BLING IT ON: FORD’S LARGE SUV GETS THE LUX­URY TREAT­MENT

Ford’s taken its flag­ship SUV, the Edge, and ap­plied lib­eral amounts of chrome and equip­ment to cre­ate the new Edge Vig­nale. Tom Wilt­shire puts it to the test.

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - News -

WHAT IS IT?

Ford’s Vig­nale name­plate is a lux­ury sub-brand, which Ford says is a re­sponse to cus­tomer feed­back. Loyal buy­ers of the Amer­i­can brand were buy­ing more and more top-spec Ti­ta­nium mod­els, leav­ing them noth­ing higher to up­grade to when trade-in time came around.

In re­sponse, Ford’s added Vig­nale trim across its model line-up, which acts as a range-top­ping trim – giv­ing customers ex­tra kit, im­proved ma­te­ri­als, chrome de­tail­ing, and ded­i­cated Vig­nale ben­e­fits.

We’re test­ing Ford’s flag­ship SUV – the Edge – in this glitzy Vig­nale spec. The Edge is an Amer­i­can im­port, and sells in huge num­bers across the pond, but does this kit-and-chrome­laden 4x4 ap­peal to UK tastes?

WHAT’S NEW?

On the out­side, the Edge Vig­nale gets a se­lec­tion of ex­clu­sive paint colours. Once it’s been painted, Ford lets its de­sign team loose with chrome de­tail­ing – there’s a mas­sive and im­pos­ing Vig­nale-spe­cific grille, glitzy chrome wheels and shiny roof rails.

In­side, the Vig­nale gets quilted leather seats, while Ford’s cov­ered the plas­tic dash­board with swathes of leather. The car­pet’s thicker, and even the boot is coated in deep-pile shag. Un­der the skin not much has changed, but there’s ex­tra sound­proof­ing to make the Vig­nale a re­laxed and re­fined cruiser.

WHAT’S UN­DER THE BON­NET?

The Edge Vig­nale is avail­able with just one 2.0-litre diesel, avail­able in two states of tune. The lesser model gets 178bhp and a sixspeed man­ual gear­box, while the top brass can choose the 207bhp ver­sion mated to a six-speed auto.

Our car was the lat­ter. The en­gine is fairly re­fined, but it’s def­i­nitely no speed de­mon.

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

Ford has a strong track record for mak­ing cars that han­dle well, and the Edge is no ex­cep­tion. For such a big car it’s un­usu­ally good in the cor­ners. But in stan­dard form, the Edge is a very heavy car; the Vig­nale even more so – and you can def­i­nitely feel that weight work­ing against you.

The steer­ing is ac­cu­rate if a tad over-as­sisted – a nec­es­sary evil when try­ing to give such a big car light steer­ing.

HOW DOES IT LOOK?

Some will love the Edge’s com­bi­na­tion of im­pos­ing Amer­i­can style and shiny chrome – oth­ers will find it a bit chintzy. We ini­tially fell into the lat­ter camp, but had to ad­mit the car grew on us as the week drew on.

It’s cer­tainly eye-catch­ing, and if you want road pres­ence, few cars at this price are bet­ter.

WHAT’S IT LIKE IN­SIDE?

Roomy, spa­cious and com­fort­able: four or even five adults can sit com­fort­ably, and the vast boot has over 600 litres of space for your kit.

Lots of places in­side have ben­e­fit­ted from the up­grad­ing of ma­te­ri­als and you’ll def­i­nitely ap­pre­ci­ate all that sump­tu­ous leather and other ex­tras, es­pe­cially on long jour­neys.

WHAT’S THE SPEC LIKE?

Ford throws the book at Vig­nale mod­els as stan­dard, and you won’t be left want­ing for much. Dy­namic LED head­lights, quilted and heated leather seats, a hands-free elec­tric tail­gate and dig­i­tal gauge clus­ter all come as stan­dard. You also get Ford’s Sync3 in­fo­tain­ment system, with sat-nav, An­droid Auto and Ap­ple Carplay.

VER­DICT

If you want a big, lux­u­ri­ous SUV, the Edge Vig­nale has a lot go­ing for it in what is a very com­pet­i­tive pre­mium mar­ket.

There’s a def­i­nite sense that if you’re al­ready sold on the Edge, opt­ing for the Vig­nale wouldn’t be too big a stretch. Those who do go for it will find a spa­cious, re­laxed SUV with a com­fort­ably fa­mil­iar badge on the bon­net.

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