The Ford Edge is the Volkswagen Touareg’s worst nightmare

2017 Ford Edge Sport front end

This is the new Ford Edge, an SUV that’s enjoyed much popularity in the US and has now been thoroughly reworked for the European market. I recently travelled to Edinburgh, Scotland to find out what all the fuss was about.

The Edge slots in above Ford’s popular Kuga model and smaller Ecoboost compact SUV, as the largest of the company’s range of lifestyle off-roaders. It’s an important release for Ford, who is now recognised as being the fastest-growing SUV manufacturer in the UK.

The lowdown

In terms of size, the Edge is nearly identical to Volkswagen’s Touareg, it’s a bit larger than the Kia Sorento, the BMW X3 or Hyundai’s Santa Fe but is still a fair bit smaller than the BMW X5 or a Range Rover.

FordEdge (3 of 131)

The Edge is currently available in three spec options with a range-topping Vignale spec car yet to come. There’s a choice of two 2.0 TDCi diesel engines: an 180PS model and a more powerful 210PS bi-turbo unit, the former is paired to a 6-speed manual box while the latter is mated to a 6-speed auto. Ford’s intelligent all-wheel drive system is standard on all Edge models. Both specs spit out an equal 149g/km of CO2.

Ford Edge Vignale 2017 white
Ford’s range-topping Edge Vignale isn’t here quite yet

The Edge range starts at a fiver under £30,000 with a Zetec model. By all means it’s a very well equipped vehicle, with gadgets such as auto lights/wipers, keyless start, traffic sign recognition, crash avoidance technology and a rear view camera as standard. Still, Ford reckons this model won’t be a big seller in the UK and instead has focused most of its efforts pushing its Titanium and Sport models.

The Titanium spec Edge starts at £32,245 and adds a power tailgate, Sat Nav, parking sensors, heated front seats and Ford’s clever noise cancelling technology in its cabin – plus plenty of styling tweaks.

FordEdge (56 of 78)

 

The Edge Sport starts at £34,495 and adds a 12-speaker Sony sound system, sports suspension, a semi-aggressive bodykit, plus 20in wheels and adaptive steering

Both the Titanium and Sport models can be further padded with a £2,000 Lux pack meaning plush leather or suede seats that can work to either heat or cool your body, heated seats at the rear and a panoramic roof.

The Drive

Hop in the spacious cabin of the Edge and you’re instantly greeted with various screens and many, many buttons. They’re all sensibly placed though, and it’s hard to find fault in any of the cabin ergonomics.

Get moving and you’ll notice an almost eery silence inside the Edge. This is down to Ford’s clever noise cancellation tech, which uses a series of microphones to detect unwanted sound waves and then counteract them using the car’s sound system. This, together with use of specially treated ‘acoustic glass’ at the front windows makes for a particularly peaceful driving experience. Then again, if silence isn’t your thing then the bass heavy 12-speaker Sony system will soon sort that.

FordEdge (36 of 78)

 

The elevated perspective you get from the driver’s seat of the Edge had me cautious when it came to carrying pace – but I needn’t have worried. Based on the same chassis as the Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy, the Edge is precise to steer and offers plenty of grip. More impressive still, the Edge manages to consistently defy its own heft. Quite simply, this doesn’t feel like a two tonne car.

Light controls and impressive visibility mean that this is no more difficult to drive than a Fiesta. In fact, this car is astonishingly easy to drive, and I was very impressed by the visibility, particularly at the rear. Not that it’s necessary though, the Titanium spec car I was driving knew exactly what was around me at all times and, thanks to that clever crash avoidance system, it wouldn’t even allow me to crash into the car in front.

FordEdge (10 of 131)

All that wizardry needn’t take away from the driving experience. Wind up the 210PS motor and you’ll be making swift progress in near silence. Switch the auto box to sport mode and it’ll keep you higher up the rev range for a quicker response, there are even paddles for when you totally forget what car you are in. The steering weighs up as you’d expect and the Edge’s body control  proved exemplary over Scotland’s roller coaster country roads.

Wedge your foot in from a standstill and the Edge wafts its way up to the speed limit. Sign recognition tech means it’ll remember every speed limit sign it passes too, and can even be set to stop you from exceeding said limits (don’t worry, it can be turned off) – this car really does have your best interests at heart. While we are talking sensibly, let’s talk MPG. The official combined figure stands at 47.9mpg for the larger engine car, I’d say this is quite achievable considering I managed 35mpg on a particularly enthusiastic run. The less powerful car is marginally better on fuel, achieving 48.7 on its combined cycle.

The manual 180PS car that I tried afterwards didn’t feel quite as eager but for those adamant on changing gear with their arm and foot, it’s a typically pleasant Ford gearbox.

FordEdge (4 of 131)

“Despite the best efforts of some UK journalists, all bumpers, tyres and teeth stayed intact”

I then took the Edge off-road around a test loop set out by Ford. Rough farm tracks with mild gradients and loose stones proved no issue for the Edge. Decent clearances kept any nasty noises from reaching the cabin and, despite the best efforts of some UK journalists, all bumpers, tyres and teeth stayed intact. I’d like to think that most Edge buyers probably would’ve been out of their comfort zone had this been with their own car.

 

A nice touch is the Edge’s display for its intelligent all-wheel drive system. Sat in the centre of the rev counter (should you select it to be), it displays real-time information on exactly how much power is heading to the front and rear wheels. Watch as the neat little display keeps you informed on the power splitting magic that’s happening beneath the floorpan.

FordEdge (22 of 131)

So there you have it, I think the Edge drives brilliantly; it’s superbly equipped, spacious and refined. I also think it’s a good looking car and if CAP book values are anything to go by, then it looks like it’ll be a sensible investment too.

What would I change? Well, I’d like to see a more powerful version of the Sport. Maybe even a silly ST version of this car but ultimately I’m finding it very difficult to criticise. German competitors should be worried, this will be a popular car.

Pros: Tough looks, huge space, very easy to drive, the price undercuts major rivals, quiet and refined

Cons: America’s grunty engine choices not destined for the UK

Buy If: You're in the market for a luxury SUV that stands out from the rest

Three things I loved about the new Ford Edge

Climate seats

FordEdge (60 of 78)

Nothing beats a warm bottom on a cold winter’s day.. or so I thought. Turns out that Ford’s climate seats, which can be set to blast cold air directly at your derriere, were just the ticket in sticky British summer conditions. The heated rear seats are also a pimpy touch.

Tailgate sensor

Simply wave your leg under the rear bumper of the Edge and, providing its key is within range and the vehicle isn’t moving, the motorised tailgate will open – perfect for when your hands are full.

So much room

FordEdge (65 of 78)

Space, glorious space: Smaller people may actually get lost in the Edge. The boot and rear stowage figures are said to be best-in-class and I can sure believe it.