Ford hopes to cash in on the growing demand for SUVs with Ford Edge. The Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60 rival has just been launched to the press in Europe and we’ve driven it.
Built on Ford’s large car platform that we know well from S Max, Galaxy and Mondeo, the five-door Edge is a surprisingly refined machine. Edge features very low noise vibration and harshness (NVH) figures plus some trick noise cancelling technology that means you can happily have a chat at 200kph on the autobahn without raising your voice. We put the two versions coming to Ireland through their paces namely a six-speed manual 180hp and the range topping automatic 210hp diesel. Day one was spent in the auto on a mixture of road types. The automatic is super easy to use. Edge sits on a wide track and handles really well. There is little or no roll in the corners and the European tuned suspension feels sophisticated. The auto suits the car as it is simple and effortless to use. The automatic also helps you feel like you’re in a premium machine. Day two was spent in the manual 180hp and to be honest we didn’t like this version as much. The gear shift was fine but again dipping a clutch in such an imposing machine just seemed the wrong thing to do.
Edge is imposing and long. There is an aggressive grille, nice lights and good design proportions overall. Edge sits on a wide track and you really get the benefit from this in the cabin where there is a huge amount of room. There is tons of shoulder room and lots of storage space too including a massive centre bin. Connectivity on our test cars was comprehensive with 12 volt sockets, USB sockets and even a three pin plug socket fitted!
European Edge is a five-seater with AWD but in other markets a two-wheel drive is available as is a seven-seater, built in China. The people carrier version has a longer roof but the same wheelbase as European cars. Edge for Europe is built in Canada and not as you might expect in Europe. This we are told is down to plant capacity – Ford’s Spainish plant is at full capacity while the Canadian plant has room.
AWD is standard but we won’t rule out a two-wheel drive only version coming to Ireland at some stage. As of now Ford Ireland has no plans for one – and this applies to a plug-in hybrid either. Ford’s intelligent all wheel drive works really well and helps keep fuel consumption to a minimum by being mainly two-wheel drive. We took the car through a slippy forest trail and the systems work away behind the scenes distributing power to the wheels that need it most without causing us any concern. There are no off road buttons to press or driving aids you need to activate as the car is very much designed as an easy to use machine. Edge goes where you want it to go without requiring much input from the driver.
Titanium and Sport are the two trim levels. Our favourite version being Sport. We loved our orange Edge with 20 inch black alloy wheels… trust me it looks far better than it reads! Ford points out the key Titanium features as being 19” alloys, front and rear parking sensors, Handsfree Power Tailgate and Keyfree system, Ford DAB navigation system, Active Noise Cancellation, Rear View Camera and Illuminated Scuff Plates. Sport gets 20” alloys, Adaptive Steering system, SONY DAB Navigation system with 12 speakers, unique front, rear and side sports body styling with dark exterior detailing and alloy pedals.
Vignale versions will be available and they have a honeycomb grille rather than the slotted one.
Ford Ireland’s boss told us “The spacious and high-tech Ford Edge responds to our European customers’ demands for a more premium Ford SUV… Offering cutting-edge style with commanding presence and high specification including Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive, the Edge makes advanced technologies and premium quality more accessible to Europe’s growing numbers of SUV customers.”
Edge prices start at €55,700 and we guess the auto will be about 2-2.5K dearer. Ford has a hard job ahead if it wants to seriously tempt premium brand SUV drivers to migrate to the blue collar brand. Once driven however the Edge makes a lot of sense. We love the chunky look and are very impressed by the level of refinement in the cabin. The drive isn’t overly dynamic but overall it is nicely indulgent.