2019 Ford Edge Review

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2019
The Car Connection
2019
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
February 4, 2019

The 2019 Ford Edge doubles down on safety technology, and on uprated handling with a new ST model.

The 2019 Ford Edge has one of the newer names in the company’s crossover-SUV lineup, but it’s been an unqualified hit since it was new in 2007. The latest second-generation Edge has carved out a niche between the bigger Explorer and the smaller Escape, one that suits drivers that regularly chauffeur adult passengers and don’t put a high priority on outright performance.

That said, the Edge has turbocharged engines in every model, and it’s deceptively quick. It’s also the first Ford crossover to earn an ST model, thanks to a round of handling upgrades applied for the new model year. It’s devoid of any trace of SUV ruggedness—and for many drivers, that’s just about right.

We give the 2019 Edge a 6.7 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

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For 2019, the Ford Edge comes in SE, SEL, Titanium, and ST trims. The changes are worthwhile: A 5-hp bump on turbo-4 models is news, but the bigger story is a standard suite of safety technology applied to all Edges, including automatic emergency braking.

Only slight changes apply to the Edge’s styling. The clean, spare look stands out in Ford’s lineup, and has the generic good looks that apply to lots of mid-size crossovers. The BMW cues are strong with this one, down to the rear-end treatment. The Edge ST tosses on some red-and-black badges and blacked-out trim. Inside, the cabin’s warmed up versus the prior edition of the Edge, but it’s even less distinctive, with its medium-resolution screens, brushed-metallic trim, and big expanses of tightly grained black plastic.

Ford’s dropped the old naturally aspirated V-6 from the Edge; most versions now draw power from a 250-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4, channeled through an 8-speed automatic and either front- or all-wheel drive. Punchy enough, it’s able to tow up to 3,500 pounds or to slice through commuter traffic with reasonable gusto. The Edge ST powers up with an uprated version of the twin-turbo V-6 found in last year’s Edge Sport. It kicks out 335 hp, and Ford says it can run a 60-mph sprint in less than 6.0 seconds—all while it cranks amplified engine noise into the cabin in unwelcome dollops.

A well-controlled ride is the Edge’s best handling asset, even with the big 21-inch wheels found on the Edge ST. Shifts are smartly executed, and in all, the Edge has more interest in side roads than, say, a Hyundai Santa Fe.

The 2019 Edge has plenty of space for people and cargo, but the base seats could use more bolsters and thicker cushions. They’re flatter than those found in the ST, and with less all-day support. The Edge’s rear bench can hold three adults when it needs to, or fold down for an expanded cargo bay, but the back seat could use more head room for taller passengers.

The NHTSA has good things to say about the Edge’s crash protection, but the IIHS is more reserved. This year Ford’s made automatic emergency braking standard across the board, a welcome move. Every Edge comes with power features, Bluetooth with audio streaming, and keyless ignition; spendy Titaniums have leather upholstery and a panoramic sunroof and B&O audio, while the Edge ST can be fitted with performance 21-inch tires and stronger brakes. Prices range from just over $30,000 to more than $54,000 on a fully loaded Edge ST.

6

2019 Ford Edge

Styling

Its ersatz-X5 look intact, the 2019 Ford Edge wears the usual crossover-SUV uniform.

The 2019 Ford Edge has some fans among us for its style, but not many superfans. The look is uncluttered and spare, only slighter warmer inside its cabin.

We think there’s enough appeal in its uncomplicated look to merit a point above average for a 6 overall in styling. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

With the latest Edge, Ford has drawn on some of the more popular global design themes, while it’s avoided the trendy ones. No floating-roof panels here, just a gentle homage to the BMW X5, with a six-sided grille that could come from a number of automakers. The generic parts are cut and sewn in the right ways, though. The Edge has substantial but not too thick pillars, the glass has just the right amount of rake, and the grille’s just big enough to say crossover—not wagon. On the Edge ST, blacked-out trim runs down the sills and gloss-black wheels lower the look.

The Edge has a fairly anonymous cabin that’s more dressy and more appealing than in prior versions. There’s none of the drama injected into the Mercedes GLC, no lush layers of wood trim, but the Edge’s mix of plastic and metallic trim puts smooth surfaces ahead of visual gimmicks, and we’d call that a win. Most welcome are the knobs and switches that returned in this Edge, versus the touch-slide-swipe controls found in the prior version.

What we’d change about the Edge? At this point we’re closer to a new model, so things like larger and higher-resolution screens will likely wait until the next version. But some models have lots of gloss-black trim that grabs fingerprints like an hour-long CBS drama. That’s an easy thing to tone down.

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2019 Ford Edge

Performance

A new ST model lends the 2019 Ford Edge some sporty credentials, but it’s at its best as a fuss-free crossover.

The powertrain family’s been pared down by one, and with that, the performance permutations of the 2019 Ford Edge have been made clear.

Want an efficient family truckster with safe and sound all-wheel drive? That’s a turbo-4. Want a sport-themed SUV with a crisper handling edge? Got it; here’s 50 percent more cylinders and 100 percent more turbos.

We give it a 6, with an extra point above average for its well-managed ride. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

No matter which you choose, the 2019 Edge carries itself with mindful obedience. Entertaining sass is off the menu, but the 2.0-liter turbo-4 in every Edge save for the ST has enough pull to distinguish itself. It’s up 5 hp this year for a total of 250 hp, and now it’s paired with an 8-speed automatic. It’s strong enough to boost the Edge to 60 mph in less than eight seconds, and with front-wheel drive can turn in 25 mpg on the EPA combined cycle. It’s also able to tow up to 3,500 pounds with the right kit.

With a normally aspirated V-6 flushed from its system, the only engine upgrade only comes with the Edge ST. It’s a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6, spun up to 335 hp this year from last year’s 315 hp (both rated on 93-octane fuel). Ford says this engine can steam to 60 mph in less than six seconds. It’s punchy through the midrange, less excited about high-revving power trips—and Ford takes its engine noise, doubles it, and pipes it into the Edge ST when it’s put into a Sport driving mode. It’s a distraction from otherwise solid powertrain performance through an automatic with paddle shifters and quicker reflexes than the standard-issue unit.

Ford Edge ride and handling

The Edge has an independent suspension, electric power steering, and delivers good body control and precise road feel with a well-controlled ride. It’s much like Ford’s big, fading Fusion sedan in the way it steers crisply into corners and tracks easily down the interstate, and in the way it holds a tight rein on body motion when it thwops over bad ruts.

The Edge's brakes can seem a little touchy at first, but they provide strong, reassuring stopping power.

The Edge Titanium adopts bigger wheels, but they don’t diminish the Edge’s well-weighted steering and on-center feel, once it gets up to moderate speeds. Ford had offered an adaptive-steering system on the Edge in prior years, but it’s been deleted, since its benefits in low-speed parking-lot maneuvers were minimal.

The Edge ST shows more interest in slinky roads. It puts on its own 20-inch wheels and tires—21-inchers and summer tires on some editions—and has a stiffer suspension tune and more heavily weighted steering when the Sport button on the rotary shift knob is tapped. It’s very firm, but the Edge ST avoids the pitfalls of even the old Edge Sport. Choppy pavement isn’t its enemy.

The ST package represents Ford’s first attempt to shore up the “sport” part of the sport-utility equation, and while it’s not a vast change in terms of driving feel, it’s a smart cosmetic package that doesn’t ding the Edge’s user-friendly dynamics.

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2019 Ford Edge

Comfort & Quality

The 2019 Ford Edge spiffs up space for five; the cabin’s looking a little dated.

As the middle-sized crossover in a family of Escapes and Explorers, the 2019 Ford Edge is at its best when it carries four passengers and their stuff, though five will fit pretty easily. It’s good at toting people and cargo, and that makes it worth a 7 on our comfort and quality scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

In the past we’ve lodged some niggling complaints about the standard Edge seats, front and back. That’s more true now for the base models, which get cloth-covered buckets in front and a second-row split-fold bench seat. Step-in height is fine; the Edge lets medium-sized passengers slide across and into their seats, which makes it a good choice for older drivers, and the seats sit high for better outward vision. Base seats can feel skimpy on leg support; on the Titanium and especially the Edge ST seats we’ve been in recently, the cushions and bolstering felt more supportive and substantial. The ST’s multi-adjustable power seats in particular snug up around the driver and front passenger, and have good lateral support.

The second-row bench seat doesn’t have much in the way of contour, but big door openings and a bit of padding at the front make it more comfortable than the bench in the middle row of the Explorer. The Edge doesn’t try to wedge in a third-row seat, so backseat passengers have very good leg and foot room. Tall passengers will fight for head room under the available panoramic roof, but the reclining backrests help.

Ford fits the Edge with lots of small-item storage. The center stack has a deep storage bin with wireless smartphone charging on some versions, and a bin behind and under the climate controls that’s not so easy to access. The door pockets are deep but not so wide; the same is true for the center console, which seems to be sized best for carrying flowers in a vase.

The Edge’s rear seats fold down nearly flat to provide 73.4 cubic feet of space; with the seats up, the Edge has 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space. The Edge lacks some of the clever two-tier cargo floors of rivals.

The Edge’s interior gained more muted plastics when it was redesigned in 2015, but while the textures and pieces work together, it’s not a $50,000 experience; it’s more apt at the $35,000 price point, where the metallic trim bands and simply curved expanses of dash make up for the relatively low resolution of the touchscreen.

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2019 Ford Edge

Safety

Good crash ratings meet excellent standard safety technology in the 2019 Edge.

In its most recent crash tests, the Ford Edge has performed well, but there’s still room for improvement.

We give it an 8 for safety. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The NHTSA grants the Edge a five-star rating for overall crash performance. It earns five stars on all subtests save for a four-star rating for rollover resistance.

The IIHS says the Edge is “Good” in most tests, but "Poor" for headlight quality. No Top Safety Pick award for you, Edge.

This year, Ford’s added a host of safety gear to the Edge, equipment that rivals Toyota for its standard forward-collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, and active lane control. Ford goes one further and makes blind-spot monitors standard. Edge safety options include adaptive cruise control, rear-seat inflatable seat belts, and a 180-degree front-end camera that aids in tight parking spots.

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8

2019 Ford Edge

Features

The add-ons are fine; it’s the 2019 Edge’s standard equipment that stands out.

The 2019 Ford Edge serves many masters. As a base-priced Ford Edge SE, it’s priced against compact and mid-size Hyundais and Hondas. As a $50,000 Edge ST with all the trimmings, it rivals some Lexus and Lincoln crossovers, the latter to someone’s dismay, no doubt.

We give it an 8 for features. It boasts a big dose of new standard equipment, has good infotainment, and in less expensive versions, offers good value. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The $30,990 2019 Edge SE has cloth upholstery, cruise control, power features, air conditioning, and an AM/FM/CD player with Bluetooth audio streaming. For 2019 it gains an 8-speed automatic, in-car wireless data (with subscription fees), Sync 3 infotainment, satellite radio, LED headlights, and rain-sensing wipers.

Ford's latest Sync 3 infotainment system is a major improvement over past MyFord Touch systems. It’s easier to operate, has better voice recognition, and more streamlined menus, though it’s time for screen quality to go bigger and better.

Every Edge now comes with blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warnings, and automatic emergency braking.

All-wheel drive is available on every model.

On the $34,085 Edge SEL, Ford adds rear parking sensors, heated mirrors, automatic climate control, and power front seats. Major options include heated seats, navigation, and B&O Play audio. It’s our pick of the lineup.

The $39,545 Edge Titanium has leather upholstery, HD radio, a hands-free tailgate, wireless smartphone charging, B&O premium sound, and remote start. Options include heated rear seats, cooled front seats, navigation, a panoramic roof, adaptive cruise control, a tow package, and 20-inch wheels.

The $44,345 2019 Edge ST gains a sport-tuned suspension and transmission, 20-inch wheels and tires, and sport seats. Options include a performance brake package with 21-inch summer tires.

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5

2019 Ford Edge

Fuel Economy

The 2019 Ford Edge posts competitive gas-mileage ratings.

It’s on the bigger end of the mid-size crossover SUV scale, but the 2019 Ford Edge earns competitive fuel economy ratings thanks to a lineup heavy with turbo-4s.

We give it a 5 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The most popular Edges come with the 2.0-liter turbo-4 and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. The EPA rates the front-drive Edge at 22 mpg city, 29 highway, 25 combined. With all-wheel drive, ratings slide to 21/28/23 mpg. Those ratings stack up against similar ones for the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe, for example.

With its twin-turbo V-6 engine, the Edge ST checks in at 19/26/21 mpg.

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$29,995
MSRP based on SE FWD
 
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6.7
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety 8
Features 8
Fuel Economy 5
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