Starting around eight years ago, there was a massive proliferation of midsize, two-row crossovers, including the Ford Edge, Toyota Venza, and later the Honda Crosstour. While we initially questioned the need for all these seemingly needless derivatives, the marketplace has spoken loudly and affirmative, especially in the case of the Ford Edge, which while trailing the best-selling compact Escape and three-row Explorer, is one of Ford's perennial best-selling SUVs and consistently among the top 10 best-selling SUVs in the country. Although it received a thorough refresh in 2011, its underpinnings were essentially the same. But come fall, the 2015 Ford Edge will be all-new, with some features that promise to raise it up a few notches in the eyes of consumers.
When we traveled to Dearborn a few months ago to get some background information on the new 2015 F-150 and the all-new 2.7L EcoBoost V-6, we asked if there would be other applications for the engine beyond the F-150. We were given the standard corporate response of "we don't comment on future product." Well, we now know at least one other model that will get the innovative engine. The 2.7L EcoBoost will be offered in the 2015 Ford Edge Sport, where it's promised to deliver "more than 300 hp."
Other engines in the lineup include the 2.0L EcoBoost I-4, which gets a slight bump in compression from 9.3:1 to 9.7:1, along with other internal improvements for improved responsiveness and efficiency, and the bread-and-butter 3.5L naturally aspirated V-6. However, the 3.5 V-6 and EcoBoost I-4 trade places as the standard mill for the Edge, with the blown four now being standard issue. The 2.0L EcoBoost also gets standard stop-start on the 2015 Edge. Horsepower increases by 5 to 245 hp, with 270 lb-ft of torque. All engines will be mated to a six-speed automatic with standard paddle shifters.
But the engine bay isn't the only place where innovation is happening on the Edge. The new model has a veritable alphabet soup of features, including active grille shutters, adaptive cruise control, adaptive variable-ratio steering, the aforementioned auto stop-start, blind-spot warning, a 180-degree front camera with a washer, enhanced active park assist that can also pull vehicles into a perpendicular space as well as pull them out of a parallel space, and the hands-free liftgate popularized on the Escape.
Reflecting the upscale orientation of the new Edge, a Titanium trim will be offered for the first time, bringing the total number of trim levels to four: SE, SEL, Sport, and Titanium. But the 2015 Ford Edge didn't just add goodies, it added space. Front and rear legroom increase by 1.9 and 1.0 inches, respectively, with another inch of headroom throughout. 7.0 more cubic feet of cargo space were added behind the rear seat and 4.5 cubic feet with the second row folded, for capacities of 39.2 cu. ft. and 73.4 cu. ft. respectively. The added space is partially facilitated by an inch-longer wheelbase, going from 111.2 to 112.2.
Reflecting the "One Ford" credo championed by outgoing CEO Alan Mulally, the Edge will ultimately be sold in Europe, South America, and Asia. Sales are expected to start in the first quarter of 2015. Like its predecessor, the 2015 Ford Edge will be built in Ford's Oakville, Ontario, plant southwest of Toronto.