Ford is almost ready to unveil its third SUV, the Edge, due on UK roads next year. We find out how it's going from the passenger seat – and off-road

What is it?

What better way to test the 4x4 credentials of Ford’s new SUV and its intelligent All-Wheel Drive system than on a crisp winter’s morning and on a mixture of wet and slushy frozen ground?

Much rests on the capability of the Edge given its position at the helm of the manufacturer’s SUV range in the UK, especially as it's going up against strong rivals such as Mazda's CX-5 as well as more premium offerings such as the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.

Buyers will be given a choice of two variants of Ford's 2.0-litre Duratorq diesel engine, with 177bhp and 207bhp versions available from launch. The former is mated to a six-speed manual and the latter, which we're experiencing, to Ford's six-speed Powershift dual-clutch automatic gearbox. 

What's it like?

Inside, first impressions of the Edge are positive, with the lashings of leather on our particular car giving it a premium feel not too dissimilar from an Audi Q5 or BMW X3, although the basic dashboard architecture looks to have been borrowed from the Kuga, which isn't quite so premium. 

Beyond that parts-bin similarity, however, it's very different. The instrument binnacle has a fresh look, while the centre console is dominated by an 8in Sony infotainment system, which includes sat-nav, Bluetooth, DAB and the ability to control certain cabin features, such as climate control, the heated seats and steering wheel.

There's good space for two in the front, while the rear quarters are spacious enough for two adults to sit in comfort, with ample head and leg room. The middle seat is certainly useable for short journeys, although shoulder space is at a premium. It's a refined space, too: this more powerful diesel is quiet on start-up, with very little noise making its way into the cabin. 

As soon as the asphalt gives way to the rough stuff, the Edge's all-wheel drive system adjusts automatically to the changing level of grip. Ford’s intelligent set-up defaults to sending the torque to the front wheels to ensure the best fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.

However, if the terrain or road conditions change for the worse and the system detects that traction from the front is being lost, the system can deliver a 50/50 front/rear torque split within 20 milliseconds. With the system being so quick to react, the only way of keeping track of where the power is going is via an infographic on the instrument binnacle.

It's clever - although not necessarily new - technology, but does it work in practice? Well, the short answer is yes. It's impressive at adapting quickly to the changing circumstances, but this is no hardcore off-roader - and to be fair, Ford isn't pitching it that way.

Deeper into the off-road course at Ford’s proving ground in Lommel, Belgium, it becomes clear that the Edge is at home tackling dirt tracks, with the suspension happily absorbing the impacts across the unevenness. Only the very largest protrusions catch the Ford out, with the suspension feeling a touch eager on rebound.

Even so, the Edge tackled the course, including a couple of steep, rutted inclines and a sharp descent, manfully and with minimal fuss. There were a couple of occasions where the four-wheel drive system could be felt in action, with the front wheels beginning to start to slip, but the rears quickly rectified the situation.

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Should I buy one?

Ultimately our off-road taster of the Edge offered up little to draw a verdict from, other than it'll likely be more than capable of crossing the sort of terrain its buyers might encounter comfortably - likely the odd rutted or gravelly track - rather than an all-out cross-country adventure.

Of course, it's therefore difficult to say whether or not you should be reserving your test drive as a matter of urgency, or heading to a rival dealership. The Edge certainly has the space to rival the best but not really the sort of quality or refinement that will have its German competition too worried. 

A more definitive verdict will come with a full first drive on road, but for now, the Edge looks to have plenty of potential. 

Ford Edge 2.0 Duratorq TDCi 210

Where Lommel, Belgium; On sale 2016; Price £30,000 (est); Engine 4 cyls, 1997cc, diesel; Power 207bhp; Torque 332lb ft; Gearbox 6-spd dual-clutch automatic; Kerbweight na; Top speed 131mph (est); 0-62mph 9.4sec (est); Fuel economy 48.7mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 149g/km, 27%

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Factczech 3 January 2016

Yet again

This has to be the trend with our auto journalists in the UK hook line and sinker into the German manufacturers camp regardless of what they offer up. I see nothing wrong with the Ford other than straight away it should be better or on par with the current crop? I do not see such dismissive and frankly condescending sentiments towards the Koreans and Japanese over hyped offerings.
BMW's first offerings were not all perfect, and even today they are ugly in comparison but gets all the praises because of the badge- ford suffers from the snob culture we are known for in Britain, it is what killed the British car industry and too bad it would not affect Ford that much- the real issue here is the REAL price of servicing these German offerings compared to the Ford.
If I were a Ford CEO I would not loan any cars to those who never have a good word even when there are plenty- as things stand they can't sell cars with reviews like this so what have they got to lose?
Adrian 47 20 December 2015

Ford Edge

Is it just me or does this look like a Hyundai Santa Fee / Tucson
bowsersheepdog 17 December 2015


Even by the standards of jeeps this one is immensely ugly. The story seems to suggest it isn't up to what jeeps are for, either, and isn't what one would require to drive up the side of a mountain. Perhaps just as well, some sublime scenery would be forever tainted by its repulsive presence.