A business trip to the States kindled my initial love of the Edge, and so our new long-termer arrived a few months later after I requested we try to get hold of one.
Although the Edge is pretty new to the UK, it’s been on sale in America for a while – in fact, it’s the biggest-selling SUV in the States. Now, like the Mustang, it’s been anglicised and is Ford’s ‘premium’ crossover, aimed at Audi Q5 and BMW X3 territory.
It’s based on the same platform as the Mondeo, S-Max and Galaxy, which becomes visibly obvious when you first sit in the car, as the cabin is a carbon copy of the Galaxy we had handed back and the Mondeo before it.
Now this may not be a bad thing if you’re trying to shift these to current Ford customers, but buyers of premium vehicles expect something a little more, well, premium.
At 4.8 metres long and weighing two tonnes, it’s big and it feels big too. On its home territory it blended in, but on the UK’s smaller road network you notice the size. However, with this comes superb cabin space and a huge boot.
At the moment, the premium SUV market is big news. You are probably shifting more and more yourself, and therefore this was an obvious, and important, move for Ford.
A recent journey to a festival while loaded with people and provisions highlighted one very welcome point: the Edge is comfortable. Not just a nice comfy set of seats, its whole set-up is tuned more towards comfort than sport, which is welcome when all the offerings from Europe seem to be intent on making these SUVs sporty alternatives.
Here’s a hint, guys. If we want something sporty we’ll buy a sports car or saloon. An SUV isn’t bought for throwing round the bends – it should be comfortable and easy to drive, and this is where I think the Edge has, well, the edge on the likes of the Q5 and Discovery Sport.
The Edge has real presence on the road. Ours, in black with gunmetal alloys, looks like the ones the cops use in the USA – something I can’t help but secretly enjoy – and I’m already contemplating roof lights. It’s not wanting for kit, either, with a full complement of heated and cooled seats, full-length sunroof and all the kit you’d expect elsewhere. You certainly won’t struggle to sell the Edge based on toys.
So, what don’t we like on first impressions? Well, the Ford in-car tech is still not quite right and I’d really expect better from the manufacturer. The sat nav in our past three cars has struggled at times, but in my first outing in the Edge I got left stranded in deepest Wiltshire when the nav initially froze then seemed to play a slow-motion replay of my journey, stuck some 10 miles behind me.
Given that modern society seems to have lost all ability to travel without a sat nav, I was well and truly stuck until I found a phone signal and switched to my trusty iPhone. If Ford can resolve the bugs in its tech and navigation system, this will be a big step forward for me.
In the few weeks it’s been with us it’s won a lot of admirers, but I have yet to really love it the way that I did our long-term Kia Sportage. However, I have a huge amount of respect for it already and plenty of time to see if this will blossom into a full, loving relationship.
Sorry Jaguar, but if you want your SUV with space, pace and comfort, first impressions suggest that the Edge might be the smart buy, and for every buyer put off by a lack of a premium badge, there’ll be another who opts for it because it’s the Blue Oval.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH: Finding out how a popular American SUV deals with British roads
Model: Ford Edge
Price: OTR £39,695 – As tested £42,790
Engine: 2.0 TDCi
Max speed: 131mph
0-60mph: 9.4 seconds
MPG (combined): 47.9
Emissions: 152g/km CO2
Mileage (to date): 3500