Car group tests

Ford Edge vs Mazda CX-5

We find out if the new Ford Edge has what it takes to top the SUV class as it meets the Mazda CX-5

Even though Ford is a staple at the top of the UK sales charts, it’s currently undergoing a revamp to maintain its appeal to new car buyers. The ‘Unlearn’ ad campaign aims to change the way people perceive the brand, while models such as the latest Mondeo, Mustang and EcoSport are being sold worldwide to boost the firm’s profile as well as margins.

• Best 4x4s and SUVs on sale right now

Another global Ford is the Edge SUV. While the Edge name plate is a familiar one in the US, the large crossover is now being sold in Europe, and it slots into the range above the existing Kuga. The Edge is based on the same running gear as the Mondeo and S-MAX/Galaxy duo, so it should be spacious and comfortable, while a price range of £30,000 to £36,750 pitches it at the higher end of the SUV sector.

For this first test we’ve lined up a rival that should provide a stern challenge to the Edge’s family-friendly credentials, as well as its driving ability. The Mazda CX-5 is a firm favourite here at Auto Express, and the top-spec Sport Nav model with 173bhp diesel power is a well equipped and enjoyable car to drive. Does the Edge have the edge, or is it a step too far for the newcomer to win?

Head-to-head

Practicality

The Edge has a 99-litre boot capacity advantage over the CX-5, with 602 litres on offer. The seats in both cars fold from within the boot, and the Mazda has a 40:20:40 configuration. Where the Edge pulls ahead is for rear passenger space, as there’s far more legroom and shoulder space to fit three adults across the back seat. 

Off-road modes

The permanent four-wheel-drive system in the Edge is entirely controlled by the car’s electronics, although there are no extras such as hill descent control. Still, you get a display on the dash that shows how power is being distributed between front and rear wheels.

Edge range

While the Zetec model is a match for the top-spec CX-5 on price, the higher grades are aimed at tempting buyers from premium brands such as Audi and Mercedes. Considered from this angle, the £34,500 Sport model looks pretty good value. 

Verdict

First place: Ford Edge

Ford’s latest models have received mixed results in recent tests, but we’re happy to confirm that the Edge is a welcome addition to the range. What really helps it stand out is its spacious near-MPV- sized interior, while the quiet and refined driving experience puts some limos to shame. Running costs are high for company users, but private buyers get a lot of car for their money.

Second place: Mazda CX-5

There’s no shame in the CX-5 coming second in this test, because its sharp handling, cleaner emissions and long standard kit list mean it’s still one of the class leaders. But the smaller overall dimensions ensure it’s not quite as practical as family transport, and the Sport Nav’s firm ride lets it down. If you must have a Mazda, go for the front-drive SE L and save a packet.

Other options in this category... 

Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDi KX-2

Kia Sorento front

Price: £32,000Engine: 2.2-litre 4cyl, 197bhp

The largest 4x4 in Kia’s range is also pretty versatile, thanks to its seven-seat layout and big boot. It costs a bit more than the entry-level Edge, but the Sorento has sat-nav, part-leather and self-levelling suspension for towing. High emissions count against it as a company car.

Audi Q5 2.0 TDI quattro SE

Mercedes GLC vs BMW X3 vs Audi Q5 - Audi front tracking

Price: £32,580Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl, 148bhp

Ford wants the Edge to be attractive to buyers of entry-level premium crossovers. While the Q5 is getting on a bit, the base SE model still has kit such as heated leather seats and rear parking sensors. All of this continues to make it an attractive proposition.

Figures

 Ford Edge 2.0 TDCi 180 Zetec AWDMazda CX-5 2.2D 175 Sport Nav AWD
On the road price/total as tested£29,995/£37,845£29,795/£29,795
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)£14,518/48.4%£13,378/44.9%
Depreciation£15,477£16,417
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£1,728/£3,456£1,599/£3,198
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£1,648/£2,747£1,648/£2,747
Insurance group/road tax band/cost25/F/£14521/E/£130
Servicing costs£467 (2yrs)£711 (3yrs)
   
Length/wheelbase4,808/2,849mm4,555/2,700mm
Height/width1,692/1,928mm1,710/1,840mm
Engine4cyl in-line/1,997cc4cyl in-line/2,191cc
Peak power/revs178/3,500 bhp/rpm173/4,500 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs400/2,000 Nm/rpm420/2,000 Nm/rpm
Transmission6-spd man/4WD6-spd man/4WD
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel69 litres/space saver58 litres/repair kit
Boot capacity (seats up/down)602/1,847 litres503/1,620 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,913/592/2,000kg1,628/497/2,000kg
Turning circle11.9 metres11.7 metres
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (60,000)/1yr3yrs (60,000)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers18,000 miles (1yr)/78112,500 miles (1yr)/154
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos27th/27th9th/19th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./starsN/A94/87/64/5
   
0-60/30-70mph10.1/10.0 secs9.5/9.5 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th4.3/6.8 secs3.6/4.5 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th9.2/13.4 secs7.0/8.4 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph124mph/2,000rpm127mph/2,000rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph56.4/38.5/9.5m50.6/36.9/9.3m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph66/47/58/65dB69/43/58/70dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range36.9/8.2/560 miles36.9/8.2/471 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined44.1/52.3/48.7mpg44.1/57.6/51.4mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined9.7/11.5/10.7mpl9.7/12.7/11.3mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket205/149g/km/29%205/136g/km/27%
   
Airbags/Isofix/park assist/cameraSix/yes/£600/yesSix/yes/no/yes
Auto box/stability/adaptive cruise ctrl£2,250/yes/no£1,200/yes/no
Climate control/leather/heated seatsYes/no/noYes/yes/yes
Metallic paint/headlights/keyless go£545/halogen/yes£500/LED/yes
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/Bluetooth£300/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes/yes

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