Sleek, almost austere lines mark the latest version of the Ford Edge. New for the 2015 model year, it's unchanged in 2017, with a warmer interior than its sheet metal suggests.
We give it a 7 out of 10 for styling that's straightforward but cleanly rendered, inside and out. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The Edge doesn't reformat the modern crossover SUV, but it does recast it with better proportions and details than the first-generation Ford mid-sizer. The grille is big, the front end is rakish, and the side view is framed by big, sloping pillars. The upkick of the rear pillar is quite BMW-like, but the Edge has a slimmer profile than vehicles like the X5, and that gives it a lighter and more agile appearance. Sport models lose some of the high-gloss touches, to their benefit.
Inside, the Edge has a more spare feel than some rivals, but it's warmer and richer than in its own recent past, with a higher dash and soft-touch materials everywhere. Like a lot of today’s Ford models, the Edge feels quite austere, at a time when automakers known for stark cabins are brightening them.
The Edge also has brought back hard controls. It has more buttons on the center stack, buttons that were ditched in the last-generation vehicle when Ford grew too optimistic about the future of touch-sensitive screens. Now, there’s a big round knob that clearly and precisely affects sound-system volume; climate controls are clearly marked; and you can control the heated and cooled front seats in the Titanium with physical buttons.
Elsewhere, controls are simplified, with nice matte-black facing for the center console, and the Edge gets a version of the configurable gauge cluster—navigated through steering-wheel toggles—seen elsewhere in the Ford lineup. About the only thing we’d want different are more lighter-tone choices—and perhaps to banish the piano-black material that still appears in door pulls and cupholders, just where it would collect greasy fingerprints.
The Edge frames its crossover-SUV body in clean, almost austere lines.
The Edge has a trio of personalities, each of which matches its sleek, spare body well. Powertrains make all the difference here, but with each, the Edge handles about as well as a road-friendly crossover can.
We give the Edge a 7 out of 10, with extra points granted for good handling and for its power choices. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Base Edge crossovers get power from a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4. Rated at 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, this model can be fitted with front- or all-wheel drive, and can tow up to 3,500 pounds. Ford revamped this engine for the 2015 re-introduction of the Edge, and in this iteration the engine's smoother, with less turbo lag. Frequent downshifts from the 6-speed automatic aren't as necessary, and it can be run on 87-octane gas, though output drops to about 220 hp.
A 280-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 without turbocharging costs a bit more than the turbo-4, but some buyers might prefer it. It's a solid performer, a little shy on low-end twist, but stronger on passing power than the turbo-4.
On the Edge Sport, Ford swaps in the same 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 found in the F-150 lineup. With 315 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, this top-drawer engine has an interesting, off-cadence sound that hints at the performance to come. It isn't as strong at the lower revs as the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 in the three-row Ford Flex, but it’s punchier in the middle of the powerband.
All Edge engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic. The gearbox is a ratio or two shy of class leaders, but it performs very well, with quick, crisp downshifts, plus full control via steering-wheel paddle-shifters when you pull the shift lever back to the "S" step (you can click them for a temporary downshift in the normal "D" mode.)
The steering doesn’t have multi-mode settings; there’s just one calibration—except for Titanium and Edge Sport models, which offer adaptive steering that reduces effort at parking-lot speeds. At highway tempo, Edge Sport models have a noticeably heftier on-center feel and a little more weighting off-center.
The Edge's brakes can seem a little touchy at first, but they provide strong, reassuring stopping power.
The new Edge has a stiffer body structure than that of its predecessor, and so Ford has been able to spend more time getting the suspension tuning exactly where they’d like it to be, and with a new multi-link rear suspension geometry, the Edge has great body control and a precise feel on the road, without making ride quality overly hard or harsh. Overall it's quite sedan-like in how it precisely steers and tracks without fuss; there’s much more of an impression of the road and the forces as they build compared to the previous version—and compared to most other mid-size crossovers you might compare the Edge to.
Ride quality for the Edge lineup, in general, is rather firm but quiet and well-isolated. Sport models verge on stiff, with their monotube dampers and firmer tune, so we’d recommend that if you’re considering the Sport and live near potholes and choppy surfaces that you take a long test drive and decide for yourself. And if you choose a Sport, know that ride quality suffers as the wheel-and-tire packages move up in size.
Steering is quick and the Edge has a taut ride; Sport models have a powerful V-6 on tap.
The Edge splits Ford's mass-market crossover lineup down the middle. Not as tidy or compact as the Escape, it leaves the three-row duties to the Explorer. It's a tweener, sized more for four adults than for any combination of kids and car seats and cargo.
It earns a 7 for comfort and utility here, since it really can carry five people and their stuff in relative comfort. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Drivers and front passengers have the best seats in the Edge. It feels ideally suited to mature drivers, with its high seats and easy step-in. The seats themselves, whether base cloth or leather-clad Sport chairs, don't quite live up to the ample space that surround them. The lower cushions on base models are a bit short and skimpy on thigh support. The Sport's perforated-leather buckets have more lateral support, but the contouring doesn't feel much better.
There’ll be no complaints about a lack of places to put smaller items in the Edge, either. There are storage spaces seemingly everywhere. Just around the front seats, that includes a shallow but large latched bin atop the dash, a huge center console, a bin just ahead of the shifter, deeply carved-out door pockets, and a drawer ahead of the driver’s left knee.
In back, the Edge's space again is let down by flat, hard seats. The space is more than ample, but the split-fold bench could use more cushioning, especially if it's to be used for long road trips. The backrest can be leaned back, but comfort lags vehicles like the Nissan Murano, with its softly padded second-row seats. Ford's panoramic roof also robs a fair chunk of head room.
In the absence of clever cargo-stowage tricks, the Edge feels very much like a vehicle designed more for people than gear. Seat folding is very easy, though, and there’s now 73.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seatbacks folded or 39.2 cubic feet with the seats up in place—seven cubes more than before, thanks to some better packaging with the wheel wells.
The Edge has improved on the barren interior of the first-generation model. It has finer details and more high-rent soft-touch trim. it's quieter, too, especially in models with active noise cancellation. Titanium models are best: they get thicker side windows that damp out road noise.
We'd like the Edge better if its seats were more comfortable.
With rear-seat inflatable seat belts, additional cameras, and forward-collision warnings, the Ford Edge has the gear to be a good crash performer. There's room for improvement, though.
We give it an 7 out of 10 for safety, with points for its NHTSA performance and reasonably priced safety options. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The NHTSA gives the Edge a five-star overall rating, with only one four-star score in rollover resistance--common among SUVs.
The IIHS gives it Good scores in most tests, but the Edge is rated Acceptable in the small-overlap test, which simulates hitting a telephone pole. That, and a lack of full autonomous emergency braking, disqualifies it for the Top Safety Pick+ ranks.
That said, Ford has made an effort to step up active-safety offerings in the Edge. Lane-keep assist applies steering force to help keep the vehicle in its lane. It works quite well, thanks to a multi-mode intervention setting; and it can easily be shut off, allowing you so stick with warnings only, which are communicated via a steering-wheel vibration. You do have to keep your hands on the wheel, however.
All Edge crossovers include a rearview camera. Beyond that, even on the Sport and Titanium, desirable active-safety features are optional, not standard. That includes features such as a 180-degree front camera system with washer, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, and forward-collision warnings with brake support.
The Edge includes an active glove box knee airbag, which cushions the front passenger’s knees in an impact, as well as inflatable rear safety belts, which help reduce crash forces and reduce head, neck, and chest injuries. Our only beef with it is that those inflatable belts are optional.
The Edge isn't eligible for Top Safety Pick status yet, but the NHTSA scores it well.
|Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating:||(5/5)|
|Overall Side Crash Rating:||(5/5)|
|Overall Side Barrier Rating:||Not Rated|
|NHTSA Roll-over Resistance Rating:||(4/5)|
|Side Impact Test||Good|
|Roof Strength Test||Good|
|Rear Crash Protection/Head Restraint||Good|
|IIHS Small Overlap Front Test Results||Acceptable|
|IIHS Moderate Overlap Front Test Results||Good|
The Ford Edge tucks enough features into its five-seat body to span a lot of territory. Base models rival the less expensive utility vehicles from Hyundai and Honda, while lavishly equipped Edges have more features than pricey SUVs from Lexus.
We give it an 8 for features, awarding it points for good standard equipment and options, and for its Sync 3 infotainment system. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
We think Edge SE and SEL models are worth their price premium over vehicles like the CR-V and Santa Fe Sport. The Edge SE starts at just under $30,000 and comes with power features, climate and cruise control, a rearview camera tilt/telescope steering, cloth upholstery, and AM/FM/CD audio with Bluetooth audio streaming. Options include rear-seat inflatable seat belts and cargo covers.
The SEL adds dual-zone climate control, power front seats, satellite radio, rear parking sensors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and heated mirrors. Options include Sync 3, navigation, heated seats, blind-spot monitors, and premium audio.
Titanium models add a 12-speaker Sony audio system with HD Radio, ambient lighting, heated front seats, and a hands-free tailgate system. Options include a panoramic roof, 180-degree front camera with washer, leather seats, ventilated front seats, remote start, heated rear seats, second-row inflatable seatbelts, and a clever Active Park Assist feature that will steer the car into the space (even perpendicular spots) when you manage the accelerator and brake. Adaptive cruise control with forward-collision warnings and automatic braking are packaged together as a stand-alone option.
At nearly $42,000, Sport models receive adaptive steering, as well as all-wheel drive and styling cues to set it apart from other trims. The Sport is the only model in the lineup to include the 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V-6, as well as a host of other performance-oriented upgrades—as well as the blacked-out look.
If you load up an Edge, pricing for the top Titanium model edges well past $45,000, and the Edge Sport can approach $50,000. That puts the Ford within range of carefully equipped versions of the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Lexus RX.
Ford's latest Sync 3 infotainment system is a major improvement over past MyFord Touch systems. With a true capacitive screen interface, streamlined menu system, and easier upgrades, it's simpler to operate, clearer to interpret, and more capable at recognizing voice commands.
Ford ladles on features in the Edge Titanium, where prices soar past $45,000.
Ford sells a choice of 4- and 6-cylinder engines in the Edge, with turbocharging applied to the base and top-drawer powerplants. Fuel economy hasn't increased as much as it could, given those engines' smaller displacements, but it's still improved over the previous generation.
We give the Edge a 6 on our green scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
A turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 engine powers base Edge crossovers in 2017. The EPA rates it at 20 mpg city, 29 highway, 24 combined in front-wheel-drive form. Adding all-wheel drive nudge the ratings lower, to 20/27/23 mpg.
For a small price increase, Edge buyers can choose a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6. It's scored by the EPA at 17/26/20 mpg, when configured with front-wheel drive.
A 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 sits at the top of the engine lineup. Available only with all-wheel drive, it's rated at 17/24/19 mpg.
The all-wheel-drive system in the Edge is configured to spin its driveshaft to the rear all the time, and the system adds some significant weight. That's why models with AWD see their numbers drop by up to 2 mpg combined versus front-wheel-drive models.
The Edge posts good fuel economy figures, though all-wheel drive is a bigger drain.