Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
When discovering a gem you cherish it with meaning and value for all eternity. For the Ford Motor Company their pride and joy comes in the form of the third generation Edge utility vehicle. The Global cross-over is as sporty as ever and infused with a luxury like interior competent enough to rival European and Japanese brands. And just because you can redesign something doesn’t mean you have to. The 2015 model did undergo major adjustments, but notably in the form of technology, materials and performance while the classic Edge elements that shape the silhouette were refreshed into a new chiseled body with stronger lines, sportier wheels, grille-connecting LED headlamps and a LED rear light bar and horizontal taillamps.
Remarkably, in 2014 an average of 10,000 Edges were sold each month which is a major success story for Ford. It’s very simple, Americans love utility vehicles and this model is the most urban for the domestic purveyor of cars, trucks and SUVs and CUVS. It not only attracts wealthier consumers but also recruits more conquest buyers than the entire brand which is overly impressive. To discover the newfangled DNA of the 2015 Edge team Automotive Rhythms headed to the Arizona desert to spend time with and evaluate the latest and greatest hailing from Dearborn, Michigan.
Offered in four distinct trims including the base SE, SEL, Titanium and Sport, the new Edge has been positively updated with increased cargo size; slim-designed Euro seats; reclining second row chairs; new Electric Power-Assisted Steering; rear inflatable safety belt, thicker front rotors to dissipate heat; a hands-free liftgate; rearview camera and an enhanced Active Park Assist system with front, rear and side sensors to help guide the vehicle into perpendicular parking spots. Plus, the Edge has towing capabilities up to 3,500 pounds.
The lifeline of the Edge of course is its set of engines including Ford’s all-new twin-scroll 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 and the carryover and flex fuel 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V6. They are paired with the company’s paddle shifting 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission and can be had as either FWD or AWD. The Edge represents the first vehicle in the family that is outfitted with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost. With 245 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque our 2.0-liter EcoBoost Edge Titanium AWD ($37,595 MSRP, $43,690 as tested) in Magnetic Metallic was bolstered with technological and comforting amenities but also felt weighted down. During a lane change while slowly passing an 18-wheeler, another vehicle behind was quickly approaching and the engine simply ran out of acceleration, embarrassing me while I got honked at for 15 seconds. After a vehicle swap into an Edge Sport AWD ($40,095 MSRP, $45,785 as tested) decked in Tuxedo Black Metallic we no longer had that problem since the 2.7-liter’s (only available in the Sport model) 315-horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque packed the required juice needed for spirited driving. By far my favorite of the bunch, the Sport models also feature black grilles, 20″ wheels (21” optional) and a sport-tuned suspension that is 15% stiffer than the other Edges.
“The 2015 Edge Sport is exactly what it says it is – a utility vehicle that not only looks beautiful, but is a spirited performer,” said Cristina Aquino, Ford Edge Consumer Marketing manager. “Ford customer research showed there was a strong desire for more in terms of power and content, and with the redesign of Ford Edge, we wanted to give customers a true sport version, which meant bringing the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 along for the ride.”
Step inside the Edge and it begins to feel more like a Lincoln MKC which I am currently evaluating. The similarities between the two are omnipresent. Minor details typically insignificant to consumers are highly important to Ford. For example, the older plastic, molded door panels were replaced with modern, premium padded, multi-material layers such as high gloss piano black. Interior designers even went so far as to remove the side window divider for a wider glass pane. To top it off the prominent 47.7” panoramic Vista Roof is always refreshing especially in sunny states like Arizona where Vitamin D is ever so present. Heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats kept the Ebony Perforated Sued Interior in tune with temperature readings as always. Intelligent and safety features come in the form of a Blind Spot Information System aka BLIS, Lane-keeping system, Remote start, 180-degree front camera, adaptive cruise control, Enhanced park assist, a Power liftgate and voice activated navigation. It sounds like I just described a Lexus RX not a Ford. Though, I still used my iPhone 6 and Google maps to get around since Ford SYNC with its 8” touchscreen and I often do not see eye-to-eye. I do adore the vehicle’s dual USB slots however.
On sale this spring the 2015 Ford Edge begins pricing at $28,100 while the Edge Sport kicks off at $38,100. It’s edgier, longer, wider, taller, more comfortable and offers an array of modern day driver conveniences. With this latest model Ford can now say it has completed its business. “The original Edge was our first entry into the world of crossover utilities – a technologically advanced vehicle that was the perfect blend of sedan comfort and efficiency with SUV functionality,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “Now, we are building on that success, building on the emotional appeal of the vehicle by offering more of the technology our customers want in a package that meets the highest expectations for quality and craftsmanship.”