If only the Active Noise Control in the Ford Edge worked to eliminate all unwanted noises... sadly, it only cancels out wind, road and engine roar, but it does it effectively. Microphones inside the car monitor the nasty stuff, and the audio system then generates sound waves that are played out through the speakers to cancel them – all without interfering with the decent sounds from the Sony stereo. The Edge is a seriously quiet and clever car.
It’s also huge – plenty of other large SUVs fail to offer the amount of space in the back that the Ford does. With three adult-sized children to carry on occasion, the Edge does it better than many – although the £175 optional inflatable rear seatbelts can be a bit of a pain to click into place.
The boot is similarly large, making the Edge a firm favourite with the Auto Express team when it comes to holidays, cycling trips or just moving stuff. And it’s the longer journeys where the car really excels – the quietness, space and comfort on the motorway really come into their own.
As does the kit list – Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system is easy to use and comes with Apple CarPlay included (which makes many of the standard functions obsolete), while there’s plenty of standard safety kit, too. I’ve also found the keyless tailgate, which you wave your foot under the bumper to open, surprisingly useful.
But as is often the way when you knock on the door of the premium world, the options on our model are costly. They total the best part of £6,000, taking the price of our test car to a grand total of £41,545. That puts the Edge up against some serious rivals with – let’s face it – more prestigious badges.
That’s not to say the Ford isn’t well built – it’s nicely put together, with plenty of squishy plastics that have impressed friends. However, in day-to-day driving on smaller, more congested country, town and city roads, the Edge just feels, well, big.
It’s not only the size that’s an issue – the inadequacies of the ride come to the fore. My local roads, I’m sure, are some of the worst in the country for potholes, and they’re best avoided in the Edge – ouch!
But if there’s space to swerve around them, the Edge will lean and wallow before you’re back on track. Similarly, you’ll be hanging on to the steering wheel if you take a roundabout or sweeping bend swiftly.
That all points back to the car’s origins – this is an SUV designed for the US market. It looks it, too, although I quite like the big, bold chrome grille. For long trips, the Edge is superb – plus reasonably efficient. But unless space is your ultimate goal, there are better SUVs for the school run.
Ford Edge: first report
So can the Edge start to position Ford as a major player in the lucrative SUV sector? We’ve added one to our fleet to find out.
The Edge is a product of the ‘One Ford’ global strategy, so it’s no surprise there’s a distinct North American look and feel to it. From a quality point of view, though, you’d struggle not to think the car was European.
However, catch a glimpse of the Edge in a shop window as you pass by and it’s a large car, dominated by a very American chrome grille. Still, it’s not unique; with my mind elsewhere, I recently approached a Hyundai Santa Fe thinking it was the Edge – they’re quite similar!
Our car is the Titanium model – one up from Zetec with a similarly-priced Sport model alongside it and the Vignale luxury special at the top of the range. At £35,845 and with plenty of luxury and safety kit on board, it’s not bad value, while some choice options like the £2,000 Lux Pack give you exactly that; a touch of luxury.
With the addition of adaptive LED lights (£1,075), adaptive cruise control (£500), that lovely Ruby Red metallic paint (£675) and a few other added extras, the price tops £41,000. Making a comparison spec for spec with the posher Vignale model, a difference of less than £2,000 is a bit too close for comfort; we’d be tempted to look longingly at the Vignale and haggle.
We collected our car from the impressive Trust Ford showroom on the Edgware Road in North London – the largest Ford dealership in Europe.
New car sales business manager Daniel Neal introduced me to our Edge and took time to talk me through everything from Ford’s SYNC3 infotainment to the powered tailgate, which can be operated by waving your foot under the rear bumper. It’s already proven its worth when carrying my Under-16s football team’s gear to matches; of course, my two sons never help with this.
They are happy in the back, though, because the width of the car means plenty of space. But while the inflatable rear seatbelts (£175) are a great safety feature, their hefty buckles are difficult to clip into place.
As well as ferrying my family around, the Edge has been used by my colleague James Burnay for his annual skiing holiday, where its space and comfort came to the fore. The car excels on longer trips; it’s quiet (helped by Active Noise Control to cancel unwanted noise) and will cruise comfortably.
Away from the motorway, there’s no disguising the Ford’s size. It’s a big old beast to manoeuvre around town, while the ride feels a little bit lumpy, too. The steering isn’t especially responsive, but take it easy and the automatic box slips through gears easily and the diesel engine is reasonably hushed.
The Edge may be easy to live with, but its biggest problem is the choice in the SUV sector – including some hugely talented rivals. So let’s see if it can worm its way into our affections in the coming months.
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