Ford Edge (2018 - 2020) used car review

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By Jonathan Crouch

Introduction

Having sold strongly in the US, Ford hoped that its largest SUV, the Edge, could provide a profitable top tier to its Crossover line-up in Europe. It didn't turn out that way, despite the company's best efforts, which included the wide range of updates made to the car in its final period on sale between late 2018 and early 2020. Might you still want a used one if the price is right? We're going to find out.

Models

5dr SUV (Diesel - 2.0 EcoBlue 150PS / 238PS]

History

Before the Edge, the last large luxury SUV Ford had attempted to sell here was the Explorer. Launched in 1997, this US market 4x4 was everything European buyers didn't want, weighty, ponderous and petrol-powered. As a result, buyers almost universally ignored the thing and it took nearly two decades before Ford felt brave enough to return to the full-sized SUV sector with this Edge model, launched here in the Summer of 2016. By this time, the company absolutely needed a larger SUV in its line-up to satisfy buyers in this segment wanting something a little larger than the Blue Oval brand's existing small EcoSport and medium-sized Kuga models.

The Edge didn't sell that well though, so Ford moved to update it with a range of improvements that included a new EcoBlue-spec version of the brand's 2.0-litre diesel engine. And a power hike for that unit in its fastest form to 238PS, with that top powerplant mated to a more sophisticated version of Ford's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system. The changes made in late 2018 also included the addition of a new 8-speed auto gearbox, plus this car included a stack of useful camera-driven safety kit thanks to the brand's 'Co-Pilot360' driver assistance technology package. Add in extra media connectivity courtesy of the Blue Oval's clever 'FordPass Connect' embedded modem and the 'SYNC 3' communications and entertainment system and you can see why this Edge gained a fair degree of showroom appeal. But it wasn't enough and the car was deleted from the Blue Oval brand's price lists in early 2020.

What You Get

Exterior design, according to Ford, is the biggest determining factor towards purchase of an SUV. Which perhaps explains why the original version of this car struggled so much in our market after its launch in 2016. One senior Blue Oval designer described its looks as 'heavy handed'; they were certainly more appropriate to the other side of the Atlantic. Hence the aesthetic updates made to this car in 2018 that changed much, but ultimately delivered little. The bonnet, the tailgate, the bumpers and the front grille were all restyled, but the bulky end result looked little different, with its sculpted bodywork and sharply raked C-pillars.

Inside, not much changed as part of the facelift package of updates. The only really key differences lie with the addition of a circular little controller for the transmission and, on plusher models, the incorporation of a thumping 12-speaker 1,000-watt B&O sound system and the clever 'FordPass Connect' embedded modem set-up, which gives you onboard Wi-Fi and Live Traffic information. If you've chosen a 'Vignale'-spec car, the 'Tuxedo'-style quilted seat trim will certainly be a talking point, particularly if it's impractically cream-coloured. Darker-coloured leather works better. In the instrument cluster, there's a 10-inch TFT screen made up of various inset multi-function displays. Anything else you need to know will be covered off by an 8-inch central 'SYBC 3' infotainment screen, which delivers the usual audio, navigation and smartphone-mirroring options, plus can deal with climate settings too.

In the back, as at the front, the doors open wide to make access easy and once you're inside, you'll find massively more space than is provided by mid-sized SUV models at this price point (think RAV4 or CR-V). No other SUV priced remotely close to this one can comfortably seat three adults across the back seat, but such a feat is easily managed by this Ford, aided by a notably low-set central transmission tunnel.

To some extent, the reason why it's so spacious in the back is that surprisingly, Ford opted not to add in a third fold-out seating row in the boot. Where the five seat-only approach should pay off is when it comes to boot space. Avoid entry-level trim and you get a power-operated tailgate that can be activated merely by waving your foot beneath the bumper if you happen to be approaching the car laden down with bags. Once it's raised, there is indeed a quite enormous boot. Even if you only fill the space up to the window line, there's room for 602-litres of cargo. Pack it to the roof and you can fit in 800-litres of luggage.

What You Pay

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What to Look For

We came across plenty of satisfied Edge customers but there were also a number of rogue examples, with issues that buyers on the used market will need to look out for. One buyer found her car was continually slow in accelerating and had 'hiccups' when being asked to power forward quickly. Another owner reported that his panoramic glass roof had cracked for no apparent reason. Another buyer found the SYNC centre-dash screen go blank. Otherwise, it's just the usual things. Check for signs of off road use. And inspect the alloy wheels closely for signs of kerbing. Make sure that unruly kids haven't scratched the interior plastics. And as usual, check that the service book is fully stamped up to date. Some ex-fleet models may have missed out on garage visits.

Replacement Parts

(approx based on a 2018 Edge 2.0 EcoBlue - Ex Vat) An air filter costs around £24 and an oil filter costs around £17. Brake pads costs around £111 for a front set. Front brake discs cost around £70, while rear discs are around £60. Wiper blades cost in the £30 bracket. A headlamp bulb is about £5.

On the Road

A number of things changed mechanically with this revised model, primarily the fact that the four cylinder 2.0-litre diesel unit that all European Edge models had to have was upgraded to cleaner modern-era 'EcoBlue' status. In its entry-level state of tune, you get 150PS and you have to have front wheel drive; previously, this car was only offered in 4x4 form. It's much better then, to go for the uprated 238PS bi-turbo version of this engine, which propels the Edge along with quite a lot more vigour as you slur through the ratios of the 8-speed auto gearbox, another model update feature. This more powerful unit has to be had with Ford's Intelligent AWD system, upgraded as part of the facelift update to engage more quickly and to completely decouple itself from the rear axle for greater efficiency when extra traction isn't needed. Talking of efficiency, we'll tell you that this 238PS model manages a WLTP-rated combined cycle fuel figure of up to 41.5mpg and an NEDC-rated CO2 reading of 176g/km.

This car's prodigious kerb weight - well over 2.0-tonnes - obviously doesn't do much for those figures. Nor does it help you if you're unwise enough to start trying to throw this thing about. The 'ST-Line' variant that most Edge customers choose fares a little better here thanks to its stiffer sports suspension, though that denigrates the low speed ride that on other derivatives is actually quite reasonable. It's better to focus on the things this SUV is better at. It'd be a great tow car, with trailer capacity rated at 2.2-tonnes across the range. Plus we'd reckon it to be an excellent long distance driving companion. Ride quality at higher speeds smooths out noticeably and the standards of refinement are superb thanks to 'Active Noise Cancellation' and standard acoustic side glass.

Off the beaten track, as you might expect, the Edge is no Land Rover Discovery but by the more modest mud-plugging standards of other SUVs in this class, it acquits itself very well. A reasonable level of ground clearance - just over 200mm - certainly helps, as does the wheel angle flexibility of the all-independent suspension set-up. This big Ford's 'Intelligent All-Wheel Drive' system is a permanent set-up and, like nearly all its rivals, uses 'Torque On Demand' technology to send power to whichever wheel has the most traction.

Overall

Sadly for Ford, the British market never really understood this Edge model's strongest selling point: the fact that it gives you the space - and most of the opulence - of a large Volkswagen Touareg-sized Luxury segment SUV, for the price of a smaller Volkswagen Tiguan-shaped Mid-sized one. It's a pity that Ford couldn't have completed the proposition with a third row seating option for Europe, but even so, the right kind of buyer might still find much to like in this package - if it was correctly priced.

Unfortunately, the Edge never was. Which is why it'll be remembered alongside the old MK2 Explorer of 1995 as just another of Ford's aborted attempts to sell a big American-market SUV over here. Still, if you can find one at the right kind of sticker figure, you might well appreciate this car's supremely spacious cabin and enormous boot. And be forgiving when you realise that it's less wieldy and rewarding to drive than other segment contenders at this price point. Sweetening the proposition is the fact that this SUV is superbly well equipped - though it's strange to find the base-trimmed model including features that cost extra at the top of the range.

With this revised model, Ford tinkered with this car's showroom proposition, but not enough to save its sales prospects in our market. If your dealer can still find you one, you'll get yourself that most unusual of things, a really rare family Ford. You might like the thought of that. Not enough other people did.

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