2016 Ford Edge Sport: EcoBoost power adds to the fun
The 2016 Ford Edge Sport is a midsize crossover SUV that has something in common with the 2016 Ford Mustang that might surprise you.
Aside from being made by the same company, it's hard to see any similarity between the five-passenger Edge and Ford's retro Pony Car. But the both benefit by the availability of the company's turbocharged EcoBoost engines.
The Edge Sport comes standard with a turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 that pumps out an impressive 315 horsepower and 350 foot pounds of torque. The Mustang now offers a 2.3-liter inline 4 that produces produces 310 horsepower and 320 foot pounds of torque. In both cases, the engines are tempting alternatives to even larger ones that can be ordered, delivering decent mileage and satisfying power when required.
The base Edge engine is also turbocharged. The EcoBoost 2.0-liter inline 4 is designed more for economy than performance, if that's your preference. But the Sport is definitely more fun when driven hard.
There's a danger to adding the name Sport to any vehicle, especially one as mainstream as a midsize crossover. In the past, a Sport package could be anything from stripes and decals to genuine performance parts, like a better intake or exhaust system. In addition to the turbocharged V6, the Edge Sport comes with a sport tuned suspension, paddle shifters for the standard six-speed transmission, and leather trimmed front bucket seats and a leather wrapped steering wheel. While not enough to transform the Edge into a genuine high performance vehicle, the tweaks help it stand apart from the crowd.
The Edge Sport also comes standard with all-wheel-drive, which proved its worth during several heavy downpours during a weeklong test. Maintaining traction was never a problem, even going through deep puddles caused by clogged drains on major roads.
Although the term "sport tuned suspension" usually means a stiff ride, the Edge Sport drove more like a large family car than a sport sedan. The softer suspension proved an advantage when the Edge Sport was tested on a moderate course at the 2015 Mudfest off-road competition sponsored by the Northwest Automotive Press Association. It practically floated over deep ruts that rattled the teeth of those driving some of the other crossovers. Turns out there's something to be said for good manners, even when exploring old logging roads.
The Edge slots in between Ford's compact Escape crossover and large Explorer SUV. Corporate styling on all three vehicles is blocky with a few sharp creases to create a more contemporary look. The Edge Sport goes a little father with a low air dam, side scuff plates and a rear spoiler, but the overall appearance is still more industrial strength than much of the competition.
The interior is more car-like, with a tall center stack refreshingly devoid of knobs and bettors, thanks to many of the controls being moved on the large display screen. Rear seat leg room was good and the cargo space was enormous, even with the seat backs up. For those needing to carry more people, the Explorer comes with three rows of seats.
In addition to Sport, the Edge comes in three other trim levels: SE, SEL, Titanium. Even base SE models have a wealth of standard equipment, from automatic headlights to a 4.2-inch infotainment display with a rearview camera. From there the list grows to include an 8-inch touchscreen with the new Sync 3 infotainment system and much, much more. Like most new cars, unless money is no object, careful study is required to figure out the best combination or trim level and packages.
There's a lot of competition in the midsize crossover SUV market these days, with manufacturers rolling out new or revised models on a regular bases. But the 2016 Edge offers an appealing combination of ample interior room, quality construction and car-like ride, and the turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 in the Sport model is hard to beat.
2016 Ford Edge Sport
Base price: $29,865
Price as tested: $45,880
Type: Midsize crossover SUV
Engines: turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4 (245 hp, 275 lbs-ft); turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 (315 hp, 350 lbs-ft - as tested); 3.5-liter V6 (280 hp, 250 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 17/24 (as tested) to 20/30
Overall length: 188.1 inches
Curb weight: 3,927 to 4,401 pounds
Final assembly: Oakville, Ontario, Canada