2019 Ford Edge ST Review

2019 Ford Edge ST - ST means a LOT more than Sport.

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The Ford Edge is a 5-passenger midsize crossover that was originally introduced for the 2007 model year. It is available with front- or all-wheel drive and 4- and 6-cylinder power. For 2019, Edge gets freshened exterior and interior styling, additional safety and technology features, and a new model called the ST. Competitors include the Buick Envision, GMC Acadia, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-5 and Nissan Murano. In a few months there will be two new 5-passenger crossovers, the Chevrolet Blazer and Honda Passport.

Edge offers SE, SEL, Titanium and the new ST trim. ST effectively replaces the Edge Sport and the performance-themed model in the lineup. All models save the ST get a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 250 horsepower. Edge ST gets a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 that makes 335 horsepower. Both engines mate to an 8-speed automatic transmission, which replaces last year's 6-speed automatic. SE, SEL and Titanium models are available with front- or all-wheel drive. The ST is only offered with all-wheel drive.  Maximum towing capacity, regardless of engine, is 3500 pounds.

The SE has a base price of $29,995 and includes Ford's Co-Pilot Protect safety suite, 18-inch aluminum wheels and intelligent access with push-button start. The SEL lists for $33,090 and adds to the SE reverse sensing, LED fog lamps, upgraded cloth seats, dual-zone climate control and SYNC 3. The Titanium has a base price of $38,550 and adds to the SEL wireless charging pad, B&O premium sound system, heated leather-trimmed seats and foot-activated tailgate. The new ST lists for $42,355 and adds the V6 engine, 20-inch wheels, upgraded suspension and brakes, and custom interior trim.

The ST's twin-turbo V6 is a great fit in the 4600-pound Edge. It provides plenty of torque to help the midsize crossover jump off the line and race from 0 to 60 MPH in about 5.7 seconds. That's easily among the quickest in the class. The engine mates well to the smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic. About the only downside are tardy downshifts in passing situations and the occasional mid-corner upshift.

Edge ST's standard all-wheel drive system does not have a low range and is not intended for severe off-road use. It does have a torque vectoring system that's designed to instantly push power to the wheels with the most traction and a rear-wheel disconnect to help highway fuel efficiency.

EPA fuel economy numbers for the Edge ST come in at 19 MPG city, 26 MPG highway and 21 MPG combined. These are certainly among the lowest in the class, but significantly better than the previous Edge Sport and also respectable given the vehicle's performance potential. Real-world fuel economy is greatly dependent on your right foot, as the engine quickly gobbles fuel when the twin turbos scroll up. Still, if you have a light throttle foot, you can average better than 25 MPG in mixed suburban commuting. Another plus is the fact that the Edge ST uses regular-grade fuel.

The Edge Sport had some success because it had a big engine, but also turned off true performance fans because it didn't offer much in the handling department. Ford aimed to change that with the Edge ST. Suspension upgrades include firmer front and rear spring rates, a 60-percent boost in roll stiffness thanks to beefier anti-roll bars and monotube dampers all around.

The upgrades pay off as the Edge ST now has the road manners to match its powerful engine. Thanks to the improved suspension, the grippy tires stay in better contact with the road. There's little body lean in quick changes of direction and the nicely weighted steering, which was vague and ponderous last year, is taught and has a direct feel. About the only downside is a vehicle that pulls around corners rather than pivots like a proper sports car should.

On the flip side, the ride gains some firmness. Not so much so that it becomes annoying, but you certainly feel impacts more and there's occasionally an abrupt shock as the Edge ST traverses expansion joints. If you are craving a comfortable or coddled ride, you probably should stick with Edge SEL or Titanium.

Interior noise levels are appropriately low for the class, but selecting the Sport mode adds more than a hint of exhaust note that may not be to the liking of all occupants.

Interior changes for 2019 are minor, mostly focusing on the switch from a traditional gear shift to a rotary dial. Designed to save space, it really doesn't but it certainly is cleaner in design and easy to use. Materials get a big upgrade and are now class leading. Overall, the design is both pleasing and extremely functional.

One thing that didn't change was Edge's class leading interior room. Up front, there's plenty of space for large adults on wide and comfortable seats. The same can be said for the rear seats that are both comfortable and quite accommodating. Three-across seating is possible if you don't mind a bit of a squeeze. Entry and exit are a breeze thanks to the modest step in and large doors. Outward visibility is also top notch thanks to thin roof pillars and a suite of around-view cameras.

Like most Fords, Edge is available with an impressive suite of safety and technology features. The SYNC 3 system is still one of the best in the business and now fully supports Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The digital gauge cluster is configurable and puts a wide array of information just a quick glance away. About the only thing that isn't offered is a head-up display.

Cargo volume comes in at an impressive 40 cubic feet with the rear seats in use and 73 cubic feet with the seats folded. That's best in class and then some. There's also plenty of interior storage throughout thanks to several center-console bins and large map pockets.

Bottom Line -- Those looking for a roomy and comfortable 5-passenger crossover have consistently made Edge a best seller. Though the design might be a dated, there's no denying that it remains a class leader in most respects. The Edge ST is a great replacement for the half-hearted Edge Sport and nicely rounds out the model lineup. Obviously, this class is very competitive, so deals should be fairly easy to come by. Take your time and drive the competition. If you are looking for a performance-minded crossover, Edge ST might be the perfect choice.



Mark Bilek

Mark Bilek is the Senior Director of Communications and Technology for the Chicago Auto Trade Association and the General Manager for DriveChicago.com. He is also responsible for developing and maintaining the Chicago Auto Show Web site.

Mark has been reviewing vehicles for more than two decades. Previously, he was associate publisher at Consumer Guide, where he oversaw publication of Consumer Guide Car & Truck Test, Consumer Guide's Used Car Book, and ConsumerGuide.com. He was also responsible for publication of "Collectible Automobile" and various hardcover automotive titles. In 2001 and 2002 he served as president of a Midwest Automotive Media Association. Mark has appeared on NBC TV, ABC TV, Fox News, WGN and MotorTrend TV as an automotive consultant. He hosts the Drive Chicago radio show on WLS 890 AM and was a regular guest on WGN Radio's Steve & Johnnie show. Mark lives in the northwest suburbs with his wife and three sons.