Ford has brought its go-fast ST moniker over to a crossover for the first time. The ST badge and the more elite RS badge have traditionally been reserved for sports cars but with performance SUVs and crossovers gaining in popularity, it was a logical move. Some say it dilutes the ST brand but much like Porsche deciding to sell SUVs didn’t dilute its brand, having an ST-badged Edge won’t deter a single soul from buying a Ford Fiesta ST or Ford Focus ST.
The Edge is an interesting product, slotting in between the compact Escape and the mid-size Explorer crossovers. Similar to the Nissan Murano, the Edge is for people who may not want/need the full family-hauling ability of the explorer but want something a little larger and classier than a compact crossover.
For 2019, the Edge gets a facelift including sportier new front and rear fascia, grille, hood and liftgate. It’s certainly a good-looking vehicle and the ST version, in particular, jazzes things up with a special front grille, ST badging, side skirts, 20-inch wheels (with optional 21-inch) and a unique rear bumper emphasizing the dual exhaust outlets.
To match the looks and as well as give it enough juice to honor the ST badge, Ford has a model-specific 2.7-litre turbo V6 Ecoboost engine under the hood mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Output is rated at 335 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque. The Edge ST was quick in a straight line and handled corners masterfully thanks to revised front and rear springs and mono-tube shock absorbers also unique to the ST. Paddle shifters allow for manual operation however shift response was not all that quick. One thing I didn’t like was steering feel. The vehicle felt heavy and it was a chore to daily drive around town. The steering wheel itself wasn’t comfortable and perhaps too thin. I felt as if there was no position for the wheel and seats which allowed me to get truly comfortable driving the Edge.
Fuel economy is decent, even with the sporty V6. I averaged 12.3L/100km which is better than what I expected. I did do a lot of city driving and can probably improve upon this figure even more. Ford doesn’t require premium gas for the Edge ST but to get the maximum performance out of the engine it’s best to use it. If fuel efficiency is your big concern then think about opting for the 250-horsepower four-cylinder in one of the lower trim levels.
The Edge has a reasonably well laid-out cockpit and features an electronic dial as a gear shifter. It works well and allows for more storage space compared to a large traditional shifter. Ford’s Sync3 infotainment system with a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and is one of the better systems on the market in terms of usability. As always, I thank any manufacturer for putting physical buttons for fan speed and temperature. The cavernous trunk will allow you to put a few golf bags or suitcases in it without issue. A very nice option Ford offers is a rear seat DVD entertainment system which is a must for any family with kids.
In terms of standard safety features, the ST comes with blind-spot information system with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beam headlights. The test vehicle came equipped with the 401A equipment package which will run you $5800 and includes evasive steering assist, adaptive cruise control, a panoramic roof, voice-activated navigation, auto dimming mirrors, universal garage door opening, wireless smartphone charging, a perimeter alarm, enhanced park assist, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel and adaptive LED headlights. The Ford Edge ST has a starting price of $49,099 and with the options, the test vehicle had a sticker price of $55,949 before delivery charges. That’s a heluva amount of money for a Ford Edge in my opinion. Yes, it has plenty of features and options but for a modest increase in performance over the standard Edge and an uninspiring drive, it’s hard to justify the added expenditure.