Does the 2015 Ford Edge have the edge in the mid-size SUV and crossover category? That's what I tried to find out this past week when I was invited by Ford to test drive the new 2015 Ford Edge in Phoenix, Arizona for half a day.
2015 Ford Edge Updates & Changes
Ok, so let's take a look at the new 2015 Ford Edge. A few changes have taken place, most significantly, in the engine and trim offerings. The Ford Edge trim line-up used to consist of the SE, SEL, Limited, and Sport. Now you have the SE, SEL, Titanium, and Sport.
In addition to the new Titanium trim line are revised engine and powertrain options which provide better fuel efficiency and power. The engine options include;
- 2.0-Liter EcoBoost Inline 4-Cylinder with 245-horsepower and 275 lb. -ft of torque
- 2.7-Liter EcoBoost V6 with 315-horsepower and 350 lb. -ft of torque
- 3.5 Liter V6 with 280-horsepower and 250 lb. -ft of torque (naturally aspirated)
All models come with a 6-speed automatic transmission. FWD (Front Wheel Drive) is standard, but a change for 2015 is that all engine offerings can be ordered with AWD (All Wheel Drive).
Ford has a lot of great new technology on the 2015 Ford Edge. Available as an option this year is the hands-free rear liftgate which can be activated by moving your foot under the rear bumper. Testing it out was fun. Anyone who's ever loaded and unloaded a vehicle can see why this innovation would be useful. You've probably seen Ford touting this feature in TV commercials. The kicking motion to open the rear liftgate was originally only available on the Ford C-MAX and Ford Escape but the 2015 Ford Edge has changed that.
The suspension and driving dynamics of the Ford Edge has also been significantly improved this year. One of the suspension and body engineers told me the goal was to make the 2015 Ford Edge feel less top heavy. Basically they wanted it to not feel like an SUV with top heavy weight while maneuvering. The Ford Edge went on a diet, shedding 50 pounds compared to last year's model. This has helped refine the driving dynamics. They have also used a sedan platform to underpin the 2015 Ford Edge. Along with MacPherson struts in the front and integral-link independent suspension in the rear, the Ford Edge definitely feels more like a sedan. With the slightly light weight and the sedan platform there is not as much body roll as other SUVs I've driven.
The other important area Ford has made improvements in in storage space. I am not just talking about an extra 7 cubic feet in the rear hatch but a lot of storage compartments in the cabin. One of the Ford Edge planners told me he had his wife in mind while designing some of the storage areas. I thought the best storage compartment was on the dashboard above the SYNC infotainment screen. The storage area is quite generous and it is easily accessible while driving. It's a great place to put a cellphone or stow your sunglasses.
During my test drive experience in Arizona I got behind the wheel of two different trims, the Ford Edge Titanium and the Ford Edge Sport. These are the higher end models in the Ford Edge line-up and I took both on some nice highways and scenic twisty mountain roads outside Scottsdale, near Phoenix. With 80+ degree weather (a welcome contrast to the East Coast freezer) driving the Edge on the open roads was a genuinely positive experience.
Ford Edge Titanium
I started the day in Arizona with a 2015 Ford Edge Titanium which comes equipped with the 2.0 Liter Inline 4-Cylinder EcoBoost engine. I could definitely the peppiness of the engine kicking in going down the road.
One of the powertrain engineers commented on how engine power is more immediate with the turbo and reworked engine design. While the Ford Edge Titanium has significantly less turbo lag than the majority of turbo'ed vehicles I've driven, I found that in some driving situations I could still feel a slight lag. The power hesitation on the turbo is there… but only for a split second. This would probably be indiscernible to most drivers who do suburban and urban routes. At lower speeds the turbo on the 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder engine does a fine job. I only found turbo lag was an issue at higher speeds. While the engine may not appeal to hardcore gearheads, the 4-Cylinder EcoBoost should be fine for a wide variety of driving situations. It's enjoyable and adequate in my opinion.
The interior on the Titanium felt quite nice as it was cognac accented with black. With heated and cooled leather seats it felt quite luxurious and comfortable even driving around on different terrain for two hours. You might not think you need cooling but in 80+ degree weather, how could you live without it?
Ford Edge Sport
Those who want more power and “oomph” will love the 2.7 Liter V6 EcoBoost. When I switched out my Ford Edge Titanium for the Ford Edge Sport equipped with the V6, the power difference was immediately noticeable.
While a select group of people might care about the differences between a turbo EcoBoost 4-Cylinder and an EcoBoost V6, I am under the impression most Ford Edge customers will opt for the 2.0-Liter engine due to the better fuel economy compared to the 2.7-Liter V6. If you mostly do around town driving and some highway miles, can you live with 4-Cylinder EcoBoost? I would certainly think so. Of course the extra power from the V6 is hard to resist once you've driven and experienced it. Plus, one engineer indicated that feedback from many Ford customers was that they want a V6.
I didn't find the interior of the Ford Edge Sport as comfortable as the Ford Edge Titanium since it was black interior. The temperature difference was apparent even with the air conditioning on with cooling seats. The model I drove had cloth seats but they were still comfortable.
The huge moonroof on the Edge Sport was quite enjoyable to open it up as it sort of felt like a convertible. Ford calls it the VistaRoof and it is a great option if you want to spring for it. It is also available on the Titanium. My driving partner for the day commented on how enjoyable convertibles are. Hey, life is short so if you don't get a convertible at least opt for a Vista Roof.
A somewhat firmer suspension setup makes for a more racer like driving experience. Discerning drivers will appreciate it. On curvy roads it's nice to have a firmer suspension but as we got closer to the hotel, i.e. more toward city roads and stop and go traffic, the suspension felt cumbersome. With beefier 21-inch tires compared to the Titanium's 20 inch tires, the Sport looks better. The larger tires are also more aggressive and provide better grip for more precise handling.
The Ford Edge comes with the SYNC infotainment system with MyFordTouch. I ended up not being a fan of the SYNC and MyFordTouch system. While driving I found that it took awhile to understand certain controls and functions on the screen. I found it difficult to concentrate on driving while trying to operate MyFordTouch. SYNC is a bit clunky and at this point Ford needs to consider switching to a more intuitive software system.
In terms of technology you get other nice additions like Sirius Satellite Radio, 2 USB charger ports for various devices, GPS navigation, and you can change the ambient lighting in the car to whatever color you want.
There are a lot of safety features on the 2015 Ford Edge. Some nice safety features include;
- Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist
- 180-Degree front camera system with a little washer system
- Rear Parking Camera
- Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning
- Enhanced Active Park Assist
I thought that the power steering had a weird “kink” as it felt notchy while going down the road. I realized that was actually the Lane Assist kicking in. It does what it is supposed to do, keep a vehicle on the intended path and in the lane. Like any technology you experience for the first time it takes getting used but once you know it's there and feel the steering wheel making corrections it is somewhat comforting.
The front and rear camera systems are to help with parking. I didn't get to try out the 180-degree front cameras, but anyone who has used a rear back-up camera knows how useful this feature is. This will become a standard feature by law within a few years.
Ergonomics and Comfort
I found the driving seat quite comfortable on both Ford Edge models . On many cars driving after 1 hour or so can become a chore if the ergonomics of the seat are not built properly. On the Ford Edge even after roughly 4 hours of driving it felt like I could comfortably drive all day. Having a well thought out cabin also helped.
The new Ford Edge looks great. It has slick and sweeping lines emerging from the front to the rear. The front fascia looks more powerful, aggressive, and hip while still retaining a, “Come drive me” attitude. I actually don't think I heard one journalist say they didn't like the way the Ford Edge looked. Compared to the outgoing design the exterior is a stunning improvement.
On the interior it's clear that the Ford Edge designers have attended to details. The stitching on the seats and doors panels feel high quality. The fit and finish on interior components are well put together.
Final Thoughts on the Ford Edge
The first thing I noticed when I got into the Ford Edge was how sturdy the door felt when I closed it. Usually a sturdy door can tell you a lot about a vehicle before you even start driving it.
The Ford Edge lived up to the door closing expectations and there is a lot to like. The 2015 Ford Edge drives and handles well, feels comfortable, has good safety features, and works well as a mid-size crossover SUV. My biggest issue was with SYNC and MyFordTouch. If Ford improved the infotainment system it would be hard to outdo the Ford Edge in the crossover competition.
Should you get the Ford Edge Titanium or the Ford Edge Sport? I'll tell you when I got out of the pricier Ford Edge Sport I was a little sad to see it go. With the Ford Edge Titanium I just got out. That V6 is addictive but you do take a hit with fuel economy.
I should let readers know that I did not have enough time to go through all the safety and technology features, like pairing up my phone and using the Parking Assist to parallel park, on the 2015 Ford Edge. I'd also like to check out some other things. In a crossover what you really want to know is how it works when fully loaded with gear, people, or pets. In my opinion the best way to experience the Ford Edge would be if I was able to test drive it for a week and see how it fits into my lifestyle with my two dogs, Cody and Sierra, with their dog seatbelts on.
The Ford Edge is ideal for those do not mind a slight price premium for safety, technology, and luxury in a mid-size crossover. Overall it's a great package.
If you have any questions or comments about my 2015 Ford Edge review and first drive impressions, feel free to leave a comment below. I will try to answer them as best I can.