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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A blue 2022 Ford Edge is shown from the rear driving on an open road.

Edging Off-Road in the 2022 Ford Edge

For most people, a vehicle is necessary for everyday life to bring them to work, school, or just from point A to point B. To some, however, their vehicle is also something to fulfill their adventurous side. These adventurers are known as off-roaders. Although the term off-road sounds pretty intense, you would be surprised at what vehicles are capable of off-roading. The 2022 Ford Edge is one, in particular, you would not expect to find off the pavement upon your first glance of it on the streets.

What it Means to Go Off-Roading

Although with the prices to buy and maintain an automobile, we don’t blame owners for not venturing into the world of off-roading with their precious daily driver. And let’s face it, not every model is created equally. However, the term off-roading does not just mean climbing over boulders or other obstacles in a vehicle the size of a monster truck. Off-roading is simply driving on an unpaved roadway. Meaning, off-roading is more doable than you may think.

When you venture off-road, it means you are driving on rough terrain like sand, gravel, mud, snow, or even in extreme wet conditions like flooded roadways or even a riverbed. Even though some cars can handle minor terrains off of dry pavement, SUVs and trucks are typically better suited for it. But when you look at the 2022 Ford Edge, it almost looks too pretty and sporty to be found even in rainy conditions.

Vehicles driven off-road on mild terrains like wet or lightly snow-covered pavement or on rough terrains like unmaintained Class VI dirt roads need a few necessities to keep heading forward in the right direction. The vehicle and possible modifications you will need to have to hit the trail will depend solely on what type of off-roading you are planning to do. Maybe you are interested in just playing in the mud with a mudding adventure in the woods, or rock crawling to do just that, crawl up rocks, or if you are a beginner, maybe you want to start with green laning on trails with lesser obstacles and obstructions. Your adventure and terrain choice will help you determine your vehicle and what possible modifications will be needed, and vice versa. No matter your vehicle or terrain choice, a few basic necessities for off-roading remain the same: a vehicle that is AWD or 4WD, good ground clearance, good tires, lightweight, and high torque.

The black interior of a 2022 Ford Edge shows the steering wheel and infotainment screen.

Does Your Vehicle Choice Have What It Takes?

Sure, the rougher the terrain, the more adventurous, but you will also need to consider the added modifications to make your daily driver into a rock crawler. With any alterations, you then need to worry about whether your now fully-capable off-road rig is still legally road-worthy to drive to your nine-to-five job. Maybe you can just add a 1.5-inch lift to the 2022 Ford Edge with some nice rugged all-terrain or mud tires, but a simpler route could be to install a leveling kit to aid in evening out the height of your Edge along with some shock absorbers for comfort if you absolutely insisted on adding height to your stock SUV. Although tempting, let us try to stay focused on keeping the daily driver as stock as possible for the sake of conversation. When judging if your vehicle is worthy of the trail or not, there are a few things to consider.

Drivetrain

When taking your vehicle off the nicely maintained, smooth pavement, you need to pay attention to traction. Even on wet or slick pavement, traction is critical for keeping your vehicle on the road. Imagine taking it off the road and into the woods with uneven surfaces and even more slick conditions with mud, leaf litter, and unstable branches and rocks. What your vehicle’s drivetrain consists of plays a key role in traction. Both 4WD and AWD distribute the engine’s power to all four wheels where traction is needed, but each is better for different circumstances.

Of course, off-roading with a 4WD vehicle is better than using one with AWD, especially if you are planning on tackling some challenging terrains. With most 4WD systems, however, you only get power to all tires when you manually put the vehicle in 4-Hi or 4-Lo. Although there are some automatic 4WD systems out there now, like General Motors’ Autotrac, most will only use two of its four wheels for most of the drive. The part-time operation is great if you only need the traction part of the time but, when you want the torque to be sent to all four tires all the time, AWD is the system for you. Luckily, if you are interested in the Ford Edge, the 2022 model year offers standard AWD with all its models, making it easier to go off-road right from the dealership lot.

Tires

Another critical component to traction is what type of tires you are using. When venturing off the road, you want a tire with an aggressive tread pattern to better grip the trail surface with and you want something with tough sidewalls since you will most likely be bouncing off of branches and rocks or potholes. Another thing to keep in mind is, the more tire surface area that comes in contact with the ground, the better the traction will be. All-terrain and mud-terrain tires are usually the better fit for vehicles taken off-roading. One of the five trim levels, the 2022 Ford Edge SEL model, introduces the optional Adventure package with 18-inch wheels and all-terrain tires, making it that much easier to hit the trail without any additional costs.

Ground Clearance

When traveling off the pavement, you are bound to come to obstacles and obstructions in your path; it is just part of the adventure and part of the fun. However, with added obstacles and obstructions, your vehicle needs to have the right amount of ground clearance to prevent damage and keep you from getting stuck. Depending on what type of off-roading you plan on engaging in will determine the ground clearance your vehicle should have. For a well-maintained trail, you should have a minimum of 6-8 inches of ground clearance, and more intense terrain will need anywhere from 8-10 plus inches of clearance. Another second-generation Ford Edge, the 2019 model year, sat at 8 inches which is plenty of height for your basic off-roading.

A green 2022 Ford Edge ST is shown from the side parked in a parking garage.

Weight

Lighter is certainly better when it comes to off-roading. The lighter the vehicle, the easier it is to get over obstacles, control the vehicle on rough terrain, and have a lesser chance of rolling over due to a lower center of gravity. With the average SUV weight between 2,000 and 6,000 pounds, the mid-size 2022 Ford Edge coming in at 4,526 pounds puts it right in the perfect range of not being too heavy but not too light either. Since the weight of a vehicle does have some part in a vehicle’s torque, having a vehicle too light will make for less torque.

Torque

Off-roading requires a little more work from your vehicle of choice than driving on the smooth, maintained pavement. Driving over a large branch across the trail or even just trying to get out a ditch you didn’t maneuver around properly requires more power. More torque equals power. With the 2022 Ford Edge’s 2.7 EcoBoost Turbo V6 engine putting out 380 pound-feet, although not the most powerful of its class, it still ranks high-average amongst its competitors.

Why Choose Edge Over All?

When you think of an off-road vehicle, you probably imagine a lifted truck or large SUV with aftermarket push-bumpers and light bars. Luckily today, smaller SUVs are capable of some light adventures off the pavement without any serious modifications, if any at all. As long as they have the necessities for the trail, like the right drivetrain, tires, ground clearance, weight, and torque, they should be good to go. When it comes to wanting a versatile option that makes an excellent on and off-road performer, the 2022 Ford Edge seems like a great contender with all the basics needed for off the pavement and as a daily driver.

The Ford Edge is not only easy on the eyes but gets a combined rating of 23 MPG with its 2.0L EcoBoost Turbo I-4 engine and a combined 21 MPG with the 2.7L EcoBoost Turbo V6, making it pretty easy on fuel as well. To top off the fuel efficiency, it carries up to five people and offers a generous amount of cargo space with a maximum of 73.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. With a luxurious-looking interior including a 12-inch infotainment center, advanced technology, safety, and driver-assist features, along with a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds with the Class II Trailer Tow Package with Sway Control, versatility makes the 2022 Ford Edge a good choice to add to your list for a worthy off-road vehicle.

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