Ford Crossover de­liv­ers pow­er­ful en­gine, new tech fea­tures

Chicago Sun-Times - - TO DRIVE - BY JOHN STEIN

If the thought of buying a crossover has en­tered your mind lately – and if it hasn’t … well, you’re in the mi­nor­ity of buy­ers – then Ford has a sporty ver­sion that of­fers up a great ride while de­liv­er­ing some sporty per­for­mance to make you smile.

The 2017 Ford Edge has been com­bin­ing the best of the sport- util­ity func­tion­al­ity with the driv­abil­ity of a sedan for more than a decade. If you choose to opt up to the Sport ver­sion of the Edge, there are plenty of great things to be­hold, such as a spry 315- horse­power turbo up­grade to the en­gine and some very nice in­te­rior treat­ments that pro­vide a re­fined cabin and high- tech feel.

For 2017, up­dates in­clude the ad­di­tion of Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto to the op­tional Sync 3 in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem, a sev­eral at­trac­tive ex­te­rior color choices, and a wind­shield- wiper de- icer in the Cold Weather pack­age ( if you park out­side, this is es­sen­tial).

The Edge has three ini­tial trim lev­els, but the Sport ver­sion I tested is the top of the line. Edge Sport is ex­actly that – ath­letic and pow­er­ful. From its ag­gres­sive two- bar grille in front and the swoop­ing head­lamps pinch­ing up its snub nose up into a steeply raked wind­shield, the Edge is ag­gres­sive and re­fined all in one.

The belt­line crease runs for­ward of the Apil­lar all the way into the rear tail lamps. I re­ally love the rear spoiler ex­tend­ing off the roof, the short- hang im­pact de­liv­ers sporty style and an op­ti­cal il­lu­sion for a third- level ridge.

My tester fea­tured an In­tel­li­gent AWD sys­tem, Adap­tive Steer­ing, and an abun­dance of pre­mium fea­tures. At a $ 40,900 base price, the Sport is the top line trim for the Edge. My tester landed at $ 45,045, a hefty price, but eas­ily lower than com­pa­ra­bly equipped com­peti­tors.

The Edge’s base en­gine for the SE, SEL, and Ti­ta­nium trims is a tur­bocharged 2- liter in­line 4- cylin­der that gen­er­ates an im­pres­sive 245 hp and 275 lb- ft of torque. The en­gine is mated to a 6- speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion and gets 20 mpg city and 30 high­way with front- wheel drive ( FWD) and 20 and 28 with the avail­able all- wheel drive ( AWD).

The Edge SEL and Ti­ta­nium can be up­graded to a 3.5- liter V6 en­gine that pro­duces 280 hp and 250 lb- ft of torque and has fuel econ­omy rat­ings of 18 and 26 with FWD and 17 and 25 with AWD. The high- end AWD Sport trim comes with a twin- tur­bocharged 2.7- liter V6 en­gine that cranks out 315 hp and 350 lb- ft of torque and gets 17 and 24 in fuel econ­omy.

My tester drove like a sedan. It fea­tured a sport- tuned sus­pen­sion that im­proves the car’s han­dling but does sac­ri­fice some of the ride com­fort that’s a high­light for the other trims. The Edge weighs close to 4,000 pounds and has con­sid­er­able width ( 85.8 inches), giv­ing the car a sturdy feel.

In­side the cabin you will find great com­fort in the ex­tra width, as seat­ing is large, soft suede leather cov­er­ing the chairs and what feels like a to­tal glass sur­round for ex­cel­lent vis­i­bil­ity.

The re­place­ment of the MyFord sys­tem with Sync 3 is a wel­come change. This year, Sync 3 ( stan­dard on Ti­ta­nium and Sport trims, avail­able for the SEL) is now com­pat­i­ble with both Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto.

The Sport fea­tures a hands- free lift­gate, LED tail­light bar, front sport seats, and a 12- speaker Sony au­dio sys­tem with HD Ra­dio. In ad­di­tion to the en­gine, per­for­mance, and ex­te­rior up­grades, the Sport trim adds 20- inch wheels, a power- ad­justable steer­ing col­umn, and leather and per­fo­rated suede up­hol­stery.

Stan­dard safety fea­tures for the Edge in­clude an­tilock brakes, trac­tion and sta­bil­ity con­trol, front knee airbags, front side airbags, side­cur­tain airbags, a rear- view cam­era, au­to­matic emer­gency crash no­ti­fi­ca­tion, and Ford’s MyKey, which al­lows you to set elec­tronic pa­ram­e­ters for sec­ondary driv­ers.

What I loved about the hand­some 2017 Edge Sport was how much it drives like a car – but has enough room to haul ex­tra cargo. It has no third row, but that de­liv­ers more fuel ef­fi­ciency.

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