SUVs are hot property in the car market right now, and every car maker is working like billy-o to fill their line-up with them. Britainís best-selling car maker has had the medium-sized Kuga in its range since 2008, and added the baby EcoSport in the autumn of 2013. Completing its SUV offering is the Canadian-built Edge that finally arrived here midway through 2016. Itís this five-seat, five-door, four-wheel-drive that Iíve been testing for almost a year.
I still wince at the Edgeís price tag, as with a few optional extras, the cost of our Titanium model pushed past the £40k mark. And in anyoneís book thatís a lot of money. It buys an exceptionally well equipped car though, as shown by the long of list of equipment on the panel opposite. I was a little disappointed that our car didnít come with the fabulous Sync3 infotainment system, including Apple CarPlay, but our car was built just days before it became standard. Still, Sync2 is still a great system, just that I rate the newer setup even higher. Sync2 pairs easily with my iPhone and switches easily between DAB radio and the Bluetooth audio streaming. The navigation system is a piece of cake to programme, with clear, colourful graphics to delivery instructions to your destination.
At 4.8 metres long and almost 2.2 metres wide, the Edge is huge, and sometimes feels too big for UK roads. But rather oddly, I found this car easier to park than the S-MAX it replaced, despite being chunkier in every direction. But despite its bulk, thereís only five seats in Fordís largest SUV, which seems like a missed opportunity. The Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and Skoda Kodiaq are all shorter in length, and yet they pack in space for seven occupants. Note to Ford: A couple of extra chairs would be handy in the next-generation car.
Anyone that has seen the latest Mondeo, S-MAX or Galaxy will be immediately at home in the Edge, as they all share the same underpinnings and largely the same dashboard. The design is stylish, and is largely formed out of good quality materials that are nicely tactile to the touch. Iíve previously criticised the feel of the electric hand brake button and my opinion hasnít changed, as I think it lets down the ambience of the cabin. Elsewhere thereís quite simply acres of space, none more so in the boot where thereís a generous 602 litres of space with the seats up, and this opens up to 1,847 litres by tipping the seats forward. For rear seat passengers thereís generous head, leg and foot room, and the panoramic roof fitted to our car results in a light and airy ambience.
Considering our Edge rides on 19-inch wheels, ride comfort is good. You could be forgiven for thinking that thereís either air suspension or an electronic adaptive setup being put to use, but there isnít anything sophisticated, just clever chassis tuning by Fordís engineers. And those same technicians have delivered an entertaining driving experience that has become a hallmark of Ford cars. Of course it isnít as lithe or smile-inducing as the companyís smaller cars, but it still steers with great aptitude, delivering excellent body control, lots of feel through the steering wheel and plenty of grip. Thereís very little in the way of body lean, even though itís a high sided SUV, with road manners that youíd normally expect from a saloon car. Vehicles from across the pond arenít known for their driving prowess, however, the Edge knocks that theory on its head.
Apart from mundane day-to-day duties running the family around, weíve used the Edge to empty a large bedroomís worth of furniture and take it to the tip, and put it to use towing our caravan for family holidays. And on site it has often proved to be a talking point, with other caravaners interested in how the large Ford performs. Its huge front grille and large Ford emblem sets it apart from other vehicles, delivering a look that is not only substantial but also quite unique. It is this boldness that is one of the attributes that Iíll miss when I wave goodbye in just a few daysí time.
Date arrived 28th November 2016
Fuel economy urban/extra urban/combined 44.1/52.3/48.7mpg
The ride comfort is excellent, even on 19-inch rims.
That electric park brake button still looks and feels a bit cheap to me.