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For those who’re new round right here, you may not bear in mind that I’ve been accused of being a Blue Oval homer, and even being “bias.” (Bark’s tip of the day: “bias” is a noun, “biased” is an adjective.) I make no secret of the truth that the final 4 automobiles I’ve bought have been straight from the Thoughts of Dearborn, however I don’t suppose that essentially makes me FordPro Bark. In truth, a few of my harshest rental opinions of days yonder have been directed towards Ford merchandise.

However there may be no denying that I’m drawn towards Fords on rental row, just because I’ve a big diploma of familiarity with them. I don’t must be taught new infotainment programs or sprint layouts, and every thing from the steering wheel to the seats simply feels proper to me. As such, I discovered myself throwing my luggage into the cargo space of a Ford Edge Titanium final week in Miami. The Edge is a resident of that strangest of car segments, the massive two-row CUV, dwelling on the identical road because the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Nissan Murano. The Edge can’t have a 3rd row of seating, as a result of then it will be an Explorer, and it may’t be any smaller, as a result of then it will be an Escape. So it simply kinda…exists.

This isn’t essentially a nasty factor.

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That lack of third row means second-row passengers have greater than sufficient legroom to fulfill all however the lankiest of highschool basketball gamers. The non-obligatory white leather-based provided within the Titanium is placing at first look, too, however as my 20,000-plus mile rental instance reveals right here, it reveals the filth slightly simply, as did the white headliner.

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And that lack of third row additionally means the cargo space is bigger than Harvey Weinstein’s bathtub. It’s so massive that it appears prefer it’s really lacking one thing that ought to be there. Like, I don’t know, a 3rd row of seats?

Nevertheless, as soon as I received previous my obsession with the variety of seats provided within the Edge, I started to drive it. For cruising the imply streets of Miami, one may definitely do worse than the journey provided by this midsizer. The ever-present parts-bin steering wheel present in almost each single Ford on this planet comforted me with its familiarity in addition to its fast response. Highway noise is stored to a minimal contained in the huge cabin, and although, sure, it will get soiled shortly, I appreciated an inside coloration that was one thing apart from black or beige.

The colour of my rental, effectively labeled “Magnetic” by Ford, helped me disappear amongst the neon shades of Miami’s omnipresent exotics. Media of acceptable tone high quality was effortlessly delivered by Sync three, and the motive force’s seat was agency and comfy. All good, proper?

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Nicely, it was, till I discovered myself in want of some acceleration. Good God, the two.Zero-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder sucks on this software.

It’s exhausting to elucidate simply how 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque may ever be so utterly ineffective in motivating a automobile to motion, however you possibly can overlook any efficiency numbers that is likely to be extant on the subject of the EcoBoost Edge — acceleration within the Edge is a mere idea, not an precise occasion. In Miami, one typically wants to show shortly in entrance of visitors to have any shot in any respect of constructing a left flip, and the Edge’s four,200 kilos or so is simply insufficiently impressed to take action.

In fact, the Edge isn’t supposed for the sporting set. The mixed gas economic system I noticed in my time with the Edge in Miami-Dade, an space of the nation identified for among the most formidable visitors identified to man, was simply over 24 mpg, which is a powerful quantity for such a big automobile. The 2-point-slow EcoBoost could not encourage a lot hooning, however that’s a superb factor on the subject of preserving your journeys to the gas pump as rare as potential. Happily, there’s one other out there EcoBoost motor that gives much more Increase and rather less Eco that might make this crossover much less painful to drive.

Sadly, with a view to get the two.7-liter twin-turbo, 315-horsepower EcoBoost within the Edge, one should crack open their pockets and make the leap to the Edge Sport, which is a $5,000 penalty and comes with ride-destroying 20-inch rims wrapped with rubber band tires. My alternative could be to stay with the Titanium and attempt to discover one outfitted with the three.5-liter V6 that may also be discovered underneath the hood of my private Ford Flex — a automotive that weighs much more but manages to really feel considerably much less sluggish than the EcoBoost Edge.

It’s a disgrace that this motor and crossover are so poorly matched, as a result of the remainder of the package deal is kind of good.

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The Edge is the proper dimension for a household like mine — two adults with two elementary faculty children. The third row in my Flex is folded flat almost 100 p.c of the time, making manner for the storage of groceries, folding chairs and tents for soccer video games, garden provides, and so on. With the extraordinarily uncommon exception right here or there, I would favor having the additional legroom within the second row for passengers and the bonus cargo space. Like many CUV consumers, I used to be in all probability tricked into considering I wanted a 3rd row when, actually, I’d be higher off with out it.

Subjectively, I discover the Edge to be a good-looking automobile, one which seems to have been consciously styled to attraction to the masculine CUV intender. As its most comparable and direct competitors is the Jeep Grand Cherokee, that is in all probability not a coincidence. However, as an excellent poet as soon as mentioned, ain’t nothing like the actual factor, child.

The Grand Cherokee’s Pentastar motor matched with the eight-speed auto is a drastically higher powertrain combo than something provided within the Edge south of the Sport trim, and the inside is a nicer place to spend one’s time, as nicely. Uconnect is lightyears higher than Sync, and the styling of the GC is timeless and oh-so-very Jeepy.

Mix all that with the truth that the Edge Titanium Ecoboost, when optioned precisely like my rental, ticks simply previous the $38,000 mark, and it’s tough to discover a purpose to place this specific iteration of the Edge in your storage. Like Michelle Obama says, once they go low, I’ll go excessive —make my Edge the Sport, and I’ll endure the decreased journey high quality to get the extra highly effective motor. Higher but, I’d simply purchase a Jeep.

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[Images: © Mark “Bark M.” Baruth/The Truth About Cars]

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