2016 Ford Edge 2.0 TDCi Bi-Turbo Test Drive: An American Tries to Make It in Europe
On sale in the U.S. since early 2015, the Ford Edge lands in Europe with diesel engines, loads of standard features, and steep pricing
It has taken Ford almost two years to bring the second-generation Edge crossover SUV from the United States to Europe. Sitting above the Kuga in the brand's lineup this side of the Atlantic, the Edge is the latest episode of the One Ford plan, the Blue Oval's strategy to offer the same vehicle models in all parts of the world. But does that work in a very demanding market like Europe?
The Edge is clearly a vehicle designed for American customers first and foremost. It's big, flashy, and packed with features. It may be a Sports Utility Vehicle, but the only sporty thing about the Edge is the design. It looks like a hot hatch on steroids thanks to its dynamic profile, steeply raked rear window, roof spoiler, and big wheels shod with low-profile tires.
It turns many heads on the street, but do looks suffice to convince European buyers? Obviously not, which is why Ford sells the Edge only with diesel engines in Europe. We tried the most powerful version: a biturbo 2.0-liter TDCi unit rated at 210 PS (207 hp) and these are our impressions.
Created for:highwaysall terrain
Hats off for:passenger spaceluggage spacecomfortmodularitysafety
Bang for the buck:meh
The 2.0-liter biturbo diesel puts out 210 PS (207 hp) and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque. Power goes to all four wheels via a six-speed PowerShift dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Since the transmission shifts gears slowly and the Edge weighs almost two tonnes (1,950 kg/4,299 lb), it doesn't feel like a 207 hp vehicle on the road — and that’s a shame.
The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes 9.4 seconds and top speed is 211 km/h (131 mph). However, the engine itself is a peach: it’s refined, torquey, and quick-revving. But it deserves a much better transmission than the six-speed PowerShift, which unfortunately is the only one offered with this engine.
In corners, the fat SUV generates a lot of body roll, and there’s little feedback from the steering. If you want a dynamic SUV, the Edge is not it — although it looks like one. Off the beaten path, the Edge can only handle basic difficulty courses.
The Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system (also used by the S-MAX MPV) is fully automatic and lacks a terrain management system like the Explorer has in America. Furthermore, ground clearance is rather small, making the Edge a crossover SUV that you can take off-road only occasionally.
Euro NCAP has not assessed the Ford Edge yet, but in North America, the crossover has received good crashworthiness ratings both from the IIHS and NHTSA. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded it the maximum "Good" rating for moderate overlap front impact, side impact, roof strength as well as head restraints & seats.
The Edge got an "Acceptable" rating in the small overlap front impact and a minimum "Basic" rating for crash avoidance and mitigation. In government crash tests, the Edge earned a maximum five-star overall rating.
You can criticize American SUVs for many things, but comfort is not one of them. The Edge makes no exception, offering good ride quality and a quiet cabin. The standard Active Sound Control system contributes to that by canceling out unwanted engine and suspension noises via sound waves emitted through the car's speakers. It works in a similar way to noise-canceling headphones.
The seats are very comfortable and spacious, and everything is power-assisted. On the downside, the optional 20-inch wheels are frustrating on poor-quality roads, making the standard 19-inch rims better suited for all conditions.
Ford likes to describe the Edge as a premium SUV, but when it comes to quality, the cabin cannot compare with interiors from luxury models. Despite the fact that our Edge was the mid-range Titanium trim, it had some hard plastics on the center console and the lower part of the door panels, and the shiny metallic trim didn't look posh either.
The fit and finish are not premium: the uneven gaps between the materials used to cover the center tunnel are not acceptable on a €50,000 car. The optional soft leather upholstery looks and feels upscale, though.
Since this is a 4.8-meter long vehicle almost as wide as a Range Rover, space is abundant inside. Front and rear passengers enjoy an ample environment, although the optional panoramic roof takes away some of the headroom, primarily at the back. Legroom and elbow room are generous for rear passengers, and cargo volume is enormous as well - 602 liters (21.2 cu ft) loaded up to the rear parcel shelf. 60/40 split-folding rear seats are standard, as are the many storage spaces found throughout the cabin.
These include two king-size cupholders between the front seats and a cavernous box under the armrest. My only beef with the Edge is the fact that it lacks a seven-seat option, although in China Ford sells a longer version with two additional seats.
It's a pity the Ford Edge features the dated SYNC 2 infotainment system, as the newer SYNC 3 beats it in every aspect: graphics, speed, intuitiveness — you name it. The SYNC 2 interface is rather slow for today's standards, but once you get the hang of it, you're less bothered by that. The menu is too complicated, and the screen has an annoying delay after you touch it.
Good thing Ford also fitted physical buttons for the car's chief functions, so you're not obliged to use the screen if you don't want to. Besides the central touchscreen display, two smaller screens in the instrument panel show information about driving and infotainment.
Fuel economy is decent for a car this size: we managed to get as low as 7 l/100 km (33.6 mpg US). That's far from the claimed 5.8 l/100 km (40.5 mpg US), and if you drive it hard (like test cars are usually driven) the board computer starts to display higher figures. For example, our Edge showed an all-time average fuel consumption of 9.9 l/100 km (23.7 mpg US), having covered almost 2,000 kilometers from new. CO2 emissions are 149 g/km for the Edge equipped with this powertrain.
The Ford Edge Titanium features most creature comforts a typical user may ever need. Standard equipment includes Keyless Entry, power windows, power and heated side mirrors, heated windscreen, heated steering wheel, automatic headlights, power tailgate, light and rain sensors, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, a nine-speaker Sony sound system, navigation, and more.
Ford even offers some advanced safety features as standard, such as Lane Departure Warning, rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, hill start assist, and emergency brake assist.
A base Ford Edge Trend equipped with the 180 PS (178 hp) 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine and six-speed manual gearbox starts at €42,900 in Germany (VAT included). But a mid-range Ford Edge Titanium with the 210 PS engine and PowerShift six-speed auto (similar to the one we tested) is priced from €50,100.
That puts it dangerously close to the very competent VW Touareg V6 TDI BlueMotion (€53,700), not to mention premium SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz GLC 250d 4Matic (€46,826.50) or the BMW X3 xDrive20d Steptronic (€44,950). Therefore, I don't see the Edge gaining many followers in Europe, except maybe some loyal Ford customers wanting to upgrade from the Kuga or the S-MAX.