ST is a family hauler with a sporty ‘Edge’
Ford revamped the nose and tail styling of its successful Edge crossover for 2019 and at the top end, gave it more power and a better tranny.
I’d driven a new Edge Titanium last winter and it, along with the lower level SE and SEL, are aimed squarely at the family market. But this bright metallic blue ST edition had a decidedly sportier edge (sorry) to it.
That starts with power. While the other models feature a fine 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that pushes out 250 horses, that wasn’t racy enough for the ST. It ups the power to 335 horses and a monster 380 lb.-ft. of torque from a 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6.
Yes, it’s quick, and only a smidge of turbo lag.
But there’s more, in the form of firmer, more precise steering that gives the Edge ST a better feel on winding roads where there’s some back and forth action to a drive. The ST remains stable and easy to control, plus the steering effort feels heavier, more along the lines of Mazda’s CX-9. If you like lighter steering, stick with one of Edge’s other three trim levels.
Aiding that firmer feel is a sport-tuned suspension system by the Ford Performance team. The downside is that it creates a stiffer, overly firm ride that could be off-putting to a family on a road trip, or even around town if they live in pot-hole ridden Southeastern Wisconsin. The lower trim levels provide a much more cushioned ride.
The ST though does come standard with all-wheel-drive, normally a $2,000 add-on in the other trim levels, which are front-drive. All Edge’s now come with an 8-speed automatic gear box, which is two speeds up from previous models. It uses the power well here and creates a smooth shift befitting the vehicle’s price.
Speaking of … the test crossover listed at $49,430 after the addition of a $5,585 equipment package and $495 cold weather package (heated steering wheel, yes). Base for an ST is $43,350 including delivery. The entry-level SE starts at $32,985, the SEL at $34,085 and the Titanium at $39,545.
That pricy equipment package does include some safety equipment and items most of us would like, including a universal garage door opener, perimeter alarm system, wireless charging pad for a phone, panoramic sunroof, voice-activated touchscreen navigation system and a foot-activated power hatch. Safety equipment includes adaptive cruise and lane control, plus evasive steering assist and active park assist. While from a comfort standpoint there’s remote start, auto-dimming driver side mirror, heated rear seats, and cooled front seats. Heated front seats are standard.
Also standard on the ST is some exterior bling, a gloss black grille, fog light surrounds and headlight bezels. In back are dual exhausts to help give the ST’s turbo a bit more voice.
Inside, the ST looks sporty and luxurious. The test crossover’s interior was black leather with white accent stitching. Seats were leather trimmed with a suede-like center section. Edge has chrome surrounds on the air vents, console and door handles, while the console has a gloss black finish and flat black to brown center stack face.
Seats were a little too snug with more bolstering that in other trim level models. I found them too tight in the hips and a taller passenger said the lower seat cushion was too short for his longer legs, not providing enough support. The front seats also are heated and cooled, a plus, and the rear seats are heated, thanks to that pricy option package.
Yet the interior is roomy with oodles of head and legroom for the rear seat, making this a good family hauler, as far as space. That cargo area behind the fold down rear seats also is cavernous, 39.2 cubic feet with the seats up and 73.4 cubic feet when they are down. The power hatch also can be activated by waving a foot beneath the tail’s center section, where a tow hitch might go.
The dash is easy to manage functionally and to see. The 8-inch screen standard here seems slightly small for the vehicle, but functions well. Ford’s Sync3 infotainment system works fine and is easy to figure out. I could lock in all the radio stations I wanted, and satellite radio is standard.
Other pluses include three memory settings for the power driver’s seat, lighted cup holders (red ring inside each), the wireless phone charger, rain-sensing wipers, WiFi connection for up to 10 devices, remote start, and a 360-degree backup camera. There’s also a huge panoramic sunroof and shade overhead and the steering wheel is heated, which would be great in winter, but sadly the heated wheel’s On switch is hidden in a layer of screen controls. That could be easier, maybe locate it on the wheel!
I found the climate control system a bit touchy too, not to operate, but to get an acceptable temperature for the air pouring from the dash vents. During my drive a 72 degree setting brought heat, and 73 brought an icy blast. I alternated between them quite a bit during mostly warm summer weather driving.
Safety devices are plentiful as Ford Co-Pilot 360 is standard. Included is a blind-spot warning system along with forward collision mitigation with emergency braking, lane-keep assist, automatic high beams and that 360-degree rearview camera has its own spritzer to keep it clean.
Anything that helps improve visibility is welcome in the Edge though as sight lines are not generous, especially to the front sides where giant A-pillars can be an obstacle in certain situations.
I also found the Edge to be a bit cumbersome in parking lots. It does not have a tight turning radius, so several times I misjudged being able to turn into a spot between two vehicles and had to back up to complete my turn into the parking spot.
Gas mileage was reasonable for a fairly heavy mid-size crossover. I got 22.7 miles per gallon in a week’s drive. The EPA rates the ST at 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. I split my drives pretty evenly between city and highway, so the numbers seem dead on. The Edge drinks regular fuel too.
Most crossovers are simply today’s station wagons, hauling a family of 5 and their gear wherever needed in comfort and safety. Ford’s Edge ST adds a heavy heaping of horsepower and sporty handling along with a firm ride to match. It won’t be for everyone, but is more fun to drive than most crossovers.
FAST STATS: 2019 Ford Edge ST AWD
Hits: Good turbo power, sporty handling, AWD, panoramic sunroof, heated/cooled front seats, heated rear seat and wheel, 360-degree camera and wireless charger. Full complement of safety devices and power hatch that’s foot activated. Big cargo area.
Misses: Overly firm ride, tight seat butt pockets, touchy climate system, not nimble in tight parking lots and giant A-pillars obstruct view.
Made in: Oakville, Ont.
Engine: 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6, 325 horsepower
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Weight: 4,554 lbs.
Length: 188.8 in.
Wheelbase: 112.20 in.
Tow: 3,500 lbs.
MPG: 22.7 (tested)
Base Price: $43,350 (includes delivery)
Group 401A (universal garage door opener, perimeter alarm, wireless charging pad, evasive steering assist, panoramic sunroof, voice-activated touchscreen nav, foot-activated power hatch, adaptive cruise/lane control, remote start, auto-dimming driver side mirror, heated rear seats, cooled front seats, active park assist), $5,585
Cold weather package (heated steering wheel, floor liners, windshield wiper de-icer), $495
Test vehicle: $49,430
Sources: Ford, kbb.com
Photos: Mark Savage