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The Daily Drivers | By Peter Couture and Lyra Solochek, Times staff

Ford Edge Sport adds an angle to company's crossover

With its stout, yet streamlined design, the Ford Edge has been a head-turner among crossovers since its debut. The 2009 Ford Edge Sport gets everything from the top-of-the-line Limited model plus cosmetic upgrades. Ford calls it a factory custom. We call it cool. The question, buyers: With a price that starts at $33,755, is the bling worth the bucks?

Appearance: The Ford Edge Sport model is all about the look, both inside and out. The body kit (front air dam, lower door caps, side and rear skirts in matching body color), blackout treatment for head and tail lamps, low-profile tires and available 22-inch custom aluminum wheels give it a hip, bold and contemporary exterior. We usually don't mention colors, but this stunning Sport Blue is worth a shout-out. One drawback, however. The extra trim around the doorway juts out far enough for little ones to mistake it for a step.

Performance: The Edge Sport doesn't add any performance enhancements. Still, the front-wheel-drive Edge is a smooth ride, with no surprises on acceleration. We drove it during a week of heavy downpours and, even without the all-wheel drive, it felt firmly planted to the road. Credit that to what Ford calls AdvanceTrac (traction control) and those big tires. The Sport gets the same powerplant found in other Edge models — a 3.5-liter Duratec V-6 with a six-speed automatic transmission that makes 265 horsepower. Stopping power, on the other hand, was noticeably insufficient for a vehicle this size. We had to push the pedal to the floor to get any reaction.

Interior: The look is spiffy with two-toned leather seats and a brushed-metal finish on the center console. Look closely, and you'll see added "Sport" etching (see photo at left). And those details are what, ultimately, will persuade buyers to purchase this model. Peter liked the attractive gauges, the use of LED ambient lighting with several color options to light the console cup holders, and the convex mirrors that helped eliminate blind spots. Lyra liked the deep storage under the armrest that can hold a small purse, but she found the blind-spot mirrors distracting. And, despite using the six-way power driver's seat, she felt as if she was riding low in the car because of the Edge's high window opening. The rear seats recline to about 45 degrees, making it perfect for a comfortable ride. If you need cargo space, a simple push of a button folds the rear seats flat.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Body kit and tires: They give it an after-market appearance.

Interior: Lots of head room. Deep console storage, 12-volt plug-ins, kid-pleasing, rear reclining seats.

Ride: Planted, no hint of body lean.Lyra Solochek

Reclining rear seats: The seats tilt backward about 45 degrees. Great for naps or gazing at clouds through the panoramic roof.

Reverse sensor: Alerts you when you are near an object.

Suede seats: Perfect for the hot summer. You can wear shorts and not get too scorched.

The bottom line: If you want a crossover with a customized look without paying after-market prices, then this hip, five-passenger hauler might be for you. But if appearance is not a priority, check out the other trim levels of the Ford Edge — SE, SEL, Limited — as more affordable options.

2009 Ford Edge Sport

Price: $33,755; $39,505 as tested

Powertrain: 3.5-liter Duratec V-6, six-speed automatic transmission

Horsepower: 265 at 6,250 rpm

Torque: 250 pound-feet at 4,500 rpm

Curb weight: 4,078 pounds

Dimensions in inches:

Wheelbase, 111.2

Length, 185.7

Width including mirrors, 87.5

Fuel economy:

17 miles per gallon city, 24 mpg highway (front-wheel-drive)

Safety features: AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, dual-stage air bags, curtain and side air bags, blind-spot side mirrors, side impact door beams, post-crash alert system.

Trim levels: SE, SEL, Limited, Sport

Options worth considering: 22-inch wheels, all-wheel drive, power liftgate, voice-

activated navigation system, dual zone climate control, SYNC communication system and the panoramic vista roof.

Web site: www.fordvehicles.com/crossovers/edge

Ford Edge Sport adds an angle to company's crossover 06/19/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 19, 2009 2:21pm]
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