It’s tempting to forget about the Ford Edge. After all, the Blue Oval’s exhaustive lineup of crossovers includes far cooler (Flex) and more capable (new Explorer) offerings. A quick gander at the sales chart, however, reveals that the Edge is Ford’s second best-selling crossover/SUV, trailing only the fleet-favorite Escape.
Meanwhile, the assortment of mid-size, two-row crossovers is advancing and expanding. Two of the three vehicles Ford cites as direct competitors -- the Honda Accord Crosstour, Toyota Venza and Nissan Murano -- didn’t exist when the Edge debuted in 2006. To that mix we’d add the Hyundai Santa Fe, GMC Terrain, and Chevrolet Equinox (which has surpassed the Edge so far this year and become the sales leader of bunch).
With all that in mind, it makes sense that the four-year-old Edge is not only deserving of an extensive makeover but also should be the first recipient of Ford’s most cutting edge in-car technology.
More swagger, more quality
As with last year’s redesign of the Fusion, on which the Edge is based, Ford designers have made a few styling tweaks in the name of a more expressive, aggressive look. The front fascia is completely new, with a long, Audi-like grille and cat-eye headlamps similar to those on the forthcoming new Explorer. Not to be outdone by the Venza with its twenty-inch wheels, Ford has made twenty-two-inch rims – previously an option -- standard on the top-of-the-line Sport model. Otherwise, it will take a current Edge owner (and a rather attentive one at that) to spot the changes, which include slightly different trim moldings and new tail lamps.
The old Edge’s weak link was its cabin, so it’s no surprise that Ford spent more time and money making changes inside. Passenger room and cargo capacity were already competitive with everything in the segment, so the dimensions remain unchanged, but everything one touches and sees has been completely redesigned and brought up to Ford’s new standards. The appealing, soft-touch dash takes clear cues from the Fusion and Taurus, with a colorful LCD instrument panel and center console that gracefully flows down between the front seats. Ford also seems to have borrowed a few ideas from its recently departed European subsidiaries. The clever storage space behind the center console smacks of Volvo, and the optional MyFord touch screen (which we’ll get to in greater detail later) is clearly a page from the Jaguar playbook. Even with the colorful screens, the Edge cabin isn’t quite high style -- the Equinox and Terrain in particular offer more appealing color and trim combinations -- but in terms of quality, the Edge is with little doubt the new benchmark in its price range.