For model year 2019 the Ford Edge has been honed ever sharper thanks to an injection of fresh technology, updated exterior design and the availability of a brand-new, high-performance ST model.
The most noticeable change to this trendsetting crossover is found front and center. It gains a bold new grille, which, on ST models, is filled with a three-dimensional mesh texture. Flanking this opening are standard LED headlamps across the model lineup; fog lights utilizing the same illumination technology are available for extra cost.
Along with that new grille, the hood’s leading edge has been pulled forward for a more aggressive, confident look. Emphasizing this stance, Steve Gilmore, Edge design manager said, “It’s all about width.” The vehicle’s front and rear bumpers were sculpted in a way that allows hood and hatch lines to flow neatly into the bumper covers, accentuating this Edge’s planted stance. The rear liftgate and exhaust finishers have also been reworked.
Inside, designers made more tweaks, notably giving customers some extra choice. “We’ve added three colors to the interior mix,” said Gilmore. There’s also a new rotary shift knob.
Other creature comforts inside the 2019 Ford Edge include an embedded wireless modem. It provides internet connectivity for up to 10 devices and a maximum range of about 50 feet. The company’s Sync 3 infotainment system is standard and now supports a convenient Amazon Alexa app. An optional, custom designed 12-speaker B&O Play audio system should provide a concert-quality listening experience, even at freeway speeds.
On the safety front, this automotive tastemaker will come standard with a range of advanced driver-assistance tech, including hill-start assist, blind spot monitoring, automatic high beams, forward collision warning and more. For an extra outlay of cash, the company will also install things like enhanced active park assist, evasive-steering assist as well as adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability and lane centering.
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But what about performance? Well, engineers worked to improve the new Edge in this area as well.
Four models will be offered: SE, SEL, Titanium as well as the performance-tuned ST. The first of these three are offered with just one engine, a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder unit that’s now rated at 250 horsepower and 275 foot-pounds of torque. That’s just a five-pony increase over the outgoing model, though the transmission is where things have really been enhanced. A brand-new eight-ratio unit handles shifting duties and should help improve acceleration while reducing fuel consumption.
As for the Edge ST, it’s the one enthusiasts will certainly care most about, and for good reason. It’s the first Ford Performance-tuned crossover ever offered.
Available with unique paint colors, special interior treatments and optional 21-inch wheels, it clearly stands out from mainline versions of this vehicle. But it’s what’s behind that blacked-out trim and underneath those suede-trimmed bucket seats that matters most.
Motivating ST models is a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 that’s rated at 335 horses and 380 foot-pounds of torque, numbers that should make it the most powerful vehicle in its class. This engine is also backed by that new eight-speed gearbox. All-wheel drive is standard because, well, could you imagine sending all that twist to just the front wheels? It wouldn’t be very pleasant.
Helping support the speed this powertrain can provide are more aggressive dampers, stiffer springs and much bigger brakes. In fact, for drivers that want to go all out there’s a set of optional binders that are even more fade resistant. Summer rubber is also available.
Proving this ST-tuned crossover isn’t completely out of its element on a racetrack, the stability control system has a relaxed setting that, in the words of Jonathan Crocker, Edge vehicle engineering manager, “[Allows you to] explore the limits within the laws of your local municipality.” If that’s not enough, it can also be completely disabled for maximum hooliganism.
It’s the same story when you engage sport mode. The gearchanges get rescheduled and the throttle sensitivity remapped, that’s expected, but beyond this the paddle shifters enable real manual shifting. “If you want to bounce it off the rev limiter for the next 10 minutes, you can do that,” said Crocker. It will not upshift on its own.
According to Crocker, “It’s not a color, it’s not a badge, it’s not even an engine,” the 2019 Edge ST is a complete package offering improved handling, braking, acceleration and even more aggressive sounds.
Since the first generation of this nameplate debuted in 2006, the company has sold more than 1.3 million copies in the U.S., with global deliveries reaching 2 million units. For model year 2019, Ford is looking to continue this crossover winning streak.
Pricing and fuel-economy figures are not available at this time, but the substantially updated Edge should go on sale this summer.