First Drive: 2019 Ford Edge
Midsize crossover gets modernized… Sort of. Safety systems highlight updates
PARK CITY, Utah — The Ford Edge is one of those vehicles that you can sometimes forget exists. But when Ford's popular midsize crossover creeps into your thoughts, you suddenly start to see them everywhere—in this case during a road trip I took to Utah to drive the updated Edge and it's sporty new variant, the Edge ST.
Cosmetically, nothing much has been done to the 2019 Ford Edge that's going to stop you in your tire tracks to gaze at it any more than you normally would (or wouldn't). Ford stylists have touched up the front and rear fascias, but only slightly. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, it has become a bit anonymous amidst the flood of crossovers plying American roads, but the Edge looked fine the way it was last year, and it looks fine now.
Though not readily apparent on the surface, there have been several significant updates to the 2019 Edge. First and foremost is the new safety and driver assistance suite Ford calls Co-Pilot 360, a title that some might consider a bit misleading. It comes as standard equipment and includes collision detection with automatic braking, a lane-keeping assistance system, blind-spot and cross-traffic warning, a backup camera, and automatic high-beams. Also standard but, for reasons only the marketing geniuses will understand, not grouped under the Co-Pilot banner are a post-collision braking system and rain-sensing wipers.
Co-Pilot evokes images of a semi-autonomous driving, and indeed you can get adaptive cruise control and what Ford terms a lane-centering system for the Edge that work quite well (though the Edge does sometimes bounce back and forth a bit between the lane lines before centering itself). But they're extra-cost options and not part of the standard Co-Pilot 360 suite, which makes us question the Co-Pilot moniker in general (never mind the fact that the word "copilot" has no hyphen). You might disagree, but that's an argument we should save for an evening of drinking when we've exhausted other more interesting subjects, i.e. everything else in the world.
Other shiny new tech includes a built-in 4G LTE WiFi hot spot and support for Alexa and Waze (the navigation app Los Angelenos live and die by), nice additions to the expected Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support. The 2019 Edge's optional all-wheel-drive system can disconnect the rear axle to save fuel. And while we're listing standard-fit goodies, all Edges also get LED headlights, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and a 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo four-banger with 250 hp. (Ford has dropped the old-school naturally-aspirated V-6 for the Edge and the 335-hp, 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 will only be available for the Edge ST.)
Why are we bothering to list all of the standard kit, in a manner more befitting to Consumer Reports than Automobile? Because Ford has priced the entry-level Edge SE at $30,990, which is a pretty decent deal for a big-ish crossover with plenty of back-seat and cargo space and so much standard equipment.
Would you actually want to buy a 2019 Edge? You might. While hardly a pulse-quickener, the Edge is pleasant enough to drive, with decent low-end pickup from the turbocharged engine. The suspension emphasizes ride comfort, and while handling and roadholding aren't without merit, the body does lean quite a bit in sharper turns.
The only notable change to the otherwise well-appointed (especially in Titanium trim), slightly aging interior is the addition of a rotary shifter, which adds a touch of modernity. But the infotainment screen's chunky graphics look dated and using it presents a steep learning curve—there are too few buttons on the center stack and too many on the steering wheel. That said, the voice recognition works pretty well.
And then, of course, there's the Edge's American-branded cachet; just don't mention to your more patriotic buddies that the Edge is screwed together in Ontario, Canada.
Overall, the Ford Edge is one of those vehicles that make the wheels of commerce turn. Exciting it isn't, but nice it is, and it does its job more than well enough for likes of John Q. and Jane Z. Public. While the Edge's updated technology is hardly new to the segment, it's enough to keep this roomy and useful SUV competitive—and hopefully enough for me to remember it.
2019 Ford Edge Specifications
|ENGINE||2.0L turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4/250 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 275 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm|
|LAYOUT||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, FWD/AWD SUV|
|EPA MILEAGE||21-22/28-29 mpg city/highway|
|L x W x H||188.8 x 75.9 x 68.3 in|
|0-60 MPH||8.0 sec (est)|
|TOP SPEED||120 mph (est)|