The level of competition in the large SUV segment is hotting up. Aside from the launch of the Skoda Kodiaq earlier this year, Volvoís second-generation XC60 is hitting the showrooms around now, and Nissan has a facelifted X-Trail. It means that the rivalry is tougher than ever, and while the Edge is competitive, in some areas it lacks the quality of some of the carís rivals. Most interior plastics stand up well to scrutiny, but some of the materials used on the centre console look and feel cheaper than those used in rivals, and this is where Ford engineers will need to focus their attention come facelift time. Iíve previously been vocal about the electric handbrake button, and while it works admirably well, it just isnít good enough for a car that costs more than £30k.
One element of the centre console I have no criticism of is the audio system that wears its Sony badge with pride. When we specified our Edge Titanium, we chose to splash out an extra £450 on an uprated 500-watt, 12-speaker system, with sound that has been fettled by experts from the Japanese electronics giant. The result is a brighter, crisper sound compared to the standard setup. In a perfect world, the person listening to the music would be sat in the centre of the car, with the 12-speakers arranged neatly around them, but thatís not exactly practical, and so Sony engineers have spent more than 100 hours working with the Edge and refining the settings so that the driver and four passengers get the best setup that is possible. Now Iím no expert when it comes to sound, but even I could detect the difference between my car and a friendís Edge with the standard system. We connected the same iPhone via Bluetooth to each of the cars and played the same tracks, and the difference is so pronounced that even a sceptic like me is left impressed.
Our cat Simba is the reason why I have a bump on my head. The Edge comes with one of those fancy electric tailgate systems, and if you waggle your foot underneath, it opens and closes automatically, without having to press any buttons on the key or the tailgate. It usually works well, but I donít think engineers factored pets into the equation when developing the technology. Imagine this scenario; you arrive home after a trip to the supermarket, open the boot and begin to unload the shopping. And as youíre reaching into the car for the last few bags, your ginger cat walks underneath the car to come and greet you. The sensors mistake your feline friend for a foot and think that youíve finished with the boot and proceeds to close it. The result being that the tailgate crashes down on your head. Itís the second time that it has happened, and Iím surprised that there arenít any proximity sensors to stop this occurring. I think Fordís engineers may have to go back to the drawing board with this problem!
Date arrived 28th November 2016
Fuel economy 48.7mpg (combined) 41.4mpg (on test)
The Sony-branded audio system gives music some added sparkle.
The hands-free tailgate has whacked me on the head on a couple of occasions.