The 2019 Ford Edge ST | The First SUV from Ford Performance???
The 2019 Ford Edge ST is interesting. It is advertised as the first SUV from Ford Performance, and a number of ST and Ford Performance badges are in place to make sure that you don’t forget it. Marketing campaigns play a big part in most new car sales, but they have traditionally been absent from SVT and Ford Performance products. That is certainly not the case with the Edge ST. Ford threw some serious coin behind the TV commercials and web ads for this SUV. So what makes this car different? More on that later.
The Performance Blue paint absolutely pops in the sunlight.
We didn’t have as much time with the Edge ST as we have had with the past few new Ford’s we’ve reviewed, but we did have enough time to get a good idea what this car is all about. Over all, it’s a decent car. We liked the styling, and feel that it is fairly close in keeping with previous ST vehicles. The new frontend and grill look great. We would have preferred actual exhaust tips (like the Fiesta ST), rather than the faux ones integrated into the rear bumper. The interior is nice, but the reality is “2014 nice.” There’s nothing wrong with it, but you can tell that it’s been a while since the Edge has had a comprehensive update. And word has it that Ford plans to continue using the current platform for some time to come.
As always, we have a review video for you.
The Edge ST interior is very comfortable, but not overly sporty. I think it would be great on a trip though.
Performance wise, the 335HP 2.7L Twin-Turbo EcoBoost V6 pulls strong. No matter how you feel about Ford’s move towards smaller boosted engine, there’s no denying the impressive amount of low-end grunt these diminutive blown DI engines produce. While that tabletop like torque curve insures there’s pretty of thrust available when needed, like most needed Ecoboost engines, the ride ends pretty quickly as the RPMs start to rise. The small turbos that gives us that awesome torque way down deep just mean they tap out and run out of breath around 5,700RPM. There’s also some weird stuff going on with the transmission.
There's a lot going on under the hood of the Edge ST, but it is still equipped with previous generation 2.7L EcoBoost. That means that you don't get the Port-Fuel Injection system along with the DI.
The Edge ST is equipped with Ford’s new 8 –Speed Transmission. So here is the weird thing, that new trans is heavily based on the 6-Speed found in earlier Edge models. What Ford essentially did was add a couple more gears to the old box. This resulted in a couple of things. First, the gap between 2nd and 3rd is so small (only about 300RPM) that it’s nearly pointless. Second, the shift from 3rd to 4th is around a 1,400RPM jump. That one makes the car feel like it’s falling on its face. Finally, because they essentially stuck more stuff in the same footprint the trans is not as stout as the old unit. This can be seen in the substantially increased level of torque management tuned into the Edge ST versus the surprisingly similar past Edge Sport. More on that later.
That innocuous gear-selector dial is a major point of contention among performance enthusiasts. I'm not a huge fan of it, but it looks like it's here to stay because it's coming to a 2020 GT500 Mustang near you.
Moving on to the overall driving experience, I’d say it’s not bad at all. The suspension is tight and performs in a properly sporty manner. It’s not overly harsh, and I would say that it would be comfortable on a day-to-day basis. There’re all the creature comforts you would expect from a vehicle at this price point. You get heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, navigation, a premium stereo, and a wireless charging pad. The back seat and cargo areas are larger than you would expect from a vehicle this size, and the rear seats are power folding. The lift gate is also has an electric motor to raise and lower it. Probably the highlight of the interior is the massive glass roof/sun roof. If you like a sun roof in your car you will love the one in the Edge ST. Overall, I give the car a thumbs-up on being a somewhat sporty DD or grocery getter. It would make a nice family car.
One thing that is surprising about the Edge is cavernous volume of space that the Ford engineers managed to squeeze into a relatively small overall package.
So I’ve told you a couple of times that I would expound on couple of issues in greater detail later. Well here’s where I’m going to tell you my problem with the Edge ST. To put it bluntly, it should not be wearing the ST badge. Mechanically, it’s about 95% the same as the previous Edge Sport. In fact, other than the ST badging, the seats are identical to the Sport. Probably the biggest change was the move to the 8-Speed automatic from the older 6-Speed auto. And as I’ve mentioned, that was not a positive. The increased level of torque management in the ST tuning actually results in it being slower than the old Sport model. That’s not exactly progress.
I feel that the Edge ST taillights (and overall exterior styling) are a major upgrade over every previous Edge model. It's the best looking one yet.
So how did this come about? It’s pretty simple actually, the Edge ST was not designed and engineered by Ford Performance. It was essentially badge engineered by the marketing team. They took the already good Edge Sport, made a handful of upgrades/changes, added some good looking styling, and put a few ST badges on it. That does not make it a bad car, though I wish Ford Performance had a little tighter control over its brand. To the contrary, with a few mods (specifically a tune) I think
the Edge ST would be a nice daily driver (though the fuel mileage is a little rough). So if its origins don’t concern you, the Edge ST might just be the sporty mid-size Ford SUV you’ve been looking for. One thing is certain, I’m looking forward to getting some seat time in the upcoming Explorer ST.
One place where all Edge models are starting to show the platform's age is the gauge cluster. Another is that 17.4 MPG fuel consumption figure.
The inclusion of a wireless charging pad is one of the welcomed upgrades to the Edge platform. Less wires running around the cabin is better, and everyone loves a quick charge while running around town.
At the end of the day, it's a handsome car. If you're going to buy a CUV give it a look.