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
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Bringing Supercar Performance To The Street…American Style
What happens when you let enthusiasts and engineers worry less about tradition and allow them to do what they do best? You get cars like this Chevrolet Corvette Z06. What happens when GM let’s us borrow one for a few days? That’s what we’re about to find out!
While the Z06 package first became an option for the Chevrolet Corvette back in 1963, it wasn’t until the C5 that it describe the ultimate track-focused ‘Vette. And while since then every Z06 has gotten more extreme, if we were plotting things out on a graph, this is where the line of performance progression goes from a steady incline to almost vertical. Yes, the latest C8 Z06 is all that.
It starts with a brand new LT6 5.5-liter DOHC V8 that outputs 670-horsepower and delivers 460 lb-ft. of torque. It sounds great too, the very aggressive nature of its flat-plane crank design has it sounding, and feeling like it’s trying to shake its way out of the engine bay unless you unleash some of its furry.
This dual-cammer featured a dry-sump design from the get-go and is more racing engine than souped-up small block, being developed originally for the C8.R race car.
It made short work of Roebling Road Raceway’s long front straight, able to reach 160 by the end of it. With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.
But, as you can imagine, Chevy has done much more than just plop a bigger motor into its rear-midship engine bay, which was easier to do since they didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing over it. They’ve addressed just about every part of the car to ensure it puts that power to best use for coming out of corners like few other cars on the street.
That includes upgrades for the short/long arm double wishbone suspension setup that can be further enhanced with an available Z07 Performance Package that adds more aggressive tuning for Magnetic Ride Control, and Michelin Sport Cup 2R tires. Which can be mounted on 20 and 21-inch carbon fiber wheels with carbon ceramic brakes nestled behind.
It all translated into more grip than a semi’s worth of industrial strength Velcro through Roebling’s 9-turns.
With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.
Like most Corvettes, the Z06 can be as wild or mild of an experience as you care to make it but will most likely be the fastest car to show up at most track days. Yet, the same magnetic dampers that void all body roll on the track, provide an almost plush ride quality for the drive home, though not quite as plush as the standard Corvette.
We’re struggling to find something non-fan boy to say; sure the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox doesn’t deliver shifts with the brutality of some exotics, but really, they’re just as fast, and the shifts are much smoother.
Believe it or not, almost all the body is unique. So, rather than just tacking on some fender flares, Chevy made the entire car wider to cover the 345 rear tires, yet keep the same uniform look in place.
The optional Carbon Fiber Aero Package adds a front splitter, rocker extensions, front dive planes, and a huge rear wing. We’re not sure if the multi-level nature of that rear wing was done for functional or aesthetic reasons, but it doesn’t block your rearview, and that is much appreciated.
We always talk about torque being more important than horsepower when it comes to acceleration, and the Z06 works with almost 200 fewer lb-ft. of torque than horsepower, but you sure wouldn’t know it when you mash the throttle.
Easy to use programmable launch control allows you to dial in your preferred RPM for launching; we found 4,500 was just about perfect for Roebling’s front straight, allowing for just a tiny bit of slip before rocketing us to 60 on a 40 degree day in just 2.6-seconds.
Power continues to pour on hard as the engine quickly hits its 8,600 RPM redline, and gear changes happen often. The sound inside the cabin in intense, and when the ¼-mile came to an end in 10.7-seconds at 130 miles-per-hour, it felt like it was just getting started.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are a low 12-City, 19-Highway, and 14-Combined.
For the Z06 there are 3 LZ pricing points to land on, starting at $114,395; but you can go with the top-of-the-line Z06, add 50-grand worth of options, and still come out half the price of anything you can compare it to.
Call us home teamers all you want, but America’s only exotic does it yet again, not only is it the best Corvette ever, but it is also easily one of the greatest American cars of all time, arriving at a particularly poignant time culturally as we mourn the potential loss of internal combustion engines altogether. So, come for the spectacular engine and stay for the complete performance package, and experience, that is the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
- Engine: 5.5-liter V8
- Horsepower: 670
- 0-60 mph: 2.6 seconds
- EPA: 12 City | 19 Highway | 14 Combined
- Transmission: 8-speed dual clutch auto
- Torque: 460 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 10.7-seconds at 130 mph