Ford revamps and upgrades its popular Edge mid-size crossover for 2019, discarding its V6 for a twin-turbo I4 and a new 8-speed automatic transmission.
The result is a fairly peppy crossover that will easily haul five adults with oodles of rear seat legroom and equally expansive cargo area.
While the Edge blends in with many crossovers out there, it handles better than some and gains a little pop from that EcoBoost twin-turbo generating 280 ft.-lbs. of torque and 250 horsepower. No rocket, it still steps away from a stoplight relatively quickly and corners well with little body roll. There is, however, a slight turbo lag when you first get on the accelerator.
Ride is quite good, which sets it up well as a family hauler. Even our rough area roads didn’t jar passengers. Edge’s 112.2-inch wheelbase helps spread out any road’s rough edges.
I tested a Baltic Sea Green (really a blue/gray) model in Titanium trim level, which comes just before the racier ST model. It features 20-inch wheels and tires to improve ride and handling, part of an $1,195 option package as 19-inch tires are standard on Edge.
This also was an all-wheel-drive version; front-drive is standard on all models, except the sporty ST, which boasts a turbocharged V6 that makes it a rocket sled for the family with 335 horsepower and 380 ft.-lbs. of torque. In any case, Edge also features a new 8-speed automatic transmission that replaces a 6-speed. The new tranny, activated via a console dial, was plenty smooth in helping give the 4,000-pound Edge a refined driving feel.
Inside, Edge’s interior is attractive and comfortable, leaning more toward luxury in the Titanium model. The test crossover featured perforated tan leather seats and a black dash with black gloss console and matte black center stack. There’s satin chrome trim on the air vents and doors.
What impressed several riders was the cushy, yet snug, seats that give the Edge a comfortable cushion for short or long trips. The seat gave ample hip and lower back support, and of course, the front seats are powered with a power lumbar support for the driver too. There also are three memory settings for the driver’s seat.
A monster $4,150 option package adds heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats, plus a voice-activated navigation system, active park assist, evasive steering assist and both adaptive cruise control and a lane centering feature on the safety front. Overhead the package includes a panoramic sunroof.
A cold weather package (just $495) includes a heated steering wheel that I consider a must for Wisconsin, along with an auto-dimming driver’s side mirror, floor liners and windshield wiper de-icer, also a good idea in frozen tundra territory.
While the interior is long on comfort and room, the rear seat easily accommodating tall and long-legged passengers, the dash featured a small infotainment screen. It functioned well, but being small it was at times hard to read, or to press the right screen buttons. Sadly the screen also requires you take off your gloves to engage any of the on-screen features. Likewise, to engage the heated steering wheel you must use the screen, but that wheel icon is incredibly small and not easily seen.
Buttons also are small for defrost and climate directional adjustments, while dual temperature controls were simple toggles.
Better news, the steering wheel is a powered tilt/telescope model that’s easy to move about until you find the perfect driving position. As usual there’s a full complement of radio, cruise and trip computer buttons and arrows on the spokes. All of those were easy to figure out and use.
I also like that the smart cruise control is linked to Ford’s lane departure assist. So the lane departure system isn’t chirping at you around town as you maneuver on side streets avoiding ice flows, snow drifts and construction barriers. It simply helps keep the Edge centered in its lane on the highway, which is where the system really is intended to work in case you doze while on a long drive.
Other interior pluses include a big storage bin beneath the center stack that also includes the electrical accessory hookups most folks want today. There are dual cup holders in the console and a large covered storage bin between the front seats. Another big bin is built into the center of the dash’s top.
I like the 12-speaker sound system too along with a wireless charging station and rain-sensing wipers.
Overhead, along with the giant sunroof, are visors that slide and include a HomeLink system built into the driver’s visor. In back is massive cargo room and rear seat backs that split and fold down. Plus the power hatch can be triggered remotely and includes a wiper, a plus for clearing winter slush off the window.
In addition to the electronic safety devices already mentioned the Edge includes blind-spot warning and parking sensors, a post-crash SOS system that automatically calls for help, and a 360-degree rear camera that aids parking in tight quarters. That backup camera also comes with its own spritzer to clean winter slop from its view.
While on the topic of electronics, the automatic headlights here did not pop on when driving on a heavily overcast day, so remember to turn those on. Also, side visibility is somewhat limited, as in most mid-size to larger crossovers, by giant A-pillars.
Gas mileage was good though at 24.1 mpg as tested in cold and snow. A Stop-Start system shuts down the engine at idle, such as a stoplight, to aid gas mileage. The EPA rates the Edge at 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway and Ford vehicles also use a capless gas filler, so you don’t have to fumble with screwing on a cap, particularly helpful in winter.
Now on to price. A base Edge SE starts at a reasonable $32,985 including delivery for a 2-wheel-drive model, while the next level SEL lists at $34,085.
The tested Titanium starts at $41,540, including delivery, and after all the options packages here ended up at $47,380, so edging (see what I did there?) into luxury crossover pricing territory. Again, this one featured AWD, an upcharge on SE and SEL.
If you need more ponies, the racy ST lists at $43,350 and comes with AWD and will pull 2,000 more pounds of trailer than lower trim levels, thanks to its turbo V6.
For comparison’s sake, look at the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-5 or CX-9, Subaru Outback and Toyota’s Highlander, which also is available as a hybrid.
This is a crowded market segment, but Edge deserves a drive before you decide.
FAST STATS: 2019 Ford Edge Titanium AWD
Hits: Nice ride, good handling and power, plus AWD and smooth tranny. Giant sunroof, heated/cooled front seats, heated wheel, heated rear seats, power hatch/wiper, big cargo area, roomy interior, power tilt/telescope steering wheel and full list of safety equipment.
Misses: Small infotainment screen, a bit of turbo lag, giant A-pillars, automatic headlights don’t pop on during an overcast day.
Made in: Oakville, Ont., Canada
Engine: 2.0-liter EcoBoost I4, 250 horsepower
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Weight: 4,027 lbs.
Length: 188.8 in.
Wheelbase: 112.2 in.
Tow: 1,500 lbs.
MPG: 24.1 (tested)
Base Price: $41,540 (includes delivery)
Group 301A (evasive steering assist, adaptive cruise control w/lane centering, enhanced active park assist, heated rear seats, cooled front seats, panoramic sunroof, voice-activated navigation), $4,150
Cold weather package (heated steering wheel, floor liners, windshield wiper de-icer, auto-dimming driver’s side mirror), $495
Titanium Elite package (R20-inch tires, 20-inch BRT alum. chrome & painted wheels, front & rear bumpers painted body color, body side molding w/chrome insert), $1,195
Test vehicle: $47,380
Sources: Ford, www.kbb.com
Photos: Mark Savage