2019 Edge ST — Ford’s first performance SUV

By Jim Prueter

(August 1, 2019) Fans of Ford Performance vehicles are no doubt well aware that vehicles with an ST badge affixed to the grille are fast, include enhanced handling capabilities and are fun to drive.

The ST designation began with both the Ford Focus and Fiesta vehicles a few years ago. Since that time, Ford has announced that, for the most part, it is only building trucks, sport and crossover utility vehicles, and the Mustang.

That means both the Focus and Fiesta ST vehicles are gone, but we now have the Edge and Explorer available with the ST designation, replacing the Sport trims that were available last year. They are the first utility vehicles from Ford Performance.

Ford recently provided me with the new 2019 Ford Edge ST driven here for evaluation. The Edge is a two-row crossover utility vehicle that slots between the smaller Escape and larger Explorer. For 2019, Edge has received a refresh, but not a redesign.

The heart of the Edge ST is a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine that makes 335 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft of torque, delivered through an eight-speed automatic transmission. This is the same engine that powers other Ford products, including the popular F-150 pickup.

In addition to the more powerful engine, Edge ST comes with all the Ford Performance features you would expect. That includes all-wheel drive, high-gloss black, 20-inch bright-machined aluminum wheels, and a performance-tuned suspension for better body control, cornering capabilities, and steering precision. Our test ST included the $2,695 optional ST Performance brake package with 21-inch wheels, rolling on Pirelli P-Zero summer tires, front and rear vented disk brakes with red painted calipers, and performance brake pads.

Style-wise, the ST has unique front and rear bumpers compared to non-ST Edge models. Dual exhausts with a black rear valence are particular to the ST. Up front, the grille is blacked out as compared to the chrome enhanced treatment on the standard Edge models.

Thanks to large door openings and a low floor, it’s easy to slip behind the wheel. While the front bucket seats are comfortable and supportive, seating adjustment isn’t as flexible as competitive vehicles. I’m tall and admittedly need lots of adjustment options, but the seats in the Edge sit very high and even with the height adjustment as low as it goes I still feel like I’m sitting on top of the vehicle and ducking my head to look out the windshield. Plus there isn’t four-way adjustable lumbar support, even in our top-end ST. But, front seats are both heated and cooled. We do like the standard power tilt-telescoping steering column.

There’s a decent amount of legroom for rear seat passengers but headroom is still compromised for taller passengers. Rear seats in the ST are heated and can be power folded from inside the rear liftgate when loading packages, luggage or larger items. Cargo space behind the second row is very large at nearly 40 cubic feet. Under the rear cargo floor is a tire inflator kit because the ST does not come with a spare tire.

The Edge also uses a rotary dial on the center console as its gear selector rather than a “T” bar we would prefer. We also didn’t care for the steering wheel that looked and felt rather generic, like it was used for numerous Ford vehicles and not unique to the ST.

Inside, ST identification was embossed on the shoulder area of the front seats, a red ST on the lower part of the steering wheel and “Ford Performance” on the front door sills.

The Edge does have easy-to-use operational controls and the vehicle has been updated with Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system that’s displayed on the large touch-screen. Physical buttons for climate control are small and inconveniently placed. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is standard.

Overall, the interior doesn’t feel upscale like competitors such as the Nissan Murano, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Buick Enclave who have nicer interiors with more upgraded and luxurious materials.

On our numerous test drives we found the ST didn’t live up to its “Ford Performance” branding. It just didn’t feel sporty or quick like our experience with other Ford ST vehicles, and didn’t deliver the excitement, punch and performance we expected, and was therefore disappointing. We did several 0-to-60 mph times that averaged six seconds. That’s the same time we experienced with the standard new 2019 Ford Ranger pickup. By comparison, the new 2019 Honda Passport SUV powered by a 280-horsepower V-6 delivered a faster 5.8-second 0-to-60 time.

Overall, if you were expecting Ford Performance to deliver ST handling and quicker steering with aggressive throttle response and acceleration, the Edge falls short. Still, it does have much going for it and certainly looks the part and can make an excellent companion for those who like a bit more horsepower and improved suspension from their daily driver.

Vital Stats
Base Price: $42,355
Price as Tested: $52,225
Engine: 335-horsepower 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 with an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
Fuel Economy: 19-mpg city/26-mpg highway/21-mpg combined
Seating: 5

Where Built: Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Crash Test Results: Rated “Good” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Competes With:
Chevrolet Blazer
Honda Passport
Hyundai Santa Fe
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Kia Sorento
Nissan Murano

Fab Features:
Roomy cabin and cargo space
Attractive ST styling
Nicely updated for 2019