The 2015 Ford Edge replaces the current model, but the formula remains the same. This five-passenger midsize crossover delivers more refinement, improved dynamics and a wider array of features than the one it replaces.
What Is It?
All-new for 2015, the new Edge is a hair larger than the outgoing Edge that debuted in 2007, gaining nearly 4 inches of length to 188.1 inches and riding on a 112.2-inch wheelbase, 1 inch longer than the old car. Er, tall wagon. Er, crossover. Whatever you want to call it, the Edge is still a five-seater with no provision for a third row of seating, but it has a roomier passenger compartment and holds more cargo.
The Ford Edge now rides on the same underlying structure as the current Fusion midsize sedan. As a result, the Edge gains a stiffer chassis and a more sophisticated multilink rear suspension configuration. Despite its additional content and stiffer structure, curb weight has, on average across the many variants, dropped by about 50 pounds.
As before, the Edge is available in either front- or all-wheel drive in one of four trim levels starting with the base SE. From there you can upgrade to the midlevel SEL, the high-powered Sport or the luxurious Titanium model that replaces the former Edge Limited.
What's New Under the Hood?
There are three engines available: a base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, a non-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 and, available only in Sport models, a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6. All are paired to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The 2.0-liter EcoBoost direct-injected turbo-4 is a revamped version of the one offered previously, now sporting a twin-scroll turbo, a revised fuel system, new cylinder head and higher-compression pistons. It gains 5 additional horsepower and 5 pound-feet of torque so it's now rated at 245 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque when running on 93 octane gas. It'll run safely on 87 octane but peak power drops a bit. Unlike in the outgoing Edge, the 2.0-liter four is now available with all-wheel drive and can be had with a towing package that gives it a rating of 3,500 pounds.
Generating 280 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque, the optional 3.5-liter V6 will appeal to those who simply must have six cylinders. In the new Edge, this engine actually sheds 5 hp and 3 lb-ft compared to last year's model. The V6 is now a $425 option over the base 2.0-liter.
Sport models are equipped solely with a transverse version of the same 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 used in the F-150 pickup. It's rated at 315 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque (on 93 octane). In this respect, the Sport variant is now a more distinctly differentiated package than in years past.
As with all versions of the new Edge, you can get a Sport with AWD or FWD. Meaning, yes, the latter configuration indeed channels 350 lb-ft through an open differential to the front wheels only. Normally this would be an ideal recipe for torque steer; however, torque output is limited in the lower gears of FWD Sport models to keep the steering wheel from tugging one way or another under hard acceleration.
How Does It Drive?
We drove two versions of the new Edge: a 2.0-liter-equipped AWD Titanium and an AWD Sport with 21-inch wheels and summer tires.
Starting off in the Titanium, the first thing that jumps out about the new Edge is the newfound tautness of its chassis. The suspension has a lot more control than last year's Edge, dispatching bumps with a single, decisive thump, and its electrically assisted steering builds up effort nicely around center. These things make the new Edge feel tidier than its roughly 4,200-pound curb weight would suggest. The suspension has a firm compliance on smooth roads, but also manages to soak up punishment from rougher urban terrain, preserving ride comfort.
Body control is a step up from the non-Sport variants, and the summer tires bite the tarmac with more authority. It's no sports car, of course, but the Sport isn't afraid of taking a corner.
Though the revised four-cylinder doesn't deliver appreciably more poke than before, it certainly feels brighter around town. The twin-scroll turbo deserves the nod here, transitioning into boost more responsively in part-throttle situations. However, living in areas like California where 93 octane isn't available, the chances of exploiting the full capability of this 2.0-liter are slim. Simply put, the new EcoBoost four is more up to the job of moving this crossover, but speed still isn't one of its stronger qualities.
The thrust in the Sport is deceptive. Because the turbo V6's torque curve is flat, acceleration is delivered in an undramatic fashion. It hustles. You floor the throttle, and when you glance down at the speedometer you realize you're traveling 15 mph faster than you thought you'd be going.
Noise levels are low, particularly engine noise. There's modest wind roar at the A-pillars at elevated freeway speeds, and the Sport's low-profile 21-inch tires transmit a noticeable but acceptable amount of pavement texture in the form of road noise.
What's the Interior Like?
A thoroughly revised cabin finds its way into the new Edge, and it can be loaded up with a host of Ford's technology. Available items include automated parking (parallel and perpendicular), adaptive cruise control, a front camera, inflatable seatbelts in the backseat and a lane-keeping system with three levels of sensitivity.
Ford has wisely shed the infuriating touch-sensitive center stack controls of the previous Edge's MyFord Touch in favor of conventional buttons. Materials have been upgraded throughout, making the Edge feel more upmarket than before. Forward visibility remains good, as does seat comfort.
There's a spacious feel to the cabin that's underpinned by the numbers; headroom throughout increases by an inch, and front and rear legroom increases by 1.0 and 1.9 inches, respectively. Cargo volume has increased substantially, gaining 7 cubic feet to 39.2 cubic feet behind the backseat.
What Kind of Features and Safety Equipment Does It Offer?
The lowliest SE versions come modestly equipped to keep the price of entry low. Manual cloth seats, conventional climate control, 18-inch wheels, keyless entry and a back-up camera are standard. SEL variants, which will make up the brunt of Edge sales, add dual-zone automatic climate control, a power driver seat, satellite radio, rear parking alerts and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Titanium models build on the SEL's features by adding Sync with MyFord Touch, heated leather seats, a power liftgate (with Ford's nifty swipe-foot-to-operate feature), HD radio and unique exterior trim. Sport models gain a firmer suspension, monotube dampers and blacked-out trim.
The new Edge is available with a laundry list of safety features. In addition to the usual battery of airbags, its lane-keeping system and inflatable rear seatbelts, there are forward collision warning and intervention, blind spot detection, cross-traffic alerts and an automated parking system. So the only excuse for parking lot shunts is, "the other guy did it."
What Kind of Fuel Economy Can You Expect?
Front-wheel-drive Edges equipped with the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder are rated by the EPA to deliver 24 mpg in combined driving (20 city/30 highway). This is unchanged from last year's combined mpg, though the 2015 Edge's city number is 1 mpg worse than the previous Edge.
AWD variants with the 2.0-liter get a rating of 23 mpg combined, which is what we managed on our highway-heavy evaluation loop. Over two weeks of driving we saw an average of 18 mpg.
Both the 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 and the normally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 are rated at 21 mpg in combined driving with FWD and 20 mpg combined with AWD.
How Much Does It Cost?
Prices for the new Edge range widely depending on how much of a sybarite you are. The base FWD Edge SE starts at just shy of $29,000, while SEL models start at $32,395. Moving to the Titanium brings the starting price to $36,495. Sport models start at $38,995. Get rowdy with the options and you can wind up with a Sport that's about $50 grand.
What Competing Models Should You Also Consider? Kia Sorento: An all-new model for 2016, the Sorento offers two engine choices in front- or all-wheel-drive configurations. A third row of seating is available.
Nissan Murano: Available only with a V6 in front- or all-wheel drive, the Murano's fuel economy is comparable to the turbo four-cylinder Edge, and it offers a premium feel and excellent dynamics.
Toyota Venza: This is the most carlike of the bunch. It, too, offers two engines and is available in AWD. Flaccid steering belies its surprisingly good handling.
Why Should You Consider This Vehicle?
The 2015 Ford Edge has a raft of technology in a relatively sharp-steering package. It adheres closely to the formula set by the original Edge, and makes everything one notch (or more) better.
Why Should You Think Twice About This Car?
If you need three rows of seating, look elsewhere. And if you're considering a higher-trim Edge and are getting generous with packages and options, you may want to consider a luxury brand SUV like an Acura RDX or Lexus NX.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds with this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.