The Ford Edge is a worthy rival in its segment, but faces tough competition from all sides. A disappointing six-speed automatic gearbox is standard on all models, letting down good engines. A flagship 2.7-liter turbo V6 is in the range-topping Sport specification, with a smaller 2.0-liter turbo four on the smaller side, and a larger 3.5-liter six cylinder on the other. SEL trim offers the best bang for your buck with dual-zone climate, powered front seats, and rear park sensors. Available safety features include blind spot monitoring and cross traffic alert.
There’s certainly a lot to like about the Ford Edge – but we wouldn’t go as far to say it’s the top vehicle in this segment.
There’s certainly a lot to like about the Ford Edge – but we wouldn’t go as far to say it’s the top vehicle in this segment.
In quite a few ways, the Ford Edge appears to be quite an appealing ownership prospect. For those looking for a vast and spacious five-seater SUV that’s comfortable, refined and fairly well equipped, the Ford Edge should certainly be a vehicle that’s worth considering. However, it’s not like the Ford Edge is the only offering in this segment with such attributes to its name. Chief rivals like the Nissan Murano, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and Honda Pilot are equally versatile vehicles, and can in some instances beat the Ford Edge in areas such as outright practicality and value for money. As a result, whilst we certainly reckon the Ford Edge is a very good all-rounder, it would be rather dishonest of us to claim it to be head-and-shoulders over other SUVs at the price point.
The Ford Edge is amongst one of the more spacious vehicles in this segment.
If you’re after an SUV with loads of space, then the Ford Edge will likely be rather high up on your sports utility vehicle shopping list. With dimensions that aren’t too far off higher-end off-roaders like the Land Rover Range Rover Sport, the Ford Edge is amongst one of the more spacious vehicles in this segment, with lots of overall head and leg room, decently-broad chairs in the back row and (bar the slightly narrow door bins) lots of sizeable storage cubbies. However, it’s the trunk that we feel is the big selling point. Admittedly, the sloping rear window does compromise the overall space a tad, but the overall capacity of 39.2 cubic feet places the Ford Edge fairly high up in the mid-sized SUV pecking order (for instance, the Nissan Murano is only marginally more spacious, and the pricier Jeep Grand Cherokee trails behind relatively-speaking with its 36.3 cubic feet capacity). Better still, the overall shape is rather boxy (not including the raked rear window), and the trunk lip is almost completely flush with the floor of the load area. Plus, the 60:40 split-folding rear seat backs can be flipped forward to extend the load bay even further to 73.4 cubic feet – though it’s worth pointing out that the seat backs don’t fold away completely flat.
The build quality itself is to a good standard, and many of the tactile surfaces are clad in leathers or soft-touch plastics.
It’s also worth highlighting that the Ford Edge isn’t available in a seven-seater configuration. For sure, a lot of cars in this class are strictly five-seaters as well (namely the aforementioned Nissan Murano and Jeep Grand Cherokee) and it meant Ford could make the Edge a spacious five-seater, but those looking for a mid-sized SUV with greater seating capacity will be far better off with something like a Toyota Highlander or a Honda Pilot. The premium feel is also an area that could be improved upon in the Ford Edge. Though the build quality itself is to a good standard, and many of the tactile surfaces are clad in leathers or soft-touch plastics, the cabin and control design doesn’t quite match what’s available in rivals such as the Kia Sorento. Plus, lower specification cars come as standard with Ford’s very antiquated ‘Sync 2’ infotainment system, which is sluggish to respond to inputs, isn’t particularly intuitive and feels out of place in a car with a $28,000 base sticker price. Still, at least the rest of the controls are to a more agreeable standard, with the widely-spaced buttons on the center console being easy to operate. Basically, touchscreen system aside, there’s little else we find wrong with the Ford Edge ergonomics-wise.
Comfort is taken extremely seriously in the Ford Edge, with the suppleness of the ride and the impressive levels of noise insulation.
Nowadays, it seems Ford’s passenger cars adopt one of two ‘personalities’ when it comes to the way they drive. On the one hand, you have the likes of the Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus hatchbacks that are widely praised for being fun to drive; on the other, there are vehicles like the Ford Fusion sedan that have adopted a more comfort-oriented approach. As revealed in the sub-heading of this review section, the Ford Edge does sit in the latter category – if albeit with some slight ties to the Fiesta and Focus in places. For instance, comfort is taken extremely seriously in the Ford Edge, with the suppleness of the ride and the impressive levels of noise insulation resulting in a five-seater SUV that feels right at home as a mile muncher on longer journeys. There is, though, a brief hint of the handling qualities that are more obviously present in Ford’s smaller hatchbacks, with the surprisingly well-contained-by-SUV-standards body lean when cornering perhaps being the most obvious example of this. Likewise, overall traction and grip levels are pretty good too.
The thick front and rear pillars do generate quite a few noteworthy blind spots.
However, that’s where the fun-side of the Ford Edge starts to wane away a bit. Though there’s little to find fault with when it comes to the car’s road-holding ability, the Ford Edge does let that area slide a bit as a result of the slightly vague and imprecise steering, which makes it a bit tricky at times to confidently place the vehicle where you want it on the road. The chunky pillars are also worth highlighting as one of the Ford Edge’s less appealing traits. Whilst they don’t compromise the view out directly ahead (which, thanks to the large windshield and raised driving position, is actually pretty decent), the thick front and rear pillars do generate quite a few noteworthy blind spots, which can make pulling out of junctions or changing lanes on the highway a more complicated procedure.
Though we wouldn’t go as far to say it’s an awful gearbox, the sole six-speed automatic that’s available in the Ford Edge.
Normally, we’d discuss the engines that are available first, before going into detail on the transmission options. After all, in many cases, the transmissions in modern cars don’t really have issues worth writing home about, so it’s more worthwhile for us to highlight the pros and cons of the powerplants on offer. With the Ford Edge, though, things are a bit different, as we’re not huge fans of the transmission. Though we wouldn’t go as far to say it’s an awful gearbox, the sole six-speed automatic that’s available in the Ford Edge range does leave a fair bit to be desired. Pretty much all of those complaints focus on how unresponsive the transmission is in comparison with similar systems in rival cars. The gear changes, whilst smooth, aren’t exactly the fastest by class standards, and having ‘just’ six forward speeds is a tad unusual considering cars of this type are now adopting automatics with seven-speeds. Worse still, the transmission takes a while before deciding which gear to be in when you leave the gearbox to its own devices. For example, when you’re cruising along the highway and apply more pressure on the gas pedal in an overtaking move, it can take a while before the transmission selects the most appropriate gear for the job at hand. Considering many rival cars with automatics don’t really suffer much from this issue, it’s a genuinely disappointing drawback for the Ford Edge to be associated with.
If economy’s a main priority, then the 2.0-liter’s definitely the way to go.
Thankfully, the engines fare noticeably better under scrutiny. If money were no object, the 2.7-liter turbocharged six-cylinder gasoline engine that’s available in the flagship ‘Sport’ specification would certainly be our pick of the range, considering its impressive flexibility, smooth operation and decent economy figures (17mpg in the city; 24mpg on the highway) make it perhaps the best all-rounder engine available in the Ford Edge. As you’ll need to spend just over $40,000 just to have that engine in a Ford Edge, however, we can’t really recommend it for most buyers – thus leaving the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and 3.5-liter six-cylinder gasoline engines as the units a majority of prospective Ford Edge owners will have to mull over. If economy’s a main priority, then the 2.0-liter’s definitely the way to go: the most efficient front-wheel drive models can return good-by-class-standards 20mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway (adding all-wheel drive reduces the highway economy by two mpg), which contrasts mightily with the 18mpg and 26mpg stats associated with the most frugal 3.5-liter version. However, there’s not a huge amount to differentiate the two engines in terms of outputs: though the 275 lb-ft 2.0-liter has a bit more pulling power than the 250 lb-ft 3.5-liter, the larger engine does beat the 245-hp turbo motor in the horsepower sweepstakes by 35-hp or so. It’s also worth pointing out that, on the SEL and Titanium trims, specifying the 3.5-liter only adds another $625 to the sticker price – meaning, if fuel economy isn’t a huge concern for you, the larger and mildly brawnier engine may indeed be worth considering.
Admittedly, the base Ford Edge does have a decent amount of equipment.
On paper, Ford’s provided quite a few different trim levels across a fairly broad price spectrum in the Edge range. Starting at $28,950 with the entry-level SE; topping out at $40,400 for the flagship Sport, and SEL and Titanium coming in at $31,790 and $35,600 respectively, there’s no denying the various spec packages are fairly comprehensive. However, we’re more inclined to suggest you stick to either the SEL and Titanium trim level, as they offer pretty much everything a Ford Edge buyer – and especially the type of client who can’t justify spending $40,400 on the top-spec Sport spec. Admittedly, the base Ford Edge does have a decent amount of equipment for the money, with the more headline-grabbing items being climate control, a reversing camera, cruise control, hill start assist and a whole range of airbags (including one for the driver’s knees). However, a lot of those are expected from a car at this price range, which is why we feel the SEL spec – which adds, among other items, dual-zone climate control, power adjustment for the front seats, satellite radio and rear parking sensors – is more worthy of your consideration. Factor in the gear included in the optional $2,910 Equipment Group (leather upholstery, heated front seats, eight-inch touchscreen with Ford’s very good Sync 3 infotainment system) and the $1,495 Technology Package (blind-spot monitoring and a cross traffic alert system that warns you if it detects oncoming obstacles if you’re, for example, reversing out of a parking spot), and you’ll have all the gear you’ll really need in a Ford Edge.
Safety-wise, the Ford Edge has a pretty impressive rating, thanks to the relative abundance of safety equipment.
Of course, adding such extras does put the SEL-spec Ford Edge into Titanium pricing territory that has many of those aforementioned options as standard, but – as features like the blind spot monitoring system are still optional on Titanium-spec cars – we feel that add-on template will do buyers of the SEL-trimmed Ford Edge fine. Even though, it must be said, similarly-equipped offerings from rival car makers can be had for noticeably less money (for instance, a Hyundai Santa Fe is just as well specified as a Titanium-trimmed Ford Edge, yet nearly $1,000 cheaper to buy). Safety-wise, the Ford Edge has a pretty impressive rating, thanks to the relative abundance of safety equipment and the five-star score in its most recent crash test. Reliability should also be good, if perhaps not as exemplary as the safety record: the current reliability data, on top of the three-years/36,000-miles bumper-to-bumper and five-years/60,000-miles powertrain warranties, are about above average for the class.