Ford Edge ST — SUV performance

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

With sedans and coupes all but gone from the Ford lineup — Mustang being the lone exception — Ford's performance team has no choice but to work their magic on SUVs, crossovers and trucks. Meet the 2019 Ford Edge ST, which replaces the Sport in the Edge lineup, and becomes the first ST-tuned Ford crossover. This is one very fast — for a mainstream crossover — vehicle, but it falls short if you are looking for a true replacement for ST-tuned cars.

But, if you are already committed to a two-row mid-sized crossover and you like some excitement in your driving, the new ST drivetrain gives the Edge an “edge” if you will.

The Edge ST is powered by a 2.7-liter turbocharged V-6 making 335 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 385 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. Straight-ahead capability is measured at 5.7 seconds from 0-to-60 and 14.3 seconds at 98 mph in the quarter mile. That's fairly quick for a vehicle weighing in at more than 4,500 pounds. The only other engine offered in the Edge is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four making 250 horsepower.

The ST suspension has been tuned with roll stiffness increased 60 percent to control body motions on twisty roads, and the steering has been dialed in for better control and feedback than the standard Edge. The transmission shifts smoothly, and a more aggressive shift pattern can be obtained by pressing the Sport button. The Sport mode also brings up a digital tachometer, improves throttle response, and pipes additional engine noise into the cabin through the audio speakers.

If you give the Edge ST the opportunity to perform on winding roads it will reward you with some enjoyment not usually found outside of luxury SUVs. On the upside a sport-tuned suspension offers a slightly firmer ride than the standard Edge. On the downside, we think there's more road noise than a standard Edge because of the Pirelli P-Zero performance tires.

Mileage for the ST V-6 is rated at 19 mpg city, 26 highway and 21 combined on regular gas. Note that the Edge ST is loaded with safety and convenience features and comes with AWD standard.

The freshened 2019 Edge also comes in SE, SEL and Titanium trim levels — all wearing sportier new front and rear fascias, grille, hood and liftgate. The new 8-speed automatic transmission with auto start-stop is standard across the lineup. Silver roof rack side rails are standard on the Edge SEL and Titanium not equipped with available Panoramic Vista Roof.

The new Edge is the first utility with standard Ford Co-Pilot360 that includes Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert, Lane-Keeping System, rearview camera and auto high-beam headlamps. Post-impact braking, rain-sensing wipers and a front air curtain are also standard. The rearview camera now includes a lens washer.

Advanced safety is available o
n SEL, Titanium and ST and includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Lane Centering, Evasive Steering Assist and voice-activated navigation with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link, making the 2019 Edge the smartest Edge ever.

Interior changes include a standard rotary gearshift and wireless charge pad, which is standard on Edge Titanium and available on Edge SEL and ST. SiriusXM Radio is standard across the lineup with a good-sounding 12-speaker B&O PLAY premium audio system by HARMAN standard on Titanium and ST.

Ford's much-improved Sync 3 infotainment system comes with an 8-inch touchscreen with crisp graphics and the pinch-zoom functionality of an iPad. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard equipment as are two USB ports up front. A household-style 110-volt plug-in is available in the back.

We found it easy to reach our ideal position behind the wheel. There is ample room for front passengers and comfortable seats that should serve well on long jaunts. Backseat passengers will find adequate leg and head room. Edge has an advantage in the cargo area because of its lack of a third-row seat sporting a segment-leading 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space. The power tailgate has a handy hands-free foot-swing actuation.

If the Edge is on your shopping list for a new mid-sized SUV, but you are not interested in the performance-infused ST, your best bet may be the SEL with front drive starting at $34,395 — it  comes with a generous amount of standard equipment. All-wheel drive adds $1,995 to the bottom line.

Our ST test car had a base price of $43,450 including destination charge and a bottom line of $49,035 with options.

Base price: $43,450; as driven, $49,035
Engine: 2.7-liter turbocharged V-6
Horsepower: 335 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque: 380 foot-pounds @ 3,250 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Drive: all-wheel
Seating: 2/3
Wheelbase: 112.2 inches
Length: 188.8 inches
Curb weight: 4,477 pounds
Turning circle: 39.3 feet
Luggage capacity: 39.2 cubic feet
Cargo capacity: 73.4 cubic feet
Towing capacity: 3,500 pounds
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gallons (regular)
EPA rating: 19 city, 26 highway, 21 combined
0-60: 5.7 seconds (Car and Driver
Also consider: Dodge Durango R/T, Lincoln Nautilus, Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Good
• Ample space for passengers, cargo
• Excellent performance
• Quiet cabin

The Bad
• ST interior noisier than other trims

The Ugly
• Easy to hit 50 grand with options