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.