The US’s idea of a crossover measures up a bit larger than that of Europe.
The Edge’s dimensions make it unmistakably ‘full size’; it’s within millimetres of the overall length of a Mercedes-Benz GLE and slightly longer than the Volkswagen Touareg, but very slightly narrower and a lot lower in the roof – which is where the crossover part of the design makes its presence felt.
In the scale and brashness of features such as the oversize grille up front and full-width lighting strip at the back, there’s a whiff of American vulgarity about the styling.
But there’s no conspicuous lack of sophistication overall and no reason for British buyers to take against it. Steeply raked pillars, sculptured surfaces and a slim glasshouse all add visual allure.
The Edge is built at Ford’s Oakville plant in Ontario, Canada. Designed under the ‘One Ford’ philosophy for improved global reach, it is based on the ‘CD’ platform used by the current Mondeo, S-Max and Galaxy.
It’s odd for a car this big not to offer a seven-seat configuration, and you’d imagine that will cost Ford a number of sales. Then again, the claim is that the car offers more second-row space than an Audi Q7 or Volkswagen Touareg, and if so, that may be worth giving up an occasional third row for.
With a focus on good passive safety and refinement, Ford uses 44 percent ultra-high-strength steel in the construction of the car’s shell, which helped it reach its five-star NCAP rating.
Both European versions of the car are powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine. The lesser of the pair, with one turbo, gives 178bhp and 295lb ft and drives through a six-speed manual gearbox; the greater is the twin-turbo unit we’re testing, with 207bhp, 332lb ft and a six-speed Powershift dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Both versions have clutch-based ‘intelligent’ all-wheel drive.
Suspension is all-independent, consisting of struts up front and multiple links at the rear, as well as fixed-height steel coil springs giving ground clearance of just over 200mm.
There’s no height-adjustable air suspension option, no self-levelling rear suspension for towing and no adaptive damping for trading passenger comfort against body control – some or all of which may be a disappointment to SUV buyers.