Test Drive: 2017 Ford Edge

Ford claims that the Edge is “aggressively styled”. I’d say that’s a bit rich. In my books, the 2017 Ford Edge is a handsome but understated design. It’s not aggressive, but it certainly looks good in a clean, inoffensive way. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. I like it, but I don’t love it.

It launches like out of a catapult off the line. Actually from any speed. You step on it. It goes. Hard.

The Sport trim gets a special treatment of the HID headlight pods as well as a piano-black grille and body-coloured fascia up front. The rear end also gets a Sport-specific body-coloured lower fascia and the taillights are LEDs. My Edge’s 20-inch rims are nice, but the optional 21-inch wheels are stunners and come wrapped with humongous 265/40-sized boots. I like the integrated trapezoidal exhaust outlets – they look clean and like they mean business.

Inside, the Edge’s materials are decent but certainly not world-class, particularly when you look at the $57,239 as-tested price of this vehicle. Even though the upper part of the cabin is set off by a lighter-coloured fabric, the interior is still very dark and would benefit from some more brightwork or two-tone treatment on the dash and door panels. However, it felt spacious and headroom is plentiful.

The heated steering wheel is power-adjustable and the heated and cooled front seats – trimmed in leather with perforated suede inserts – are quite comfortable.

Ford’s Sync 3 system is pretty great. I enjoy the clean, simple layout and the 8-inch touchscreen with swiping features is highly responsive and has the fastest, most-accurate voice recognition I’ve come across to date. And that 12-speaker Sony audio system is top notch.

This top-of-the-line Sport trim (as it came optioned) gets plenty of driver assistance technology – blind-spot monitoring, parking sensors with back-up camera, split-view 180-degree front camera (very handy for parking) which has its own washer, lane-departure warning and lane keeping assist, ParkAssist, adaptive cruise control, collision warning and cross-traffic alert. And the Sport trim gets a few extra goodies in the aesthetics department like aluminum pedals, illuminated door sill plates, etc.

I love that Ford paid attention to in-cabin storage. From the bin on the dash under a pop-up lid, to the long, slanted rubberized bin under the centre stack (along with two USB plugs) that’s perfect for any size of smartphone, to the deep bin under the armrest lid, I never found myself needing more places to stow my stuff.

The Edge Sport’s heated rear seats are comfortable and somewhat adjustable (they recline). For me, at 5'10", headroom and legroom were excellent and even the middle seating position is big enough for an adult – it’s not going to be anyone’s favourite place to sit but at least it works. Ford throws in 12V and 110V household plugs which is awesome if you’ve got people with electronic devices in your life.

My three kids were happy with the space back there, and there are two sets of LATCH anchors if you’re putting child seats in the Edge.

The Edge’s power liftgate (with the hands-free swing-your-foot-under-the-bumper move) makes easy work of getting your groceries into the large 1,111 litre trunk. Those rear seats split 60/40 and can be power-folded using buttons in the trunk. When they’ve disappeared, you have a very substantial 2,078 litre cargo space behind the front seats.

Now to the real news. Ford has finally given the Edge Sport something sporty to crow about. A 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 lurks under the hood, and it comes ready to play. It churns out a very healthy 315 hp and, even more importantly, 350 lb-ft of torque at 2,750 rpm. The all-wheel drive crossover is equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Ford rates this trim at 13.8 L/100 km in town and 9.8 L/100 km on the open road. We averaged 13.0 L/100 km driving with a relatively light foot and our week included a few more easy-going freeway trips than usual. So that’s not great – but with great power comes great … fuel consumption.

But I’m not going to hack on the Edge Sport’s fuel economy. I’d rather say that it’s worth it. This powertrain is tremendous. Of course you’ll have no issues with trundling around town but when you step on it, you realize you are sitting in a really fast vehicle.

Not only does the Edge Sport sound fantastic under throttle, it launches like out of a catapult off the line. Actually from any speed. You step on it. It goes. Hard. How hard? Well, it does the 0–100 km/h run in 5.7 seconds, which lets it hang with some pretty lofty company. The smooth, linear power that comes in a wave after an abrupt launch is addictive and the combination is wildly entertaining. Honestly. You have to drive this thing to understand.

Ford’s six-speed transmission isn’t the fastest or the most thrilling thing but it’s still competent and smooth. The vehicle can be shifted manually using paddle shifters if you want to do that sort of thing.

For a tall, heavy (2,000 kg/4,406 lb) crossover, the Edge Sport handles incredibly well. It tackled any freeway cloverleaf with glee and surprising grip. Sure, it will eventually start understeering, but that limit is surprisingly difficult to reach under normal circumstances. The ride is firmer than I had expected, and borders on rough over some surfaces thanks to the very capable sport-tuned suspension exclusive to the Sport trim. While the Edge was relatively quiet around town, I was surprised and disappointed by the amount of wind noise I heard at highway speeds. I found the brakes to be smooth and powerful and the visibility out of the vehicle is quite good.

I’ve always thought the Edge was nice. Like a nice person you work with. Nobody special to you, just somebody who’s there and you can depend on. But this Edge, this one is special. The performance capability is almost shocking, and the fact that it’s entertaining to drive takes that to a whole new level. Add in all the technology and luxurious touches, and you’ve got a heck of a vehicle. Of course, there’s a heck of a price tag to go with it.

WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) was quite high. She thought it was a nice-looking ride, and while she doesn’t care much for additional power, she thought it was easy to drive and she liked how everything worked inside.

If the Edge is what you’re after (nice, well-proportioned, spacious two-row SUV) and you want enough power and handling prowess to have some real fun with, you have to drive this thing. The Edge Sport was one of the best surprises I’ve had in a long time. It’s an expensive surprise, but many will find it worth it.

2017 Ford Edge Sport
Engine Displacement: 2.7
Engine Cylinders: V6
Peak Horsepower: 315 hp
Peak Torque: 350 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
Fuel Economy: 13.8/9.8/12.0 L/100 km city/hwy/cmb
Cargo Space: 1,111 L/2,078 L seats down
2017 Ford Edge Sport
Base Price $46,499
A/C Tax $100
Destination Fee $1,690
Price as Tested $57,239
Optional Equipment $8,950 – Equipment Group 401 (adaptive steering, power steering column, blind spot monitoring, auto dim mirrors, split view front camera, HID head lights, lane departure warning, enhanced park assist, rain sensing wipers, heated rear seats, heated/cooled front seats, heated steering wheel, rubber mats, heated windshield) $4,500; white platinum tri-coat paint $550; Canadian touring package (navigation, panoramic roof) $2,000; cargo accessory package $400; adaptive cruise/collision warning $1,500
Optional Equipment
10 0
Scoring breakdowns 7.3
6 Styling
9 Powertrain
7 Quality
7 Comfort
8 Practicality
8 Drivability
8 Usability/Ergonomics
6 Fuel Economy
8 Features
6 Value