First Drive: Ford Edge
Will the Edge help Ford reclaim market share in the family sector? By Steve Moody.Sector: SUV Price: From £29,995 Fuel: 48.7mpg CO2: 149g/km
Ford has finally caught up with many of the other volume brands and introduced a large SUV into its line-up.
About the same size as a Volkswagen Touareg and about the same price as a Hyundai Santa Fe, it will help fill a gap at the end of its large car line-up, where the S-MAX and Galaxy have been partially doing the job of making up for the drop in D-segment car sales. Where once the Mondeo sold by the bucketload for the Ford, now it shifts ‘only’ 20,000 a year. This is a still a lot of cars, but a fifth of the volume it might have sold in its heyday. So it is to the Edge to carry the fight for Fords costing around £30,000 or more.
The Edge is the first One Ford car that will sell in significant volume. What this means is that it has been engineered to sell in all world markets, once given a bit of a tweak for regional tastes. Indeed, it has been on sale in the USA for about a year, and only now goes on sale in Europe.
To ensure that it’s not just an American SUV foisted on us Europeans (see Explorer above), Ford has spent quite a lot of money on the engineering and construction of the car so that it can handle the stiffer suspension and sharper steering needed for our more winding, higher speed roads, as well as adding more soundproofing to reach the refinement levels expected in Europe.
There are two engines available: either the 176bhp 2.0 TDCi or the bi turbo, 206bhp version of essentially the same motor, while both come with a choice of six speed manual or six speed Powershift auto. All however, come with all-wheel drive as standard.
Odd then, that both manual low power and auto high power Edges have the same CO2 level, at 149g/km, and official combined fuel economy, at 48.7mpg. It will be a photo finish in a race between all models, with 9.4 seconds to 62mph for the 206bhp car and 9.9 for the 176bhp version.
The range is as straightforward as the engine line-up. From £29,995, Zetec starts it off, followed by Titanium at £32,245 and topped by Sport at £34,495.
Even in base Zetec spec, there are 19-inch alloy wheels, DAB radio, privacy glass, Lane Keeping Aid, rear view camera, powered bootlid and a host of other useful kit, while Titanium adds little luxuries such as heated seats, navigation and Active Noise Control, and looks like excellent value for money.
Although the Mondeo Vignale debuted the technology, the Edge is the first car to offer Ford’s active noise control and acoustic windows. The theory is that speakers transmit a noise at a frequency that cancels out the engine, while the glass has a thin film which does the same job with onrushing wind.
Even though it steers decently, it’s not really a car to drive especially fast, and with its firm but supple ride, width and comfy seats it’s the type of SUV you just want to cruise about in.
There is a lot of space inside, and occupants in the front sit a good distance from each other, there’s acres of space in the back and the boot is massive.
All this combined, will the Edge take Ford forward into new markets? Well, the experts have given this car the second highest predicted used value of any Ford (after the Focus RS), which suggests they reckon it has a chance.
The Edge is good value for money, handsome, well-specced and a very comfortable, practical SUV. Big family Fords are back.