A true girlmobile?

Jack Baruth rents a 2018 Ford Edge:

The last time I reviewed an Edge was eight years ago. At the time, I thought that it was more or less a perfect example of What Women Want From Today’s Automobile. That’s still the case, and since the distaff demographic is notoriously conservative when it comes to vehicle design, Ford has wisely declined to make any significant changes to the formula. Although my test vehicle was a second-generation product, it’s pretty hard to tell the differences between this and the original. The 2019 mid-cycle refresh introduces a new eight-speed transmission and a new fascia but virtually nobody will notice.

What does the Edge do well? To start with, it’s an extremely competent freeway cruiser, quiet as the grave and offering a strong combination of comfort and visibility even if the driver is shorter than average. Crosswind sensitivity is just about nil. Wet-weather behavior at speed is exemplary. Few vehicles this side of an S-Class Benz convey a feeling of security to the driver as well as this middle-class Ford. After twenty thousand rental miles, there was neither rattle nor hum to be heard. Not only was the structure still tight as a drum, there wasn’t any visible wear on the interior surfaces. Honda could learn quite a bit from the way the Edge holds up to abuse.

There is, of course, a downside, and one place you can see it is from the inside of a purse:

Yet the Edge’s crowd-pleasing qualities come at a price. I mean that literally. This is a $38,000 automobile, and one that is not sharply discounted with any regularity. It takes some real build-and-price gymnastics to get a midsize sedan anywhere near it. The equivalent [Honda] Accord to this is an EX-L, which lists for $29,970. And the cost differences don’t stop there. The Ontario-built Edge features a Cleveland engine — the “twin-scroll” two-liter turbo that cranks out 250 remarkably frisky horsepower but which also struggles to return more than 24 miles per gallon in mixed usage. An Accord 1.5T would give you between 36 and 39 driven over the same roads in the same fashion. The Edge is heavy, so you’ll be buying those expensive low-profile tires more often.

Still, the Blue Oval moves a whole lot of these things: 142,603 Edges were sold in the States last year. And I’d bet that not all of them are being driven by women.

2 comments »

  1. fillyjonk »

    9 November 2018 · 7:19 am

    I drive an Edge. (a 2010 model, so probably the older one Baruth was referring to). Yes, I like it. It’s a good, solid car, not flashy. As he noted: it’s quiet (I took one of the “big vans” the uni has out Wednesday to haul students and was struck at how I heard seemingly every acorn I rolled over on the road). Yes, it’s not very gas-efficient but when you’re too busy to drive very many places and your usual commute is a mile-and-a-half, that’s not such a big deal. It seems a pretty safe car; I’ve had a couple minor fender benders with mine and except for replacing the front turn-signal assembly, it’s not taken any real damage in either.

    Maybe it’s not so much a “chick car” as a “woman car”? I mean, if we’re going there. What I want in a car is: safe, doesn’t break down randomly, easy to maintain, comfortable, quiet.

  2. Bryan »

    9 November 2018 · 2:27 pm

    I drove a 2010 as an insurance-replacement rental when my 2001 Alero was totaled. It rode great, was comfortable, and all those good things… but I never got more than 16mpg for the month.

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