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2016 Ford Edge
New Car Test Drive

Introduction

Redesigned for the 2015 model year, the five-passenger Ford Edge is stylish and focused on technology. This second-generation Edge is more athletic than its predecessor, both in looks and in performance. A range of powertrains is available to fulfill different needs.

The 2016 Ford Edge carries over largely unchanged. However, Ford is introducing a Sync 3 infotainment system that will be available on 2016 Edge models, featuring a streamlined menu and a capacitive screen interface. Adaptive steering also will be available, on upper trim levels of the 2016 Edge.

The Ford Edge comes standard with the turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder making 245 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque that delivers responsive performance. Also available is a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 280 horsepower.

The most enticing is the twin-turbocharged, direct-injected 2.7-liter V6 that comes in the Edge Sport. Rated at 315 horsepower and 375 pound-feet, it’s strong and confident, performing in an understated manner that complements the Edge’s other attributes. The Edge Sport has active noise cancellation, promising quieter running than other Edge models, especially along rougher pavement.

All-wheel drive is optional, front-wheel drive is standard. All Edge models use a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The Ford Edge has scored well in crash-testing, earning five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave Edge Good ratings in all except the small-overlap frontal-impact test.

Gas-mileage ratings are good, but not class-leading. Thriftiest choice is the EcoSport, EPA-rated at 20/30 mpg (City/Highway) with front-drive. The strong 2.7-liter V6 is rated 18/27 mpg with front-drive, just a hair better than the 3.5-liter V6.

Model Lineup

The 2016 Ford Edge comes in four trim levels: Edge SE ($28,700) comes standard with air conditioning Sync connectivity. All-wheel drive is optional ($1,995). Edge SEL ($31,790) upgrades with cloth-upholstered seats, dual-zone climate control.

Edge Sport features the 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6, special trim and performance upgrades.

Edge Titanium ($35,600) adds a hands-free tailgate and 12-speaker Sony audio system with HD radio. Options include a panoramic Vista Roof, 180-degree front camera, and heated rear seats. Active Park Assist lets the Edge steer itself into a space while you operate the accelerator and brake.

Safety features include a rearview camera and a glovebox-mounted knee airbag. Extra-cost safety features: adaptive cruise control with collision warning, lane keep assist, and inflatable rear seatbelts.

Walkaround

Second-generation styling modified the Edge’s SUV-type silhouette, giving it more of a premium appearance without altering its basic appeal. Body surfaces look as if they would be appropriate in a BMW model. Blacked-out detailing on the Edge Sport suggests a leaning toward athleticism that was previously absent.

All sheetmetal was reshaped for 2015, with each detail reworked. Designers altered the grille’s crossbars and went light on the chrome, for an understated theme. Fresh bodyside sculpting helped make the design a little lighter-looking. Wraparound taillamps, coupled with the prominent, sloping back pillars, give the Edge a touch of sport-wagon styling.

Interior

This latest version of the Edge has some of the best interior materials and trim in the class. The dashboard is nicely shaped and highlighted by abundant, well-coordinated soft-touch materials and neat detailing, making the cockpit feel welcoming and upscale. The cabin is quiet and refined, and quite versatile.

Front-seat positioning is fine, but cushioning and proportions in upper trim levels aren’t quite up to par. Bottom cushions are somewhat short and skimpy for adequate thigh support.

Interior functions are easy to operate: A large round knob changes audio volume. Climate controls are carefully identified. Buttons adjust the Titanium’s heated/cooled front seats. Edge also benefits from a reconfigurable instrument cluster, controlled by steering-wheel switches.

Getting in and out is easy, and the high seating position helps. Headroom is good, and the driver gets a good view ahead. Back-seat legroom and knee space should satisfy long-legged adults. However, that rear bench is somewhat hard and flat. Note: The Titanium model’s Vista Roof steals headroom.

Fold the seatbacks forward, and you get plenty of cargo space (73.4 cubic feet). Just about everywhere you look, storage space is available.

Driving Impressions

In terms of the driving experience, don’t expect much edginess from an Edge. What you do get are precision and responsiveness, with what might be called subdued sharpness.

Though quiet and well-isolated, ride quality is firm. Sport models approach stiff. Even so, excellent body control and impressive road feel are achieved without making the ride excessively harsh.

Handling is in the direction of a premium German vehicle. Steering has a precise, reassuring feel, tracking well on straightaways. Sport models have different dampers and spring rates, plus 21-inch wheels. They also have heftier on-center steering feel. Brakes deliver strong stopping power.

Each powertrain feels different. Drivability of the base 2.0-liter EcoBoost has been improved and turbo lag reduced, making it energetic enough for most drivers. Because it’s so smooth, frequent downshifts aren’t needed. Engine stop/start technology is available for the EcoSport. Note that running this engine on regular-grade gasoline drops power output significantly.

The Sport model’s 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 delivers vigorous acceleration performance, gurgling and purring like a five-cylinder, while delivering abundant energy, especially at midrange engine speeds. We like its smooth, somewhat muted characteristics.

Ford’s 6-speed automatic transmission performs well, with quick, crisp downshifts. Steering-wheel paddle shifters may be used after pulling the shift lever to the sport position.

Summary

The Ford Edge features a nice interior with advanced safety technology as an option. We like the responsive 2.7-liter V6 best, though the 2.0-liter four-cylinder is an efficient choice. The panoramic Vista Roof and Active Park Assist come only on Titanium and Sport.

Driving impressions by Bengt Halvorson, The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.


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