Edgier and Slightly Angrier but an Edge All the Same
Words by Cam Benty Photos courtesy of Ford
Cooler and quicker than any of its predecessors, the Edge ST is a testament that Ford is taking their “No coupes” edict seriously. With the Ford Mustang the only remaining coupe left in the line up, Ford is focused on making their SUV line up more attractive to buyers. To that end, the new ST delivers 85 more horsepower than the standard level four cylinder-powered Edge models perking up this very successful platform. Waving their Eco-Boost wand over the St’s V6 engine and adding a second turbocharger, the ST is definitely quicker than previous Edge vehicles with 335 HP and 380 lb. ft. of torque blowing through a butter smooth, 8-speed automatic transmission.
Dressed out with sporty body elements including black out 20-inch diameter wheels (21-inch wheels are optional), the ST cuts to profile of an Edge on steroids. Red brake calipers add to the sporty appeal and Pirelli P-Zero tires are used all around (265/40R21’s in our case). While the initial Edge offerings back in 2007 were plagued with some reliability issues, over the last 12 years, the Edge has been refined as well as twisted, in the case, in to far more than soccer mom transportation. And that’s a good thing.
In highway and city testing, the ST is not a stellar performer, the best we could muster in either element averaging out to about 22.4 mpg, which is frankly only a little worse than the four cylinder-powered Edge models we had driven. That said, we did feel the performance enhancement was worth the trade off (of course we would say that, right?). According to Ford, the ST delivers 2 more mpg than the previous V6 versions but our experience was clearly different.
With a list price of $43,350 for the base ST, we felt this was right in line with a lot of performance-style SUV’s like the Audi Q7 and the Buick Enclave Avenir. Our version tipped the scales at $51,655 with the additional things like the bigger wheels, upgraded sound system, navigation and panoramic sunroof (check out the 401A Equipment Group). We like our ST in this trim but the price is starting to creep into areas where some big players lurk so they may be stretching the limits of good sense.
Inside there is a significant amount of carry over from the previous Edge model years in fact a number of elements unchanged since 2011 – the year of my personally owned Edge Sport. That’s really not an issue since the previous layout was quite good. The new center-mounted speedometer is clearer and cleaner than my previous experience and toggling around the various instrument panel read outs delivered lots of good driver info.
The interior seating is excellent with good visibility all around through the huge glass canopy. Our model features the optional panoramic sunroof that made star gazing a special treat. The buttons used to operate the sunroof were not as intuitive as you would imagine, four buttons used to open the sunshade, close the sunshade or tilt open the roof. Not to worry we figured it out after some trial and error.
The Bang & Olufsen premium sound system is excellent and features those key tuning elements that will make any sound connoisseur extra happy. One thing that will frustrate performance exhaust note fans is that fact that in the performance ESC mode that under acceleration, Ford pipes in additional exhaust “tone” just to embellish the experience rather than a real performance exhaust. Under acceleration the ST is very quiet which is probably in keeping with focus group findings (that’s a frustration). Regardless the ST is still our favorite of the lineup and with outstanding grip (0.89G’s) and stop times from 70mph of less than 165 ft. (despite the 4565 lb. curb weight) it is a more than able road handler.
Overall we were quite happy with the ST and its performance “costuming.” It is a sharp looking SUV with nice touches like chrome exhaust bezels, light aero-derived touches of the bodywork and those black out wheels that make it all come together. Best of all, it is great utility vehicle as the SUV acronym promises with comfort for five inside (it still has those awesome reclining rear seats remember) and a large cargo area. The rear seats even fold down electrically, which is another nice touch.
Yep, not a bad way to get around town and not look like your headed to soccer practice – even if you are.
Here’s a confession: I have over 100,000 miles of Edge Sport driving on my resume. Having owned and operated one for many years, the platform road tested very comfortable to me.
My ownership ended quite abruptly when a truck bad an illegal turn and cut in front of my wife. She hit, full force, into the side of the trailered vehicle. The Edge Sport was totaled but withstood the impact as designed. The air bags deployed perfectly and while she was sore from the shock, she had no physical damage.
To me that accident speaks loudly to the safety of these vehicles. Knowing that the newest Edge is based on that same structure, it gives me great comfort in knowing that the Edge is still a very safe and sensible choice for regular and now, with the ST performance package, entertaining transportation. Two thumbs up! – Cam Benty