Ford Edge (2016-2019) review - Engines, performance and drive
Diesel engines are smooth and refined but not fast, while handling errs on the side of comfort
Ford makes it clear that the Edge is targeted at premium buyers, and the driving experience reflects that. It goes about its business in a relaxed and refined manner, but there’s little of the involvement you would find in a BMW X3.
The Edge is one of the largest mainstream SUVs on the market, and you really feel that on tight country lanes or in town. With a width of nearly 2.2-metres including mirrors it’s difficult to thread through traffic, and visibility isn’t great either.
Titanium and Vignale models get a more comfort-biased suspension setup than ST-Line models, which receive firmer springs, bigger wheels and an adaptive steering system. The ride on the former is impressively smooth and soft around town, absorbing potholes and ruts with ease.
ST-Line brings a noticeably firmer ‘edge’ to the ride around town as the 20-inch alloys pick up bigger imperfections, but it's no worse than an S-Line Audi Q5. ST-Line and Vignale versions of the Edge are competent enough off-road thanks to the four-wheel drive system and decent ground clearance.
The downside to the Edge’s chassis is found in the bends. Models without sports suspension can pitch and wallow when you up the pace, and the remote, elastic feel to the steering means you never really get the impression you’re part of the driving experience. A number of rivals are better in this regard - and even the ST-Line model doesn't feel particularly sporty.
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ST-Line versions get a variable ratio steering system that reduces the amount of steering input needed at slow speeds and when parking, but then is supposed to make the Ford Edge more stable at high speeds. It does aid low speed manoeuvres to an extent, but even in the weightier Sport mode it feels much the same as the standard rack at higher speed. It’s an option on lesser models, and not one we’d bother with. Body control is improved a bit thanks to the stiffer springs, but it’s a long way from offering the sharpness of a Mazda CX-5 or BMW X3.
Ford has added its Active Noise Control system from the Mondeo Vignale to the Edge. It uses sound waves to cancel out the frequency of road noise and diesel clatter, and seems to work well. It’s standard across the range, too, and helps the Edge to be one of the quietest and most refined cars in any class - when we tested the Edge, we recorded an interior noise figure at 70mph that was on a par with the Bentley Bentayga.
The Edge is also sold in the US, and over there you can choose from a range of four and six-cylinder petrol engines. Ford has decided that none of those engines are appropriate for Europe, and the diesel range was updated in 2018.
All cars get Ford's latest 2.0 EcoBlue four-cylinder diesel, and there are two versions, 150PS and 238PS with 148bhp and 235bhp respectively.
Performance is more adequate than urgent. In the 148bhp model, 0-62mph takes 11.2 seconds, which isn't that impressive and largely down to the response of the standard-fit auto gearbox. It takes a while to build up speed, and overtaking means kicking down a few gears. For cruising and family use it’s reasonable, but keen drivers should look elsewhere.
The more powerful diesel isn’t much quicker on paper, thanks to the addition of the heavy four-wheel-drive system. It manages 0-62mph in 9.6 seconds. It feels a bit more punchy in gear, but progress is hampered by the slightly lethargic six-speed automatic gearbox. BMW or Audi’s dual-clutch systems are much more responsive, and it all adds up to performance that never really matches the ST-Line's sporty pretentions. Still, the payoff is a decent level of refinement and smooth changes when you’re not in the mood, which is in-keeping with the Vignale model's upmarket aspirations.
In this review
- 1Ford Edge (2016-2019) reviewThe Ford Edge has plenty of space and technology, but it's only a five-seater
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingDiesel engines are smooth and refined but not fast, while handling errs on the side of comfort
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsFour-wheel drive hampers outright efficiency, so we'd pick the less powerful front-wheel-drive diesel
- 4Interior, design and technologyDash design is shared with other Ford models, but the Edge is comfortable, there's plenty of kit and decent levels of safety tech
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceAlthough it's five-seat only, the big Edge offers plenty of space for five and one of the biggest boots in its class
- 6Reliability and SafetyFord scores poorly in Driver Power survey, but plenty of safety kit will appeal to family buyers