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Ford Edge SUV long-term test: we finally know where we're going!

CAR logo CAR 10/05/2017 CARMagazine

Ford Edge SUV long-term test: we finally know where we're going!

Ford Edge SUV long-term test: we finally know where we're going!
© Bauer Media 2017

► On sale in the USA for some time

► Now it's reached the UK

► And it's in our car park

Month 4 running a Ford Edge SUV: nav niggles finally fixed!

From day one, the nav tile on the Ford Edge's HMI home screen has refused to launch any actual navigation, requesting that I insert a new SD card.

Fortunately, I haven't been anywhere new in the three months I've had the car. But next month I drive to the Alps, and a bit of navigation would be handy.

Thankfully, replacing the old card with a new one (Europe F5 – classic) fixed the issue immediately, and now the Ford knows where it's going – namely 799 miles across southern England and the length of France.

By Ben Miller

Logbook: Ford Edge 2.0 Titanium

  • Engine 1997cc 16v turbodiesel 4-cyl, 207bhp @ 3750rpm, 332lb ft @ 2000rpm  
  • Gearbox 6-speed dual-clutch, all-wheel drive  
  • Stats 9.4sec 0-62mph, 131mph, 149g/km CO2, 1949kg  
  • Price £34,495  
  • As tested £39,965  
  • Miles this month 1007.1
  • Total miles 9774
  • Our mpg 33.3
  • Official mpg 48.7  
  • Fuel this month £142.27
  • Extra costs £0

Month 3 running a Ford Edge SUV: wearable keys? Kind of...

Jaguar Land Rover has the Activity Key, its surf-ready ‘wearable’ that lets you lock your actual keys in your F-Pace/Discovery and head out to do whatever it is you do (canoe, ski, eat cheesecake in a paddling pool), then simply hold the heat-, cold- and water-resistant bracelet up to the car’s rear badge to be granted access.

With the Edge I just lock it, tuck the key fob in my crisp white sports sock, hope the puddles aren’t too deep and run slowly thinking about crisps.

By Ben Miller

Logbook: Ford Edge 2.0 Titanium

  • Engine 1997cc 16v turbodiesel 4-cyl, 207bhp @ 3750rpm, 332lb ft @ 2000rpm  
  • Gearbox 6-speed dual-clutch, all-wheel drive  
  • Stats 9.4sec 0-62mph, 131mph, 149g/km CO2, 1949kg  
  • Price £34,495  
  • As tested £39,965  
  • Miles this month 977  
  • Total miles 8767 
  • Our mpg 31.4 
  • Official mpg 48.7  
  • Fuel this month £172.77  
  • Extra costs £0

Month 2 running a Ford Edge crossover: how does it cope as a dog wagon?

There is huge satisfaction to be derived from having the right tool – and preferably a hugely over-specified tool – for the job at hand. It’s why I doubt anyone’s ever bought the cheapest axe in the hardware store. Better to go for the one that’s three times the price, wrought in a steel also used by samurai blacksmiths and bundled with the leather holster and the sharpening kit you’ll either lose instantly or never use. One month into Ford Edge ownership and its sheer handiness is helping the thing worm its way into my affections despite my best efforts. 

Key to this is the way it makes everything so easy. When it’s just me hacking to work the Ford’s keyless go, commanding driving position, fine infotainment system and slick enough powertrain (207bhp four-cylinder turbo diesel driving all four wheels via a six-speed twin-clutch ’box; refined enough below 2500rpm and half-throttle) make miles falling-off-a-log easy. It doesn’t raise an eyebrow at two teenage boys with at least four bags each, the heated rear seats helping scrape morale from the floor on sub-zero Monday mornings and the powered bootlid makes for slick school drop-offs and pick-ups.

The pretty porky Ford even copes okay when you’re in a hurry, though I’ll get into finer points of its dynamic strengths and weaknesses at a later date. Right now my Edge related thrills are far more prosaic, and mainly involve the effortless transportation of a dog to areas wild and unpopulated enough for off-lead exercise. And for this task the Edge is a joy. Ford offers dog bars on its accessories website (ford-accessories.co.uk), described as a load retention guard, for £295, and a load compartment mat at £132.

Deploy both and Edge’s boot becomes a peerless hound relocation space, the guard preventing any unwanted dog/primary driving-control interaction at speed while the mat saves the boot floor from irrevocable soiling/chewing, and even boasts a fold-out bumper cover, to prevent clawing of the paint on the car’s body-coloured bumper. Fitting the mat involves opening the boot and putting it in it. The website advises dealer fitment of the dog bars but it’s a breeze: remove a couple of random brackets just behind the second row, fit guard brackets in their place and feed the top of the guard into bespoke mounts in the ceiling. 

And then it’s just a case of heading down all those unexplored lanes you’ve previously clocked from the road and wondered where they lead. Incredibly given the Ford’s road-orientated rubber and my complete lack of off-road driving experience, I’ve yet to get it stuck.

Mud, ruts, puddles like lakes – all have so far been conquered without effort by the Ford’s all-wheel drive, the graphic on the dash showing the torque being punted rearward (up to a 50:50 front/rear split) as the front tyres struggle and the mud starts to fly. You can watch it in action away from a standing start on the road too, though it’s best to have dropped the dog home first. 

By Ben Miller

Logbook: Ford Edge 2.0 Titanium

  • Engine 1997cc 16v turbodiesel 4-cyl, 207bhp @ 3750rpm, 332lb ft @ 2000rpm  
  • Gearbox 6-speed dual-clutch, all-wheel drive  
  • Stats 9.4sec 0-62mph, 131mph, 149g/km CO2, 1949kg  
  • Price £34,495  
  • As tested £39,965  
  • Miles this month 2256  
  • Total miles 5108  
  • Our mpg 34.83  
  • Official mpg 48.7  
  • Fuel this month £173  
  • Extra costs £427 (dog guard and boot mat)

Month 1 running a Ford Edge SUV: the introduction

The Ford Edge is proving a car of surprises already: sometimes literally, since it’s so big that things – and friends – you haven’t seen for a while occasionally pop out as you explore the car’s deeper recesses. And in the couple of weeks it’s been with us it’s managed to take a few people by surprise.

Often they’ll admire its refreshingly svelte (for an SUV) fastback shape before being alarmed to discover it’s a Ford. Or they’ll be physically and mentally slouching into the robustly heated seats, visibly purring at the quality of the ride and the spacious accommodation, when you spot them double-taking at the blue oval on the steering wheel. Somewhere in Ford’s product planning department, you can smell the furious high-fiving.

In the US the Edge has been out a couple of years, with a mid-cycle refresh imminent. For the UK market that product planning team has sent the car over in four familiar trim levels and with a choice of two power outputs from a standard-issue 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel – we can’t be trusted with the 311bhp 2.7-litre twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 US buyers enjoy, more’s the pity.

Zetec trim means 178bhp and a manual gearbox. Mid-range Titanium, feisty Sport or flagship Vignale (from £38k…) offer the same or 207bhp and Ford’s PowerShift twin-clutch auto. We’ve 207bhp, 332lb ft of torque (the lesser engine is 0.5sec slower to 62mph but marginally cleaner and more efficient) with all-wheel drive (standard on all Edges) and PowerShift.

Titanium trim brings some key hardware over and above Zetec including keyless entry, powered bootlid, 9-speaker infotainment with nav and DAB, parking sensors front and rear (Zetec pilots must berth the beast using a rear camera and The Force), acoustic side glass and nice-to-have stuff like mats, some chrome exterior trim and illuminated scuff plates. Thrusting, aspirational Sport trades 19s for 20s, lobs some incongruously sporty plastic bits at the car, re-tunes the suspension for less squish and throws in ‘whoah there’ adaptive steering. 

Additional equipment on our made-to-make-life-easy Ford adds up to more than £5k of additional spend – I’m sure it won’t be long before a good chunk of it feels unnecessary. Leading the charge is the Lux Pack (climate front seats, heated rear seats, openable panorama roof), ably assisted by adaptive LED headlights (£1075), adaptive cruise control (£500), park assist (parallel and perpendicular, £150) and entirely forgettable nautilus blue premium paint (£545).

There’s nothing like a three-star review to set your pulse to absolutely no higher than it is when you’re fast asleep. Chris Chilton ranked the Edge very definitely not first in our Quick Group Test back in October, admitting the Ford was roomy and ‘pretty good to drive’ before handing out higher ratings to the Mercedes GLC (the winner) and seven-seat Land Rover Discover Sport thanks to the Ford’s paucity of charisma and pace.

Deep-dive the spec sheet and certainly there’s little cause for optimism in the 1949kg kerb weight or the 9.4sec 0-62mph time. Then you look at the price. The Edge range starts at a fiver under £30k, and my Titanium a palatable £34,495 before options. That Mercedes it lost to? £39,595. You’ll need more for a decent Discovery Sport.

So the Ford might just be good value. It’s certainly massive (602 litres rear seats up, 1847 with them folded) and as Chris alluded to, the badge promises a more interesting drive than, say, Kia’s terminally disinterested Sorento. Ford’s long prided itself on glossing even humdrum machinery with a little welcome dynamic flair and the Edge was re-tuned for European roads and British tastes. A go-anywhere, carry-anything tool unafraid of a few quick corners? Promising.

Plans? To subject the Edge to the rigours of life without a second thought and watch it sink or swim. There’s also a towbar itching to have a trailer and a Caterham hitched to it, European nav mapping just begging to be pointed at the Alps (four of us, in February) and some dog-related accessories in the brochure the at least part-domesticated Labradoodle can’t wait to destruction test. And if the born-in-the-USA Edge can come through that little lot unscathed that’ll be the biggest surprise of all. 

By Ben Miller

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