Introducing the Ford Edge, arguably the most American-looking of the the SUV class available to euro-buyers. Reaction among reviewers has been mixed. I sometimes wonder if reviewers don't sometimes forget who is buying the car. Further on I mention some of the dashboard plastics. I wonder how many purchasers will even notice? I'm biased of course because I like big American trucks so I guess I was sold on the car at first sight.
The Ford Edge, tested here in full Sport trim, leaps fully formed into the burgeoning SUV market with some style. With it's crisp outline embellished by a big rear spoiler and a wide-mouthed grille it is – as previously mentioned – the most American looking of the big beasts of the road and is set to take on the prestige German brands at their own game.
The vehicle in the image comes absolutely fully loaded with all manner of safety and infotainment features, along with the striking 'Electric Spice' paint. Although not a dedicated off-roader the Ford intelligent all-wheel drive can be relied upon to put the grip where you need it in bad driving conditions. Just let it get on with the job.
At a wallet-clenching £38,595 for the fully-featured Sport model this version of the Edge moves close to the price territory of models like the Mercedes GLC and the BMW X3, so it needs to deliver on quality and refinement. Aside from a couple of minor niggles it is fair to say that, imho, Ford have cracked it.
In The Cabin
The Ford Edge scores big on legroom and headroom. Although a five-seater (there's no seven seat option) the lucky five can sit comfortably with plenty of surrounding storage for discarded toys and general family detritus.
With three levels of trim available – Zetec, Titanium and Sport – there's a model to suit all budgets. The Sport came with some really attractive 20” gunmetal alloys that really looked the business. Some say that big wheels compromise comfort and ride quality, although on test it wasn't found to be a big issue.
The seats are very comfortable and the driving position relaxed. The dashboard is well laid out and refreshingly low on the button count with most controls accessed through the big, clear touchscreen. As usual Bluetooth, climate control, active noise control (well worth having) and the like all make an appearance and there's a special word for the Sony sound system. If you're a fan of hip-hop, you can hear it across the supermarket car park. Apparently.
It's just a shame that the screen surround and the dash-top storage box are rather low rent plastic. Sturdy enough for sure, but it lets down the soft-touch materials elsewhere. Around the back there's a powered hatch with the option of opening by way of a waggling foot. A bit pointless but kids like it.
On The Road
There's only one engine available, a 2.0L four-cylinder diesel with 178bhp and 400Nm of torque. With a 0-62mph time of 9.9 seconds the Edge is not quick but is full of purpose so most users will be satisfied, especially when they see 40mpg plus on the dashboard readout, the economy aided by a Stop/Start function.
In corners, the Ford Edge Sport isn’t as composed as you might expect given the ‘sporty’ ride quality. There’s some body roll and you can occasionally feel the car’s weighty bulk. The steering is quick and varies with speed but there's not much feedback, a complaint that can be levelled at a lot of cars these days.
The Ford Edge has a lot of appeal and equipment and is one of my favourite SUV's. Sure, I can niggle about cabin plastics but it doesn't put me off. There’s loads of space inside. It is very quiet (noise cancelling technology) and refined with genuine ride quality. With a very big boot and plenty of rear passenger room the Edge makes for a comfy cruiser. Crucially, it looks more distinctive and feels more relaxed and less suited and booted than its German rivals. Recommended.
Author: Geoff Maxted