Sometimes, it’s the little details that make you fall in love with a car: the soft, supple, supportive leather seats; the rear camera and sensors to keep you from accidentally dinging the neighbor’s car; the small, inconspicuous places in the center console with molded-in storage for pens (for when you’re at the bank on your lunch hour and, darn it, I know I’ve got a pen around here somewhere!), tissues (I’ve got a two-year old. Trust me, it’s useful) and business cards (or in my case, the loyalty card at the lunch pizza buffet down the road).
Sometimes, it’s the under-the-hood features: the EcoBoost engine, delivering speed, power, and fuel-efficiency; the SOS Post-Crash Alert System, the one you never want to need but know it’s there if you do; or the SelectShift transmission, giving all the control of a manual transmission without a clutch.
The 2013 Ford Edge is a car that’s easy to fall in love with. In preparing to write this article, I did all my background research – compiling a list of all the optional and standard features, the different models, planning a route that would let me test drive city, highway and suburban driving – but there’s just something visceral about sitting in an Edge for the first time.
The first thing that struck me was how the interior design conspired to create a sense of tranquility, an oasis that could travel with me down the road. From the heated leather seats to the clean, smooth lines of the center console, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water – to the way the engine quietly purred when I turned the key.
Ford has really done its homework in making the driving experience of all of its models top-notch, and the 2013 Edge is no exception. The pedals were neither overly sensitive nor non-responsive; rather, they responded intuitively, knowing when I was asking for high acceleration getting on the highway or coming to a gentle stop at a traffic light. I test-drove two of the three engine options on the Edge: the 2.0L I-4 EcoBoost engine and the 3.5L Ti-VCT V6 (the third being the 3.7L V6, standard on the Edge Sport). I’ve got to say, under normal driving conditions, I really couldn’t feel any huge difference. The Turbocharger in the EcoBoost engine – the Boost half of EcoBoost – really does its job, providing that get-up-and-go that you need when passing at high speeds or during aggressive acceleration. That being said, the 3.5L V6 engine, even when I tried pushing it, didn’t seem fazed by my demands. I was up to 70 miles per hour before I knew it, and I could see that it still had much more to offer. At the end of the day, though, if you are going to be using an Edge primarily for your commute, shuttling kids back and forth to soccer practice, etc., then you won’t be able to tell much of a difference between a 2.0L EcoBoost and the 3.5L V6, except in how much less gas you burn – the Eco half of EcoBoost – and how much heavier your wallet feels.
But I haven’t even touched on the Ford technologies yet! The MyFord Touch dashboard 4.2 inch LCD Screens are as easy and intuitive as glancing down to check the speedometer. I didn’t find myself taking my eye off the road any more than when I’m checking to make sure I’m not speeding. With the SYNC Voice control technologies, virtually every feature of your vehicle is just a single voice command button away, from making phone calls to setting the temperature to changing the radio station. No more feeling around for a button for this, a dial for that while you drive. With sync, you simply press the voice command button, located directly under where your right thumb naturally rests on the steering wheel, and tell the car what you want it to do. There’s a slight learning curve with figuring out the commands, but all it takes to learn is to ask “What can I say?” A list will then appear on the screen of all available commands. In all honesty, it took me less than ten minutes to learn all of the commands I think I’d ever use.
When I pulled back into the lot, it dawned on me that this Edge was a little bigger than the tiny sedan I drive normally. Between the slightly narrow lanes of the parking lot, and the densely parked brand-spankin-new cars all around me, I got a bit nervous about successfully backing into a spot without hitting one or all of the cars surrounding me. Luckily, Rear Camera and Reverse Sensing saved the day! I was able to quickly and easily line up the distance markers on the camera with the lane markers, and when I veered too far in one direction or another, the unobtrusive, yet attention-grabbing chimes started ringing and my nervousness abated. I can’t begin to imagine how helpful these features would be in a real-world setting – if you’ve got screaming kids in the backseat and you’re trying to get into a tight spot in a busy parking lot at rush hour, you can feel safe in knowing that your Ford is looking out for you. It’s a luxury I didn’t know I could never live without.
My favorite part of driving the Edge though, was when I took a detour. Instead of turning back to Ken Wilson Ford directly, I turned the other way, heading up a long, winding mountain road. And when I was driving through that idyllic, country setting – horses grazing, out to pasture; small, ranch-style homes set back from the road behind a few trees – somehow, being in an Edge, it felt like a truly American experience.