2011 Ford Edge
For a brand known for its once top selling body-on-frame explorer SUV, the arrival of the 2006 Ford Edge midsize crossover utility really raised eyebrows. But Ford was just responding to the reality of surging gas prices and a flood of lighter, more efficient CUVs from import rivals. So, the Edge was a gamble that paid off. Now, Ford is doubling down with a mid-cycle edge revamp of the Edge. So let’s see if it’s again a winner.
Typical of what car makers call a freshening, the 2011 Edge maintains most of its exterior sheet metal, with major changes largely limited to front and rear fascias.
But, the addition of a big drop-jaw Ford-truck style grille, more expressive headlamp housings, and beefier wheels, does deliver a fresh impression, and makes the modern stance of the Edge even more so.
But, Ford smartly paid a lot more attention to upgrading the interior of the Edge. The instrument panel is improved in style, in fit and finish, with softer materials. Taurus influence is unmistakable.
Our well-equipped Edge Limited also included the latest Sync system which controls climate, stereo, navigation, and other functions.
Ford’s Sync voice recognition system has now morphed into MyFord Touch and it has three screens: two colorful info screens inside the gauge cluster, and a large touch screen in the center dash. Now it looks very much like a big smart phone display.
And like a smart phone, there’s no tactile feel, so you have to look at the screen when you actually want to make a touch selection. We find that distractingâ€”and it’s also annoying, especially when the system locks up like it did for us.
Now there are redundant controls for stereo and climate below, but they’re very sensitive, so again you have to look at what you’re touching.
On the other hand, Sync’s voice command system and Bluetooth connectivity are improved, but they’re still just a little fussy.
The two gauge screens are controlled by five-way switches on the steering wheel. Of all the controls, they are the most intuitive to use.
Available SD-card based navigation adds some neat tricks, too, like buildings appearing in 3D. But the best news here is the addition of SYNC TDI, an On-Star-like voice-prompt navigation feature.
Systems like Sync and MyFord Touch may very well be the future of automotive controls. Still, we also hope efforts continue to make voice command systems more intuitive, since you don’t have to take your eyes off the road to use those.
Edge remains a five-passenger crossover. The new front seats are more comfortable but could still use more lateral support.
Ford’s unique door keypad is standard on all but base trim. Blind Spot Monitoring is an option.
Rear seat space and comfort remain excellent, even for six-footers. That still leaves room for 32.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind a large opening hatch. And, folding the seats down brings that space to a competitive 68.9 cubic feet.
Base power for the Edge is still a 3.5-liter V6. But it’s smoother, with 285 horsepower, up 20, and 253 lb-ft of torque, up three.
New is the Mustang’s 3.7-liter V6 in the Edge Sport with 305-horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque.
Front-drive six-speed automatics are fitted to both sixes with Sport trim adding paddle shifters. All-wheel drive adds new Hill Start Assist.
Still to come is an Edge Ecoboost, with a direct-injected, turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4. But, even without Ecoboost, Edge made gains in fuel economy.
Our front-drive 3.5 has government fuel economy ratings of 19 city, 27 highway. That’s up one in the city and two on the highway. On our test loop, we averaged 22.8 mpg of regular.
The Edge’s moderate Energy Impact Score of 15.6 barrels of oil per annum, and 8.5-ton Carbon Footprint, mirror those of the Toyota Venza V6.
Edge track performance was well above par: zero to 60 in 7.1 seconds, and the quarter mile in 15.7 seconds at 93 miles per hour. Power was best in the upper revs.
There was a fair amount of body roll through the slalom, but it had no notable affect on stability. The Edge Sport with its 22-inch wheels does even better.
The all-disc braking system is also new, from booster, to calipers, to first time Brake Assist. Our average 60-to-0 stopping distance of 129 feet was far better than the 146 feet in our previous test. Still, the 2011 Edge exhibited moderate fade and nose dive.
The Edge is a solid long distance highway tourer. Improved sound insulation, including acoustic glass, complement powertrain tweaks for impressively low noise at speed.
Pricing for a base Edge SE starts at $27,995. Our front drive Limited begins at $34,995, and the Sport at $36,995. All-wheel drive adds $1,850 more.
The improvements in the 2011 Ford Edge are extremely well-thought out. More tech, more comfort, and more all-around performance, without compromising its already strong five-passenger utility traits. It’s a perfect pairing for the all-new seven-passenger Explorer due soon. And that will make even more of a competitive edge for Ford’s rivals to worry about.
- Engine: 3.5-Liter V6
- Horsepower: 285
- Torque: 253 Lb Feet
- 0-60 MPH: 7.1 Seconds
- 1/4 Mile: 15.7 Seconds @ 93 MPH
- 60-0 MPH: 129 Feet
- EPA: 19 MPG City/ 27 MPG Highway
- Mixed Loop: 22.8 MPG
- Energy Impact: 15.6 Barrels Oil/Yr
- CO2 Emissions: 8.5 Tons/Yr
2023 BMW X7
Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More
While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.
When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.
There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…
…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.
Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.
The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.
At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!
New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.
In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.
There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.
Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.
It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.
- Engine: I-6
- Horsepower: 375
- 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 398 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
- EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined