First Drive: Ford Edge Vignale

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Post-Production : Mickael Laujin-Dot Retouch

Ford released its Edge to UK buyers earlier this year and it has now become the first large SUV in the American manufacturer's line-up to be adorned with its premium Vignale badge, joining the similarly-specced Mondeo Vignale, S-Max Vignale, and recently released Kuga Vignale.

What is it?

This luxury makeover sees the Edge bestowed with many new features in an attempt to turn the car into a more upmarket proposition. This includes quilted leather seats, the latest Sync 3 infotainment system, and massive 19-inch polished aluminum alloys.

Customers will be able to specify their Edge Vignale with a choice of two diesel engines. These come in the form of a 2.0-litre, 207bhp bi-turbo unit paired to a six-speed automatic, and a slightly less powerful 178bhp 2.0-litre diesel paired with a six-speed manual 'box.

What's under the bonnet?

The 2.0-litre, 207bhp bi-turbo engine is smooth under acceleration, and provides plenty of punch when you put your foot down. Thanks to the addition of Ford's Active Noise Control system, the noise from this powerful engine is minimal in the cabin.

A slight annoyance comes in the form of a faint fluttering sound under acceleration. On the whole though, the Edge Vignale's engine makes it a brilliant long distance cruiser.

What's the spec like?

Prices for the Edge Vignale start from £38,000 – which is edging into Jaguar F-Pace territory. That said though, that money will get you a properly kitted out car.

Standard features include the new Sync 3 infotainment system, which incorporates satellite navigation, voice commands that can guide you to the nearest café, a reversing camera, Apple Car Play and Android Auto for seamless smartphone connectivity, and many more features besides.

All of these functions are now controlled through a clever new eight-inch touchscreen display, which now includes pinch and swipe gestures for easier navigation – just like a smartphone.

Ford Drive: Ford Edge Vignale

Ford Drive: Ford Edge Vignale

Any rivals?

The Vignale badge has been introduced to bring Ford's model in line with these of premium manufacturers. As such, rivals to the new Edge Vignale include Jaguar's F-Pace, the Mercedes GLC and in a more mid-range competitor, the Kia Sorento.

What's it like to drive?

Apart from a Range Rover or a Toyota Land Cruiser, the Edge will likely be one of the largest cars on the road, and this is immediately noticeable when you hop behind the wheel. While not too much of a problem when you're careering down the motorway, it could make navigating tight urban streets difficult.

Despite its size, the Edge manages to handle itself well through the bends, with limited body roll. The steering is well-weighted and fairly direct, and provides a pleasing amount of feedback.

While the Edge Vignale handles itself in a respectful manner when you throw it into a couple of twisties, it's far more at home chewing up miles on the motorway. It is comfortable, quiet, and if Ford's claimed fuel consumption figure of 47.9mpg is to be believed, fairly economical too.

AOL Cars verdict

The Edge Vignale is about as close as you can get to an upmarket SUV without paying ridiculous sums of money. Like all Fords, it offers a pleasing driving experience, is hugely comfortable, looks good and is fairly economical.

With the addition of the Vignale specification, it now also comes with a huge amount of standard kit. At the end of the day, if you're in the market for a fairly luxurious SUV and can rise above any badge snobbery, the Edge Vignale could be the car for you.

THE KNOWLEDGE:

Model: Ford Edge Vignale
Price: £40,250
Engine: 2.0-litre, 207bhp bi-turbo
Power: 207bhp
0-62mph: 9.2 seconds
Max speed: 131mph
Economy: 47.9mpg
Emissions: 152g/km

By Simon Davis