A great refresh for the Edge, paired with a drivetrain that finally makes sense out of the Sport trim’s name.
Review and photos by Tom Sedens
Click on any picture to see a larger version.
Pricing: 2016 Ford Edge
Base price (Sport trim): $46,099
Options: $450 Bronze Fire paint; $4500 Equipment Group 401A; $2000 Canadian Touring package (sunroof, navigation); $1500 adaptive cruise and collision warning; $950 21-inch wheels
A/C tax: $100
Price as tested: $57,289
Ford claims that the Edge is “aggressively styled”. I’d say that’s a bit overdone. In my opinion, the new Edge continues to soldier on as an understated but handsome design. It’s not aggressive, but it certainly looks good in a clean, inoffensive way. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. I liked it, but I didn’t love it.
What I did love was my car’s color – a beautiful but hard to describe Bronze Fire, which looked amazing at dawn. The Sport trim gets a special treatment of the HID headlight pods as well as a piano black grille and body-coloured fascia up front. The rear end also gets a Sport-specific body-coloured lower fascia and the tail lights are LEDs. Oh, and my review vehicle’s optional 21-inch wheels looked stunning, and came wrapped with humongous 265/40-sized boots. I like the integrated trapezoidal exhaust outlets – they look clean and like they mean business.
Inside, the Edge’s materials are decent but not world-class. Even though the upper part of the cabin is clad in lighter-coloured fabric, the interior is a very dark place and would benefit from some more brightwork or two-tone treatment. I found it to be spacious, and head room is good.
Ahead of you is a heated steering wheel on a power-adjustable tilt/telescope steering column. The heated and cooled front seats – trimmed in leather with perforated suede inserts – are quite comfortable and reasonably bolstered, should you want to chuck this thing into corners.
Front and centre is the new SYNC 3 system – and it is totally awesome. It gets a clean and simple layout, a highly responsive 8-inch touch screen with swiping features and the fastest, most accurate voice recognition I’ve come across to date. And that 12-speaker Sony audio system is top notch. On a broader note, I have been very impressed with Ford’s Sony-branded systems recently. As expected, there’s a dual-zone automatic climate control system too.
The top of the line Sport trim gets plenty of driver assistance technology – blind-spot monitoring, parking sensors with back-up camera, split-view 180-degree front camera (very handy for parking) which has its own washer, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, ParkAssist, adaptive cruise control, collision warning and cross-traffic alert. And the Sport trim gets a few extra goodies in the aesthetics department like aluminum pedals, illuminated door sill plates, etc.
The Edge Sport’s heated seats are comfortable and are adjustable (they recline). For me, at 5’10”, head room and leg room are excellent and even the middle seating position is big enough for an adult. It’s not going to be a super-comfortable place for an adult to be sitting, but at least it works. Ford throws in 12V and 110V household plugs which is awesome if you’ve got people with electronic devices in your life.
My three kids were happy with the space back there, and there are two sets of LATCH anchors if you’re putting child seats in the Edge.
I love that Ford paid attention to in-cabin storage. From the bin on the dash under a pop-up lid, to the long, slanted rubberized bin under the centre stack (along with two USB plugs) that’s perfect for any size of smart phone, to the deep bin under the armrest lid, I never found myself needing more places to stow my stuff.
The Edge’s power liftgate (with the hands-free slide-your-foot-under-the-bumper move) makes easy work of getting your groceries into the large 1111 litre trunk. Those rear seats split 60/40 and can be power-folded using buttons in the trunk. When they’ve disappeared, you’re left with a very substantial 2078 litre cargo space behind the front seats.
Under the Hood
Now here’s the real news, folks. Ford has finally given the Edge Sport something sporty to crow about. The 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 lurks under the hood, and it’s ready to play. It churns out a very healthy 315 HP and even more importantly, 350 lb.ft of torque at only 2,750 RPM. The all-wheel drive crossover is equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Ford rates this trim at 13.6 L/100 km (17 US mpg) in town and 9.8 L/100 km (24 US mpg) on the open road. We averaged 13.0 L/100 km (18 US mpg) driving with a relatively light foot and our week included a few more easy-going freeway trips than usual. So that’s not great – but with great power comes great … fuel consumption.
Before we get down on the Edge Sport’s fuel economy, let me say that it’s worth it. This powertrain is tremendous. Of course you’ll have no issues with trundling around town but when you step on it, you realize you are sitting in a really fast vehicle. Not only does the Edge Sport sound fantastic under throttle, it launches like out of a catapult off the line. Actually from any speed. You step on it. It goes. Hard. How hard? Well, it does the 0-100 km/h run in 5.7 seconds, which puts it into some pretty fine company. The smooth, linear power that comes in a wave after an abrupt launch is addictive and the combination is wildly entertaining. Honestly. You have to drive this thing to understand.
Ford’s 6-speed transmission isn’t the most thrilling thing but it’s still competent and smooth. The vehicle can be shifted manually using paddle shifters if you want to do that sort of thing.
For a tall, heavy (2000 kg/4406 lb) crossover, the Edge Sport handles incredibly well. It tackled any freeway cloverleaf with glee and surprising grip. Sure, it will eventually start understeering, but that limit is surprisingly difficult to reach under normal circumstances. The ride is firmer than I had expected, and borders on rough over some surfaces thanks to the very capable sport-tuned suspension exclusive to the Sport trim. While the Edge was relatively quiet around town, I was surprised and disappointed by the amount of wind noise I heard at highway speeds. I found the brakes to be fine but not great – when moving at a good clip, they were simply not powerful enough to keep up with the vehicle’s abilities. The visibility out of the vehicle is quite good.
There wasn’t much to pick apart here, but we found an incessant rattle coming from the huge panoramic sunroof – as an owner, that would irk me to no end considering this was a brand-new vehicle when I took delivery of it.
I’ve always thought the Edge was nice. Like a nice person you work with. Nobody special to you, just somebody who’s there and you can depend on. But this Edge, this one is special. The performance capability is almost shocking, and the fact that it’s entertaining to drive takes that to a whole new level. Add in all the technology and luxurious touches, and you’ve got a heck of a vehicle. Of course, there’s a heck of a price tag to go with it.
WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) was quite high. She thought it was a nice-looking ride, and while she doesn’t care much for additional power, she thought it was easy to drive and she liked how everything worked inside.
If the Edge is what you’re after (nice, well-proportioned, spacious two-row SUV) and you want enough power and handling prowess to have some real fun with, you have to drive this thing. The Edge Sport was one of the best surprises I’ve had in a long time. It’s an expensive surprise, but many will find it worth it.
Disclosure: Vehicle was provided by Ford Canada.
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