Base price: $39,799; as tested: $44,229
My problem with the Edge is the same one I have with the Lincoln MKX: it's ugly - though not quite so ostentatious. But just look at that front end! Somewhere in the bowels of Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., the ghost of Edsel Ford must be floating around, whispering in designer's ears to add more shiny stuff: "We gotta have more chrome, baby!"
Aside from that, the Edge is no worse than most of the other vehicles in this category when it comes to actually driving it. It's 3.5-litre V-6 has, with 285 horsepower, ample power on tap and the all-wheel-drive system that comes standard has been used by Ford elsewhere in its lineup and is proven and durable. Six-speed automatic transmission and lots of standard equipment too: tilt/telescoping steering, Sirius satellite radio, heated front seats, climate control system and Ford's unique MyKey feature, to name but a few. Ford also included its Canadian Touring Package, which adds a huge power sunroof and a voice-activated navigation system for an additional $1,850. The Edge will also run happily on regular grade gas and you can order a remote start option.
The price is right on this crossover, which is probably what put it in the winner's circle - it certainly can't be its styling. I also suspect that my colleagues voted for it for sentimental reasons - support the home team and all that.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Base price: $37,995; as tested: $49,495
This one took second place in this crowded category and would probably be the choice of serious off-road enthusiasts. It got my vote, mainly because when it comes to off-road driving, it has few peers.
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Base Price: $42,850; as tested: $42,850
I find this model of hybrid to be wonky to drive and gutless. Sometimes, after the key was turned, it wouldn't move, and I found myself restarting it more than once. It came in just one point behind the Grand Cherokee, so clearly my colleagues liked it.
Honda Accord Crosstour
Base Price: $38,900; as tested: $38,900
This is one of those cars that had me asking: "What's this thing doing here?" How an Accord-based station wagon can compare to a full-fledged SUV like the Grand Cherokee or Toyota 4Runner is beyond me. Still, nice to drive - kind of like an Accord.
Hyundai Santa Fe
Base price: $25,999; as tested: $37,599
I thought the Santa Fe or the Kia Sorento would take this particular category. Its base price of well under 30-large makes the Santa Fe a bit of a bargain, and it comes with a lively V-6 engine and one of the longest lists of standard equipment in this category.
Base price: $23,995; as tested: $40,895
With a base price even lower than the Santa Fe and the same basic drivetrain, this one seemed like a shoo-in. However, with all the bells and whistles, the Sorento is approaching $40,000, and that's just a lot of money to spend on this vehicle.
Base price: $36,820; as tested: $36,820
This one got my vote as the runner-up, mainly because it has a rugged body-on-frame construction and a newly-freshened V-6 engine. Despite its current problems, Toyotas are still among the most dependable vehicles on the market, and the 4Runner is not affected by Toyota's recall campaign.