Ford have put the SUV at the forefront of their range, which now boasts three thoroughbreds (Kuga, EcoSport and Edge) alongside a host of highly capable MPV cousins and the S-MAX ‘sports activity vehicle’. The new 2016 Edge – with its premium interior finish and dynamic driving credentials – sits at the top of the tree, providing stiff competition to the likes of Mazda’s CX-5, and the SEAT Leon X-Perience.
The Edge has been expertly redesigned to go on sale in the UK for the first time, with new bodywork, interior furnishings, engine choices and technology installed to corner more of this burgeoning market. So, will the redesign live up to expectations and set Ford apart as the most versatile SUV provider?
Despite a ‘ground up’ redesign of all bodywork on the Edge, it’s not an aesthetic revolution for Ford. But the latest model has more dynamic, sportier lines and premium features more akin to those found on cars with double the price tag. The chassis has been lowered to something closer to a sports wagon, and blacked out details enhance the air of quality. Standard wheel size across the range is now 21-inches (with 20-inch rims an optional alternative), while the bodywork finish is another additional bonus of the latest edition.
The trapezoidal grille, whilst losing some of its chromed sheen, has returned as the centrepiece of a dynamic front end, but now with added refinement. The flanks of the car are given definition by the sloping pillars, while the pinched creases that run from the front to rear axle add to the impression that this SUV has been on a crash diet since previous models were unveiled in the US. All of these, plus features like the wrap-around tail and broad rear pillar, are what designer Kevin George has termed “classic Edge features”, carving a definitive form for Ford’s third SUV.
While the new Ford features four trim levels (SE, SEL, Titanium and Sport), the models vary little without taking on optional extra packages. Ford’s advanced ‘Technology Package’ is available for all trim levels from SEL upwards, while the ‘Utility’ and ‘Driver’s’ packages are available for the SEL and Titanium Sport editions respectively. SEL looks to be the trim level that provides the most bang for your buck, with reverse sensing system, LED headlights and dual-zone climate control for comparatively little extra cost.
Design upgrades in the cabin are a little more obvious. Sumptuous leather has been draped over the soft furnishings and steering wheel, adding to the premium feel of this model. The dashboard has been lifted from the Ford Kuga (with a few minor adaptions), bringing the Edge more closely in line with its critically acclaimed cousins. The instruments and central console are two more areas of improvement, with features including climate control, heated seats, sat nav, DAB radio and Bluetooth infotainment system all controlled from an 8-inch Sony touchscreen.
Whatever your size, there’s plenty of space in the cabin to stretch out, with acres of space available for passengers in the front and rear. Headroom is another generously portioned asset, even with a raised vantage point that provides improved all-round visibility. Lastly, a feature notable by its absence is cabin noise. The refinement of the diesel engines and noise dampening are clearly working overtime to give you a quieter, more relaxing ride.
On the road
Ford are providing two engine options for the Edge; the 177bhp or souped up 207bhp 2.0-litre Duratorq diesel engine, which includes a six-speed manual gearbox on the former while the latter is hooked up to a six-speed Powershift dual-clutch automatic gear system. The 2.0-litre Duratorq can hit 62mph in 9.4 seconds (no slouch for a car of this size), topping off at a steady 131mph. The engine feels highly responsive, reacting proportionately to even the lightest of touches. This is matched by the suspension and adaptive steering of the revised model, which offer great manoeuvrability at low speeds and help to flatten even the most pock-marked of road surfaces.
The new Edge has been designed around a highly-tuned all-wheel drive system, which can recognise the road surface and adapt levels of grip accordingly. Even when staying on the same surface, if a smattering of moisture is detected then the smart system can choose to implement a 50/50 front/rear torque split and adapt the drivetrain within 20 milliseconds.
Another benefit of this intelligent system is fuel efficiency, which is saved by switching to front-wheel drive only with good driving conditions. Fuel economy with the 2.0-litre Duratorq engine is 48.7mpg, with an emissions rate of 149g/km.
Ford have positioned this as the jewel in the crown – a satin touch of drive refinement dressed up in great, clonking four-wheel drive boots. The Edge is likely to set itself apart as a leading light of the ever-more-popular SUV market.
For more information on the new Edge or any of our other new cars, contact the experts at your local Perrys dealership today.