I wrote last week that I thought I'd like the Lincoln MKX better in its Ford guise. Having now driven the Edge, I'm glad to say I won't be eating my hat today. Perhaps it's just me, but an abundance of hard, black plastics across the interior is perhaps slightly easier to swallow at $31,000 than it is at the $45,000 price tag our last MKX carried.

I, too, wish Ford pushed the envelope with the Edge's exterior, but the result isn't unattractive. I found myself admiring the "Sport Blue" hue on our tester. The color looks smart on the Edge, but I think it looks even better on Edge Sport models. With a monochromatic paint treatment, 22-inch wheels, and a lowered stance, the Sport makes the Edge's styling look more aggressive than our SEL model.

I'd argue that this package drives as inoffensively as the Edge looks. The 3.5-liter V-6 feels well-matched to the Edge's heft, and I can't sing enough praise for Ford's six-speed automatic: it's smooth, and doesn't seem to second-guess itself when trying to execute an upshift. Exciting it isn't, however, and that's only accentuated by the Edge's propensity to float - a great feature when cruising broken Michigan roads, but uninspiring once thrown into a corner.

It's all too easy to bump the $29,545 base price for a front-wheel-drive Edge SEL to more than $36,000 with options, but I would consider springing for the $1995 navigation package. Ford's latest navigation package is not only visually stunning and easy to use, but it also simplifies the setup and use of the SYNC multimedia connection system (a $395 option).

Evan McCausland, Web Producer

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