2019 Ford Edge ST
– Strong turbo engine
– Cabin space and features
– Ride and handling
– Somewhat expensive
– No third-row seat option
– No low-range gearing
Ford has facelifted their Edge midsize crossover SUV for the 2019 model year, but with it also came a new badging strategy that sees the Edge Sport become the Edge ST. It’s a move that will see the “ST” badge show up on many more different Ford products beyond the Focus (which itself won’t be offered any more in the Middle East). We have no problem with that, seeing how the Edge Sport already fit in the mould of what the Focus ST was — a sportier version of the regular model, yet not extreme enough to delve in RS-badged territory.
The updated Ford Edge looks much the same as the one before it, except for an entirely new front-end, new tail-light clusters and a few other styling bits. The ST can be recognised by its body-coloured lower exterior panels and massive 21-inch smoked alloy wheels, all of which make it very clear that this isn’t an ordinary crossover.
The doors now wrap around along the bottom which reduces the width of the door sill for easier ingress/egress. Once inside, you are greeted with a simple layout, although it hasn’t been changed at all for 2019. We appreciated the use of leather upholstery and soft-touch surfaces generously all over the dash, doors and centre-console sides. Hard plastics are relegated to the lower half of the cabin. Build quality is generally solid, although a couple of panels don’t fit perfectly.
The front features mildly-bolstered ventilated power-adjustable seats. In the back of this 5-seater, there is good legroom and decent headroom. There is no third-row seat option, as it’s reserved for the much larger Explorer.
The 60:40-split rear seatbacks recline or fold flat under electric power using buttons in the boot, which also has a power-operated tailgate. The good-sized boot came with a rubber mat in our tester, while there are more storage spaces under the boot floor next to the spare wheel. There are two grocery-bag hooks and a roll-out cover for your cargo as well. There are numerous storage options and cup-holders throughout the cabin, including a shelf within the deep centre-armrest cubby up front.
Tech features include the latest “SYNC 3” interface for the touchscreen with voice controls and a physical button layout below the screen (although many of the buttons are overly small). Functionality is much better than before, with quicker responses and swipe functionality. Only the navigation screen can look a bit laggy when pinch-zooming in and out. Also new is the replacement of the gear-shifter stick with a dial knob.
Further features include dual LCD screens in the gauge cluster with individual controls on the steering wheel, a standard 12-speaker B&O audio system with subwoofer, a power tailgate with hands-free opening with the wave of a foot, an automated parking system for hands-free steering, selectable ambient LED lighting colours, a rear camera with direction lines, a 180-degree front wide-view camera that can see around corners, smart keyless entry and start, remote start, power-adjustable steering column, a very good dual-zone climate control a/c with rear vents, and several USB ports as well as a wireless charger. Of course, the keypad on the driver’s door for full “keyless entry” is also present.
The Ford Edge packs a variety of safety features in their top-spec model, 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 monitoring and various lane-keeping assists, but the fiddly rear inflatable-airbag seat-belt option was not there on our test car.
The 2.7-litre EcoBoost turbocharged V6 carries over with some minor changes, making 335 hp at 5500 rpm and 515 Nm of torque at 3250 rpm in GCC-spec tune. What’s new are an auto start/stop fuel-saver system and a responsive 8-speed automatic transmission with little plastic paddle-shifters. We clocked it in the 0-100 kph run at 7 seconds flat during our June afternoon run. Once you get past the minor turbo lag, it kicks hard from idle. However, it loses steam a bit at the top end, but still more than enough for quick overtaking and a bit of fun.
Fuel economy averaged out to 16 litres/100 km (6.3 km/litre), but we’re sure we could’ve brought it down a further 10% if we weren’t bombing around everywhere.
The Ford Edge ST is surprisingly comfortable with only the mildest firmness felt over sharper imperfections due to the low-profile 265/40 tyres. It has well-tuned suspension, good sound-deadening, and even Active Noise Control technology that works in a similar way to noise-cancelling headphones to minimise engine noise. The irony is that a muscular engine note is fed into the quiet cabin through the speakers as well, although we have to admit it sounds pleasant.
Driving it around town is easy enough, although it takes getting used to the long dashboard. But we welcomed the use of cameras, parking sensors and an adaptive steering system which lightens up and reduces the ratio at parking speeds for shorter turns lock-to-lock. At higher speeds in ‘Sport’ mode, the steering firms up and adapts the ratio so it doesn’t feel twitchy.
Even with mild steering feel, the Edge is one of most entertaining crossovers around, with good handling that’s aided by a quick-acting all-wheel-drive system. Body roll in corners and floatiness over uneven terrain are both minimal, the steering is well-weighted, the brakes are good with decent pedal feel (bigger brakes with red calipers are optional), and there’s tons of grip from the wide tyres.
The Edge has reasonable ground clearance, and with its responsive all-wheel-drive system as well as some skilful driving, it can tackle mild sand dunes rather well. But there is no low-range gearing, so it is strictly to be attempted by drivers who know what they are doing.
While changes are minimal (to the point where we copy-pasted parts of our old Edge Sport review verbatim), the “new” Ford Edge ST builds on the all-rounder qualities of the regular Edge and injects it with a dash of character. It does very little wrong, but at the end of the day, it isn’t really a sports car, and its price unapologetically edges into premium territory. However, it makes much more sense if you do compare it to premium-badged offerings from Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus which are generally smaller and slower, without offering much more in terms of trim and tech. The ST trounces them all in terms of value and performance.
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