The Ford Edge is the Blue Oval brand's first really class-competitive large SUV. Mot will choose the 2.0 TDCI 180PS AWD version. Jonathan Crouch drives it.
Ten Second Review
The Edge is Ford's best selling SUV in the USA and it hopes to emulate this success in Europe. It adds a top tier to the Blue Oval's crossover and SUV line-up and is spacious and keenly priced in this 2.0 TDCi 180PS 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 four by four in the States and now it's over here and 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 and comes with two efficient turbodiesel engines, generous equipment and chiselled good looks. We're looking here at the volume 2.0 TDCi 180PS 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 more modest budgets. 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? Well, let's go and find out.
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. Standard all-wheel drive gives extra traction on wet, greasy roads and lets the Ford deal with rough tracks in a competent manner. It cruises quietly along the motorway, helped by the 'Acoustic Glazing' fitted to the car we have here 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 pair of 2.0-litre turbodiesel engines are distinguished by their power outputs and the number of turbochargers each uses. The 180bhp unit we're looking at here has a single turbo, unlike the pricier 210bhp motor, which uses twin turbines. Even so, there's little difference in the performance between the two, with the less powerful version cracking 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds and hitting 124mph regardless of whether you choose the six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic gearboxes.
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. It's an easy step into the Edge thanks to the driver's seat being at a height where you don't have to clamber up or slink down into it. The driving position is easy to tailor as the steering wheel moves for reach and angle, and there's lots of space for your head, shoulders and legs. As for rear seat passenger space, well the news is both good and bad. Despite the fact that the boot is huge - with all the seats in place, there's 800-litres of space if you pack to the roof - Ford doesn't provide the option for a third row of seating. In compensation, there's a vast amount of room for second row occupants.
Market and Model
All Edge models use a 2.0-litre TDCi diesel and feature All Wheel Drive. You'll pay from around £30,000 for the entry-level 'Zetec' 180PS version and there are also 'Sport', 'Titanium' and 'Vignale' Edge 180PS variants on offer at prices up to £40,000. Plus there's the option of a 6-speed Powershift auto gearbox. The Edge is well-equipped as standard, offering Active Noise Control, Pedestrian Detection, a Ford DAB Audio system with SYNC 2 connectivity, privacy glass and 19in alloy wheels. The car debuts a segment-first'Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection' system. This is a camera- and radar-based set-up that can operate at speeds from 5mph to 110mph to detect vehicles and people in the road ahead. The system can automatically apply the brakes if a potential collision is detected and the driver does not respond to warnings. Plus there's the option of aFront Wide View Camera, which makes restricted visibility junctions or parking spaces easier to negotiate.
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 CO2emissions compared with permanent four-wheel drive systems. As a result, both 2.0 TDCi diesel powertrains aim to deliver 48.7mpg fuel efficiency and 149g/km CO2supported by Auto-Start-Stop technology. Early indications of residual values also look promising, with CAP's Gold Book expecting a 180PS 2.0-litre TDCi manual 'Zetec' variant to retain 56.6% of its new list price, after three years and 30,000 miles.
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 SUV that is more than up to challenging the best in its 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 a full-size SUV offered at competitive prices and comes packed with plenty of luxury and safety equipment. 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 quiet, you should definitely be standing closer to the Edge.