2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost
2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost; photo by Paul Williams. Click image to enlarge

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Ford Motor Company of Canada

By Paul Williams

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2012 Ford Edge

Romeo, Michigan – It wasn’t a particularly long first drive, but it was long enough to conclude that the new 2012 four-cylinder Ford Edge with EcoBoost drives just fine, thank-you very much. The new powerplant seems as smooth as many V6 engines, with acceleration and hill-climbing ability more than meeting expectations for a vehicle of this type.

The reason? Four-cylinders and small displacement notwithstanding, the 2.0-litre EcoBoost generates an impressive 240 horsepower from 1,750 to 5,000 rpm, and 270 pound-feet of torque from 1,700 to 3,000 rpm (compared with 285 hp at 6,500 rpm and 240 lb.-ft. torque at 5,500 r.p.m. for the standard 3.5-litre V6). Further compared with the standard V6 engine, the inline-four (I4) EcoBoost improves fuel economy by “at least 10 per cent,” according to Ford, returning an estimated 9.9/6.6 L/100 km, city/highway versus 11.1/7.2 L/100 km for the 3.5-litre V6.

So indeed the new 2.0-litre I4 GTDI (Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection) engine has the fuel economy numbers (Eco) and the power (Boost) that are high on consumers’ list of must-have features when making a new vehicle purchase (especially an SUV); and starting at $29,199, the 2012 Ford Edge SE with EcoBoost is very competitively priced. Towing capacity remains unchanged at 3,500 pounds (when properly equipped) for the V6 and I4 Edge.

2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost
2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost; photo by Paul Williams. Click image to enlarge

There are a couple of “buts,” though.

First, the Ecoboost I4 will cost you an extra $1,000 over the V6 Edge, and second, you can’t have one with all-wheel drive. On the positive side, you can order the Ecoboost I4 with the SE, SEL and Limited FWD Edge models (on the SE it will cost you $1,200, but that also gets you a set of 18-inch painted aluminum wheels).

The EcoBoost engine features sophisticated valve timing management, an exhaust manifold integrated with the cylinder head, turbocharging and direct fuel injection. It’s a combination of technologies that many manufacturers have developed to improve the efficiency of their engines, and we’ve seen EcoBoost already from Ford in V6 versions as fitted to the Flex, F-150 and Taurus SHO.

Significantly, 41 per cent of F-150 pickup truck sales in the US are EcoBoost equipped vehicles, with total V6 engines outselling V8s in the F-150 (the first time since 1985). Planning to make EcoBoost engines available in 90 per cent of Ford vehicles by 2013, the 2.0-litre EcoBoost is the first four-cylinder version, and its first application is in the Edge.

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