From £30,3707

Engine options, speed, acceleration and refinement

In the well-rehearsed assurance it commands and the pleasing sense of polished civility it possesses on the road, the Edge’s performance better demonstrates that Ford knew what it would take to successfully break into the European luxury SUV ranks.

Our 9.7sec recorded sprint to 60mph is far from outstanding, hindered as it was by a gentle initial step-off from the dual-clutch transmission even at full throttle.

If you need a big 4x4 for towing, this isn’t it. It’s rated a tonne less than some rivals on a braked trailer, and the dual-clutch ’box lacks the torque multiplication of a normal auto

But such a quirk matters little in a large, comfort-orientated car, and you may even consider it desirable. On 30-70mph through-the-gears pace, the Edge is more competitive, and in gear it feels torquey and motivates its mass easily on the road while also keeping its occupants well insulated from both wind and engine noise.

Much is made by Ford of the audio system’s active noise cancelling technology, which works via three onboard microphones to detect noise and broadcast inaudible cancelling noise at perfectly judged frequencies.

But it’s obvious, too, that the company did a first-rate job of isolating the 2.0-litre diesel engine and transmission and preventing either from intruding.

That engine doesn’t exactly feel potent in this two-tonne car, but it pulls keenly enough at lower revs to make overtaking possible in the higher gears, and it can keep up a swift pace without working hard.

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It’s a slight disappointment, though, that the car’s dual-clutch automatic gearbox doesn’t have a kickdown switch at the bottom of the accelerator pedal’s travel and won’t hold a gear right to the foot of that travel in manual mode, making the car feel a little obstinate and unpredictable when you hurry it.

Braking performance is good. Our mid-spec test car, on standard 19in wheels, stopped from 70mph in plenty less than 50 metres and with lots of dive but retaining decent stability. A ST-Line-spec car on 20in rims might have done even better in like-for-like dry conditions.