The nice people at Ford UK wanted me to drive the new Ford Edge so badly that they sent me all the way to Edinburgh. This included a first class train which was amazing. Once I arrived north of the border, they gave me the keys to a brand new Ford Edge Sport and was promptly asked to make my way to the Roxburghe Hotel and Golf course which is located in the stunning countryside near Kelso, putting us on the very Edge of the England/Scotland border.
Once I’d driven through the stunning Scottish countryside we were sent ‘soft-roading’ in the Edge which allowed us to explore more of the 50,000 acres that makes up the Roxburghe estate, all whilst enjoying the stunning views, the ‘soft roading’ gave me a taste of the Edge’s off-road ability while attempting to avoid the estate’s animal population who seemed to be very interested in the Edge, once we safely returned to the hotel Ford hosted us all for the evening which was great fun. The next day Ford gave me more seat time in the Edge with a visit to the regal Floors castle before sending us all on a final drive to return to Edinburgh through yet more stunning Scottish countryside.
Ford has had a massive sales success with its Ecosport and Kuga models here in the UK, with the release of the Ford Edge the car-maker is now aiming squarely at the higher echelons of the SUV market, essentially the Edge is aimed directly at the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3 market sector, which is a high aim indeed. Ford confirmed that they expect 50% of Edge sales will be top of the range Sport models, with an estimated 60% opting for the bi-turbo engine and the dual-clutch auto ’box ahead of the slightly lesser powered manual six-speed version.
Exterior Design & Style
I arrived at the magnificent Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh to be greeted by the Ford Edge Sport model, the first thing that strikes you is the size of the thing, it’s as bigger than some of the flats I’ve lived in, basically, it’s absolutely massive! The Edge is a shade over 4.8 meters long and almost 2.2 meters wide which puts it firmly in the mid-size SUV sector. To put this size into context, the Edge is a shade longer than a Volkswagen Touareg.
When your first lay eyes on the Edge and once you’ve got your head around the sheer size of the thing, you can see that the Edge is indeed a very handsome looking car, the front of the Edge has a huge potent looking grille with swept back front lights, this design ethos continues at the rear of the car with a deep rear valance and a LED one-piece rear light cluster running the full width of the rear.
The Edge Sport model is finished with the enlarged from grille in black which is accented stylishly by chrome accents surrounds for the fog lamps, this also finishes the rear of the car in a show of its sporting intent with large chrome surrounds for the twin exhaust pipes.
The exterior of the Edge Sport is finished with rear privacy glass and huge 20’ inch black alloy wheels, all of these details combined go some way to making the Edge a handsome looking car indeed, the Sport trim merely builds upon these looks by giving the car an overall sporty look coupled with a touch of aggression in the styling, overall, great job Ford!
Interior & Equipment
The sheer amount of space inside the Edge should never be an issue for any Edge owner because there is simply masses of it, here the Edge outstrips its German rivals the Q5 and the X3. The main reason for all of this space is that The Edge shares the Ford S-Max’s ‘C/D class’ platform which is used in a number of cars across the Ford range.
The interior is a genuinely nice place to be, cabin and boot space are also greater than its Germanic rivals, the cabin features smartly placed and practical cubby-holes for anything you could think of taking on a car journey.
There are masses of space both front and rear, the front is very well set-up and it’s the simplest of tasks to get comfortable, this theme continues in the rear seats where there is ample space for full sized adults with a large amount of leg-room.
Overall the interior of the Edge is well organised and finished, everything the driver needs is within easy reach and easy to use, the interior materials are of strong quality, this and the fit and finish are perhaps not as premium when compared directly to the Edge’s German rivals, overall though it’s a premium Ford and they have done a top job here.
The Edge features a very strong level of interior equipment as standard, including such useful items as, front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera, handsfree power tailgate and keyfree system, active city stop with pedestrian detection, automatic front windscreen wipers and headlamps amongst a thoroughly extensive list of standard kit.
The optional extras list is sensibly priced and well thought out, when you consider the cost of a panoramic roof in one of the Edge’s German rivals, the choice of the ‘Lux Pack’ for a total cost of £2,000 is very competitive indeed. Also, Ford will allow you to select some of the extra’s available in this pack individually should you wish to, this is a refreshing change from other car-makers who force you to chose a pack in order to spec certain items.
Performance, Handling and Driving
The Edge weighs in at near enough two-tonnes which is not unreasonable given its size, the UK spec models come with a 2.0-litre diesel engine and four-wheel drive. The two variations available are a choice between a six-speed manual and six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearboxes. I was able to briefly drive the auto-boxed 207bhp bi-turbo Edge, however, a majority of my seat time was spent in the single-turbo 177bhp manual version.
On the open road, the 177bhp engine rewards you if you work it hard through the gear ratios; the max torque of 400NM is available low in the rev-range making progress feel swift and smooth. Whilst the 0-60 time of 9.9 seconds is not exactly quick, for a car of this type it’s more than quick enough. The gearbox is slick with precise changes and the steering whilst lacking feeling is direct and precise enough for day to day driving.
The diesel engine is a little gruff sounding but for the most-part, you can hardly hear it due to Ford’s rather clever active noise-cancelling feature, this produces opposing sound waves from the speakers, in order to suppress outside noise. This feature does a good job of silencing the outside world meaning that at normal cruising speeds or in city traffic you barely notice the engine at all.
Now the Edge even in Sport trim is not meant to be a sports car, however, whilst covering many miles through the Scottish countryside I can confirm that the Edge is actually a fun car to drive, yes, of course it has body roll, but it’s a big tall SUV so that is expected. During my drive it quickly became apparent that the Edge is easy to drive and feels for the most part planted and agile during cornering, it’s never going to be as good as a hot hatch on ‘B’ roads, but around the roads of Scotland the Edge was both rewarding and dynamic to drive.
Now the choice between the automatic and manual gearbox versions of the Edge, whilst my time in the automatic version was brief, when pitting this against the excellent manual version I can only advise it’s down to whether you prefer to change gear or not, if you want to enjoy a slight increase in the power output then the automatic is advised, however, the two versions are very closely matched so it simply comes down to personal preference.
The Edge Sport’s ride is for the most part quiet and comfortable, when riding over the UK’s traditional terrible road surfaces it can let in a small amount of vibration around the cabin, larger potholes and such road surface nightmares as drain covers can cause a hint of thudding, overall this is never uncomfortable and is what you would expect for a car of this size when being driven on the UK’s lesser quality roads.
Given that the Edge Sport is equipped with huge 20’ inch wheels and sports suspension it does a good job of absorbing the road’s imperfections, at higher speeds this is improved somewhat as the set-up comes into its own with its ability to filter out the road’s imperfections.
During our jaunt around Edinburgh we undertook a session of ‘soft-roading’, now given for the wheel size and the sports tuned suspension I was worried that it could be an uncomfortable ride. Thankfully though the Edge performed strongly here, it felt composed and refused to bang and crash its way through the course, instead the excellent four-wheel drive system sorted everything out and allowed us to make reasonably quick and somewhat comfortable progress through the Scottish countryside.
On the road as I previously said, the Edge is a fun car to drive, whilst this is not what the buying public looks for in a car of this type it is an added bonus. During cornering you do feel the weight and body roll as you would expect, however, the Edge belies it weight and size by remaining an easy car to drive at a reasonable pace, the four-wheel drive system is excellent at keeping everything in check and constantly informs you of where the drive is being sent via a both useful and stylish dial located electronic read-out.
There is no doubt that by attempting to break the German SUV monopoly, Ford has given itself a hard task, in this aspect and they have succeeded, the Edge has a premium, practical interior, more space than you will ever need combined with distinctive and handsome styling.
The burning question is can the Edge pull buyers away from the likes of Audi and BMW? That will depend on the level your personal expenditure and your view of what makes a premium SUV. Ford’s recent campaign telling the car buying public need to unlearn what they know is a great example of what the Edge is all about, as in they have made a premium SUV that is expected to have strong residuals and low PCP payments compared to its nearest rivals whilst delivering a high-quality car.
The Ford Edge Sport as tested costing a total of £37,845, put this up against the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, a similar spec to include similar options such as the parking assistance, panoramic roof and other toys would cost you around £46k to £47.5k at least.
Overall Ford has done a great job with the Edge and the whole package combined with the excellent pricing which undercuts it’s similarly specced rivals means it’s a very strong contender in the mid-size luxury SUV sector which is definitely worthy of your consideration.
Ford Edge Sport 2.0 TDCI – 6 Speed Manual – OTR price £34,500 (as tested £37,845)
Max Power PS: 180
Torque Nm: 400
Max Speed MPH: 124
0-62 MPH (SECS): 9.9
Urban MPG: 43.5
Extra Urban MPG: 51.4
Combined MPG: 47.9
CO2 g/km: 152
20″ Black Alloy wheels
Unique front, rear and side sports bodystyling with dark exterior detailing
Adaptive Steering system
Front and Rear Parking sensors
Handsfree Power tailgate and Keyfree system
Black roof rails
Sony DAB Navigation system with 12 Speakers
SYNC 2 with Bluetooth and voice control, 8″ colour Touchscreen and Emergency Assistance
Rear View Camera
Illuminated Scuff plates
Acoustic side glass
Heated front sports seats
Keyless Start button
Active City Stop with Pedestrian detection
Automatic front windscreen wipers
Automatic headlights with Auto high/low beam
‘Quickclear’ heated front windscreen
Lane Keeping Aid
Traffic Sign recognition
Active noise control
Ford Easy Fuel – Capless refuelling with misfuel inhibitor
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
Thatcham Category 1 Alarm
Optional Equipment as tested:
Electric Spice (Premium paint) £545
Front Wide-View Camera £150
Active Park Assist with Parallel and Perpendicular parking £150
Adaptive Cruise Control with Pre-Collision-Assist £500
Lux Pack* – £2,000
*Featuring: Perforated Dinamica Seats, Variable Climate front seats, Heated rear seats, 10-Way Power Driver (with Memory) & 8-Way Power Passenger seat, Openable Panorama roof with sunshade (replaces roof rails), and Power (with memory) door mirrors.