2014 Ford Edge

The Edge is a mid-size, five-passenger crossover positioned between Ford's compact Escape and full-size Explorer models. It's perhaps most notable for its extensive range of available features - buyers can choose from a number of cutting-edge technology and coddling luxury items, in addition to powerful V6 motors or a 30-mpg four-cylinder.

Recent Changes
The Edge is two years removed from a mid-cycle refresh that included a variety of upgraded powertrains as well as improvements inside and out to both materials and design.

Overview
Though it's one of the older offerings in its segment, the Edge still stands out from the pack due to an oversized, chrome-intensive front grille that flows into narrowed headlights. Nifty LED running light bars reside where most crossovers would have fog lights, providing another distinctive visual cue.

A raft of NVH-reducing measures and upgraded materials that came as part of the recent refresh have given the interior a refined, modern feel. Second-row room is ample, as is cargo space: 32.2 cubic feet are available with the rear seats up, while folding them down unlocks 68.9 cubes.

All Edges except for the base model come standard with SYNC, Ford's Bluetooth-based connectivity system that allows smartphone users to place calls and stream music by using voice commands or steering wheel-mounted buttons. It can also read incoming texts aloud to help the driver keep his or her eyes on the road, and allows the use of Ford-approved apps like The Wall Street Journal news and Pandora radio.

The Edge can be spec'd with MyFord Touch, an infotainment system that builds on SYNC by letting users control everything from navigation to climate control to the sound system with voice commands. MyFord Touch also replaces conventional sound system knobs and buttons with a center-mounted eight-inch touchscreen, dual 4.2-inch displays in the instrument cluster and touch-sensitive controls in the center stack. Many consumers report that the system is a "love it or hate it" item, so those interested in the Edge are advised to try before they buy.

Powertrain Lineup
The Edge's standard engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that's good for 285 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque. With the standard front-wheel-drive configuration, the mill returns 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway; adding all-wheel-drive makes the Edge sure-footed in the foulest of inclement weather but decreases mileage to 18/25 mpg.

Interestingly, the optional motor isn't a larger V6 as one might expect, but rather a turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder is optional. Despite its diminutive displacement, the EcoBoost actually makes more torque than the standard six - 270 lb-ft along with 240 horsepower. Offered in FWD guise only, it's rated at 21/30 mpg.

The performance-minded Edge Sport is equipped with a 3.7-liter V6 - the same unit used in the Mustang - that churns out 305 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of twist. With FWD, fuel economy checks in at 19/26 mpg, while AWD variants return 17/23 mpg.

All three of the Edge's engines are bolted to a six-speed automatic transmission, although the Edge Sport benefits from paddle-shifters that provide the driver with an additional level of control.

Trim Level Breakdown
The Edge can be had in SE, SEL, Limited and Sport trims.

The SE base model comes with A/C, power locks and windows, cruise control, an AM/FM/CD stereo with an AUX input, and 17-inch painted aluminum wheels. The SEL tacks on Ford's SYNC connectivity system, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-way adjustable driver seat, a reverse sensing system and Sirius XM radio. A new SEL Appearance package brings unique interior trim, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels.

The upscale Limited model brings leather upholstery, heated front seats, MyFord Touch, a premium Sony audio system with HD radio, a rearview camera and a 10-way power adjustable passenger seat.

The Sport model offers all of the Limited features in addition to the more powerful 3.7-liter engine, unique charcoal black leather with silver smoke metallic inserts and contrasting stitching, 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, a piano black grille and monochromatic exterior trim.

Highlights from the options list include a navigation system, a power liftgate, a blind sport warning system with cross traffic alert and a panoramic vista sunroof.

Occupant Safety
Helping to keep families safe in the Edge are dual front, side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Key Competitors
As a mid-size, two-row crossover, the Edge faces competition from smaller five passenger 'utes like the Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue while, at the other end of the spectrum, it is also cross-shopped against slightly larger vehicles like the Dodge Journey and Toyota Venza that seat seven. The Nissan Murano, Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento are perhaps the Edge's closest rivals in size and mission, however.