Spearheading the American automotive resurgence, GMC and Ford offer a pair of 2011 midsize crossovers designed to deliver premium style, performance and amenities at a reasonable price. But just because Ford has the 2011 Edge, doesn’t mean they have “the edge,” particularly when the 2011 GMC Terrain offers so much for so much less.
Outside, both the 2011 GMC Terrain and the 2011 Ford Edge perhaps share similar design philosophies, but offer dramatically different executions. In base SE, SEL, Limited and a performance-based Sport trim, Ford’s entry builds a muscular crossover around a striking oversized chrome grille. Similarly, styling on the newest Terrain (in SLE-1, SLE-2, SLT-1 and SLT-2 trim levels) stems from a commanding chrome grille, but instead of the hulking, rounded shoulders of the Edge, takes on the high beltline and sharp features of GMC’s iconic and rugged sport utes (albeit in concentrated form).
Beneath the hood, Ford’s latest Edge draws its strength from a standard 285 hp 3.5-liter V6 engine (an upgraded 3.7-liter is available on Sport trims). Base model Terrains start with a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder designed to deliver energetic performance (182 hp and 172 lb/ft of torque) with stellar fuel economy (up to 32 highway mpg – the best ratings of any crossover or SUV including hybrids). All Terrain models, save for the SLE-1, can upgrade to the available 3.0-liter V6, which holds its own against Ford’s entry with 264 hp and 222 lb/ft of torque through a standard six-speed automatic transmission.
Both vehicles feature similar suspension setups (independent front and rear), delivering a soft, comfortable ride with dynamic maneuverability. As standard equipment on all trim levels, GMC’s offering integrates the automaker’s celebrated StabiliTrak electronic stability control system (with traction control), which gives the Terrain stronger, more confident grip around tight corners and on slippery surfaces. Consequently, both vehicles come standard with front-wheel drive, but feature available all-wheel drive as well.
Inside, the newest Terrain separates itself from the Ford with an impressively flexible, amenity-rich cabin. The available power liftgate (programmable to your height specifications) provides access to nearly 64 cubic feet of cargo space (with second-row seats folded down). GMC’s MultiFlex Seating allows the second row to move forward or back a full eight inches, allowing for increased cargo capacity or best-in-class rear legroom. In fact, longer than Ford’s crossover, the Terrain bests the Ford in front hip, leg- and headroom categories, (as well as the standard payload capacity).
Carefully crafted and outfitted in premium materials (like available contrast-stitched heated leather), the Terrain’s ambient-lit cabin has the advantage of being one of the quietest in its class. Sound deadening technology, laminated glass and triple door seals block out road noise while Active Noise Cancellation (on the four-cylinder engine) mitigates any harsh engine sounds. Available features include an eight-speaker audio system, rear-seatback DVD players, Bluetooth technology and a touch-screen navigation system (with 40GB internal hard drive), but the Terrain also comes standard with a rear vision camera, USB and auxiliary inputs, lumbar support and XM Satellite Radio while the Edge does not.
With similar approaches to styling, performance and interior features, the 2011 GMC Terrain and Ford Edge would seem likely to share a similar price point as well. Not quite. As it turns out, GMC’s crossover features a starting MSRP of $24,250 while Ford’s base model comes in nearly $3,000 higher ($27,220). When competitively equipped, that divide grows larger.
Ford can keep its Edge; GMC is just the better value.