► New Ford Edge tested in the UK
► All-wheel drive standard
► No option of seven seats
The Ford Edge is the Blue Oval’s first foray into the large off-roader market in the UK since the petrol station-draining 4.0-litre Ford Explorer of the ’90s. In an effort to make a little more of a mark on the market this time around, Ford has halved the engine size and opted for diesel.
Ford’s also pricing the Edge competitively, with the range starting from just under £30,000, which could aid this SUV’s success. Even the range-topping version weighs in at £2000 less than the cheapest all-wheel drive automatic version of the Jaguar F-Pace.
Can I have it with seven seats, though?
While Land Rover, Hyundai and Kia offer seven-seat models, the Edge is available solely with five seats – which might come as a disappointment, given its size. The engine and trim choice is limited too, with just manual-only 178bhp and automatic-only 207bhp diesel motors and three trims – Zetec, Titanium and Sport. All-wheel drive is standard, however.
The kit list is pretty decent across the range, with even the base-spec version including 19-in alloys, automatic headlights and wipers, a rear-view camera and a refinement-boosting ‘active noise control’ system. Sat-nav and parking sensors are only important bits of kit otherwise absent in the entry-level grade.
Looks pretty hefty. How does that 2.0-litre diesel fare?
Whether you opt for the 207bhp or 178bhp model the performance feels similar, with the automatic ’box smothering the punchier motor’s extra muscle – and the Edge’s substantial kerb weight blunting acceleration in both cases. The automatic is still faster than the lower-powered manual, however, taking 9.4sec to 62mph compared to 9.9sec.
Getting any prompt response out of the Edge proves taxing, with the throttle requiring a fairly hefty prod before the ’box kicks down and the motor wakes up. In comparison, the 178bhp Land Rover Discover Sport feels much more responsive. Use the wheel-mounted paddles to find the right gear, though, and the Edge picks up speed at an adequate pace.
Does it drive as well as the other models in Ford’s range?
The Edge feels impressively wieldy around bends, belying its generous dimensions and weight. Opt for Titanium trim, which includes 19-in wheels, and the ride is firm but smooth. The Ford does a decent job of smoothing out the surface beneath it, resulting in a relaxed, easy-going nature – although some more significant bumps can cause it to kick up a fuss.
Sport trim ups the ante, with the standard-fit 20-in wheels and upgraded suspension adding a little extra stiffness. Despite this, the ride’s a little more settled – and the steering feels sharper, too.
So it’s a good long-distance steed, then?
The 2.0-litre diesel engines prove quiet at speed, though wind noise is more prominent than expected. The seats, meanwhile, are particularly comfortable and offer plenty of support. There’s also lots of space in both rows, although headroom is tighter than expected with the optional full-length glass roof; six-footers may find their hair touching the headlining.
Everything’s neatly trimmed inside and easy to use, so the Edge feels suitably upmarket. The media system is a little clunky, though, in part due to its reliance on small onscreen buttons – but Ford assures us that all but the first Edges will feature the company’s newer Sync3 system. Many will no doubt also appreciate the smaller touches, like the design of the door that prevents the sills getting muddy – so you won't end up with dirt dragged up and down your leg when you’re getting in and out.
Is it a PCP finance bargain?
List prices for the Edge are comparatively low, but the finance rates are more enticing still. Low interest rates make sure that the Edge undercuts nearly all rivals – 0.8% APR for our 178bhp automatic Titanium test car – and you get a £500 deposit contribution.
Our test Edge would set you back £381 per month on a 37-month PCP deal (with a £5000 deposit). An equivalent Kia Sorento would cost £485 per month, a Land Rover Discovery Sport £500, an entry-level Jaguar F-Pace £544 and the Hyundai Santa Fe £558.
A similar Honda CR-V, though is a more wallet-friendly £361. You can expect to fill up a little more often than with some rivals, though – due to a claimed 48.7mpg average economy. We’d be surprised if you bettered 35mpg in real-world use, however, as that diesel has its work cut out.
Should I buy one?
The Edge is a lot of car for the money. It looks imposing, it’s packed with plenty of kit, it drives well and it’s comfortable. The engine and transmission combo lets it down somewhat, but it’s still worth considering given its price – especially for those looking at finance deals.
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