2011 Ford Edge Sport

2011 Ford Edge Sport 2011 Ford Edge Sport
Instrumented Test From the January 2011 Issue of Car and Driver TESTED

If you, like us, find the notion of a ­complicated, expensive, 4500-pound crossover wearing Sport badging somewhat ridiculous, our advice is simple: Get used to it. The CUV segment keeps growing, and variations on the theme continue apace.

The 2011 Edge Sport is actually Ford’s second stab at a performance version of its mid-size crossover; the first Edge Sport launched in 2009. The high price doesn’t move much, but there is a lot more content this time out, and it’s a stronger effort all around—even if the word cluster “Ford Edge Sport” still strains some credulity. We’d be happier if they called it the Ford Big ’n’ Fast, but that’s why they don’t let us name cars.

Ford installs the base Mustang’s 3.7-liter V-6—305 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque—transversely underhood and mates it to a manumatic six-speed. It provides a big bump in output versus the outgoing Sport model, which used the same 265-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 as the rest of the previous Edge lineup. (The base Edge uses an updated 3.5-liter now rated at 285 horsepower.) The 3.7 cuts more than a half-second off  the 0-to-60 sprint, returning a sub-seven-second time that’s commendable in this class; it runs even with the most recent Nissan Murano we tested and beats the GMC Terrain by a second and a half.

The anchors are equally impressive: Ford revised the entire braking system for all Edges after the previous version turned in buslike stopping events. New pistons, larger rear rotors, and an upgraded booster improve brake feel and help to chop the 70-to-0-mph distance from 191 feet to a more manageable 175.

All this in spite of the fact that the Edge Sport tips the scales at 4460 pounds, 17 more than the ’09 model we last measured. A decent percentage of that weight resides, unsprung, in the 22-inch wheels. Shod with 265/40 Pirelli Scorpion Zero rubber, each corner accounts for almost 100 pounds. Still, the ride is commendable over all but big bumps, a testament to the revised suspension tuning. Handling, too, gets steadier, with progressively  weighted steering, good turn-in bite, and a body so disciplined you’d think it was developed in a mountaintop dojo.

The Edge Sport gets more than just new brakes, a new powertrain, and a monstrous new grille, though—it also gets a sumptuous new interior, which comes standard with the MyFord Touch infotainment system. Buttons, so popular for the past century, are casualties of the iPhone revolution, and the system’s touch-sensitive center console and modifiable instrument cluster are two more steps toward a full glass cockpit.

Apparently, Ford is taking this whole midcycle-refresh thing seriously. Only item left to change is that badge.