2015 Ford Edge Review

ford edge review

Does the 2015 Ford Edge have the edge in the mid-size SUV and crossover category?  That's what I tried to find out this past week when I was invited by Ford to test drive the new 2015 Ford Edge in Phoenix, Arizona for half a day.

2015 Ford Edge Updates & Changes

Ok, so let's take a look at the new 2015 Ford Edge. A few changes have taken place, most significantly, in the engine and trim offerings.  The Ford Edge trim line-up used to consist of the SE, SEL, Limited, and Sport. Now you have the SE, SEL, Titanium, and Sport.

In addition to the new Titanium trim line are revised engine and powertrain options which provide better fuel efficiency and power.  The engine options include;

  • 2.0-Liter EcoBoost Inline 4-Cylinder with 245-horsepower and 275 lb. -ft of torque
  • 2.7-Liter EcoBoost V6 with 315-horsepower and 350 lb. -ft of torque
  • 3.5 Liter V6 with 280-horsepower and 250 lb. -ft of torque (naturally aspirated)

All models come with a 6-speed automatic transmission.  FWD (Front Wheel Drive) is standard, but a change for 2015 is that all engine offerings can be ordered with AWD (All Wheel Drive).

Ford has a lot of great new technology on the 2015 Ford Edge.  Available as an option this year is the hands-free rear liftgate which can be activated by moving your foot under the rear bumper.  Testing it out was fun. Anyone who's ever loaded and unloaded a vehicle can see why this innovation would be useful. You've probably seen Ford touting this feature in TV commercials. The kicking motion to open the rear liftgate was originally only available on the Ford C-MAX and Ford Escape but the 2015 Ford Edge has changed that.

The suspension and driving dynamics of the Ford Edge has also been significantly improved this year.  One of the suspension and body engineers told me the goal was to make the 2015 Ford Edge feel less top heavy.  Basically they wanted it to not feel like an SUV with top heavy weight while maneuvering.  The Ford Edge went on a diet, shedding 50 pounds compared to last year's model.  This has helped refine the driving dynamics.  They have also used a sedan platform to underpin the 2015 Ford Edge.  Along with MacPherson struts in the front and integral-link independent suspension in the rear, the Ford Edge definitely feels more like a sedan.  With the slightly light weight and the sedan platform there is not as much body roll as other SUVs I've driven.

The other important area Ford has made improvements in in storage space. I am not just talking about an extra 7 cubic feet in the rear hatch but a lot of storage compartments in the cabin.  One of the Ford Edge planners told me he had his wife in mind while designing some of the storage areas. I thought the best storage compartment was on the dashboard above the SYNC infotainment screen.  The storage area is quite generous and it is easily accessible while driving.  It's a great place to put a cellphone or stow your sunglasses.

During my test drive experience in Arizona I got behind the wheel of two different trims, the Ford Edge Titanium and the Ford Edge Sport.  These are the higher end models in the Ford Edge line-up and I took both on some nice highways and scenic twisty mountain roads outside Scottsdale, near Phoenix.  With 80+ degree weather (a welcome contrast to the East Coast freezer) driving the Edge on the open roads was a genuinely positive experience.

Ford Edge Titanium

I started the day in Arizona with a 2015 Ford Edge Titanium which comes equipped with the 2.0 Liter Inline 4-Cylinder EcoBoost engine.  I could definitely the peppiness of the engine kicking in going down the road.

One of the powertrain engineers commented on how engine power is more immediate with the turbo and reworked engine design.  While the Ford Edge Titanium has significantly less turbo lag than the majority of turbo'ed vehicles I've driven, I found that in some driving situations I could still feel a slight lag. The power hesitation on the turbo is there… but only for a split second.  This would probably be indiscernible to most drivers who do suburban and urban routes.  At lower speeds the turbo on the 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder engine does a fine job.  I only found turbo lag was an issue at higher speeds. While the engine may not appeal to hardcore gearheads, the 4-Cylinder EcoBoost should be fine for a wide variety of driving situations.  It's enjoyable and adequate in my opinion.

The interior on the Titanium felt quite nice as it was cognac accented with black.  With heated and cooled leather seats it felt quite luxurious and comfortable even driving around on different terrain for two hours.  You might not think you need cooling but in 80+ degree weather, how  could you live without it?

Ford Edge Sport

Those who want more power and “oomph” will love the 2.7 Liter V6 EcoBoost.  When I switched out my Ford Edge Titanium for the Ford Edge Sport equipped with the V6, the power difference was immediately noticeable.

While a select group of people might care about the differences between a turbo EcoBoost 4-Cylinder and an EcoBoost V6, I am under the impression most Ford Edge customers will opt for the 2.0-Liter engine due to the better fuel economy compared to the 2.7-Liter V6.  If you mostly do around town driving and some highway miles, can you live with 4-Cylinder EcoBoost?  I would certainly think so.  Of course the extra power from the V6 is hard to resist once you've driven and experienced it.  Plus, one engineer indicated that feedback from many Ford customers was that they want a V6.

I didn't find the interior of the Ford Edge Sport as comfortable as the Ford Edge Titanium since it was black interior.  The temperature difference was apparent even with the air conditioning on with cooling seats.  The model I drove had cloth seats but they were still comfortable.

The huge moonroof on the Edge Sport was quite enjoyable to open it up as it sort of felt like a convertible.  Ford calls it the VistaRoof and it is a great option if you want to spring for it.  It is also available on the Titanium.  My driving partner for the day commented on how enjoyable convertibles are. Hey, life is short so if you don't get a convertible at least opt for a Vista Roof.

A somewhat firmer suspension setup makes for a more racer like driving experience.  Discerning drivers will appreciate it.  On curvy roads it's nice to have a firmer suspension but as we got closer to the hotel, i.e. more toward city roads and stop and go traffic, the suspension felt cumbersome.  With beefier 21-inch tires compared to the Titanium's 20 inch tires, the Sport looks better.  The larger tires are also more aggressive and provide better grip for more precise handling.


The Ford Edge comes with the SYNC infotainment system with MyFordTouch.  I ended up not being a fan of the SYNC and MyFordTouch system.  While driving I found that it took awhile to understand certain controls and functions on the screen.  I found it difficult to concentrate on driving while trying to operate MyFordTouch.  SYNC is a bit clunky and at this point Ford needs to consider switching to a more intuitive software system.

In terms of technology you get other nice additions like Sirius Satellite Radio, 2 USB charger ports for various devices, GPS navigation, and you can change the ambient lighting in the car to whatever color you want.


There are a lot of safety features on the 2015 Ford Edge. Some nice safety features include;

  • Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist
  • 180-Degree front camera system with a little washer system
  • Rear Parking Camera
  • Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning
  • Enhanced Active Park Assist

I thought that the power steering had a weird “kink” as it felt notchy while going down the road.  I realized that was actually the Lane Assist kicking in.  It does what it is supposed to do, keep a vehicle on the intended path and in the lane.  Like any technology you experience for the first time it takes getting used but once you know it's there and feel the steering wheel making corrections it is somewhat comforting.

The front and rear camera systems are to help with parking. I didn't get to try out the 180-degree front cameras, but anyone who has used a rear back-up camera knows how useful this feature is.  This will become a standard feature by law within a few years.

Ergonomics and Comfort

I found the driving seat quite comfortable on both Ford Edge models .  On many cars driving after 1 hour or so can become a chore if the ergonomics of the seat are not built properly.  On the Ford Edge even after roughly 4 hours of driving it felt like I could comfortably drive all day.  Having a well thought out cabin also helped.


The new Ford Edge looks great. It has slick and sweeping lines emerging from the front to the rear.  The front fascia looks more powerful, aggressive, and hip while still retaining a, “Come drive me” attitude.  I actually don't think I heard one journalist say they didn't like the way the Ford Edge looked.  Compared to the outgoing design the exterior is a stunning improvement.

On the interior it's clear that the Ford Edge designers have attended to details.  The stitching on the seats and doors panels feel high quality.  The fit and finish on interior components are well put together.

Final Thoughts on the Ford Edge

The first thing I noticed when I got into the Ford Edge was how sturdy the door felt when I closed it.  Usually a sturdy door can tell you a lot about a vehicle before you even start driving it.

The Ford Edge lived up to the door closing expectations and there is a lot to like.  The 2015 Ford Edge drives and handles well, feels comfortable, has good safety features, and works well as a mid-size crossover SUV.  My biggest issue was with SYNC and MyFordTouch.  If Ford improved the infotainment system it would be hard to outdo the Ford Edge in the crossover competition.

Should you get the Ford Edge Titanium or the Ford Edge Sport?  I'll tell you when I got out of the pricier Ford Edge Sport I was a little sad to see it go.  With the Ford Edge Titanium I just got out.  That V6 is addictive but you do take a hit with fuel economy.

I should let readers know that I did not have enough time to go through all the safety and technology features, like pairing up my phone and using the Parking Assist to parallel park, on the 2015 Ford Edge.  I'd also like to check out some other things.  In a crossover what you really want to know is how it works when fully loaded with gear, people, or pets.  In my opinion the best way to experience the Ford Edge would be if I was able to test drive it for a week and see how it fits into my lifestyle with my two dogs, Cody and Sierra, with their dog seatbelts on.

The Ford Edge is ideal for those do not mind a slight price premium for safety, technology, and luxury in a mid-size crossover.  Overall it's a great package.

If you have any questions or comments about my 2015 Ford Edge review and first drive impressions, feel free to leave a comment below.  I will try to answer them as best I can.

Vision Hi-Tech Training and Expo

vision hi techThe annual Vision Expo was held at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb southwest of Kansas City, March 5-8 2015. After a hard winter and lots of snow, it was nice to see sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s. This premier automotive event for shop owners, service technicians, and automotive instructors is presented by the Automotive Service Association (ASA) Midwest.

  • The event includes training sessions all day Saturday and until about noon on Sunday.
  • Due to the requests for even more training, there are now two full days of training on both Thursday and Friday prior to the main event which starts on Friday evening with a trade show.
  • The trade show also is open almost all day Saturday and during an extended lunch time to allow time for the attendees to visit the booths setup in over 60,000 square feet of display space at the convention center.
  • About 1,600 attended from 40 of the 50 states and four Canadian provinces this year’s event with almost 400 attending for the first time.This number of attendees included about 150 automotive instructors with specific topics for them all day on Friday.

The host hotel filled up fast (Sheraton Overland Park) as did many others nearby.

Attending the Vision Expo means a full day of activities including:

  1. Getting up early for the breakfast buffet at 6:30 until 7:00 both on Saturday and Sunday morning
  2. Awards and recognitions starts at 7 AM with a keynote speaker who is usually outstanding.
  3. Technical and management sessions start at 8:45 AM and run until 11:45 AM.
  4. Lunch was located next to the trade show area.
  5. Afternoon sessions ran from 2 PM until 4:30 PM with additional (optional) evening events and a banquet on Saturday.
  6. Sunday morning sessions end at 11:45 AM and everyone heads home looking forward to attending this event next year.

vision hi

As with any expo or conference, if the food is good, then the entire conference is considered to be good and the Vision Expo always provides excellent food. A huge trade show and an excellent convention center make this one of the best, if not the best automotive training event in the country. For a description of all of the training sessions that were offered this year, visit their website at: http://www.visionkc.com/

Editor’s Note – This is article is from one of our contributors James Halderman.

Physics for Gearheads Review

Physics for gearheads
Physics for Gearheads by Randy Beikmann

Editor's Note – This is a review of the book Physics for Gearheads by Randy Beikmann by one of our contributors James Halderman.

As an author of 15 automotive college textbooks, it is not often that I am asked to review another automotive book, in this case Physics for Gearheads.  However, this title does not compete against any of my titles (visit jameshalderman.com) but instead is designed for the automotive enthusiast who has a technical background and wants the engineering explained as it relates to motorsports. These enthusiasts, who the author calls “gearheads”, should have college-level physics to get the most from this title. It is organized and written in such a manner that it can be read or studied as individual topics. The author also suggests that the reader allow time to fully absorb the content before moving on to another chapter. The chapters are organized, not by the parts or systems of a car, but rather by the physics concepts which include:

  • Kinematics – (Discussed in Chapters 2 and 3)
  • Dynamics – (Discussed in chapters 4 and 6)
  • Forces – (Discussed in Chapter 5)
  • Angular Dynamics – (Discussed in Chapters 8 and 9)
  • Dynamics in a Plane – (Chapters 10 and 11)
  • Energy – (Discussed in chapters 12 and 13)
  • Power – (Discussed in Chapters 14 and 15)
  • Statics and Quasi-Statics – (Discussed in Chapters 16 and 17)

As an author myself, I know how hard it is to organize content and writing into a reasonable readable flow, but this organization in Physics for Gearheads is hard for me to understand. While all of these concepts are associated with motorsports, I would have organized it around the systems of the vehicles such as tires, suspension, drivetrain and then discuss the various physics concept that apply to each area. Regardless of how I would organize the content, I found the book to be very well written and accurately covers the physics associated with all motorsports and racing.

Physics for Gearheads

  • Softcover
  • 595 pages
  • Full color
  • Single column interior design
  • 17 chapters plus six appendixes
  • Index

The Interior Design Features

  • Examples
  • Key Concepts
  • Notes
  • Major Point
  • Cautions

These features help the reader by making the text perfectly clear and helps prevent misunderstandings. However, this text is written in second person (you, we, your, let’s etc.) which I think distracts from a technical text where I prefer the use of third person. I doubt few will notice but it does tend to sound as if the author is talking down to the reader at times.

Big Plus of Physics for Gearheads

I loved appendix 2 (pronunciations). Great idea. Who doesn't need help with this once in awhile?

What I Missed Seeing

I missed real world case studies where a vehicle owner wants to know what affect a change in tires size (width or diameter) would have on the acceleration, cornering etc.

Review by James Halderman
Email – jim AT jameshalderman.com

Randy Beikmann, Ph.D.
ISBN: 0-8376-1615-8
Bentley Publishers

ACDelco Training is Terrible

Today I had to do some ACDelco Training modules for an automotive technology class I'm taking at the local technical college.  What's always surprising to me about a lot of these online training programs, automotive and non-automotive related, is just how horribly and terribly designed they are.

First I had to do go through several menus to manually type in the selected course I needed.  On the homepage you have to go to take Take Training >> Catalog >> Catalog Search and then type in the course you want.  In this case S-SS-4-13-01 WBT, which I had to manually type in.  This mind you took me awhile to figure out in the first place.

Once I found it and got the training module up and working I noticed it kept freezing. I kept getting this error and had to reload the tests.  Often when I would reload the test I had to start over again even though I got all the answers right.  Since this is

acdelco trainingI tried a few different browsers like Opera, Firefox, and Chrome until I realized some geniuses at ACDelco only like to test software in Internet Explorer.  Who the f$#% made that decision?  Let's be clear you have to use Internet Explorer to use ACDelco Training.  Here's what it said above training course module;

Sometimes the Web-based training component you've launched doesn't seem to be functioning properly. Perhaps the module is frozen and will not allow you to progress or the screens don’t look correct, with misplaced objects, or the module test will not accept your submission, etc. This means the training component you're attempting to complete may have been developed and released for an earlier version of Internet Explorer.

To correct this issue, you may need to adjust your Compatibility View Settings. In Compatibility View, the training component will be displayed as if you were viewing it in a previous version of Internet Explorer, which will often correct any display or functionality issues.

Click here to view the steps to modify these settings if you're using IE Version 9.0, IE Version 10.0 or IE Version 11.0

So basically what this is saying is that, “Yeah, we only coded this for an early version of Internet Explorer. We are too lazy to update it and you have to do a work around because we don't like people using secure browsers like Chrome or Firefox.”  The ACDelco Training modules are also written in Java mind you, so there are a ton of problems with the code.  It basically intermittently works even with updated Internet Explorer versions, which I never use.  Who would over Chrome and Firefox?  We also don't like anyone updating our modules with better code, on bad software, and with a confusing interface and design.

Bottom line, I see a lot of badly coded and designed online training but ACDelco Training takes the cake.  Companies like ACDelco have no excuse, and I mean no excuse, when they have the amount of money resources to keep these things updated and make them easy for people to use.

Honestly I wouldn't use this online ACDelco Training unless I had to.  It is a class requirement that I complete these modules.

If you are an auto technician or automotive technology student and have used the ACDelco Training modules which are online based, do you agree?

Direct TPMS vs Indirect TPMS

indirect tpms vs direct tpms

For those who work in the auto repair field I'm sure you've heard about Tire Pressure Monitoring System, or TPMS for short.  What most auto repair technicians do not know is that there are two main types of TPMS systems that you need to be aware of, Direct TPMS and Indirect TPMS.

Direct TPMS

This style of TPMS is what you will find on all new cars that are sold in the United States since 2008.  (It is required by law that automakers equip TPMS sensors and a low tire pressure warning indicator light in the dashboard on all new cars and light trucks.) Direct TPMS works by having a TPMS sensor installed in each tire so that it can read the tire pressure and then transmits a radio frequency (RF) signal to a TPMS controller located on the vehcile. Federal law states that if a tire pressure falls below 25% of the auto-manufactures recommend tire inflation level, usually found on the driver's side door or door jamb, a light will alert the driver in the vehicle dashboard within 10 minutes.

This is so you can go inflate your tire, which I know most people reading this probably do not do.

Indirect TPMS

An indirect TPMS system doesn't technically read and measure the tire pressure individually.  Indirect TPMS uses wheel speed sensors to determine if a tire pressure is low.  How does that work?

Basically it detects different speeds in the wheels.  If a tire is underinflated and not at the correct proper PSI (pound per square inch) level it will have a slightly smaller diameter than a properly inflated tire.  A smaller diameter tire with low PSI pressure will rotate slightly faster than the properly inflated tires.  The indirect TPMS system will take measurements when the vehicle is turning and measures the diagonally opposed wheels.  (When a vehicle makes a turn the outside wheel move slightly faster than the inside wheel to make the turn.)  If the indirect TPMS makes a reading that shows that the wheels are rotating faster than usual, the TPMS warning light will be triggered on the dashboard.

As it's moniker states it is “Indirect” since the readings are not coming directly from each wheel.  Rather a determination is made from wheel speeds.

Indirect TPMS vs Direct TPMS

Indirect TPMS has many advantages over Direct TPMS.  Chiefly that these TPMS systems do not need additional and expensive components (TPMS sensors in the tire) to be installed on a car or light truck.  An Indirect TPMS systems is inexpensive and easily added since most vehicles today have four wheel speed sensors already installed.  The disadvantage?  Obviously a TPMS system can't tell you which tire is low and it won't say if several tires have a low PSI, it just illuminites a light in the dashboard letting you know there is a low tire somewhere on the vehicle.  Indirect TPMS doesn't meet the Federal Highway Traffic Safety Administration (FMVSS) 138 mandate which states that a TPMS system needs to detect if a tire pressure PSI falls below 25% of the automanufacturer's recommended inflation level.

Direct TPMS, while more expensive for car owners, is more accurate and largely doesn't have the problems associated with Indirect TPMS systems.  Generally cars equipped with Direct TPMS will tell you exactly which tire is low.  (Not always so be sure to check that spare tire.)  It meets the FMVSS 138 mandate which is why it is installed on new cars being sold today.  Direct TPMS systems send a continuous intermittent RF signal to the TPMS receiver to let it know which tire is low.  It doesn't rely on the vehicle turning to take it's measurements.

This system is “Direct” as it take readings directly from the source.

Why you should be aware of Indirect TPMS

Obviously Direct TPMS is more accurate and what is being used on millions of vehicles being put on the road today. Why should you care about Indirect TPMS?

Indirect TPMS systems have been around for a number of years and it's likely that even if you don't see this style of tire pressuring monitoring systems everyday in the shop, you probably will at some point.  You might have a customer, friend, or family member with a vehicle equipped with an Indirect TPMS system on their car and understanding how it works is never a bad idea.

What are your thoughts about Indirect TPMS vs Direct TPMS? Have any questions or thoughts? Please leave a comment below and let me know.