Introduced in 2006, the Ford Edge quickly seduced buyers with its modern and dynamic style. Considered Ford’s technological showcase vehicle, the Edge can hold its chin up high next to some of the most prestigious luxury SUVs. It offers outstanding equipment, interior fit and trim, and leading-edge gadgetry. Overall, they’ve done a great job on this vehicle. And 2015 brings us the second generation boasting new mechanical parts.
As with the previous generation, the Edge is not exactly cheap. Ford’s not looking to make it the most affordable intermediate SUV on the market, either, that’s what the Escape is for. Its $31,999 starting price may be eye-catching, but you should expect to pay more than $37,000 for a well-equipped version with all-wheel drive—and that’s not even counting the options. You buy the Edge for its qualities, and not for its affordability.
More anonymous lines
Built at Ford’s plant in Oakville, Ontario, the Edge is a true Canadian. It rests on the gently tweaked platform from the Ford Mondeo/Fusion (D4 for those in the know). When we first laid eyes on the 2015 Edge, we got the impression that it was bigger, and it’s not just an illusion created by its new body. It’s actually 99 mm longer and 44 mm higher, with the difference primarily benefitting interior space.
The Edge hadn’t aged badly, far from it. The model was still quite attractive and its original lines set it apart from the competition, but this is no longer the case with the new generation. Despite its evolved design, the Edge now looks a lot more like its peers, and that’s too bad. Most notably, it has lost its visual signature, as its wide front grille is now smaller and no longer connected to the headlamps, and the rear treatment is now stretched out, kind of like the Lexus RX. The edges are less rounded and more angular. That said, we liked the LED strip that runs between the lights and across the entire rear of the vehicle, much like on the Dodge Durango. The Sport version is the nicest, as it has extra accessories that spice up the vehicle’s personality.
The interior doesn’t disappoint. The choice of materials, quality of assembly and attention to detail really convey a sense of luxury. This is even more pronounced in the more expensive trims, which come with leather and perforated suede sport seats, aluminum brake and accelerator pedals, ambient lighting and metal accents.
Now with larger dimensions, the Edge offers maximized head and leg room, as well as increased cargo capacity. The dashboard is serious and the various controls are nicely laid out. The MyFord Touch multimedia system has been simplified and some traditional control buttons are back, including those for volume and the radio tuner, making life a little easier for the driver. Some settings and controls are the same as in other Ford models, including the F-150.
Now starting with the four-cylinder turbo
In the past, we noted how the 2.0-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost offered few advantages, considering it cost more ($1,000), it had no towing capabilities and it couldn’t be paired with all-wheel drive. It looks as though Ford agreed with us, because as of this year the engine can transmit power to all four wheels and can be paired with a towing package allowing it to haul up to 3,500 lbs. We’ve got nothing left to criticize it for. Plus, it’s now the base engine, so it won’t cost you any extra. Ford also made some modifications to the engine and boosted its output. This year, it delivers 245 horses and 275 lbs.-ft. of torque. The new twin-scroll design ensures better output and faster turbo response time. The 3.5-litre V6 has been relegated to the options catalogue.
The now optional 3.5-litre V6 hasn’t changed this year. It generates 280 horsepower and 250 lbs.-ft. of torque. Why did they keep it on offer? Simply to give buyers more choice, especially those who don’t appreciate the virtues of smaller turbocharged engines.
A sportier Edge Sport!
Known for its edgier style and ride, the Edge Sport still crowns the line-up. It’s not ultra-luxurious, but it is extremely dynamic. Whereas it used to feature a 3.7-litre V6, it’s now equipped with a turbocharged 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6—the same engine introduced under the hood of the F-150 earlier this year. This engine pumps out 315 horsepower, which is 10 more than the old V6. But what really hits it out of the ballpark is the 350 lbs.-ft. of torque that it delivers.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to put all the drivetrains to the test. The test agenda was so tight that we spent twice as much time getting to the site as we did actually testing the new Edge. Yet, we did cover a few hundred kilometres, which was enough to conclude that the new Edge is both refined and comfortable. We were as impressed by the Edge as we were by the new Nissan Murano.
When equipped with the forced induction four-cylinder, the Edge offers decent performances. Torque is deployed at low revs without delay. The six-speed automatic transmission (the only transmission offered in the line-up) is efficient and effective, but it has a tough job maintaining the right speed and coaxing all the horses out of the four-cylinder. Overall, we felt that the vehicle was more solid than before and its superior rigidity enhanced the effect. Firmer steering improves your sense of control and improvements were noted in the soundproofing. Visibility is very good, even though the sides of the hood rise up near the windshield, blocking your view a little in tight manoeuvres.
Equipped with the more powerful engine, the Edge Sport is definitely more fun. This engine emits a gorgeous growl and its pick-up is much more energetic. Torque is immediately available as soon as you press the accelerator. The suspension is more rigid, and with the 20-inch wheels body roll is reduced. Unfortunately its base price of over $45,000 gave us a serious reality-check. It’s also important to note that because of the way the model is designed, you can’t add a trailer hitch. As handsome and dynamic as this vehicle is, you can’t use the Edge Sport to tow your toys.
As a true technological showcase, the Edge comes with a vast array of gadgets. Technophiles will be thrilled. The offer includes the very first perpendicular park assist system, which we didn’t have the chance to test. Too bad, but we’ll be sure to try it next time.