2016 Ford Edge Sport: Steering like you've never seen (CNET On Cars, Episode 86)
Sixteen Ford Edge with a new take on how we steer.
The tire technology that changes the donuts into a ball, and your email about flashing lights?
It's time to check the tech.
We see cars differently.
We love them on the road and under the hood, but also check the tech, and are known for telling the It like it is.
Ugly is included at no extra cost.
The good, the bad, the bottom line.
This is C Net OnCars.
Welcome to C Net On Cars, the show all about high-tech cars and modern driving.
I'm Brian Cooley.
We've got a 16 Ford Edge in this week with some interesting new innovations on this model year including a kind of steering tech I've never actually seen in a production car before in terms of feel and ratio.
Add to that that we now get our hands on look at Think three which is still pretty fresh, and it's time to get back out in the Edge again.
This time in a 16 Sport with the bigger Ecoboost engine, as we check the tech.
The Ford Edge was redone for model.
Find an address.
But redone again in many ways that already seen at style for 2016.
Pow, that's what I'm talking about.
It's got a novel new active steering approach like no other.
We have sync three now in the dash.
We didn't have that last time we saw this car.
The 2.7 litre eco boost, twin turbo, V- 6, we also didn't have last time.
And all the sports are all wheel drive.
We got a lot to digest.
Now the Edge is not just another car in Ford's lineup.
You've gotta get this one right because this is such a red hot sector in the US car market, midsize crossover SUVs.
You gotta get the styling right.
That's up to you to decide.
The cabin technology we'll look at, the power train's gotta be potent but efficient.
And you gotta have something more to set you aside.
We'll see if this new steering technology they've got goes that direction.
The main thing going on in the cabin is we have Sync three.
I'm shown you this in the lab before from Ford Silicone Valley office but to have it actually in the vehicle and see how crisp and fast it works.
I mean they're fast.
This is Hyundai Kia fast, and they had been my bench mark in the past or how quickly a touch screen can respond.
I'm also pleased to find out that while it is still an automotive nav system and not a free form search it responds to voice nav really well.
Please say a line number or say none of those.
When ready, press the voice button and.
Going to work.
Transmission is a garden variety six-speed automatic, nothing to write home about here and, as we're gonna see on the road, it behaves like an automatic.
Not horrible, not notable.
Now once we get on the road, we're gonna get a handle on a whole new steering system.
Inside this wheel, behind the air bag, is an adaptive steering system that changes ratio as you drive, not just assist of force as you drive.
Not many cars do that, and none Do it up here up in the wheel.
Two cabin options you've gotta get on top of the electronics which we'll check out when we price this thing.
That panoramic roof is great.
It's really big and it's worth the 15, 1600 bucks.
The other one I wish we had would be in here.
Instead of having this hole in the console you can get a safe put in there, like a real steel safe!
I don't know what I would do with it, but I just want it.
All-wheel drive is your standard drivetrain layout on any Edge Sport.
And it always goes out through a six-speed automatic, no other choice.
And they all have the 2.7 liter V6 turbo, not the [UNKNOWN] old 3.5 liter V6.
You're gonna get 315 horse and Speed.
Lovely pound for you to torque.
0 to 60 in well under six seconds.
MPG does suffer with the bigger engine and all wheel drive.
Compare that to the 2 liter front wheel drive car at 20, 28.
Right off the bat, before I'm even doing any driving, I noticed a difference with this Active Steering.
Just backing out and turning out of a parking spot is effortless.
And doesn't require all that sawing back and forth at the wheel.
Once you are under way, at low speed you really do notice Kind of a, almost a subconscious amazement at how few turns it takes to drive.
It's kind of fun.
For Ford, the big win on this steering system was not just conquering variable ratio but doing so in a unit that is really compact, affordable enough to keep a Ford priced like a Ford and can virtually bolt onto any Ford with minor mod.
Car companies love innovations that spread across the line without a lot of custom r and d.
At higher speeds it largely goes away at least to my perception and just becomes a well weighted steering system.
It's a real joy to drive.
It does have kind of a little bit of a grinding note to it under throttle.
Not the best sounding engine but where it isn't very exciting is the transmission.
This six speed automatic Kind of defines the word garden variety, it's a garden variety automatic.
It's not crappy, but it's not sharp and razor like as you would like to see with this engine's lack of lag, and this steering's intuitive sharpness.
Handling's good by the way, there's not a lot of wallow.
In this car with a sports suspension, all in all, roll all that up with the high quality interior, it's a pleasant car to spend time with, you feel like you got more than you paid for, although we'll see how much you paid for it in just a moment.
Now of course the 16 Edge can be optioned up with all the usual level 1 driver assists.
Like now adaptive cruise with lane departure warning And lean departure prevention the adaptive crew also has breaking intervention and of course you have blind spot and cross traffic tech.
Two sides of the same coin.
There was 16 Ford edge sport was pretty much top of the stack.
We're talking drive 2.7 Echo Boost mentioned big tires 413 delivered and that's just 3150 for package 401 A that's got basically all the additional tech 1600 for that panoramic roof, I love that thing, 1150 for adaptive cruise.
It also has forward collision and warning brake assist.
But my favorite option is the cheapest one, 330 bucks for a safe in the console.
The mind just reels at the opportunity Now make sure you buy smart and keep your upgrade path in mind.
So you have a way to get Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and that Amazon Echo integration.
Those are coming in phases and layers, but you want Sync Connect which means you have a built-in LTE radio in the vehicle.
Couple of cabin tech notes that you're looking at a 16 Ford Edge.
Now you may have noticed, RV does not have support for Apple, Car Play or auto.
A little too early By spring of 16 the Edges should all be shipping with that support and if you do buy one previous to that, it will be a software update that will grant that ability to your car so you should b covered [INAUDIBLE] tells me.
By late 2016 Ford will also be rolling out an update to have Amazon Echo integration.
So you can send commands to your home from your car through echo in the cloud, and vis versa.
Here's a tip though, if you're buying a Ford Edge and you want to have that ability both directions later, make sure you get one that has Ford Sync Connect.
Which denotes a built-in data modem in the car.
When we come back, we're gonna take a look at an amazing idea, turning the tire from a donut into a ball.
Why that's brilliant and kinda lofty, when CNET On Cars returns.
Welcome back to Cnet on cars, I was recently at the Geneva motor show where I saw a technology that looked absurd at first pass but the more I thought about it the more I thought it deserves a second look as good years vision as a road to the future.
[SOUND] Now normally the big international car show, the most audacious concepts are concept cars.
Here in Geneva in 2016, the most audacious concepts was the concept tire.
That's what this is.
This is Good Year's concept of a new tire called the Eagle360.
You see where the 360 come from They are radically rethinking the thing that gives you contact patch by imaging it as a ball upon which the car sits not with mechanical suspension but with magnetic levitation.
Stay with me here it's about as star wars as we're gonna get.
Now let's talk about why that's important.
When you've got a spherical ball wheel you can orient this in any number of ways.
You can actually have multiple tread patterns Embedded in one tire and rotate to select them.
There could be a sport pattern.
There could be a low resistance pattern.
There could be various patterns for different types of driving.
There could be a dry pattern, a wet pattern.
You could rotate two of them.
You can't do that kind of thing now without a lug wrench And a greasy half hour.
And very practically, you can also rotate the tire to even out tread wear.
The ultimate, rotation of tires, in the traditional sense.
Now let's talk about that tread itself.
Now if you look in here closely, you see a tread pattern.
But then in between the grooves, a new kind of foam they're imagining.
That was the almost at the surface in dry weather.
Then wet weather the pressure of water being forced through this room would push that foam back creating on demand the kind of water evacuating channels it need And then when it's dry, rises back up to something with more of a contact patch.
And even these rubber lands here would be made of a material that can sense water and get a little more gushy when they need to be for grip and when they're dry, a little bt stiffer.
Now the last big thought around a spherical tire wheel assembly is that it allows interesting maneuverability.
We're still trying to digest rear wheel steering, right?
But this is all corner steering.
It's even more ambitious.
It allows all kinds of crab crawl maneuvers while cornering, obviously direct lateral parking.
Things you can't do now unless you're making a movie like The Matrix.
Now the downside.
This requires not just a new kind of tire in the world, this requires an entirely new kind of car.
Carmakers have to get on board in a big way and re-engineer almost everything they do from six inches above the ground on up to about 12 inches.
The whole underpinnings of a vehicle are gonna be changed by this.
That's a big ask.
And there's the magnetic levitation [UNKNOWN] thing.
But because this tire handles so many things that tires do badly today, it's worth keeping an eye on.
Welcome back to CNET on cars.
Coming to you from our home is the mountain motor club, just north of the golden gate bridge.
I'm Brian Cooley, here's the part of the show where I normally take a few of your emails.
This time I'm going to take a slew of your emails.
We've been getting so many good ones lately, I really appreciate those.
Let's get to it, we're actually going to skip top 5 this show so I can get in about twice as many as I normally do.
First one comes in here from Curleen S who writes, I recently noticed several new vehicles having a flashing center high mounted stop light.
Every time the brake lights in front of me Activated the CHMSL flashes and then goes steady.
Do you know if this is a new safety requirement?
Well Kerleem it's actually kinda the opposite, it's not a new safety requirement as much as it's actually kind of a controversial option to have on your car.
Now lighting in vehicles is dealt with by a federal Code called the FMVSS the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and part 108 is where they talk about lighting in particular.
And in there, it specifies nationwide in the U.S. that stop lights need to be steady state or steady burn depending on the language.
That means they're either on or they're off depending on whether you are actuating a braking device or not.
So how is it possible then to have a flashing stoplight?
Wherever it's mounted.
Here's what's going on.
There's a middle ground between flash and pulse.
Some of what's you're seeing are probably after market technologies, added to cars, often by dealers, by the way, that will take that stoplight, and go from bright to brighter, as it flashes.
Not necessarily on or off.
I think that's what you're seeing at least if it's legal by my reading of federal regulations, that's what it's doing, pulsing, not literally flashing.
[SOUND] Okay next email comes in from Derick G. writing in from Orange County.
And he says, hey Cooley and crew, just thought I'd chime in on a comment from episode 85, our last episode, about how the Prius does its best MPG in the city.
He says, even though the EPA does say that's true, it's a myth.
He says, we've had our Prius for about five years and we've always gotten at least At least 5 MPG more around highway and freeway driving.
More than its rated on the APA sticker, good point there and now the PRIUS is interesting because I think, very smartly by Toyota.
This the car that under promises and over delivers for many owners who I talked to.
You aren't the only one and in fact in our real world testing we've had pre-i n over the year they absolutely seem to deliver.
At or better EPA rated MPG ball parking it not doing a long term scientific analysis.
Here's the thing though hybrids in general do prefer city when you're trying to get efficiencies over a combustion engine alone.
Because where the combustion engine falls down isn't stop and go.
And it's not just good at that because they can't get to there RPM sweet spot times their vehicle load sweet spot and hand there.
Stop and go is the opposite of that.
That's where the electric motor is so great at handling all that stop and go in a way that doesn't waste a lot of fuel and spew a lot of additional emissions.
All that said you can understand why I do Go back to the EPA numbers whenever I have to compare because that's apples to apples.
As opposed to taking EPA versus owner experience versus some mx match of the two.
Okay next email comes in from Craig Z. He asks, what could be the rationale for what he sees as most Asian automakers continuing to use Foot actuated parking brakes.
You know, the old ratchet pedal down on the side of the car there instead of electronic parking brakes.
He says I recently test drove a Q50, an Infinity Q50, and was kind of surprised that a car that costs that much Still had an old-fashioned pedal brake.
This is interesting.
Now electronic parking brakes we've seen in a fair number of cars, frequently in German cars as you've probably noticed.
It's just an electric switch you push or pull to turn the parking brakes on.
Here's what I think is going on with some of the car makers' reaction to that.
It does add some cost and complexity Versus the plain old petal and cable parking brake.
Pedals of course, for the most part, never fail.
I mean in the old days you might have had some rust and corrosion that might lock them on, I doubt that ever happens anymore.
They're dead simple and probably super cheap at this point to integrate And you don't use them that often.
They're not a high touch component in the car.
That said however, notice that when an automaker has automatic hill hold, they do have electromechanical braking where the car senses an incline, puts the brakes on, holds you there until you depress the gas and then it releases you to drive again.
That's basically electronic parking brake but without Putting it into a switch to actually be a parking brake.
Same tech different implementation, so I'm always kinda puzzled why some cars have hill hold and not epb, but I think the bottom line is pedal mounted brakes are still real simple.
They always work and I don't think a lot of consumers complain about them.
Okay when I come back, more of your emails including a question about warranties when you take Keep your truck off road and why do cars goes so fast?
[SOUND] When CNet On Cars returns.
Back to CNet On Cars, more of your email this week.
More than ever cuz you got so many great ones coming my way.
This one coming in from JC.
He says you recently talked about the possibility of your warranty being voided on your car by taking your vehicle to the track, even if it's advertised, or shown, by the manufacturer as being a track car.
How about trucks and SUVs he asked.
Well they're advertised as being off road capable.
He points out that he's got a 13' f150 off road package.
Will it void my warranty, he asks, if I take it off-roading to one of our nice mountain trails here in Utah?
J.C., good question.
It's a little different than tracking your car.
Now here's how it works.
We scanned a variety of the top manufacturers' warranties on their pickups, and found that for the most part, going off-road is not a carve-out, as you can imagine.
I mean especially when you've got a four by four package what you going to do?
Take it to the mall all the time?
So they get it these are off-road vehicles, however when that goes to off-roading to abuse there is a demeanor, you can't just go off road and say whatever happens off road is okay.
It's not a total play ground.
If you were to high size that thing on a bunch of rocks, they're gonna say okay that's going too far.
Notice that if off roading includes competition that becomes competition and it's no longer off roading so it becomes not okay under the warranty [SOUND]
Next email comes in from Nicholas H. He's writing in from Germany.
He says, since the US and almost every other country in the world have speed limits, why are cars produced capable of going Going way over their allowed speed limits.
Is the sweet spot, in terms of gear settings and fuel economy exactly the posted speed limit on the road.
Or is the car industry trying to get all set for selling cars in countries where there are no speed limits?
He's having a hard time figuring out why cars can do 200 when The speed limit probably below 70.
Interesting question, bottom line here Nicholas, as you probably know selling cars that can do amazing speed in triple digits is not about them ever doing it, it's about the fact they could do it.
And what that say's about the image of owning or buying a car like that.
That's nothing new.
It's always been that way.
We've always had cars that are reaching for performance.
That is not relevant to public roads.
It's selling sizzle and not steak.
In terms of this idea of how fast should a car go relative to real world speed limits, that's an interesting one.
I mean here in the US the fastest posted speed limit I know of is 85 on some highways in Texas.
What's a reasonable cushion, 20 more?
So you'd have some additional performance for safety and evasive manuevers if something occurs on the road that requires you to accelerate away from it.
But beyond that [SOUND] How do we justify a car that can do 120, 130, 140, 150 Well folk's that have very high performance car's and say cuz I track it.
And I want to take it out and really use all of it's ability.
But that's a tiny population a small amount of the time.
A lot of this is about selling the potential.
Selling the image of a car that can do something far beyond.
What you likely will ever do with it.
Okay our last email in this mega segment this episode comes in from Sibo M, who says Dear Brian Cooley, and he spells it in Google Plus format.
[LAUGH] I guess you're one of my Google Plus followers.
Don't have a lot of those, glad you're there.
Could you please explain to me or make a short video on what causes the "fart" sounds that my Dual Clutch transmission makes while shifting?
No I can't, I've never heard of that.
Now get your car checked out pretty quick.
Thanks for being here for this episode, hope you enjoyed it.
Keep those emails coming.
As you can see we get a torrent of them and I try and get as many as I can.
End of the show but if I don't reply directly to you know that I did read your email.
We just have a lot of them to get through and integrate into Cnet on cars.
And of course, make sure you look for us wherever you like to stream video on just about every platform.
Let the world know where you found us and that you like us, we can always use the help.
I'll see you next time we check the techs.