The Ford Edge is the Blue Oval brand's first really class-competitive large SUV. Most will choose the 2.0 EcoBlue 238PS AWD version. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
Ten Second Review
The Edge is Ford's best selling SUV in the USA and this revised version hopes to emulate this success in Europe. It represents the top tier of the Blue Oval's SUV line-up and is spacious and keenly priced in this 2.0 EcoBlue 2.0L 238PS AWD guise. But is the Edge sharp enough in looks and drive to tempt buyers? Let's find out.
The best selling vehicle in the USA is Ford's F-Series pick-up truck, but don't confuse that with the Edge. This SUV is the Blue Oval's favourite family SUV in the States and since 2016, it's been over here looking to do the same. However, this is no yee-ha redneck that's been sent to show us how to do things properly. Nope, the Edge is a very considered offering, especially in this revised form and comes with two efficient 2.0-litre EcoBlue turbodiesel engines, generous equipment and chiselled good looks. We're looking here at the more potent 2.0L EcoBlue 238PS AWD variant most will choose.
The Edge is a big car, with a footprint only marginally smaller than a BMW X5's, yet this SUV is aimed at those with slightly more modest budgets who might currently be looking at cars like Audi's Q5 and BMW's X3. That doesn't mean it skimps in any area, though, and the styling has just enough of a North American swagger to appeal while not being brash. But does this large Ford 4x4 have what it takes to rival or better some of the best SUVs you can buy?
Ford's enviable reputation for making cars with exemplary ride and handling qualities remains intact with the Edge. While it may not be the sportiest car in its class to drive, it delivers sure-footed cornering ability with little body roll. This composure shows up in the way it deals with lumpy road surfaces too. Where more stiffly sprung rivals can buck and skip over imperfections, the Edge's suspension mops it all up with a calm confidence. It cruises quietly along the motorway, helped by the 'Acoustic Glazing' fitted as standard. This double layer of glass seals out wind and road noise very effectively. Refinement is further helped by the 'Active noise control' that tunes out unwanted noise using sound waves played through the car's stereo speakers.
The 238PS Bi-turbo powerplant used here is combined with a freshly-developed eight-speed quick shift automatic gearbox. This top unit has been enhanced with more low-end torque, while issues of noise, vibration and harshness have all been re-addressed. A small, high pressure turbo and a larger, low pressure turbo work in series at low rpm for greater responsiveness and enhanced torque. At higher engine speeds, the larger turbo works alone to produce the boost required to deliver peak power. The result is smooth and linear acceleration performance and, in theory, a more comfortable driving experience.
The Intelligent All-Wheel Drive set-up aims to provide a more secure footing for Edge drivers, especially in slippery conditions, by measuring how well the vehicle's wheels are gripping the road surface and delivering a seamless transition of torque between all four wheels. This revised Edge debuts an enhanced version of the technology, featuring new 'all-wheel drive disconnect', which uses a form of artificial intelligence to take readings from dozens of sensors around the car. It can determine if Intelligent All-Wheel Drive is needed in just 10 milliseconds.
Design and Build
Striking the right balance for the styling of a car that has to appeal to customers on both sides of the Atlantic is no easy task. Ford has achieved this with its Mustang sports car, but then it has the advantage of 50 years of heritage behind it. The Edge doesn't have that back catalogue of history and memories, yet it does a very sound job of serving up enough of the size and imposing presence of a US 4x4 mixed with the restraint and detailing of the SUVs more commonly made by European and Far Eastern car makers.
The Edge model's exterior is sharply sculpted and athletic with strong 'shoulders' and a muscular, quite compact bonnet. Visual updates across the range include a wider grille with a unique finish for each model. Standard LED headlamps and tail lamps can be complemented with available LED signature daytime running lamps. A redesigned bonnet aims to impart a wider, more planted stance.
Inside, a redesigned centre console features a smarter rotary gear shift dial for the eight-speed automatic transmission that frees up space and allows easier access to the wireless charging pad. Other changes include the addition of a configurable digital instrument cluster with animated analogue-style instrumentation. This allows drivers to personalise the layout of the speedometer, rev-counter and vehicle information displays to suit their own preferences - and even adjust between one of seven colours. An electronic parking brake button in place of a conventional parking brake lever helps maximise space and houses adjustable cup holders and a deep storage box with enough space for books, toys and tablets. A larger swing-bin glovebox sits under the dashboard, and further stowage is available in the instrument panel top.
Market and Model
All Edge models use a 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel and an 8-speed auto gearbox, but only this 238PS bi-turbo version features All Wheel Drive. You'll pay from around £43,000 for the entry-level 'ST-Line' version (up from around £37,000 for the front-driven 150PS Titanium model) and there's also a top 'Vignale' Edge 238PS variant if you want it and are prepared to pay around £46,000.
The Edge is well-equipped as standard. The sporty 'ST-Line' variant gets sports-tuned suspension and body-coloured lower door, wing and side mouldings, plus a front upper grille with a unique black finish. Other 'ST-Line' features include 20-inch alloy wheels, perforated partial leather 'Miko-Dinamica' seats, a perforated leather steering wheel and a gear shifter with red stitching. At the top of the range, 'Vignale'-spec gets you bespoke chrome-finish fog lamp surrounds, 20-inch polished alloy wheels and a signature 'Vignale' hexagonal upper grille design with a dark matte finish. Inside, hexagonal-quilted Windsor leather features prominent tuxedo-style stitching for the seats and door interiors, while leather extends to the central armrest, storage console and instrument panel.
Cost of Ownership
Ford is confident that the Edge meets the class standard for efficiency. By only delivering torque where and when it is needed, the car's Intelligent AWD set-up has minimal impact on fuel-efficiency and CO2 emissions compared with permanent four-wheel drive systems. As a result, this top Edge is rated at 40.9mpg fuel efficiency and 175g/km CO2.
Maintenance bookings can be done online through the 'My Ford' portal. This is part of the 'Ford BlueService' scheme that wraps up all of the care and maintenance of your car into one bundle that includes a free 30-point 'eCheck' of vital parts and highlights any work required with a red, amber and green traffic light warning to rank items that need attention in order of importance. There's also the 'Ford Service App' that you can download to your phone for free. It lets you locate your nearest dealer and make a booking, plus has a couple of extra elements, allowing you to find petrol stations and including a 'Park Me' feature that remembers where you left your Edge, so you won't have to hunt for it, say in busy multi-storeys.
It would be lazy to dismiss the Edge as just another attempt to sell a big US-made 4x4 over here. And this would be doing the Ford a massive disservice as this is a very likeable, capable upper mid-size SUV that is more than up to challenging the best in the 'D'-segment class. The Edge drives with a sophistication that makes comfort its prime consideration, which is absolutely fine with us as it deals with gnarly roads with ease.
To summarise, the Ford is an under-rated plush SUV that offers a lot more luxury than you'd get from, say, a comparable BMW X3 or Audi Q5 at similar money: a decent option then, if you're not bothered about having a premium badge. It's handsome in a no-nonsense, bluff way and drives very well in all conditions. Then there's the huge amount of cabin room that puts most rivals in the shade. If you value space, comfort and kit, you could need to stand a little closer to the Edge.