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Nuts & Bolts: 2011 Ford Edge

Bottom line: It’s finally competitive with other vehicles in its class, such as the Nissan Murano. But even Mulally knows that “competitive” does not necessarily mean better. He has to keep working.

Ride, acceleration and handling: The Edge gets “very good” marks in all three.

Head-turning quotient: Exterior styling — muscular, borderline sexy — is attractive. Interior styling and material quality are excellent.

Body style/layout: The 2011 Edge is a front-engine, front-wheel-drive midsize crossover-utility vehicle (think wagon) of unitized-body construction. It has four side doors and a rear liftgate.

Engine/transmission: The 3.5-liter, 24-valve V-6 engine (285 horsepower, 253 foot-pounds of torque) is linked to a six-speed transmission that can be operated automatically or manually.

Capacities: Seats for five people. Cargo capacity is 32.2 cubic feet with all seats up and 68.9 cubic feet with rear seats down. The Edge Limited can be equipped to tow a trailer weighing 3,500 pounds. Fuel capacity is 18 gallons. Regular unleaded is okay.

Mileage: The Environmental Protection Agency says you get 19 miles per gallon in the city and 27 on the highway, which closely reflects my real-world experience.

Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes, four-wheel anti-lock protection, electronic brake-force distribution, electronic stability and traction control, and side and head air bags. Optional equipment recommended by this column includes blind-spot monitoring.

Price: The base price of the 2011 Ford Edge Limited is $34,525. Dealer invoice price on that model is $32,183. Price as tested is 439,095, including $3,795 in options (dual-panel glass roof, premium audio with satellite access, onboard navigation with backup camera and other items) and a $7,775 destination charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $36,184. A $1,000 rebate was available at this writing.

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