The mid-size Edge crossover arrived in 2006 during a markedly different automotive landscape. Lots can change in 13 years.
Once popular sedans within Ford's portfolio, including the full-size Taurus and mid-size Fusion retire in a year or so, making way for a resurrected mid-size Ranger pickup truck (previously available from 1983 to 2011) and returning mid-size Bronco sport ute (last produced from 1966 to 1996).
Domestic rivals General Motors (GM) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) also announced a significant pairing back of conventional four-doors which have fallen out of consumer favor, replaced by uni-body, car-based crossovers such as Edge with continued seating five, but adding a versatile cargo region (and Edge boasts a healthy, near-class-leading 73.4 cubic feet available with second-row backrests folded).
Ford indicates by 2020, 90 percent of its North American portfolio trucks, utilities/crossovers and commercial vehicles. The venerable sporty two-door Mustang remains an iconic outlier.
The Blue Oval Company's crown jewel, the F-150 light-duty pickup, continues its dominance as the best-selling pickup truck in America for the past 42 years, a feat not equaled anytime soon.
Within Ford's crossover marketing mix, Edge snuggles between the compact Escape and larger, Chicago-built Explorer, receiving a complete next-generation maker in the 2020 model year, its first since 2011.
The 2015 model year welcomed a next-generation Edge, of which this current effort is based. Consider 2019 a year of mid-cycle refreshes and the addition of a pernicious new trim. Edge sales topped the 100,000 unit mark in the 2018 calendar year, reaching a healthy 134,122 units in the U.S., but down about 6 percent from the preceding year. Ford's F-150 pickup, by comparison, topped a remarkable 909,000 units.
Three trim levels return from 2018 with a new performance-trim added. SE, SEL and Titanium return with the all-new ST performance trim thrown in for a little excitement. Edge is Ford's first crossover to wear the ST badge already an upmarket perk in compact Focus and Fiesta cars. The ST replaces an outgoing Sport trim.
A base 2019 Edge SE starts at $30,990. Our Titanium all-wheel-drive tester checked in at $40,355. After factoring in Ruby Bed Metallic exterior paint ($495), Cold Weather Package featuring a heated steering wheel ($495), Titanium Elite Package with 20-inch wheels ($1,195) and 301A equipment group with adaptive radar cruise control, panoramic roof and active park assist ($4,150) the total reached $47,585 with $995 destination charge.
Our Edge Titanium pulled double duty not just as a weekly tester, but as the transport utilized for an annual January pilgrimage to Detroit's North American International Auto Show. The trek served as a reconnaissance mission for Chicago's upcoming consumer-focused Auto Show Feb. 9 through the 18th.
Edge provided a smooth and comfortable sedan-like ride quality with decent fuel economy returns. Expect a quiet interior, a bonus Ford's of yesteryear did not address as effectively as this mid-cycle refresh. It's one of the best all-around mid-size crossovers in 2019.
Ford announced this month an extensive recall of 782,000 of its U.S. vehicles regarding certain Takata passenger air bag inflators. While the 2019 Edge is not part of the recall, the 2010 model year Edge does fall into the recall mix. Vehicles at highest risk are in areas of high humidity and temperatures. Online information, including a complete list of effected vehicles, may be found at: owner.ford.com/service.
A mid-sized eight-inch, multi-function screen welcomes the third iteration of SYNC (SYNC3) a system providing easy linking with Smartphones (including Apple Car Play and Android Auto) and miles more intuitive than the first-generation voice-activated SYNC effort. Connect up with plug-in ports and applications, phone number storage, downloaded pod casts and other stored data transfers to the color screen. Framing the in-dash touch screen are vertically-arranged air vents, contrasting with square versions found at the dashboard's extreme ends.
A rotary-style electronic transmission shifter rates as a major refresh, replacing a conventional slide-type handle, all part of a completely revamped center console between front buckets. An electronic parking brake resides just to the rear of the dial and dual in-line cup holders are found to the right. The area includes two plug-in ports housed under a smooth, curved slide cover to connect up Smartphones. For newer-generation Smartphones, a flat, wireless charging pad provides juice sans a plug (standard in Titanium and optional in SEL and ST).
The three returning trims feature a 2.0-liter turbocharged twin scroll four-cylinder engine registering a motivated 250 horsepower. Front-wheel drive comes standard with all-wheel-drive optional. The new-for-2019 ST opts for a performance-oriented 2.7-liter turbocharged V-6 generating 335 horses combined with standard all-wheel drive. Both mate to a new-for-2019 eight-cylinder automatic engine, replacing an aging six-speed version.
Turbochargers run off of recycled exhaust gases spinning a pinwheel-inspired turbine to pump concentrated air into the engine. Turbocharging increases horsepower output without adding undue weight, thus pimping up fuel economy. A 'twin turbo' or 'twin scroll' design minimizes 'turbo lag,' a hesitation delay sometimes present when punching a turbo's gas pedal.
The fuel tank holds a rather generous 18.5 gallons of unleaded fuel, utilizing a cap less fuel lead, negating the need for a tethered twist cap as the fuel nozzle pushes past a self-sealing plate when fueling.
New exterior color choices in 2019 include Agate Black, Stone Gray and Baltic Sea Green. Light emitting diode (LED) headlights return in all trims, with an up-level 'Signature' look standard in Titanium and ST and optional in lower trims. A new lift gate design, featuring an eye-appealing, LED wrap-around design, differs from earlier renditions opting for a boxy, squarish design.
The front grille includes a six-sided hexagonal center nose also spotted on Ford's Explorer. Titanium trims include a hand-free power lift gate, allowing opening and closing with a simple foot wave under the bumper. Head clearance when open allows enough space for those six-feet two-inches or shorter. Also when opened, second-row seatbacks power down with the push of left-side buttons.
Edge's 2.0-liter turbo twin scroll four includes start-stop technology, gently shutting down the engine at prolonged stops to optimize fuel economy. While Ford's design remains less intrusive than most other rivals, drivers have the option to disengage the system by scrolling through the instrument panel's driver information tutorial.
The informative instrument panel includes a circular, centered analog speedometer flanked by display windows controlled via steering wheel buttons. The leather-wrapped, three-spoke wheel includes controls at 3 o'clock monitoring entertainment, navigation and phone controls illuminated inside the right-flank window. Nine o' clock on the steering wheel time clock monitors the left-leaning window of driver information selections. An electronic start push button locates next to the instrument panel's right lower Edge (pun intended), slightly skewed towards the pilot.
Edge provides enormous head room in front and decent clearance in back, even when ordered with the power-sliding sun roof which sometimes limits head room. Three adults may travel comfortably in row two, but if only two are along for the ride, an armrest with built-in cup holders folds down.
2019 Edge Titanium
Price as tested: $47,585
Engine: 2.0-liter Ecoboost 1-4
Fuel economy: 21 city/28 highway
Overall length: 188.8 inches
Overall height: 68.3 inches
Overall width: 85.8 inches
Wheelbase: 112.2 inches
Curb weight: 4,060 pounds
Powertrain warranty: Five years/ 60,000 miles
Built: Oakville, Ontario Canada