For a vacation road trip I rented the Ford Edge (choice of the Edge or
Escape; no Explorers available at the time) and drove it some 3500 km
over the NE US. Highway, interstate, backroads, unpaved, no trails.
The positives were roominess, comfort and a very powerful, if lagging
engine. Good sound quality from the sound system.
The negatives include (but are likely not limited to):
Soft suspension: handles a bit sloppily in the curves.
Lag in acceleration: stepping on it to pass gave a "hanging half second"
and then it boots HARD! (yee-ha! that BMWer was shocked to be left
Transmission: limited to "D" and "L". For some places "2" may have been
useful to prevent gear hunting.
AWD: I would prefer 2/4 with manual select (like the 2006 Explorer).
Mileage was (per the on board computer) 11 l / 100 km (21.35 mi/US gal).
Poorly designed cruise control buttons on steering. No 'cancel' or
VERY bad climate controls. If you want front window defog, you get your
feet heated or chilled whether you want it or not. Can't select a mode
with a button push, have to loop through choices in sequence.
Distracting for the driver.
Sillyness: have to press a button to display external temp. While
viewing that, the rest of the climate display is gone.
Poor sound system ergonomics (control of CD load/unload in particular;
eg: when loading, why should I have to select which available position
(of 6) to put in ... give me the next available).
Rear visibility (via rear window) was poor.
Blind spot (left, behind driver) was pretty bad.
eg: don't buy it... the little things will drive you mad over the poor
Ford ergonomics. What the hell are these guys thinking?
This car would be really good if it had a "stiff" suspension mode; 2/4
WD; add 2,3 to the tran, clear up the ergonomic BS above; tune up the
tranny DS and injection system properly (when I hit the gas I mean
_now_) and make it a hybrid. (Candidate for shiftless trann also).