Everyone needs a four-wheel-drive estate with raised suspension these days; the Edge is Ford’s latest entry into the crowded (but lucrative) SUV/crossover marketplace.
A bold exterior
The look is pure SUV, so it’s big and butch and ever so slightly intimidating, which means it’s nailed the target demographic perfectly.
It’s no longer enough to have an inoffensive MPV or hatchback as your family car; buyers now demand zombie-apocalypse-surviving durability and ruggedness, which is fine by me. (I’m not judging, you understand, just explaining.)
Be warned though; the Edge is bigger than it looks and it might be a bit of a handful in a typical 1960’s multi-storey car-park.
Why the car you drive is too big
A comfortable and well-equipped interior
As a counterpoint to the bold exterior, the interior is a touch bland and generic.
However, it is comfortable and well-equipped and there is nothing to actively dislike and there is plenty to hold your attention: As an example, Active Noise Control acts just like noise-cancelling headphones in that it measures the level and frequency of the ambient noise inside the car before playing back the same noise but out-of-phase, effectively cancelling it out.
It’s clever, and it’s simple, and it works very well, contributing to a remarkably quiet cabin, even at motorway speeds.
Unobtrusive high-tech features
In fact, the whole car is stuffed with high-tech features including a front-facing camera to help you edge out of junctions; adaptive steering that alters its weighting and assistance depending on your speed; road sign recognition; swivelling headlamps; intelligent all-wheel-drive; a lane-keeping system; rear inflatable seat belts that spread the load in an accident (a market first); active park assist; parking sensors; hands-free tailgate opening; emergency brake assist; adaptive cruise control; intelligent speed limit assist; blindspot information; hill-hold; and trailer sway control.
That it all works seamlessly and unobtrusively in the background is the highest praise I can give it - and modern electronic systems are so reliable that there is simply no reason to be afraid of them anymore.
But all of this means nothing if the basic engine and chassis combination isn’t up to scratch and on this count there is nothing to fear either.
The Edge is based on the same platform as the Ford Mondeo, Galaxy, and S-Max, so the fact that it drives just as well as they all do shouldn’t come as any surprise.
Nor it that damning with faint praise; Ford cars drive better than almost all of their rivals and few manufacturers are so adroit at injecting some sporting fun to a chassis as the engineers in Dagenham.
Car review: Ford Focus RS
Poised and enjoyable to drive
So the Edge is as poised and enjoyable to drive as you might expect, shrugging off motorways, country lanes and even mildly challenging off-road tracks with disdain.
It’s no Land Rover, of course, but it’ll help keep you out of trouble in just about every commonly encountered low-friction scenario while providing saloon-car levels of refinement and stability everywhere else.
The 208bhp engine delivers acceptable performance, while the lower-powered 178bhp version seemed to struggle a little. Unless the initial purchase price is a deal-breaker, I’d recommend the choosing the more powerful engine for everyday usability, especially as the fuel consumption is unlikely to be dramatically worse. Similarly, the automatic gearbox suits the car’s nature better than the manual and is worth stumping up for.
Should you buy one?
Well, the Edge is remarkably civilised; in fact, few, if any, of its rivals are as quiet and hushed at high speeds. It also drives well, looks good, and comes stuffed with the sort of high technology that actually makes a difference to your life.
It’s let down only by a mediocre interior, so if you can live with that it has an awful lot going for it.
Prices start at £30,000, but you’ll need to find about five thousand pounds more for the more powerful engine and automatic gearbox.
Still, carwow suggests that you should be able to shave a couple of thousand pounds off that, which might help deaden the pain somewhat.
Power – 210bhp
Torque – 331 lb ft
0-62mph – 9.4 seconds
Top speed – 131mph
Kerb weight – 1,874kgs
Official average fuel consumption – 48.7mpg
CO2 emissions – 149g/km
VED class – Band F
Towing capacity (braked) – 2,000kgs
Towing capacity (unbraked) – 750kgs
Warranty – 3 yrs/60,000 miles
Price – £29,995
Price as tested - £35,040
If you don’t mind a slightly smaller than average interior, the Volvo XC60 is a very good car indeed.
The best of the rest
The Ford Edge has a macho image that the Swedish car lacks. My guess is that if you like action films then you’re going to prefer to Ford.
The Hyundai Santa Fe is very good to drive and comes with a seven seat option, which might be all you need to persuade you to buy one if you’ve got a large family.
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