Ford's new crossover: Enough truck for the buck?

With its new-for-2007 Edge, the maker of the hugely successful F-150 pickup finally makes its move into America's hottest automotive category: the crossover – carlike handling, ride height of a mid-size SUV. (The closest Ford had come before: the wagonlike Freestyle.)

This stylish, slat-nosed Ford shares a platform with the very winning, smaller Mazda CX-7 (recently reviewed in this space). Edge has a different appeal. It feels more like a truck: functional, not too dressy, with a 3.5-liter V6 and a six-speed automatic transmission that strains noisily when flogged but ends up feeling adequate.

Forward gear choices are drive and low; manual selection isn't an option. EPA estimate for highway m.p.g.: an optimistic 24 – we didn't perform a real-world test. (Ford plans an electric/hydrogen hybrid version.) The beefy crossover (about 4,500 lbs.) is agile enough and a legitimate, comfortable five-seater. Interior appointments seem a little inconsistent in quality. Full airbags, antilock brakes, and stability control come standard.

With a base price of around $30,000, Edge options climb fast – we loved the panoramic sunroof ($1,395). Our test model, an SEL Plus, all-wheel-drive, ended up at $36,850. Enough truck for the buck? Tough question. 

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