First Look: MyFord Touch and the 2011 Ford Edge


2010 Ford Edge

2010 Ford Edge

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Are you ready for the next generation of in-car technology? It's here in the form of MyFord Touch, and it's the centerpiece of the 2011 Ford Edge.

Now, the new 2011 Ford Edge really isn't very relevant for college students. Not directly. It's bigger and pricier than what someone would need at this age, although the recent redesign has made it much better-looking. 

But it's something you could steer your parents to buy, with a clean conscience. And it shows what the trickle-down effect will be bringing to cars that students could be buying in the future. 

Sync, Ford's Bluetooth-and-voice controller, was introduced a couple of years ago, and is now available in almost all new Ford vehicles, even the 2011 Ford Fiesta. It offers hands-free operation of your phone, and mobile media devices such as music players through voice recognition software developed by Microsoft. 

Now, High Gear Media's editors have tested MyFord Touch, the next generation of Ford's in-vehicle control systems. I recently got to fiddle with this system in the new Edge, and I have to say I was very impressed. The learning curve is dramatically shorter than roller-wheel systems like those in German cars. Everything is color-coordinated on the LCD screen, much like BMW's iDrive system.

Unlike BMW's system, though, the rocker switches and slider bars on MyFord Touch are very simple to use. I tried the BMW system once and spent twenty minutes figuring out how to turn down the volume. Within a couple seconds of using MyFord Touch, I had selected my favorite Sirius station with a voice command, and was scrolling through all the different interior lighting options.

A similar system is available as MyLincoln Touch, and it's on the close cousin of the Edge, the 2011 Lincoln MKX.

The future of in-car controls is now. Who knows? This system may one day be on the affordable 2012 Ford Focus--which you could end up buying after graduation. It's a reason to get excited about small cars, and cars in general, since it brings all the high-tech toys found on German luxury sedans to normal people like you and me. And it does them better.





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