Emma Jayne Williams

Ford updates Edge midsize crossover for 2019, adds ST performance model

Ford introduced the five-passenger Edge midsize crossover in 2012 and upgraded to the second generation in 2015. For 2019, the Edge has a new look and lots of new standard features, including more standard driver-assist technologies than other mid-size SUVs, Ford says.

With four trims to choose from, Edge offers something for everyone – from laid-back to rambunctious. The entry SE starts at$29,995, SEL at $33,300, Titanium at $38,760, and the all-new Edge ST at$42,355. The ST, with standard all-wheel drive, is the first utility from Ford Performance, and replaces the Edge Sport in the lineup.

The new look includes sportier new front and rear fascia, grille, hood, and lift gate. Available upgrades include bi-LED front lighting and fog lights on models above SEL, and five new wheels including18-inch bright machined-aluminum wheels with dark stainless-painted pockets.The rearview camera now has a lens washer.

Inside, a rotary gearshift replaces the shifter knob,and the console has two new storage bins, one under the front of the console and one on the dash (shallow, covered). A wireless charger comes standard on the Titanium and is available on the SEL and the ST.

Edge is the first utility to feature Ford CoPilot 360 with Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Information with cross-traffic alert, Lane-Keeping System, rearview camera, and auto high-beam headlights. Rain-sensing wipers and post-impact braking are also standard.

There is a new eight-speed automatic transmission to go with its 335-horsepower, 2.7-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V-6 engine with auto start-stop technology.

An interesting feature, the rotary shifter returns to Park if the driver’s door is opened while the shifter is in Drive.

Edge is also the first Ford to offer Intelligent All-Wheel Drive Disconnect that can decouple the rear axle and run in 100%front-wheel drive. Previous smart all-wheel drive adjusted power to front,rear, or both as needed, with both sets always in action.

The new system collects information from traction control, antilock brakes, windshield wipers, outside temperature, road conditions, and vehicle speed, then uses “fuzzy logic” to determine optimal torque split.

This usually means on weather-free days, around town or on the highway, the system is all front-wheel drive. Come snow or rain, Edge can decide in 10 milliseconds to engage the rear wheels.

Advance Trac with Roll Stability Control and Curve Control provides stability enhancement features for certain driving situations;traction control to help avoid drive-wheel spin and loss of traction,electronic stability control to avoid skids or lateral slides, Roll Stability Control to avoid a rollover, and Curve Control to help handle turns at higher-than-recommended speeds.

For this review, I drove an appealing Edge ST in Ford Performance Blue, one of six exterior colors available for the ST including Ruby Red ($395), White Platinum ($595), and standard Agate Black,Magnetic, and Ingot Silver.

My Edge ST rode on stunning 20-inch bright machined-aluminum wheels with high-gloss black-painted pockets. The pockets were deeply sculpted,and with the machined face gave the appearance of a wind-swept star – hinting at movement even when standing still.

The ST had a unique front fascia with a wide gloss-black mesh grille (with active shutters and ST logo) for optimal cooling, a gloss-black air curtain, and deep side skirts with flat-black flared rocker panels for reduced down force.

Unique dual-exhaust outlets – stainless steel, vertical trapezoids, set in the flat-black lower bumper – had a more-resonant tone in Sport Mode. The ST-tuned sport suspension was standard.

Inside, contoured ST sport seats were embossed with “ST” on the backrest. The steering wheel with Select Shift paddle shifters had a red “ST” badge at six o’clock, and scuff plates had Ford “Performance” badging (white and red set in black).

LED signature Daytime Running Lights set above the slim double headlights (with automatic high beam function) like a hooded lid gave a sinister, snake-eye look. The headlights with automatic on/off function were turned on when the rain-sensing wipers were activated. LED front fog lights were set in gloss-black faux air vents trimmed with chrome at the lower outer edge, designed to work with the headlights to create the image of a “C’ when lit.

Heated/power side mirrors had security approach lights. The B and C pillars as well as the lift gate spoiler and wide window trim were gloss black. Bold wrap-around taillights had amber turn signals and were set into the gloss-black window trim.

A Class II Trailer Tow Package with Trailer Sway Control and hitch control was standard on my Edge ST.

An Equipment Group ($5,585) brought lots of technology such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane Centering, Adaptive LED headlights with LED amber light blade turn signals, auto-dimming driver’s side mirror, cooled front seats(heated front seats were standard) and heated rear seats.

The package also included Enhanced Active Park Assist with Parallel Park, Park Out Assist,Reverse Perpendicular Parking, and Forward/Reverse and Side Sensing systems. The system locates a suitable parking space, the driver then shifts/accelerates and brakes, and the system does the steering. The system also helps get out of a tight parallel parking space.

Evasive Steering Assist was included to help avoid a collision with an obstacle just ahead,detecting when the driver starts an evasive turn and taking over with the right amount of steering and the right timing. A front 180-degree camera with split view and washer; a hands-free, foot-activated, height-adjustable lift gate; a panoramic vista roof with power shade; and universal garage door/gate opener were included.

Also included were a perimeter alarm, remote start system, a 110-volt/150-watt AC power outlet on the back of the front console, and a wireless charging pad in the front console bin under the center stack.

Last, but not least, the package brought a voice-activated touch-screen navigation system with pinch-to-zoom capacity, and SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link (requires a SiriusXM subscription).

The interior was loaded as well as attractive and comfortable. Intelligent Access allowed entry with the key in a pocket or purse. A SecuriCode keyless entry keypad was included.

Standard Edge ST interior features include reclining leather-trimmed (ebony in my tester) front ST bolstered bucket seats with Miko (sueded cloth) inserts and City Silver contrast stitching; perforated-leather power tilt/telescoping steering wheel with memory and the same stitching; 10-way power front seats; 60/40 Easy-Fold split-fold-flat and reclining rear bench with fold-down armrest; and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Standard dual-zone automatic temperature control had a cabin particulate air filter. Ambient lighting subtly lit the interior from strategic locations. My Edge ST had eight cup holders, two smart charging USB ports and four 12-volt power points, in key areas.

The roomy cargo area (39.2 cubic feet behind the second row, 73.4 with the seat folded down)had an under-floor storage area with several hard foam dividers (insulation from noise, protection from damage) for tools, trailer hitch/ball, road side kit,etc. A cargo net was included to manage cargo on the floor.

Safety and driver-assist technology included Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking to detect a potential collision with a vehicle or pedestrian and reduce the severity of or eliminate a frontal collision. An alert will sound and a message will be displayed in the driver-information center. If the driver doesn’t respond appropriately, the system increases braking up to and including stopping the vehicle.

A Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, and Hill Start Assist are standard.

A Ford Sync in-vehicle voice-activated communications and entertainment system allow users to make hands-free calls, control music, and perform other functions using voice commands. The system includes a smartphone-like touch screen for quick response.

Ford Pass Connect is a built-in modem, allowing up to 10 users to access 4G LTE WiFi, within a range of up to 50 feet. Edge is compatible with features such as Android Auto,Apple CarPlay, Ford+Alexa, and Waze navigation.

The Bang and Olufsen Premium sound system with 12 speakers supported SiriusXM Radio, offering over 150 channels for commercial-free music, sports, news, talk, comedy, and entertainment.

A Cold Weather Package ($495) included floor liners, heated steering wheel, and a windshield-wiper de-icer.

Edge’s Personal Safety System is designed to reduce the risk of air bag-related injuries by analyzing various occupant conditions and crash severity before triggering safety devices in frontal crash situations. The system is composed of air bags and sensors. Upon impact, the system deploys air bags and tightens belts according to occupant size/position, and crash severity.

Both front seats have knee air bags, and both rows have side-impact Safety Canopy side-curtain air bags with rollover sensors.

Using the same seatbelt and air bag sensors, the SOS Post-Crash Alert System automatically turns on the flashers and sounds the horn continuously – three times every four seconds – until the vehicle runs out of power. It can be turned off by pressing the hazard-lights button or the panic button on the key fob.

Ford My Key can be programmed to restrict certain functions: Belt-Minder sounds a six-second chime every 30 seconds and and mutes the audio (displays “Buckle Up to Unmute Radio”)until front seat belts are fastened. Top Speed-Setting sets the top speed at four different settings, with chimes. Screened radio content blocks all stations labeled “explicit” by Sirius; and the early fuel warning is set at 75miles instead of 50. Safety and driver-assist functions cannot be deactivated when using My Key.

The Edge ST is built to impress, and has plenty of room for passengers and weekend luggage or a small family and their daily needs.

The well-padded seats were comfortable for even a long drive, even though the ride was a little bumpy on some surfaces. The cabin was quiet at highway speeds.

With options totaling $6,080 and destination charge of $995, my impressive, good-looking 2019 Edge ST AWD delivered for $49,430.

The automotive columns of Emma Jayne Williams have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 2007. Contact her at emmajayne1948@gmail.com.

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