From the Fleet: 2011 Ford Edge Sport
FROM THE FLEET are brief synopses of manufacturer-supplied rides that happen to end up in my laneway – JL
The clothes make the man, but wheels make the car. And in the case of the new-this-year Sport version of Ford’s Edge, it’s all about the 22-inch rims on this car. Lay one of these black and chrome pie plates down in your backyard, and the neighbours will think a UFO has landed.
A best-seller with suburbanites, if you’ve been through a Timmies drive-thru, shopped at Canadian Tire, or have kids in hockey, you’ve probably come across an Edge or three. Or maybe even own one yourself. Ford’s riff on the first-to-market five-passenger midsize Nissan Murano’s formula has been very popular with Canadians since it went on sale for 2007, four years after the Japanese crossover debuted.
As the Nissan is based on a midsize car V6 drivetrain and chassis (the Altima), so is the Ford. In this case, the mechanicals of a Mazda6, shared with the three-row Mazda CX-9 crossover. Unlike the Murano, though, Ford offers a front-wheel-drive for just $27,999. But add traction to all four wheels, and the $35,999 Edge SEL AWD actually costs more than a base $34,498 Murano S AWD.
The Sport model is Ford’s idea of making the Edge look and drive, well, er, edgier. My press fleet loaner came in a very attractive silver/back trim combo, which when matched to those Sport model-exclusive double-deuces, give the Edge a custom look that is sure to stand out in any local rink parking lot.
In addition to the Sport’s look-at-me dubs, the model gets the upgraded 3.7-litre V6 from its Lincoln MKX clone. Rated at 305 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, it adds 20 hp and 27 lb-ft to the Edge's standard 3.5L six. Unfortunately, the seat of my pants couldn’t feel the additional oomph from the larger mill. The Edge has always been a less-than-agile beast, feeling heavy whenever you turn the wheel. And despite the massive 265/40 rubber, the Ford crossover still feels one-size bigger when hustled.
In fact, unless you are a total slave to fashion, consider the Sport's dub rubber wisely. The Pirelli rubber bands pretty much remove any semblance of ride quality. And if you drive on snow and ice, you’ll need a proper set of winter tires to factor into your budget as footwear for your AWD vehicle.
Ah. The budget. Here’s my other problem with the Edge Sport: its premium cost. As in a base price of $43,499, and an as-tested (with optional panoramic sunroof, nav, and blind spot monitoring) of $47,129. Factor that into the equation, and a $45,300 Q5 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus would be my pick for a "sporty" midsize crossover. The Audi pampers the driver with a better driving experience and a more refined interior than the Ford.
But then, what do I know. I haven’t been to a Timmies drive-thru in years…