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A Saturday Feature of
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REVIEW • MOTOR MATTERS

2016 BMW M3

2016 FORD EDGE

Ford has aimed to really diversify its lineup of utility
vehicles over the past several years, and the 2016 Edge stands
as a nice complement to the Escape, Explorer, and Flex.
The Edge, as it stands after a full redesign this past year, is
better than ever at pulling in those who don’t need the three
rows of the Explorer or Flex, and for those who want more
sophistication and flair and fewer faux-rugged cues with their
versatility, convenience, and high seating position.
The Edge, now in its second generation, is more of a
global affair than it was before; although it starts with the
top-notch underpinnings of the current Ford Fusion sedan,
it looks outward to other markets, and has the refined cabin
appointments and more robust lineup of engines to back
those plans up.
Ford calls the new Edge more athletic, and whether you
point to its styling or its performance, that’s no exaggeration.
Altogether, it’s a look that upgrades the Edge’s SUV
silhouette, pushing the design closer to a premium look
without cutting into its genderless appeal. The Edge has
some great surfacing and details that wouldn’t be out of
place in a BMW; and the Edge Sport, with blacked-out details,
optimizes the Edge’s new athleticism, with some sport-wagon
undertones and lower-body work. And on the inside, the Edge
no longer requires excuses and qualifiers; the new model now
has some of the best trims and materials in its class, and a
dash shape that builds on some of Ford’s other models like
the Focus and Escape.
With six-speed automatic transmissions throughout the
lineup, and a choice between front- and all-wheel drive, the
Edge provides plenty of powertrain combinations to fit the
tech-savvy and the traditionalists. The base engine for the
Edge is now Ford’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost; rehabbed last year
with some new technology, including a twin-scroll turbo,
it’s good for 245 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque; it also
has great responsiveness now, can be fitted with all-wheel
drive, and is fine for towing 3,500 pounds. The 2.0T will be

BASE PRICE
perfectly adequate for most needs, but for those who must
have a V-6, the 280-hp, 3.5-liter engine has been carried
over as a minor-cost option. But it’s the Edge Sport, with its
twin-turbocharged, direct-injected 2.7-liter V-6, that’s the
most intriguing. It makes 315 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque, and it
strong and confident, with an understated performance that
works well with the entire package.
Fuel economy ratings are good, but not as class-leading
as you might guess given the EcoBoost badging. 2.0T models
range up to 20 mpg city, 30 highway with front-wheel drive,
while the Edge Sport AWD model gets 17/24 mpg.
Across the lineup, there’s a muted sharpness to the
driving experience; the Edge isn’t downright edgy in any
drive respects, yet it’s precise and responsive. A new steering
system really does give a precise, reassuring feel, tracking well
straight-ahead, and taking a set into corners without fuss. The
Sport model gets its own damper and spring rates, as well as
rear monotube dampers, and standard 21-inch wheels, with
20s as an option. And active noise cancellation actually leaves
it the quieter one, among models, leaving you to hear the
larger EcoBoost engine’s off-cadence thrum.
In the absence of clever cargo-stowage tricks, the Edge
feels very much like a vehicle designed more for people than
gear. The seating position in front is rather high, yet it affords
enough headroom above and offers a good view out over the
hood. And in back, even with those front seats all the way
back there’s enough legroom and kneeroom for long-legged
adults. The only thing we would like to change about the Edge
is its seating; both in front and in back, they’re too short and
flat. The basics of a great, versatile crossover wagon are all
here, though, with small-item storage abundant and mostly
well-designed, with a center-console pass-through and even a
storage drawer to the left of the steering wheel.
The Edge has fared well in safety tests, with top-tier
results in all but the IIHS small overlap frontal test. It has a
special airbag mounted in the glovabox frame, to help protect

How to get reality checks on mechanic
pricing
BY RAY MAGLIOZZI

Dear Car Talk:
Is there a place on the internet where I can
look up what a repair should cost? I need an
alternative to calling you. -- Bill
Ah, so you’re the one who’s been calling at 3 a.m.,
asking for a price on a brake job for a 2003 Focus.
There are a couple of sites on the internet that
can give you an idea of what a repair should cost,
but they do have limitations. First of all, you have
to know what repair you need. That’s easy if it’s a
60,000-mile service, or if you’ve already been to a
shop and gotten a diagnosis. In that case, you fill in
your year, make and model, and get the price range.
We tried that in our area for a brake job on
a 2003 Ford Focus. Since labor rates fluctuate
around the country between ridiculous and
exorbitant, estimates vary by location. Repair
Pal (repairpal.com) gave us a range of $340$493 for new front pads and rotors.

$28,700

passenger knees, and
EPA est. MPG 21/30
available rear-seat
inflatable seat belts.
Bluetooth and a rearview SPECS
• Tow up to 3,500 lbs.
camera are standard
• New Steering System
across the board, while
• Bluetooth
available safety features
include LED headlamps,
• Rearview Camera
forward-collision
• LED Headlamps
warnings, parking assist
• Forward Collision Warnings
with perpendicular
• Parking Assist
parking now factored in,
and rear-seat inflatable
• Rear-Seat Inflatable Seat Belts
seat belts.
The 2016 Ford Edge
manages to credibly span the range from affordable family
wagon to premium crossover in a way that the previousgeneration Edge did not—and in a way that few, if any, other
mainstream-brand rivals do. It comes in SE, SEL, Titanium,
and Sport models, and our only caution points in the direction
of pricing: If you want some of that great safety-tech, and
some of the best tech features offered in the Edge, Ford
pushes the bottom-line price way up. Many of the most
desirable features in general—like the panoramic Vista Roof,
a heated steering wheel, remote start, Active Park Assist,
upgraded audio, and the inflatable belts—are reserved for the
Titanium and Sport.
This year, Ford is subbing in a new Sync 3 infotainment
system for much of the model lineup; with a true capacitive
screen interface, streamlined menu system, and easier
upgrades, we’re anticipating that this will be a big step
forward—especially in fully realizing the interior design of this
new crossover.
www.thecarconnection.com

Open Bay (openbay.com) asked for a little
more useful information, like the trim level of
our Focus, and whether we wanted only original
Ford parts, or were open to aftermarket parts
(we said yes). Open Bay’s price range for the
repair came back at $284-$347.
But here’s why it can be tricky. Let’s say you’re
hearing a noise from your brakes but you don’t
know what it is. How do you get an accurate
estimate online? You don’t.
Or imagine that you have symptoms but have
absolutely no idea what’s wrong with your car.
That’s easy for me to imagine, because I find
myself in that situation every half-hour.
For instance, your check engine light comes
on. Or your car is stalling. Or you hear a noise
from under the hood. In these cases, a repair
estimator is no help at all. But if you do know
what’s wrong, and what service or repair you
need, you certainly can use these services to
get a “reality check” and see if the quote you’ve
been given is within reason. And both of these
sites will refer you to someone on their list of
local shops, who will then pay the site a referral
fee. That’s how they make money.
Another option is to get the names of several
highly reputable shops first. You can do that
by going to www.mechanicsfiles.com and
entering your ZIP code. You’ll get a list of shops
personally recommended by other readers and
listeners of ours. Then you can call a couple of
those shops and ask for a price.

You’ll not only get a more-specific price
(instead of a wide range), but you’ll know
that those shops will be likely to do the work
correctly and stand by it. Remember, price is
only part of the equation.
And most shops won’t mind giving you a
quote. We get calls like that all the time. Some
people try to disguise what they’re doing. But
when someone says, “How much is it to replace
a right lower ball joint on a 2011 Chevy Malibu,
and do you want me to give you the GM part
number?” we know they’re shopping around
for a price or getting a reality check on a price
they’ve already been given.
And that’s fine. A reputable shop will give you
an estimate upfront. True, it’s not as easy as going
online, Bill. But, rest assured, as long as you don’t
use FaceTime, you can do it in your underwear.
***
Auto repairs can be costly! Save money by
ordering Click and Clack’s pamphlet “Ten
Ways You May Be Ruining Your Car Without
Even Knowing It!” Send $4.75 (check or
money order) to Car Talk/Ruin, 628 Virginia
Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.
***
Got a question about cars? Write to Car Talk
in care of this newspaper, or email by visiting
the Car Talk website at www.cartalk.com.
(c) 2016 by Ray Magliozzi and Doug Berman.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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