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 GMC Canyon
Canyon Goes Bigger
Most people know the GMC Canyon as the Chevrolet Colorado’s professional grade cousin. And while that sounds like just marketing speak, with an all-new design of GM’s midsize truck platform comes more genuine brand separation. So, let’s see what the third-gen GMC Canyon delivers in real time!
Small trucks are once again a big deal, and part of the reason is that they are no longer small. There’s not much about this 2023 GMC Canyon that resembles the ¼-ton Sonomas, S-10s, Rangers, and Datsun trucks that were wildly popular in the 1980s.
Of course, then, people were willing to sacrifice certain “big-truck” things for an easier to use and more economical pickup experience. Well, we don’t seem to be big on compromise for much of anything these days, and the current midsize crop of trucks deliver more than ever. So fittingly, the 2023 Canyon will be available as a Crew Cab only with a 5-foot bed. No more extended cab or long bed options. Wheelbase is about 3-inches longer than before, with the front wheels pushed more towards the front. It definitely looks tougher, and they’ve even eliminated the much-hated front air dam that protruded well below the front bumper.
The Canyon also comes exclusively with the high-output version of GM’s 2.7-liter turbocharged I-4, with a stout 310-horsepower and 430 lb-ft. of torque. At times it feels even more powerful than those numbers would indicate, with its diesel-like torque delivery enabling a best-in-class max tow rating of 7,700-lbs. No choice of transmission either, strictly 8-speed automatic, but you can still decide whether you want rear or 4-wheel-drive.
At minimum, ground clearance is 9.6-inches, which is more than an inch taller than last year, and almost 2-inches over Chevy’s base Colorado. And since it’s all about the off-road packages these days, our AT4 tester comes with 4-wheel drive, off-road suspension, locking rear diff, 2-speed transfer case, hill descent control, and 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires.
And that’s just where things get started, as at the top of the heap, there’s a new AT4X with 10.7-inches of ground clearance, enhanced front and rear e-locking differentials, 33-inch mud terrain tires, Multimatic dampers, and an additional Baja Drive Mode. We’ll have more on the AT4X real soon.
But for all Canyons, including this AT4, GMC went tech-heavy, as all get 11-inch infotainment screens and a fully digital driver display in either 8 or 11-inches. Plus, an available head up display comes with most trims, and there are even optional underbody cameras.
Unique AT4 features include a Jet Black and Timber interior motif with stitched logos on the leather front seats. Those seats are definitely comfortable, and it feels maybe a tad roomier than before, but still well shy of the sprawling space in a full-size truck. It’s even more noticeable in the rear, though there are more practical storage options back here.
The AT4 gets a sliding rear window, along with a tailgate storage system to complement the integrated ruler, and bed side-mounted 120-volt power outlet. The Canyon already delivered one of the best rides in the midsize class, and the taller suspension seems to only improve on that; it’s not quite crossover plush, but certainly great for a body on frame truck.
Though the higher ground clearance and off-road emphasis kept it from being a track star. Indeed, healthy amounts of understeer and body roll greeted us in our handling course. It was a little hesitant off the line in speed runs, but once rolling, power poured on steadily. 0-60 in only 7.5-seconds, and through the ¼-mile in 15.6-seconds at 91 miles-per-hour.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the AT4 are 17-City, 21-Highway, and 19-Combined; we averaged an acceptable 18.2 miles-per-gallon of Regular. Pricing starts with a 2-wheel-drive Elevation at $38,395. That puts it at midlevel Chevrolet Colorado, with is consistent with the mission of the new Canyon. All other trims come with 4-wheel drive, this AT4 starting at $45,395, and the AT4X now eclipsing Denali as the highest offering at $56,995.
So, as small trucks have grown, so has the price of entry. But if that doesn’t scare you off, there is no denying the 2023 GMC Canyon is yes bigger, but also bolder and badder than before. Does that necessarily make it better? We say positively yes!
- Engine: 2.7L Turbo-4
- Horsepower: 310
- 0-60 mph: 7.5 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 121 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 18.2 mpg (Regular)
- Transmission: 8-speed auto
- Torque: 430 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 15.6-seconds at 91 mph
- EPA: 17 City / 21 Highway / 19 Combined