Disclaimer - This review is subjective in nature and includes the opinions of the author. All results may vary considerably by application. This product was acquired at retail value and this is not a paid endorsement of the product(s) featured herein; no compensation was received for the publishing of this article.
We were somewhat hesitant to try another Edge product after experiencing problems with our original Edge Evolution programmer. To summarize these past experiences, the following problems and concerns were noted:
• Display occasionally failed to turn on when the vehicle was started. Turning the truck off and back on seemed to make the problem disappear.
• "Current Gear" display feature read incorrectly and occasionally displayed gear changes when they did not occur. TCL (torque converter lock) icon always remained on, even when the TC was not locked (such as sitting in traffic). Downshifts were not reported - if you kicked down from 4th to 3rd or even 4th to 2nd, the current gear indicator would report that you are still in 4th gear and would not display subsequent upshifts until the vehicle was brought to a complete stop.
• After updating the programmer via the Internet, as Edge recommended, levels 2 and 3 provided significantly lower performance gains than during initial tests. In fact, after updating, the truck ran best on level 1, with levels 2 and 3 providing little, if any, improvement and an odd driving experience.
• Slight ping noticed on level 3 performance setting during hot weather (+100 F) running premium 93 octane fuel. Advise against level 3 performance tune during hot summers.
• The Edge Evolution lasted roughly 15,000 miles before failing and taking the truck's PCM with it. The truck had to be towed and re-flashed. According to Ford, the PCM was essentially blank when they tried to read it. A customer service representative from Edge claimed that this was "more common than you think" and that re-flashes are sometimes required when the unit experiences a malfunction.
While we appreciate the customer support rep's honesty, this costly error made us rethink the reputation of Edge's products. However, we also felt it was necessary to offer the company a chance for redemption, so we opted to upgrade to the Edge Evo CS and give it another go.
Edge Evo CS Programmer Review
Admittedly, we were nervous to install Edge's next generation Evolution programmer after our original unit froze and decided to leave us with a blank PCM. Fortunately, we have not experienced near as many problems with the Evo CS, which to the best our knowledge advertises roughly the same performance gains from their 3 tiered power levels for our application.
Level 1, transmission only - The transmission only tune does not adjust engine settings, but increases the firmness and speed of shifts without lengthening the normal shift schedule; shifts occur at roughly the same speeds that they would normally, but with more force. The quick, crisp shifts are likely this device's greatest attribute.
Level 2, tow performance - Edge advertises that the tow performance tune yields a maximum 8 horsepower and 10 lb-ft of torque increase over stock for our application. These maximum performance benefits are small and unlikely to be detected. However, you will notice an increase in low end torque and a broader torque curve. Power comes on quickly and maintains much longer, which compliments gear shifts that occur at slightly higher engine speeds. As the name suggests, the tow performance setting is completely safe for a truck that is fully loaded down.
Level 3, race performance - For our application, Edge claims a maximum 15 horsepower and 20 lb-ft of torque increase over stock. Like the tow performance setting, we noticed more of a shift in the torque curve than an overall power increase. Throttle response is immediate and acceleration is noticeably improved. Gear shifts are delayed, complimenting the sensitive throttle feel. Because of the "race performance" tune's timing adjustments, towing/hauling is not advised on this setting and high octane fuel must be used.
Installation of the Edge Evo CS is as simple and straight forward as any programmer; plug it in, turn the key to the "on" position, and begin initiating your settings. Switching performance settings requires the vehicle to be turned off and takes several minutes to complete. You'll get to choose between a variety of parameters to display and custom settings for the display itself, including the background theme.
Our unit had a few quirks, but the problems have not persisted. The display occasionally would read zero for all parameters, and the device would mysteriously power on several minutes after the keys had been removed from the ignition. No loose connections were identified, but the phantom events have since disappeared. It's difficult to say what caused the problems, but after resetting the system several times they have not returned.
• A single part number fits a variety of applications (Ford, Dodge, Chevrolet, GMC pickups)
• Mount is far superior to that supplied by previous Edge Evo
• Attractive, easy to read display
• Transmission shift patterns are particularly impressive
• Complicated navigation
• Finicky, display occasionally fails to load properly
• Switching performance levels takes several minutes
Our second Edge programmer and we're not completely convinced in the reliability of the products. Satisfied overall, the Evo CS is an improvement over the previous Evolution programmer. Prices for the programmer have dropped considerably since time of publishing.