Ford’s large SUV is priced and equipped to sell in big numbers
- Ford’s most practical SUV to date
- Plenty of equipment for the money
- Noise cancellation means quiet cabin
- High comfort levels for both rows
- Strong predicted used values
- Neither model is especially fast
- Automatic gearbox a little dimwitted
- No seven-seat option available
- Rear headroom tight with glass roof
The Ford Edge is the first big SUV from the company to hit European shores since the gas-guzzling Explorer more than a decade ago. What sets the Edge apart, however, is that a pair of diesel engines should make it much more appealing to buyers than its predecessor.
A large, cheap family off-roader
Being around the same size as the upmarket Volkswagen Touareg but priced more closely to the Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford hopes that its new SUV will replicate the success of the Volvo XC60 and appeal to a market of affluent, family-oriented buyers.
With a glut of upmarket off-roaders including the Jaguar F-Pace, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Mercedes GLC available for similar money, the challenge for Ford is to match the plush feel of these models but for a much lower like-for-like price.
Engineered for global markets, tweaked for the UK
The Edge has been engineered to sell around the world, adapted slightly for regional tastes. After around a year on sale in the USA the car is now available in Europe.
To ensure that it’s not just an American SUV foisted on us Europeans (see Explorer above), Ford has spent a lot of money on the car's engineering and construction so that it can handle the stiffer suspension and sharper steering needed for faster, more winding European roads. It has also added additional soundproofing to meet the refinement levels expected by European buyers.
Pair of diesel engines, auto or manual gearboxes, all-wheel drive
There are two 2.0-litre diesel engines available: a 180hp unit and a 210hp bi-turbo version of essentially the same motor. The less powerful version comes with a six-speed manual, while the 210hp motor is only available with a six-speed Powershift auto. All-wheel drive is standard across the range.
Oddly, both manual low-power and auto high-power Edges have the same CO2 emissions of 149g/km – meaning annual road tax charges of £145 – and official combined fuel economy of 48.7mpg. Larger alloy wheels do cut this figure, however. It will be a photo finish in a race between the two models, with the 210hp car taking 9.4 seconds to accelerate from 0-62mph and the 180hp version 9.9 seconds.
Four trim levels on offer
The range is as straightforward as the engine line-up. From launch, prices start around £30,000 for the entry-level Zetec, followed by Titanium at around £32,000 and Sport at around £34,500. Plush Vignale trim joined the range in October 2016.
Even base Zetec spec includes 19-inch alloy wheels, a DAB radio, tinted windows, a lane-keeping aid, rear-view camera, powered bootlid and a host of other useful kit, while Titanium adds little luxuries such as heated seats, sat-nav and Active Noise Control noise cancellation. For the Sport, it’s all black: 20-inch alloys, grille and trim. Sports suspension, a Sony sat-nav system and bodykit also come with this model.
The Edge is the first new car to offer Ford’s Active Noise Control and acoustic windows across the range, which together should boost refinement levels. The theory is that the speakers transmit a sound at a frequency that cancels out the engine noise, while the glass has a thin film that does the same job with onrushing wind.
Maximising the potential of such tech, luxurious Vignale specification joined the range towards the end of 2016. This range-topping spec includes bespoke styling, larger alloy wheels, Windsor leather upholstery and the option of two of the more powerful diesel engines in the line-up: the 180hp with manual gearbox and the 210hp automatic model.
High resale value
Taking all this into account, will the Edge take Ford forward into new markets? Well, our experts have given this car the second-highest predicted used value of any Ford (after the Focus RS), which suggests they reckon it has a chance.
Strong residual values are not only good for those who buy their car outright, as they should recoup a greater proportion of the price of the vehicle when they come to sell, but they also cut PCP finance rates. Low APR and Ford deposit contributions make the Edge even more affordable for buyers – all in a part of the market where manufacturers don't often discount their cars.
So is it really as practical as a Touareg, as cost-effective as a Santa Fe and likely to be as successful as an XC60? Read on for our full Ford Edge review to find out.