that is not good. Blame the chassis and less-responsive steering wheel. And then, is the power. Now, this may raise debates but I believe this 4071.9lbs weighing vehicle must have more than 265hp@6250 RPM bread crump power. Further disappointing is the 250nm torque@4500RPM. That reasons the “average” pick-up and pulling in the CUV. The Edge reaches 60mph in 8.3 seconds making it quicker than the low-torque BMW X5 but slower than turbocharged CX-7 in 7.5s.
The Ford adverts claim it to be different; I certainly “don’t feel the difference”. It just replaces Ford’s earlier failed attempt as a CUV – Freestyle. It is edgy, in only its looks and edgy of course at higher speeds on the edge of the cliff due to understeer and swaying. And, as you slam the weak brakes it enters the Hummer territory in slowing down; bad again. It comes in 3 models, SE, SEL and SEL plus ranging from USD25 grand to 30. This vehicle was primarily manufactured as a comparison to Murano. It is even less functional than Freestyle. Sadly, when Edge’s worthy competitors are considered it fails to ensnare buyer’s attention. With slightly more cash, you will be happy with a CX9 which is slightly longer, taller, heavier and similar in cc, power and torque. But, Mazda knows to lay its power on the road. Despite being heavier and fitted with broader tires it does 18mpg in the city; 2 more than the Edge. And, it handles much better than the Edge because of the better FWD system with optional AWD and broader wheels compared to the Edge. What’s more? You get a better re-sale than the Ford. The CX-7 is lesser in cubic capacity but “equivalent in power and torque as the Edge” and handles much better. It is sad that Ford cannot build vehicles as good as their divisions Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and Mazda do. I identify only 2 reasons to buy the Edge – its looks and cheap price tag. I would prefer the CX-7 as a CUV instead.
WARNING – Ford abides by its’ acronym name FORD = F – Fix, O – Or, R – Repair, D – Daily in conjunction to its long repair history.
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