Ford's imposing new Edge SUV makes big impression
PUBLISHED: 09:44 16 December 2016
Ford has moved back into the large SUV market with the Edge. It's a quality product but does it have the image to compete with premium brand rivals? Motoring editor Andy Russell finds out.
Price: Ford Edge Sport 2.0 TDCi AWD £35,250 (range £29,995 to £40,250)
Engine: 1,998cc, 180PS, four-cylinder turbo diesel mated to six-manual gearbox
Performance: 0-62mph 9.9 seconds; top speed 124mph
MPG: Urban 43.5; extra urban 51.4; combined 47.9
CO2 emissions: 152g/km
Benefit-in-kind tax rate: 30%
Insurance group: 26E (out of 50)
Warranty: Three years or 60,000 miles
Will it fit in the garage? L 4,808mm; W (including door mirrors) 2,184mm; H (without roof rails) 1,692mm
And then there were three – Ford has upped its game in the popular sport utility vehicle market with the Edge, the final piece in its three-model line-up.
Joining the compact EcoSport and family-sized Kuga, the Edge is the first big Ford SUV since the Explorer in the late Nineties which, brought in from America, lost its way as lots of kit failed to make up for lack of taste and a gas-guzzling 4.0-litre petrol V6.
The Edge, also born in the USA, is suited for Europe although its huge bulk and styling, such as those full-width tail lights, mean it doesn’t quite fit the look of the rest of European Ford family. Priced £30,000 to £40,000 and pitched against some premium brand models, most owners will want something that stands out and the Edge certainly does in bright orange Electric Spice paintwork.
Under the bonnet
For our market, the Edge gets two 2.0-litre diesel engines – a 180PS single turbo version with six-speed manual gearbox and a six-speed automatic 210PS bi-turbo - both with on-demand four-wheel drive.
Unless you want the automatic gearbox, the lower-powered version does the job but, hauling nearly two tonnes, has its work cut out if you want to make brisk progress. Go with the willing, low-down flexibility for a more relaxed approach and you should get around 40mpg overall.
How it drives
The Edge looks big and that’s the impression in the way it drives. Its weight tells and its width can make narrow country lanes a bit daunting with traffic coming the other way.
Range-topping Sport gets 20in alloy wheels – Zetec and Titanium have 19in rims – but the ride was still acceptable on poor roads, cushioning passengers from the worst effects of bumps and lumps but there’s noticeable tyre noise.
The firmer sports suspension aims to make handling more dynamic but you’d never call the Edge entertaining to drive in the way we have come to expect of European Fords. It’s assured through corners but body roll at speed can make it wallowy on twisty roads. This top model also gets adaptive steering which makes light work of parking and weights up at speed for better feel.
Space and comfort
You won’t complain about the size of the Edge as a passenger with huge amounts of head and legroom and you can seat three adults in the back without being too cosy.
Where Ford might miss out in the large SUV market is no seven-seat option but it meets that need with its Grand C-Max, S-Max and Galaxy people-carriers.
The vast 602-litre boot has a high floor but will swallow luggage and, even with the space-saver spare wheel, there is some underfloor storage. A hands-free tailgate opening – simply wave your foot around under the bumper (yes, you do look strange) to release it – is a boon if your arms are full. Rear seats split 60/40 but don’t fold completely flat to create a 1,847-litre load bay and the seat backs also recline for improved passenger comfort.
The cabin has that true Ford feel with quality materials and a tasteful design. And it’s also pleasantly quiet with standard active noise control to cancel out unwanted noise with offset sound waves played through the car’s speakers. Top models also get and acoustic side window glass.
At the wheel
The best seat in the house is reserved for the driver – a pleasant place to be with all the adjustment you need to mould it to your frame, whether tall or short, and attractive instruments and a logical line-up of controls, although buttons for the efficient heating and ventilation system are small and the high-level infotainment touch screen takes a while to navigate through all the functions.
Unfortunately its American roots mean the parking brake switch is on the passenger side of the centre console and a bit of a reach.
This newcomer literally brings a new edge to the Ford line-up – if you like big SUVs and the Ford brand there’s a lot to like about the Edge. And when you weigh up the price and standard kit, against rivals with more desirable badges, the Edge looks good value.
It’s certainly imposing but, for all its quality and predicted strong resale values, image may be the sticking point with badge-conscious buyers.