All-new Ford Edge: A massive evolution
The strongly-contested crossover segment has numerous players nowadays, but one stalwart that has consistently done well in the Middle East market is the Ford Edge. Introduced a decade ago, the Edge has been a segment leader for several years. It also offers the third best resale value among all cars in the UAE, according to a report by CarSwitch. The Edge has been redesigned from the ground up for the latest generation that debuted in the region this year, and Ford has massively stepped up its game.
In terms of styling, the new Edge takes on a more aggressive profile — especially in the top-spec Sport trim with 21-inch alloy wheels — with a large trapezoidal front grille flanked by sharper headlamps and stylish LED daytime running lamps. The rear features standard LED tail lamps along the full width of the car.
The heavily-sloped windshield and the raised waistline are design features carried over from previous generations, but without the outward-visibility penalty of the old model, as the driving position is considerably better now. The doors also wrap around a recessed floor that reduces the width of door sill, making it much easier to step in or out of the new model than before.
Cabin space is more than adequate for tall adults, both front and back, while the use of high-quality materials is best-in-class, with leather upholstery and soft-touch surfaces generously used all over the dash, doors and centre-console. Luggage capacity is great with all seats in use. With the rear seats folded down, the capacity is among the largest in the segment, with additional stowage areas located around the wheel arches and the spare wheel.
While the interior ambience is much more premium than in the outgoing model, all the popular features have been carried over, such as the available heated/cooled front seats and a large panoramic roof.
Other features have been upgraded, such as the more-responsive MyFord Touch multimedia touchscreen with voice controls and a user-friendly button layout below the screen; available navigation and 12-speaker Sony sound system with subwoofer; a power tailgate with hands-free opening with the wave of a foot; an automated parking system that can locate and steer into or out of spaces hands-free; seven selectable ambient LED lighting colours; a segment-first 180-degree front wide-view camera that can see around corners; smart keyless entry and start, and a great dual-zone climate control a/c with rear vents.
The Ford Edge uses cameras, radars and ultrasonic sensors for a variety of safety features, including Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection which applies braking if a collision is imminent; Side Parking Aid for alerts to obstacles around the vehicle; Cross Traffic Alert that warns drivers when reversing out of a parking space; Blind Spot Information System, Lane Keeping Alert, Lane Keeping Aid and Driver Alert, as well as a full set of airbags along with Ford’s rear inflatable seat-belts.
Available in SE, SEL, Titanium (all-new) and Sport trim levels, there are also three engines on offer, namely a standard 253PS 2.0-litre EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder and a 283PS 3.5-litre V6, as well as an all-new powerful 340PS 2.7-litre EcoBoost turbocharged V6 on the Sport model, all mated to 6-speed automatic transmissions. All three are powerful and fuel-efficient motors, better than rivals such as the Hyundai Santa Fe at the lower end of the pricing scale and the Volkswagen Touareg at the higher end.
The Ford Edge drives like a luxury car, with a well-tuned suspension setup, a stiffer new body, better aerodynamics and sound-deadening materials, and even Active Noise Control technology that works in a similar way to noise-cancelling headphones to minimise engine noise.
It’s also one of most entertaining crossovers around, with good handling that’s aided by an intelligent all-wheel-drive system that can react to driving conditions in under 20 milliseconds. The system also makes the Edge much safer on slippery surfaces such as sandy or wet roads.
To make driving more pleasurable, there’s also the sophisticated Ford Adaptive Steering system available for the first time on any Ford vehicle, which changes the number of times you need to turn the steering wheel depending on the speed. For example, when turning into a tight parking space at low speed, the system makes the vehicle turn tighter more easily. At higher speeds, it adapts so the steering responds more smoothly and without feeling twitchy.
For drivers wanting a more sporting feel from the steering, the system also includes a driver-selectable Sport mode that raises the steering ratio so that even at higher speeds, fewer turns are required to take on corners, making Edge more responsive in fast driving on mountain roads.
The new Edge also has better ground clearance than the old model, and with its advanced all-wheel-drive system as well as some skilful driving, it can tackle mild sand dunes rather decently, making it an ideal car for exploring isolated beaches and reaching offroad campsites.
The Ford Edge has now become more of an all-rounder family vehicle than ever before.