The Edge is a very classy SUV that is very big on style, space, practicality and performance. All models come with all-wheel drive as standard and the five-seater delivers top notch driving dynamics too.
The goodPremium styling, dynamic handling and very practical
The badNo seven seat option
Ford Edge – first drive (2016)
At a time when it seems almost impossible to imagine another SUV entering the fiercely competitive marketplace, Ford has introduced an absolute belter.
It’s called the Edge and it’s packed to bursting with cutting edge technology – if you’ll pardon the pun!
The car is priced from £29,995 and is available with just two diesel 2.0-litre powertrains – one has an output of 180PS and the other 210PS. The Edge is fitted with either a six speed manual or automatic transmission and every model comes with all-wheel-drive.
Buyers can choose from three generously-equipped trim levels called Zetec (from £29,995) which is expected to account for about two per cent of sales and is limited to the 180PS engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox; Titanium (from £32,245) which will attract about 48 per cent of sales and finally the Sport edition costing from £34,495 which will make up about 50 per cent of sales. A range-topping Edge Vignale will be introduced later this year costing approximately £40,000.
The car, which is built in Canada, has a solid SUV identity on the road with athletic styling, sculpted sides and wheel arches, a raised waistline, LED adaptive headlights with glare free technology, a prominent SUV grille, raised ground clearance, bright tailpipes, LED tail lamps, an optional panoramic sunroof, smart alloy wheels, privacy glass and a rear spoiler.
It also boasts the best-in-class boot space of 1,176 litres behind the rear seats and the best-in-class rear legroom – these are vitally important factors for a family car that needs to be steeped in practicality and versatility.
The interior is very classy indeed with a truly premium feel to it and there is a whole host of technology to be explored, including Ford’s SYNC 2 with Bluetooth, voice control, an eight-inch colour touchscreen, sat nav and plenty more besides. An optional Lux Pack costing £2,000 extra is available on the top two trim levels and introduces the likes of leather seats which can be heated or cooled, a 10-way powered driver’s seat with memory settings (8-way powered passenger seat), a panoramic roof that can be opened (this replaces the roof rails), heated rear seats and powered door mirrors.
Other innovative technology includes Active Noise Control. The car’s sophisticated suspension and acoustic glass help to quell any outside sounds, but the Active Noise Control completes the process. Three concealed microphones detect any background sound which is then cancelled out by offset sound waves played through the car’s speakers.
There is an Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system which continually monitors the changing driving conditions, optimising traction wherever needed. A special cluster display keeps the driver informed of the power split and the conditions beneath front and rear wheels.
Then there is a Collision Avoidance System which detects a slow-moving or stationary object ahead and displays a warning and sounds a chime. If the driver fails to steer or brake, then the system activates the brakes to reduce the severity of an impact and in some cases, completely eliminate frontal collisions.
Add in adaptive steering, glare-free headlights and inflatable rear seatbelts and it would be fair to say the all-new Ford Edge is packed to bursting with very clever technology.
But does it live up to expectations when put to the test?
We tested out a couple of models on the sweeping roads around Edinburgh and even ventured away from the security of the Tarmac to check out the car’s all-wheel drive capabilities – and the Edge was certainly up for the challenge.
First up was the Edge Sport 2.0-litre 180PS with manual gearbox priced at £34,500 (£37,845 with options). This car can sprint from 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds, redlines at 124mph, has combined fuel efficiency of 47.9mpg and carbon emissions of 152g/km.
The vehicle looked very smart in Electric Spice paintwork – bit like a golden orange shade – and the classy feel is carried through to the cabin where you are greeted with plenty of premium styling, including leather upholstery, state-of-the-art technology and a very light, spacious and clutter-free environment where all controls and readouts are perfectly positioned for ease of use.
Despite being fitted with the lesser-powered engine, acceleration through the gears was swift and nicely responsive with a constant supply of power on tap, which helped to make light work of quick-fire bursts of pace.
Even when pushed particularly hard, the Edge seems to glide along in near silence, absorbing all the bumps and outside sounds. It’s very grippy and can be thrown enthusiastically into corners with no fear of body roll. The steering is precise and the all-round driving dynamics and handling belie its near two-tonne weight.
We also took this model off road for an hour and it proved most competent when tackling grass and heavily graveled tracks with very loose stones and small rocks.
Next up was the Edge Titanium 2.0-litre 210PS with six-speed PowerShift Automatic transmission, priced at £34,495 (increased to £39,215 with extras). This model can reach 62mph from a standing start in 9.4 seconds, maxes out at 131mph, has combined economy of 48.7mpg and emissions of 149g/km.
Once again the test car proved an absolute delight to drive. The auto transmission was both slick and responsive with the option of steering wheel mounted paddle shifts if you fancy taking a little more control. And that extra power output was also apparent with additional bite and oomph than the first car.
The interior of the Edge is exceptionally roomy and a 6ft-plus adult could comfortably sit behind a driver of the same height without feeling cramped. And even with the optional panoramic sunroof fitted, headroom remains very good.
To be honest, both cars handled beautifully and the Edge proved to be a comfortable, refined, practical, generously-equipped, spacious and good-looking vehicle that’s big on both personality and performance.
I guess the only real downside is that customers will be limited to five seat models whereas some rivals offer the flexibility of seven. That said though; Ford now boasts one of the finest SUV line-ups of any manufacturer with the Edge joining existing models the EcoSport and Kuga.