Originally Posted by Airbiscuit
In speaking to a few mechanic friends, they recommended staying away from the Edge & Flex due to engine issues that hadn't been completely worked out yet due to the new design. (20k for a vehicle that may have engine issues... um NO!)
With all due respect to your mechanic friends, the Edge/Flex 3.5-liter engine has been out for several years in various products. Consumer Reports reliability data, based on hundreds of samples, hasn't shown a history of major engine problems. That's different than conjecture that there are engine problems because it's a "new" design.
You're right in infering that the Explorer's V6 and V8 have been around since (in modern vehicle terms) the dawn of time. I've driven both versions and that V6 isn't particularly powerful (210 hp).
It's hard to create blanket rules ("You need a V8") because not all engines with the same cylinder count are created equal. I've towed my Minuet and a T@B teardrop for over 15,000 miles with my V6-powered Honda Odyssey. Only once did I really wish for more power - climbing big mountains approaching Yellowstone/Tetons. Still, I was able to maintain the speed limit with no overheating issues. On the other hand, if I were to tow with an Explorer or an earlier Touareg (before the later V6 engine upgrade), I'd want a V8.
Lots of choices, lots of different ways to go, and each one has a fan.