2011 Ford Edge Sport
2011 Ford Edge Sport. Click image to enlarge

Related links
Ford Edge on Autos.ca

Manufacturer’s web site
Ford Motor Company of Canada

Review and photos by Chris Chase

Photo Gallery:
2011 Ford Edge

The 2011 Ford Edge is available with a bunch of high-tech comfort and convenience features, including SYNC, MyFord Touch, and touch-sensitive centre stack controls, all designed to reduce driver distraction without reducing the vehicle’s functionality. What does it say about me, then, that my favourite part of the redesigned interior is the big, analog speedometer that anchors the instrument cluster?

MyFord Touch is Ford’s take on control interface systems that have become common in luxury vehicles: think BMW’s iDrive, Audi’s MMI or Mercedes-Benz’ COMAND set-ups. Here, all of the car’s major systems – climate control, audio, communications and navigation – can be controlled through the dashboard touch screen, and basic functions for each can be managed through steering wheel buttons and a digital display in the instrument cluster. Between MyFordTouch and SYNC, you can control just about any function in the car without taking your hands off the wheel, and there’s something to be said for that.

2011 Ford Edge Sport
2011 Ford Edge Sport. Click image to enlarge

I’d suggest there’s also something to be said for keeping car interiors really simple, which is the best way to avoid distraction and keep a driver’s attention focused on the road ahead and potential risks all around. A good example here is the controls for the heated front seats, which are accessible only through the touch-screen, requiring two steps (accessing the climate control display, if it’s not already prioritized, and then turning the seat warmers on or off). I admit I’m a bit of a traditionalist, but I’d prefer buttons or switches on the centre stack or console.

There are audio and climate controls on the centre stack, below the screen, on an admittedly slick-looking touch-sensitive panel (lower-spec models get a slightly different-looking stack with controls that work similarly). With bare hands, these controls generally work well, but there were a couple of times I needed a second or third touch to get the car to do what I wanted it to. Gloved or mittened hands present a challenge, and require firmer pressure to get the message through. Ford’s prioritizing of MyFordTouch shows in the arrangement of the centre stack controls: the individual buttons are hard to identify at a quick glance, and the flat panel means that finding a button by feel alone is impossible.

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