2015 Ford Edge
No vehicle helped to make the SUV a required family friend more than Ford’s original full-framed Explorer. Indeed its enduring success allowed Ford to go slow to shifting to car-based utes, other than the compact Escape. But, for 2007 they gave in, and launched the mid-size Ford Edge. While not as rugged as Explorer, it still had solid sales. Now, finally, there’s a second gen Edge, and it’s new from corner to corner.
While auto writers use the phrase “all-new” a lot, the 2015 Ford Edge really is about as all-new as any vehicle can be, with very few parts carried over from the first gen.
Its stronger unit-body structure has a wheelbase that is 1.0-inch longer than previous, though track has been narrowed slightly. As for the suspension, a MacPherson-type strut with isolated sub-frame remains up front, but in back there’s a new integral link setup with coil springs that’s designed to shift ride quality in a sportier direction.
And indeed, we found that to be the case on the roads less traveled around Phoenix, Arizona. Ford’s Curve Control is still available, but thanks to the vastly improved chassis, it seemed less willing to intervene.
For those that wish to take it further over the edge, a Sport model returns and it’s even more proficient than before, thanks to additional suspension tweaks and standard 20 or optional 21-inch wheels.
All models are noticeably quieter inside, with very little-to-no wind or engine noise, unless you have the throttle pinned. Weight is down a tad, but not so much that we noticed it.
A good improvement overall, yet it’s still not as polished as many in this crowded segment.
The Edge does showcase much of Ford’s latest technology, like inflatable rear seatbelts, hands free lift-gate, Lane Keeping, and adaptive cruise control. A back-up camera is standard; with a 180-degree view front camera, with washer, available to aid in pulling out of blind places. Active park assist adds perpendicular help, and will even pull out of the spot for you when you’re ready to go.
The make-or-break aspect of any family vehicle however, is how you’re treated inside. Up front room is slightly more generous from before. And, the nicely supportive seats use thinner padding, so the environs seems even more spacious.
Additional soft touch material are well placed, taking both the look, and feel of the cabin a notch or two higher. There is noticeably more space for rear seaters too, but the Edge remains a 5-passenger crossover, saving 7-passenger duties for the also now unitized Explorer.
Cargo room grows most of all, up 7.0 cubic-ft. in the rear to 39.2. Maximum space, with the seatbacks folded, is now a healthy 73.4 cubic-ft.
The exterior design is equally important of course, as few people want to be seen in an ugly ride; and here the Edge is clearly… …edgier. The previous gen’s rounded shape has been replaced with a more angular one; and while size has grown, the less bloated look makes it appear tidier.
For sun worshipers, the Edge has one of the longest sunroofs out there, with Ford’s Vista Roof taking up almost 4-feet of real estate.
Under hood property is occupied by 1 of 3 engines. Base is a 2.0-liter EcoBoost I4, and it’s technically a new engine, as it features a twin-scroll design that both improves efficiency and increases power. Horsepower is now 245; torque is also up by 5 to 275 lb-ft.
The naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 carries over, but its reprogramming results in slightly less horsepower at 280 and 250 lb-ft.
The new option, is the F-150’s 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost, here putting out 315-horsepower and 350 lb-ft. of torque, which comes standard in the Edge Sport.
Fully automatic all-wheel-drive is available with any engine, and towing capacity remains at 3,500-lbs.
Now, we spent most of our early drive time with the 2-point-0, and came away pleased; with its nice, sharp throttle response helping it feel plenty stout. But we did find the standard 6-speed automatic transmission easily confused and quite busy. Sport mode didn’t seem to offer any relief.
Base pricing stays exactly the same at $28,995. But Sport trim ups the high end a bit, starting at $38,995. All-wheel-drive tacks on 2-grand more.
Ford has obviously learned a lot about building crossovers, as the Escape and Explorer consistently rank among the top-10 in SUV sales. And, even the first Edge spent some time on the list. Well, now it just looks like Ford is getting greedy, as the really “all-new” 2015 Ford Edge will likely make a return to the top-10, and score a perfect 3-for-3 for the blue oval.
- Torque: 275 lb-ft. / 250 lb-ft. / 350 lb-ft.
- Horsepower: 245 / 280 / 315
- Engine: 2.0 liter / 3.5 liter / 2.7 liter
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