The 2018 Ford Edge

The 2018 Ford Edge has an eager feel and crisp design; Ford’s crossover SUV lineup has some of the most familiar badges. The Ford Edge is one of the newer names in the bunch. Introduced in 2007, it’s now in its second generation, a success carved out of the slim space between the smaller Escape and the bigger three-row Explorer.

The Edge satisfies more than a few needs. It’s sleeker than the truck-infused Expedition, even the Explorer. It’s more spacious than the Escape. It’s also devoid of any off-road pretense, any faux-SUV ruggedness.

The 2018 Edge comes in SE, SEL, Titanium, and Sport trim, with almost nothing changed save for a new package of gray trim and wheels.

With the Edge, Ford has developed a spare, clean look that’s unlike any of its other SUVs. The BMW references are rife and strong, down to the blackout trim packages and lack of tough-truck frippery. The cabin’s warmer than the previous Edge, but it’s still a rather austere place that we like for its balance of rich textures and high-resolution screens, rather than for any avant-garde appeal that might fade quickly.

2018 Ford Edge

The 2018 Ford Edge

The base Edge’s 220-hp turbo-4 spools up to 245 hp when premium gas courses through its veins. It’s a fine bargain choice, with enough low-end guts to pull 3,500 pounds through available all-wheel drive and a 6-speed automatic. The more pedestrian 3.5-liter V-6 has 280 hp and less peaky, less power delivery, but some drivers will prefer its benign appeal. The top 315-hp twin-turbo V-6 responds with a kick in midrange passes and an interesting snarl. All Edges have nicely weighted steering and a well-controlled ride; Sport editions have special steering for zippy low-speed agility and stiffer shocks.

With no clever cargo stowing tricks up its sleeve, the Edge doles out lots of cabin and storage space. The rear seats recline and fold to open up a big cargo well, and the tailgate can be fitted with hands-free power operation. All models have the usual power features and a basic smartphone connectivity setup; Titanium and Sport models get navigation, voice commands, leather, a power sunroof, and Sony audio.

Spare, clean sheetmetal and a warmed-up interior give the latest Ford Edge a long-lived appeal. The 2018 Ford Edge boasts an interior that’s a warm contrast to its spare and uncluttered sheet metal. We’re fans.

2018 Ford Edge

The 2018 Ford Edge

Nothing about the 2018 Edge’s styling will transform the crossover-SUV genre. Smartly, Ford doesn’t even try. The Edge just takes the usual cues and shapes them in an attractive way. The front end has the right amount of rake, the side view has thick (but not too thick) roof pillars, the grille’s sized just right to balance the big SUV-style front end. We detect some faint hints of BMW X5 at the Edge’s rear end, though the Ford comes across as lighter and more agile. Some styling packages black out its exterior trim, to mixed effect.

The Edge’s cabin looks softer and more appealing than in the previous generation. It’s no lush Benz GLC with layers of styled wood, but the Edge’s soft-touch materials and tall dash relieve some of the austerity of the last generation of Ford SUVs.

The best touches in the cockpit are the switches, buttons, and knobs that returned with the Edge’s 2015 redesign. We’re all for touch-sensitive surfaces that make sense and work well; the previous Edge couldn’t claim either, with its touch-slide volume and fan controls and unusable MyFord Touch interface. Now its high-resolution screen glows with a cleanly laid-out interface, a round knob controls volume, climate functions get well-marked controls, and physical buttons control seat heat and ventilation.

2018 Ford Edge

The 2018 Ford Edge

The 2018 Ford Edge clicks with enthusiasts through its powerful turbo-6, a taut ride and quick steering.
The Ford Edge spreads its crossover-SUV credentials over a wide powertrain range. Want a fuel-saving 4-cylinder, light on the equipment? Or a twin-turbo all-wheel-drive family rager? The Edge can do both.

In all its forms, it’s pretty pleasant to pilot, with handling that will ease sedan buyers seamlessly into the tall-wagon lifestyle.

A 2.0-liter turbo-4 slots into the base 2018 Edge. With 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque when run on premium unleaded fuel, it’s fitted with a 6-speed automatic that shifts power through the front wheels or through all four wheels. New for the 2015 model year, this engine has smoother power and less turbo lag than Ford’s old turbo-4s, but regular gas drops output to 220 hp. This powertrain also can tow up to 3,500 lb, something the former Edge turbo-4 couldn’t do.

An old-school 3.5-liter V-6 with 280 hp powers midrange Edge crossovers. It’s somewhat shy on low-end torque, stronger in midrange passing power than the base turbo-4, and a solid performer all around.

A 315-hp twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6 powers the Edge Sport. With 350 lb-ft of torque, it has punch through its midrange, has a burbly and interesting exhaust note, and doesn’t betray at all the fact that it also powers a lot of F-150 pickup trucks.

2018 Ford Edge

The 2018 Ford Edge

On all models, the Edge’s 6-speed automatic lacks the 7th and 8th (and 9th) forward gears of rivals, but it doesn’t let it get in the way of a great drive. Downshifts come quickly and crisply, and Ford allows complete control over the gears through shift paddles and an “S” mode selected on the console-mounted shift lever.

The Ford Edge has a stiff body structure and an independent suspension. Together they deliver precise road feel and great body control, without roughing up the passengers.

The Edge has steering and ride control that feel much like the Fusion sedan on which it’s based. Lower and midrange versions have a fuss-free electric steering system that tracks extremely well down interstates, and makes curved roads mildly interesting–a nifty trick for a high-riding crossover. On the Edge Titanium and Sport, Ford fits adaptive steering that amplifies inputs at low speeds and tapers off the effect as speeds climb. Parking-lot maneuvers require less hacking at the wheel, while highway tracking benefits from lots of on-center feel and immediate weight build-up off-center.

At the midpoint of Ford’s crossover SUV family, the Edge has two rows of seats for five passengers. There’s more space than in the tidy Escape, fewer seats than in the Explorer, Flex, or Expedition. The Edge shines when it carries four adults and their stuff.

2018 Ford Edge

The 2018 Ford Edge

The best seats are those in front, of course. The driver and front passenger have an easy step into the cabin, and the seats have a high bottom cushion, both factors that will appeal to mature drivers.

Small items have myriad places to hide. A shallow bin carves out space from the dash, the center console is deep and wide, the door pockets have deep wells. The bin ahead of the shifter stows smartphones, and toll tickets can live in the drawer that faces the driver’s knee.

All Edge crossovers come with power features, a rearview camera, cloth seats, air conditioning, cruise control, and an AM/FM/CD player with Bluetooth audio streaming. Rear-seat inflatable seat belts are an option.

The Edge SEL adds power front seats, rear parking sensors, satellite radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, and heated mirrors. The Sync 3 infotainment system is an option, as are heated seats, blind-spot monitors, premium audio, and navigation.

Ford’s latest Sync 3 infotainment system is a major improvement over past MyFord Touch systems. With its streamlined menu system, clear touchscreen display, and easier upgrades, it’s simpler to operate, more capable at recognizing voice commands, and simpler to navigate.

The Edge Titanium gets that infotainment standard along with HD radio, a 12-speaker Sony audio system, heated front seats, a hands-free tailgate, and ambient lighting. Options include leather, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, active park assist, a 180-degree front-end camera, remote start, and a bundle of safety gear that includes forward-collision warnings.

The most expensive Edge Sport has its own styling cues, and comes standard with the twin-turbo V-6, all-wheel drive, and adaptive steering.

 

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