Edge piles on the safety tech­nol­ogy

Re­freshed mid-size SUV is more fam­ily friendly than ever

Edmonton Sun - Autonet - - NEWS - COSTA MOUZOURIS

PARK CITY, Utah – When you buy a ve­hi­cle, es­pe­cially an SUV that’s most likely to take on some fam­ily chores, you ex­pect it to do its job well. It has to be spa­cious and comfy, con­ve­nient, fuel ef­fi­cient and safe. The Ford Edge does all that well. Af­ter a sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion re­design in 2015, it was ripe for a mid-cy­cle re­fresh. It gets that for 2019, with some im­por­tant up­grades and added tech­nol­ogy that make it even more fam­ily friendly.

The ex­te­rior changes are sub­tle, with a new fascia and hood, a wider grille, new lift gate, and dual tailpipes. LED light­ing is now stan­dard front and rear.

Other, big­ger changes are made where it counts. The same 2.0litre EcoBoost tur­bocharged four re­turns, though it has a five-horse­power boost to 250, with the same 275 pound-feet of torque as be­fore. The en­gine now mates to an eight-speed au­to­matic, gain­ing two gear ra­tios on the out­go­ing model. Like be­fore, front- and all-wheel-drive ver­sions are avail­able. All-wheel-drive dis­con­nect is stan­dard on AWD models, and au­to­mat­i­cally senses when four wheels are needed for in­creased trac­tion, or when only the front wheels are needed for fuel ef­fi­ciency; it switches seam­lessly be­tween FWD and AWD in 10 mil­lisec­onds.

A start-stop func­tion is also stan­dard, and when com­bined with the new trans­mis­sion, claimed com­bined fuel con­sump­tion has im­proved from 9.9 L/100 km for FWD and 10.5 L for AWD models, to 9.6 L and 10 L re­spec­tively. Pre­mium fuel is rec­om­mended, though you can use reg­u­lar fuel if you’re will­ing to live with a slight loss of power.

Not much has changed in­side; it seats five, is very comfy front and rear for full-size adults, and is easy to get into and out of, front or rear. The in­te­rior is very roomy; cargo vol­ume with the sec­ond-row seats up is 1,110 litres, which ex­pands to 2,078 litres with the seat­backs folded flat. Trailer tow­ing ca­pac­ity is un­changed at 3,500 lbs.

The big­gest change is a new cen­tre con­sole, which now has a ro­tary shift knob that will likely be a po­lar­iz­ing change from the con­ven­tional, lever type shifter of the out­go­ing Edge. That gearshift lever gave you ab­so­lute con­fir­ma­tion as to which gear was se­lected by its eas­ily dis­tin­guish­able po­si­tion. With the dial it’s less ob­vi­ous which gear is se­lected, even though a lit­tle light in­di­cates so. My driv­ing part­ner con­tin­u­ously dou­ble-checked ev­ery time he shifted from drive to re­verse to park, never re­ally cer­tain if he’d se­lected the cor­rect gear. He wasn’t a fan and nei­ther am I.

Stan­dard for 2019 is Ford Pass Con­nect (for­merly SYNC Con­nect), with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot that al­lows con­nec­tiv­ity for up to 10 de­vices. It also al­lows you to lock, un­lock and lo­cate your Edge re­motely by us­ing the Ford-Pass app. A one-year Ford Pass sub­scrip­tion is in­cluded. A wire­less charg­ing pad is avail­able.

The Edge is the first Ford SUV to come stan­dard with Co-Pilot360, a com­pre­hen­sive suite of driver as­sists. They in­clude pre-col­li­sion as­sist with pedes­trian de­tec­tion and auto brak­ing, for­ward col­li­sion warn­ing and dy­namic brak­ing sup­port, blind-spot and rear cross-traf­fic alert, ac­tive lane-depar­ture as­sist, au­to­matic high beams, and a rear cam­era that comes with a lens washer. Other stan­dard as­sist fea­tures in­clude post-col­li­sion brak­ing, which re­duces the force of a sec­ondary im­pact af­ter an ini­tial im­pact is de­tected, and hill-start as­sist. Ford’s in­clu­sion of these driver as­sists as stan­dard is a wel­come ad­di­tion.

Op­tional driver as­sists in­clude eva­sive-steer­ing as­sist, which helps avoid a col­li­sion by en­hanc­ing steer­ing when eva­sive ma­noeu­vres are taken, and stopand-go adap­tive cruise con­trol, which is com­bined with ac­tive lane cen­tring.

Power from the 2.0-L en­gine is more than ad­e­quate for any­thing you’d re­quire of the Edge, short of haul­ing a big trailer. The new eight-speed trans­mis­sion shifts al­most seam­lessly, and there’s a Sport mode that holds gears longer and sharp­ens en­gine re­sponse if you want to ex­pe­dite your ar­rival. A brief drive in a front-drive ver­sion re­veals some mod­er­ate torque steer when ac­cel­er­at­ing hard, but noth­ing that isn’t eas­ily man­age­able.

With the Edge’s mid-cy­cle re­fresh Ford has also re­set the trim choices. Now avail­able are the SE, SEL (start­ing at $37,999) and Ti­ta­nium ($43,399). The base SE front­drive model has been pulled from the line up, re­placed by the SE AWD, which has bumped the base price by $3,000, to $35,999. That’s an in­crease of $1,000 over the 2018 SE AWD, though that in­cludes the new eight-speed au­to­matic, FordPass Con­nect, and Co-Pilot360 driver as­sists. The Sport is gone, re­placed by the ST, which starts at $49,099. Only the SEL is avail­able with ei­ther FWD or AWD; all other models are all-wheel driv­ers.

The 2019 Ford Edge is at deal­ers now.

CostaMouzouris/ Driv­ing

2019 Ford Edge Ti­ta­nium.

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