Ford’s first effort in two decades at producing a large SUV has been rather successful. Because it is less mainstream than the company’s other lifestyle off-roaders, the Kuga and EcoSport, the Edge’s sales figures are almost certain to be engulfed by theirs, but that doesn’t change my opinion that the newest of these three designs is also the best.
Let’s deal with the extremes first. The worst feature of the Edge is that it’s very noisy for a car that in some forms costs over £40,000. Only one engine is available – a two-litre turbo diesel producing either 178bhp, as in this case, or 207bhp – and, while it performs well enough, it blares at start-up and never really quietens down even when it’s up to temperature.
Since exactly the same engine intrudes into the cabins of other Fords to far less an extent, I’m surprised nobody noticed this during the prototype stages and called for more soundproofing, unless of course someone did and was told to pipe down for budgetary reasons.
By contrast, the Edge scores very highly for practicality. Adequate passenger room in the front is to be expected in any car nowadays. There’s less guarantee of having it in the rear, but here the Edge is a marvel, with lots of space for all but the most supersized adults.
This has not happened at the expense of luggage space. Rear seats up, this amounts to 602 litres, and if you fold them down (a much easier process than unfolding them again, which takes some effort) the capacity increases to 1847 litres. That’s not bad for the class. The much more expensive BMW X5, named by Ford as one of the Edge’s main rivals, offers more room, but another target, the similarly priced Hyundai Santa Fe, offers less.
Apart from the noise issue mentioned above and some serious visibility problems, driving the Edge is a pleasant enough experience. Of the major controls, the gearlever is the least enjoyable to use; previous experience has shown that PowerShift automatic models are much better, though to be fair if you haven’t driven one of those you won’t be greatly troubled by the manual. Performance and official fuel economy and CO2 emissions are similar no matter which powertrain you choose, and in every case there’s a surprising amount of turbo lag if you need to accelerate suddenly.
The Edge uses the same platform as the Mondeo, Galaxy and S-MAX but doesn’t feel much like any of them to drive. All versions, including this one, handle well and ride better. The Sport specification includes 20″ wheels as standard, and while large wheels spoil the Mondeo (and are the utter ruination of other SUVs such as the Audi Q5 and Porsche Macan), Ford has made them work here. I’d rather have the 19s available as standard on the cheaper Zetec and Titanium, but the 20s will do.
Of the three models in the range, the Sport is considerably the most aggressive looking and has the firmest suspension, though this doesn’t affect its road behaviour much. Like the Titanium, it can be specified with a £2000 optional Lux pack which you’ll have to pay for if you want leather upholstery, cooled front seats (with extra adjustment possibilities), heated rears, powered door mirrors and an openable panoramic sunroof. Like the Chili pack in MINIs, this may prove to be a wise investment at resale time, assuming you’ve actually bought the car outright rather than acquired it on tick.
Other options include Electric Spice premium paintwork shown on this page (the most satisfying colour for an Edge in my view) for £545, adaptive cruise control with pre-collision assist for £500 and a front wide-view camera and active park assist for £150 each.
Engine size 1997cc
Top speed 124mph
0-62mph 9.9 seconds
Fuel economy 47.9mpg combined
CO2 emissions 152g/km
Towing capacity 2000kg (braked)
Euro NCAP not tested
Information correct at publication date