First Drive: 2012 Ford Edge ford first drives
2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost; photo by Paul Williams. Click image to enlarge

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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.

First Drive: 2012 Ford Edge ford first drives
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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