Does the 2015 Ford Edge stay true to its badge? Not exactly; it’s always worn its edge—or edginess—with a sort of irony. Far more than when it was first introduced in 2007, this tall utility wagon is on solid ground, at the heart of Ford’s crossover lineup, and it brims with competence, charm, and verve.
Completely reengineered and redesigned this year, it steps the Edge up in innumerable ways, to embody the more detail-oriented look and feel that's characterized all the Ford vehicles that have been fully redone over the past three or four years—like the Focus, Escape, and Fusion.
And as we found this week, in a brief first drive in the mountain-and-desert landscape around Phoenix, Arizona, the Edge has a driving personality that’s not necessarily sharper but more refined and mature—and it’s a perfect match to the new look.
The differences are at their most dramatic inside. The 2015 Edge gets essentially a somewhat higher-set, chunkier version of the interior that’s elevated the Fusion sedans above most of their rivals in terms of design, detail, and touch. There’s soft-touch material nearly everywhere. Controls are simplified, with nice matte-black facing for the center console, and the Edge gets a version of the reconfigurable gauge cluster—navigated through steering-wheel toggles—seen elsewhere in the Ford lineup.
About the only thing we’d want different are more lighter-tone choices—and perhaps to banish the piano-black material that still appears in door pulls and cupholders, just where it would collect greasy fingerprints. Like a lot of today’s Ford models, it feels quite austere and German...at a time when even German automakers are brightening up their cabins.
There are storage spaces seemingly everywhere. there’s a shallow but large latched bin atop the dash, a huge center console, a bin just ahead of the shifter, and a drawer ahead of the driver’s left knee—as well as deeply carved-out door pockets. And that’s only looking around the front seats.
Sitting up high, yet handling stable and low
You still sit high in the Edge, but there’s something more carlike about the sightlines; with the long dash, raked-back windshield, and the two ripples of the hood you look out over, you can actually fool yourself into thinking you’re in a lower sport wagon.
We’re serious. The outgoing Edge was no slouch for carlike handling, but the harshness it brought into the cabin didn’t let you forget that you were in a utility vehicle—a rather heavy one at that. However in the 2015 Edge, one of our first impressions once moving on the street was how settled, composed, and low this vehicle feels—even if the seating point likely hasn’t significantly changed.
You see, nearly everything in this Edge is different than last year’s Edge. The outgoing Edge was rolling on a setup derived from the previous-generation Mazda 6. Although the new Edge is built on the same platform as the current Ford Fusion, it really has almost no common parts, and Ford stresses that it’s definitely not just a tall Fusion wagon.