First Drive: Ford Edge

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The latest model to make its way from North America - where it has been available since 2014 - to the European market under the 'One Ford' scheme, the Edge is the new king of Ford's SUV range.

Sitting above the Kuga, the Edge fills a gap last occupied in Europe by a similar American export, the Explorer. That doesn't bode particularly well, but the Edge is a far more European car than its brutish, petrol-quaffing predecessor.


What's under the bonnet?

Although the USA gets a selection of petrol engines, the European Edge is exclusively a diesel vehicle. The 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCI diesel comes in two flavours, with a 178hp model and a bi-turbo 208hp version that will be ever so familiar from the Mondeo range.

The lower-powered option is exclusively paired with a 6-speed manual, while the more powerful car can only be specified with the 6-speed Powershift automatic. Whichever car you pick though, regardless of engine or trim level, you'll get four-wheel drive in your Edge.

On paper there's little to choose between the two engines. The bi-turbo car is half a second quicker to 60mph, but at 9.4s compared to 9.9s respectively it's not a huge difference. Fuel economy is pegged at 47.9mpg combined for both engines on the optional 20-inch wheels or 48.7mpg combined on the smaller 19-inchers. The 450Nm torque rating for the bi-turbo is a good step over the 400Nm peak for the lower-powered car, so would be a better option if you do a lot of towing.

What's the spec like?

It's a bit of a mix of stories, really. You'll find the interior as a whole extremely familiar if you drive any other modern Ford, particularly the Mondeo. That means you get a pretty good layout, with a decent driving position and not too much of a dashboard buttonfest, but a few scratchy plastics to contend with.

However, the equipment levels are rather high. Although Ford reckons that only around 2 per cent of Edge buyers will opt for the entry-level Zetec trim, it comes with automatic headlights and wipers, privacy glass, keyless start, a colour touchscreen running the Ford SYNC 2 infotainment system with DAB radio, a reversing camera, heated windscreen, traffic sign recognition, emergency city brake and an active noise control system that uses microphones dotted around the cabin to detect unpleasant noises and cancel them out with opposite noise played through the speakers. All of this is standard on a £30k car the size of a Volkswagen Touareg...



Scroll up the range and the kit gets even wider-ranging. Titanium grade adds a navigation system, heated front sports seats, hands free tailgate operation and acoustic side glass to reduce road noise. The top grade is Sport, adding adaptive steering, sports suspension and unique styling. Our test cars added the Lux pack, which includes variable climate controlled seats with 10 way power adjust and a panoramic sunroof.



Although the Edge is offered with a 7-seat version in some other markets, there are no current plans for that model to come to the UK, so it's exclusively a 5-seater. That means you get a larger boot than alternatives though, at over 600 litres.

Any rivals?

You could consider that pretty much any SUV on the large end of the mid-sized market would be a rival, and we're minded to think of vehicles like the Kia Sorento, the Volkswagen Touareg and - given the US origins - the Jeep Cherokee. Ford is taking aim at the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 though, given the amount of kit for the price.

What's it like to drive?

If you like your driver's cars, the Edge won't offer you much. This is nigh-on two tonnes of vehicle and it pretty much behaves as you'd expect. There isn't that much by way of wallow, but it's not a car to be pressing on down a back road. In non-Sport versions the steering feels pretty good, but very keen to self-centre, and the adaptive steering on the Sport feels just a little bit strange - though a little nicer in sport mode rather than normal.

It's not helped along by the sheer size of the thing either. Getting it placed accurately in a corner is guesswork, as the corners are all-but invisible, and getting it down a narrow street takes quite a bit of bravery - at almost 2.2 metres (or more than 7 feet) across the mirrors, the Edge is wider than a Ford Transit dropside pickup...

First Drive: Ford Edge

First Drive: Ford Edge


Settle down to a cruise though and the Edge is a more relaxing vehicle. With the noise-cancelling tech and acoustic glass of the higher spec cars, it's really rather quiet and serene.

AOL Cars Verdict

It's a great-looking car that packs in plenty of kit and plenty of room for not a huge amount of money. If you're not looking for something to excite on a back road, there's plenty to recommend it. However, the Edge is taking aim at cars that people buy for the badge, so whether it proves to have enough kit to offset the brand cachet remains to be seen.


THE KNOWLEDGE

Model: Ford Edge Sport
Price: £34,500
Engine: 2 litre, 4-cylinder diesel
Power: 208hp, 450Nm
Max speed: 131mph
0-62mph: 9.4s
MPG (combined): 47.9mpg
Emissions: 152g/km