DRIVE: FORD EDGE VIGNALE
FORD’S Vignale is a luxury brand created in response to customer feedback. Loyal buyers had been opting for more and more top-spec Titanium models, leaving them nothing higher to upgrade to when trade-in time came around. In response, Ford added Vignale across its model line-up, acting as a range-topping trim.
Today I’m testing Ford’s flagship SUV, the Edge, in this glitzy spec. The Edge sells in huge numbers across the pond, but does this kit-and-chrome-laden 4x4 appeal to UK tastes? Well, 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 Vignalespecific grille, glitzy chrome wheels and shiny roof rails.
Inside, it 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.
It has a 2.0-litre diesel, available in two states of tune: the lesser model gets 178bhp and a six-speed manual gearbox, while the top brass can choose the 207bhp version mated to a six-speed auto.
My car is the latter. The engine is fairly refined, but it’s definitely no speed demon. Customers at this price level may be a little disappointed, especially as a similarly priced BMW X3 will complete the 0-60mph sprint in under six seconds compared to over nine for the Vignale.
The gearbox is smooth, but feels oldfashioned with just six ratios. Seven or eight is common in this class and a more modern box would make better use of the diesel’s narrow power band. Fuel consumption isn’t impressive either – I averaged 33mpg.
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 heavy car – the Vignale even more so – and you can definitely feel that weight working against you. The suspension and brakes struggle with the bulky body, and the car pitches and rolls as you change direction.
This would be forgiveable if the trade-off was a cushioned ride, but the Vignale isn’t as comfortable as it should be. It crashes over bumps in town, and only really settles down at a cruise. The steering is accurate, but feels overassisted .
If you want a big, luxurious SUV, with a familiar namplate, the Edge Vignale has a lot going for it but it falls down a bit with interior quality, performance and handling not right for a premium 4x4 market.
The Ford Edge Vignale is a top seller in the USA but can it make its mark in Scotland?