From the concept to the end product, the Edge is a new thing. It’s Ford of Europe’s first large SUV, based on Mondeo undergarments, but with four-wheel-drive, two powerful diesel engines (with more under consideration) and a new, premium shtick with which the American company wants to poke the German luxury brands.
It’s part of the OneFord programme, so it’s built in North America and exported all over the globe with minor changes to suit different markets. We awkward Europeans with our bumpy B-roads had a big say in how the suspension and handling were tuned.
If you’re thinking it looks a bit ‘Murican in the pictures, you’re not alone. But the blocky styling and slightly in-your-face dark wheels and detailing of the range-topping Sport model sing a pretty good tune in the metal. The Titanium model is more reserved; a bit more middle-of-the-road. It’s improbably wide, though, with a high and highly-shaped bonnet, so it looks even bigger than it actually is. While the build and materials quality is for the most part a big step up for Ford, it’s competing with S line Audi Q5s and mid-grade BMW X3s. Even the entry-level Jaguar F-Pace is a rival. Next to those badges, the Blue Oval can’t really compete.
Where the Edge scores points is for its clever design, which squeezes loads of usefulness into its 4.8m length. There are bag hooks in the boot, a spare wheel, a cabin wide enough for three kids to sit side-by-side on bean bags, and enough clever storage spaces to make it a nightmare for customs officials at border crossings.
The amount of empty air around the front seats is amazing. Even the current Mr Universe wouldn’t have shoulders broad enough to fill the width. Including the stubby mirrors, the Edge is well over two metres wide, and it feels it on the road, but it does create an implausibly spacious cabin.
Driven back-to-back, the more powerful diesel offers noticeably more low-down punch. The twin-clutch automatic gearbox helps make the most of that, too, only kicking down when your throttle pedal inputs clearly ask for it. The 2l diesel might not be the most refined on the market, but Ford’s soundproofing and Active Noise Control suppress wind and road noise. The quiet at motorway speeds (and beyond) is uncanny.
The Sport’s variable-ratio steering is frustrating, as is every other system like it. Approach the same corner at different speeds and you’ll need two entirely different steering inputs to negotiate it. The standard set-up is slower to turn the car, but feels more consistent, despite a strong urge to self-centre. Neither transmits any meaningful road feel.
Sport models have a harder suspension system that permits less body roll, but rides with a jiggly edge on its 20” wheels that’s missing from the Titanium and its 19s. As a trade-off the Sport feels more planted in corners, and has the more supportive seats for the job.
The model to go for is the Titanium with the Lux pack, the more powerful engine and the automatic gearbox, although to create it you also need to add the full-fat and rather bass-heavy Sony stereo system. For full effect, add LED headlights and the panoramic roof — driving the price close to €60,000.
Clearly a Ford enthusiast, of which there are many, will look at the Edge as a proper family car. And it is. It’s America-big, so feels a bit wide for a lot of minor European roads, but the amount of space and practicality is incredible. If the German options just don’t light your candle, the Edge offers a new choice.
mythical figure it might be Hercules; broad, steadfast. and with many strengths.
Ford Edge 2.0 Duratorq 210PS AWD Titanium (prices from €55,700)
Four-cylinder turbodiesel producing 207bhp and 332lb/ft
Six-speed automatic driving all four wheels
Top speed 131mph, 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds
48.9mpg (19in wheels)
149g/km (19” wheels