Midsize crossover SUVs are fast becoming the family car of choice. Offering carlike ride and handling along with a more reasonable size and fuel economy than traditional truck-based sport-utilities, these crossovers have found appeal with a wide range of shoppers.
Ford's entry for this segment is the Edge. Debuting just last year, the five-passenger Edge boasts handsome looks and a punchy 265-horsepower V6 engine. Inside, the cabin is sufficiently roomy and comfortable for daily use. A third-row seat, an increasingly popular feature for this vehicle segment, isn't available, though its usefulness in competing vehicles is debatable. If you're truly in need of a six- or seven-passenger vehicle, the larger Taurus X is probably a better choice anyway.
This year's Edge receives a few new thoughtful features. Among them are the available "Sync" system (which allows integrated and voice-controlled operation of all kinds of personal electronics such as cell phones and MP3 players), an optional power liftgate and a voice-activated navigation system. There is also a new Limited trim level and optional 20-inch wheels.
Overall, the 2008 Ford Edge is a solid pick for the would-be midsize-SUV buyer. But there are a couple things to note. Its overall cabin design and quality is a step behind many competitors, and in testing we've found that its brakes lack the power we would expect from this class of vehicle. If these prove to be turn-offs for you, models like the Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-7, Nissan Murano and Toyota RAV4 V6 might prove more appealing.