2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost
Engine: 2.0-liter Turbo 4
Power: 240hp, 270 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
Fuel Economy: 21 city, 30 hwy
Price: $27,770 - $38,960
Sure, you'd like to have a whip that's ostensibly built for off-roading so you can bounce over potholes, ice grill pedestrians in crosswalks, and run up on the occasional sidewalk when necessary. But then you have to park the thing, or worse, gas it up, and you start to feel like hanging yourself. Which is where the Ford Edge comes in. An SUV that handles like a car, the Edge is big enough to do a lot of the utility functions that the sports utility vehicle name suggests, and lets you do it without putting a dent in your wallet or the bumper of the cars you're trying to parallel park between. This is a car well-suited to city living.
Begin with the exterior. With its high grill, the Edge looks a little like a smaller, sleeker version of the Cadillac Escalade. Not a bad visual reference for a midsize SUV, right? But where driving an Escalade in New York can make you feel like Gulliver in Lilliput, the Edge is more to scale on the Big Apple's smaller highways and byways. At a little more than 15 feet long, the Edge is a foot-and-a-half shorter than the Escalade, a country mile when it comes to parking.
It's the handling that truly marks the Edge as an SUV that's not an SUV. It hugs corners and can extract itself from tight situations like a car two-thirds as big.
The Edge's crossover appeal continues with its interior, where the "best of both worlds" motif continues. It's still high off the ground, but unlike a full-size SUV, you don't feel like you need a ladder to climb into the cab. But the Edge is still more than just a tall station wagon, too: With a spacious trunk and fold-down back seats, you can tow just about everything you'd need to in the city, and the back seat can fit an adult in the middle between two child seats (if that's your idea of fun).
Once you're situated with either the kids or some bulky furniture in the back, the V6 under the hood provides just the right amount of fun and utility. Still, it's the handling that truly marks the Edge as an SUV that's not an SUV. It hugs corners and can extract itself from tight situations (read: idiot gypsy cab drivers stopping every 15 feet) like a car two-thirds as big. You won't win any drag races , but the Edge can get punchy when it needs to be. And you're not drag-racing with two kids in the backseat, regardless of whether there's another adult in the bitch seat, right? (Right?!?)
If there's one complaint about the Edge (and this may have more to do with the ineptitude of the reviewer), it's the MyFord Touch stereo/climate/GPS controls. Applying iPod/iPhone/iPad touch and wipe technology to a car console is a smart and inevitable innovation, but the current version is a work in progress. The controls are too sticky (or not sticky enough), so you end up jabbing at the screen with your finger while you're trying to keep at least half an eye on the road. It's one thing to bump into a stranger while you're texting on the sidewalk; the consequences can be far worse if you're trying to adjust the bass on the sound system.
In the grand scheme of things though, the console problems are minor compared to the advantages that the Edge's versatility brings. So go ahead, rock this SUV in the city.