Test Drive: 2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost car test drives reviews ford
2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost. Click image to enlarge

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Ford Motor Company of Canada

Review and photos by Peter Bleakney

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2012 Ford Edge

The battle against fuel consumption is waged on many fronts. Full hybrids, mild hybrids, plug in hybrids, EVs, turbo diesels, direct-injection smaller displacement turbo engines – they’re all out there and growing in numbers. Ford is adopting the latter technology with its EcoBoost program.

We first saw the 3.5L EcoBoost direct-injection twin-turbo V6 as a V8 alternative/replacement, and now the single-turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder direct-injection 2.0-litre EcoBoost is offered as a $1,000 option in both the Ford Edge mid-sized crossover and Explorer full-size SUV. Mated with a six-speed auto, the EcoBoost models are front-wheel drive only.

I can hear the cries of derision. “You mean I have to pay extra for a four-banger and it’s only front wheel drive? Is the world going to hell in a hand basket?”

Well, it kinda is, in case you hadn’t noticed.

Test Drive: 2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost car test drives reviews ford
2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost. Click image to enlarge

As long as North America continues its hunger for sizable crossovers and SUVs, the fuel-saving strategies available are pretty limited. Significant weight reduction and meaningful aerodynamic improvements are not really in the nature of these beasts. In light of this, EcoBoost makes sense, especially when considering most of these vehicles will function as family transport where perhaps improved fuel economy is considered more important than AWD.

Today, we’re looking at the 2012 Edge EcoBoost, here in upper Limited trim starting at $36,499. With this you’re getting leather, heated front seats (10-way driver’s), rear park-assist, back-up camera, 18-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, 390-watt Sony audio and MyFord Touch.

Add a g-note for the engine, $800 for the 20-inch chrome wheels, $600 HID headlamps, $1,850 for the navigation and panoramic sunroof, $1,650 for the package that gives proximity key and push-button start, power liftgate, vision package and blind spot monitoring, $300 for the candy red paint, and the bottom line of this tester swelled to about 43 grand.

The EcoBoost engine is also available in the base SE and next-up SEL trim level.

Test Drive: 2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost car test drives reviews ford
2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost. Click image to enlarge

The Edge EcoBoost claims 9.9 L/100 km city and 6.6 L/100 km highway against 11.1 and 7.2 for the 3.5-litre V6. And unlike the Range Rover Evoque, which uses essentially the same engine, the Edge runs on regular grade gas. My wintry week of mixed driving netted a respectable 10.4 L/100 km.

With an output of 240 hp, you’re giving up 45 ponies to the naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6, but torque swells from 253 lb-ft to 270 lb.-ft, with most of it on line by 1,700 rpm.

While you’d expect the four-banger to dish out its power under strained protest, the 2.0-litre EcoBoost is actually quieter and more refined than the V6 under most driving conditions. Once underway, the pressurized four never feels outgunned or flatfooted with turbo-lag. It’s a great match with this recently refreshed Edge.

As a Ford engineer put it, getting that kind of output from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder is the first challenge, then the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) guys have to go in there and tune out the nastiness — which they have done to great effect.

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