Class: Midsize Crossover
Miles Driven: 368
Fuel Used: 18.7
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||B+|
|Power and Performance||A-|
|Fit and Finish||B+|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||335-hp 2.7L|
|Engine Type||Turbocharged V6|
|Drive Wheels||All-wheel drive|
Real-world fuel economy: 19.7
Driving mix: 60% city, 40% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 19/26/21 (city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Premium gasoline recommended
Base price: $42,355 (not including $995 destination charge)
Options on test car: Equipment Group 401A ($5585), Cold Weather Package ($495)
Price as tested: $49,435
The great: Plenty of power, fun to drive for a roomy crossover
The good: No less functional than “conventional” Ford Edge, reasonable fuel economy
The not so good: Occasionally pronounced transmission shifts, ride may prove too firm for some drivers
If Ford is serious about its much-discussed shift of focus (no pun intended) to being primarily a producer of trucks and SUVS, it stands to reason that some of the useful qualities of the cars it is leaving behind will have to be preserved one way or another. Maybe that’s the reason for the ST model that joins the Edge midsize crossover sport-utility family.
It’s a good bet that some folks living in Dearborn’s brave, new world will want a vehicle with vibrant performance but with room for five people and, occasionally, their luggage—a sport sedan, if such things were still being made. Apparently the 2019 freshening of the Edge was the right time for the tuners at Ford Performance to anticipate that desire with more power and a sport suspension—plus tire and brake options to raise the bar for those who crave even more capability.
The full Edge lineup gets updated styling front and rear and a redesigned center console with a rotary shift dial for the new 8-speed automatic transmission. The base 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and the ST’s 2.7-liter V6 return with power increases, while a previously optional 3.5-liter V6 is dropped. There’s some new feature availability, and a suite of safety technologies consisting of automatic emergency braking, blind-spot alert, cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beam headlights is now standard.
Edge ST is a replacement for the former Sport model, and holds the same place atop the model-line price hierarchy, now with a starting tab of $43,350 including delivery. Even without reading the red “ST” badges you’ll know one when you see one. It rides on standard 20-inch alloy wheels with black spoke pockets (gloss-black 21-inchers are available), and displays a gloss-black mesh-surface grille, black beltline molding, body-color lower-body cladding, and trapezoidal dual exhaust tips finished in polished stainless steel. Interior specifics include seats clad in leather and “Miko” suede fabric, a perforated-leather steering-wheel wrap, aluminum pedal faces, unique carpeted floor mats, and Ford Performance-branded door scuff plates.
The ST’s “EcoBoost” twin-turbocharger V6 generates 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, increases of 20 ponies and 30 lb-ft. Response to accelerator inputs is fast-acting and long-lasting, either from a standstill or out on the highway when you’ve already got up a head of steam. It happens fairly quietly, too, so it may be a little harder to remember this is the muscle model in the group. A button on the face of the transmission selector dial activates “Sport” mode for more-aggressive shift patterns and throttle response accompanied by a more-exuberant exhaust note.
The new transmission performs well with this engine, but with a palpable kick at times—though it seemed to this driver that abrupt shifts lessened as the trans adapted its “thinking” to match driving behavior. Drivers do have manual-shift capability via steering-wheel paddles. The EPA rates the ST powerteam at 19 mpg in city driving, 26 in highway operation, and 21 combined. This reviewer recorded 20.2 mpg after a test run of 281 miles that included 54 percent city-style motoring. Note that a stop/start function is included as a fuel-saving measure.
Ride is firm and some bumps register pretty forcefully in the cabin. Nicely weighted steering and a lower center of gravity than other Edge models impart a good sense of control. STs come standard with an AWD-disconnect feature that decouples the rear axle from the driveline when demand for traction is reduced. Standard brakes act quickly and decisively.
Added side bolstering built into the ST’s front seats gives occupants a cozy hug that they’ll appreciate in hard cornering, and the fabric inserts also help keep them in place. Seats offer good support, and the front buckets are heated and power adjustable. (Cooled front seats and heated rears were included in a $5585 equipment group added to CG’s test truck.) There’s plenty of legroom in both rows and generous headroom, even under the optional panoramic moonroof. With only a minimal driveline hump running through the floor, it’s possible for a third adult to fit into the back seat. Doors open wide for easy entries and exits.
Door tops and the dash are padded, and soft-surface material covers the door centers and armrests. “City silver” contrast stitching perked up the test vehicle’s Ebony interior. Driving controls continue to feature a speedometer flanked by colorful multifunction displays that appear in rectangular windows on either side of the central dial. Thumb buttons on the steering wheel allow drivers to scroll through the displays. The SYNC3 infotainment system—optioned with voice-activated navigation in the example CG drove—is commendably easy to set up and use. External controls for the audio and dual-zone climate systems share a large panel below the 8-inch touchscreen. A bar with repetitive-push buttons for temperature and fan speed settings runs along the bottom of this panel. It sure looks like there’s enough room for dials that would be more convenient to use than these buttons.
With the move to the rotary transmission selector, the console has been reconfigured somewhat. There’s still a deep console box, and it has a hinged upper tray to keep smaller objects close at hand. Twin cup holders and a covered hatch for USB ports and the optional wireless phone charger are also included. A triangular open area exists behind the USB/charger hatch. There are pockets in all four doors, pouches on the backs of the front seats, and additional cup holders in the rear center armrest.
Substantial, easy-loading cargo room turns vast when the 60/40-split rear seats are retracted. They fold flush with the load floor. There are a couple of open sidewall bins for incidentals, and additional small-item space in foam organizers fitted around the spare tire under the load floor. A hands-free power liftgate is available for the ST.
The current-generation Edge has been roomy and comfortable from the get-go. Now, with the ST, it can really get up and go.