When I first saw the new Ford Edge, I couldn’t help but think that Ford had set their sights squarely on the successful Nissan Murano. Visually, designers have taken a decidedly Japanese shape and moulded it into a package that there is no mistaking for a Ford product. The 5 door crossover sport utility looks great from every angle and from the reaction we’ve gotten around town it seems to have made it’s presence known with the public.
The funny thing about my relationship with Ford products is that I don’t really have one. After 20 years in the car industry, I’ve never really had any exposure to them. The last Ford I drove was an 1990 Mustang GT way back in 93! So how is this relevant? Well, It means that I really didn’t any preconceived notions about the brand and I really didn’t know what to expect when I plunked myself behind the wheel. Imagine, a car guy who is a clean slate. Unbiased.
Arriving at Ford’s Canadian headquarters in Oakville, the media fleet sits neatly in front of the very industrial looking plant. It’s an interesting contrast, with the finished product posing in front of the mass of snaking silver exhaust vents. Approaching the Edge, the copper paint really stands out in the bright sunlight. This is definitely the colour of choice if you want to appreciate the Edge’s lines.
The seats look rich and supple, the leather has the feel of a nicely worn in baseball mitt and is set off by subtle stitching. The dash materials equal anything on offer from the target competitors. Then of course there is the sunroof. Make that plural. Front and back seat passengers get their own glass panel roof, protected by cool retractable power sunshades. The front panel slides back over the rear panel to reveal a huge opening for the sun to shine in.
On the road, the 3.5L V6 pushes the AWD Edge along nicely, with more than enough oomph for a normal commute. Maybe the most impressive thing about our first drive is how quiet the cabin is with the giant sunroof open. One can actually use a cell phone with the roof open without any buffeting whatsoever. We’ll have more driving observations as the week progresses.
At a small gathering of industry types last night, the following comments were heard:
This is a Ford? Wow!
This interior looks like it belongs in a Japanese car.
This cargo area is huge! Check out the back seat release!
Over the week, we’ll gather more comments from friends and neighbours to see what the world thinks of the Edge.
So far, the 2007 Ford Edge has been a welcome addition to The Garage. If our first impressions are any indication, then it’s only a matter of time before Ford’s new products turn this company around.