With its turbocharged V6, the Edge Sport has more power than most midsizers, but is that a core value for a crossover?
– Detroit, Michigan
Through eleven months of 2016, Canadian consumers have already bought more midsize crossovers and SUVs than they did in all of 2015. And though that collection of high centers of gravity on the roadways makes my enthusiast blood run cold, it’s not that hard to see why. Space is abundant in vehicles the size of this Ford Edge Sport, for people and cargo. And it rides way up in the air where – for some reason – everyone feels safe.
Among the thousands of utility vehicles sold this year, it’s that Sport on the end of the Edge’s name that makes this one unique. The modifier indicates the turbocharged 2.7-litre V6 that hums under the hood, with outputs of 315 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque that are pretty much unmatched in the segment. They might also be unneeded...
- It’s all about the engine. You can buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 5.7-litre V8 that has more power (and worse fuel economy numbers) than the Edge Sport, but every other straight-up competitor has a weaker engine. Moreover, the 2.7 makes the Edge actually feel fast, with almost startling acceleration during mid-speed passing maneuvers, thanks to this unexpected combination of form factor and zip. It doesn’t make me think I’m driving a Jaguar by way of the exhaust note, but the experience is still pretty enjoyable.
- If you’re a fan of Ford’s “Sport” appearance in other products – Explorer, Fusion – you’ll probably enjoy the gussied up looks here, too. The trim level, which is effectively top of the line for Edge, includes a dark finish to that large hexagonal grille, smoked lenses on the front and rear lighting elements, and body-colored mirror caps and door handles to accentuate the very nice Burgundy Velvet paint. Those huge, 21-inch black wheels aren’t part of the trim level, but I consider them $950 optional dollars well spent, for completing the vibe.
- These seats have a nice grippy surface and look cool, and generally match the sporty intentions of the cabin. Combined with a rather firm suspension setup, they allowed me to routinely corner harder and faster than I’d typically venture in a crossover-type-thing. Sport!
- The downside of that firm ride and those big-ass wheels is that the ride quality isn’t great on many road surfaces. This Edge isn’t quite so crashy as the model was a generation ago (when adding the big wheel option fully ruined the ride), but it’s louder and bumpier than you’ll probably want.
- On a related but separate note, I didn’t love the brake pedal here. The brakes themselves felt quite powerful when hauling the Edge down from speed, but in stop-and-go traffic they were grabby under a sensitive left pedal.
- It seems to be in Ford’s DNA to really pack its occupants inside of its vehicles. The interior here feels smaller than the exterior dimensions would lead you to believe, with just a little less room in both rows of seating than is average for the class. The poor-ish side and rear visibility doesn’t help the notion of slight claustrophobia, either.
- Yes, opt into this 2.7 and you’ll get some quick thrills, but you’ll also suck down gas faster than in default segment options like the Highlander or Forester. Even compared with V6-powered versions of the competition, fuel economy marks of 13.8 litres per 100 kilometres City, and 9.8 Highway are not great. As ever, you’d better be willing to pay up for the privilege of extra performance.
Photos: Seyth Miersma / Motor1.com
Note: The vehicle pictured is a U.S. model. There may be slight variations in trim, wheel design, and colours when comparing to Canadian models. This does not in any way affect the vehicle being reviewed, or the content we covered in this review.