First Look – 2019 Ford Edge and First-Ever Edge ST
New Powertrains and Styling for Ford’s Midsize Crossovers
The Ford Edge, a biggish two-row SUV, has always been a style choice. For about the same coin as a larger and more practical Explorer, Edge customers give up cargo space and that third-row seat in exchange for sleeker styling and (at least perceived) added sportiness.
For 2019, we don’t see that successful formula changing, as the company will give its crossover a comprehensive update, including a first-ever Ford Performance SUV, the Edge ST. Replacing the Edge Sport at the top of the range, the Edge ST gets added power, improved performance, and more aggressive styling compared to its predecessor.
2019 Ford EdgeMost obviously, the 2019 Edge gets new styling elements front and rear to complement the other changes Ford made. The front headlamps are more aggressive, with a geometric grille shape that recalls the Taurus and Fusion sedans. LED headlamps come standard on every 2019 Edge, with available LED foglamps and accent lighting that recall the Ford Super Duty’s C-shaped headlamp elements.
Around back, the Edge gets totally new styling. The bumper, tailgate sheetmetal, and taillights have been redesigned to add visual width to the crossover, which emphasizes its planted stance according to Ford.
Inside, Ford engineers left well enough alone, and so the interior of the 2019 Edge is similar to that of the 2018. One obvious change, however, is the rotary gearshift dial that replaces the old SUV’s conventional shift lever. The dial conserves space, allowing Ford to add storage, USB ports, and an available wireless charging pad to the console.
That gear selector controls a new eight-speed automatic transmission, up from six speeds in the outgoing Edge. Mated exclusively to a 2.0L EcoBoost I-4, the 2019 Edge gets 250 hp (up 5) and 275 lb-ft of torque. Standard engine-idle stop/start helps reduce emissions and fuel consumption, and Ford claims the new model will get improved fuel economy compared to the outgoing Edge’s 20 city/29 highway mpg with front-wheel drive and 17 city/27 highway with all-wheel drive.
Available in SE, SEL, and Titanium trim levels, every Edge will receive standard forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection technology, blind-spot monitoring, and lane departure mitigation. That extensive suite of safety technology is accompanied by standard in-car Wi-Fi and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto/Amazon Alexa connectivity, even on the base Edge SE. The Edge will also be available with adaptive cruise control and automatic lane centering, reducing fatigue on long highway drives. And every 2019 Edge will come with FordPass Connect, an app-enabled vehicle monitoring system that allows remote locking, unlocking, start, and location capabilities from a smartphone.
That’s a lot of new kit for the family/empty-nester/DINK crossover, but the real ace is the first-ever SUV from Ford Performance, the mad scientists behind the Ford GT supercar, Focus RS hot hatch, and F-150 Raptor low-flying aircraft.
2019 Ford Edge STThe 2019 Ford Edge ST compares very well to the outgoing 2018 Edge Sport, with 335 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque coming from its 2.7L twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V-6. The Sport, which uses a different tune of the same powerplant, has 20 fewer horses and 30 lb-ft less than the ST.
Further enhancing the ST’s straight-line speed is a new eight-speed automatic, which is now controlled via a rotary dial in the center console. Shift paddles and a sport mode for the transmission and throttle enhance responsiveness and driver control. Ford said the transmission would obey the driver’s shift commands when in sport mode, meaning the engine will bang on the redline as long as the driver’s nerves (or the engine’s oil supply) will allow.
Unique-to-ST styling includes a more aggressive mesh grille, made wider for improved engine cooling. The ST also gets deeper side skirts and show car–grade dual vertical exhaust outlets, with reshaped front and rear fascias for added grrrrrrr. The Edge ST comes standard with 20-inch wheels, but 21s are an option, and Ford will offer the ST with either all-season or dedicated summer performance tires. We never thought we’d see the day a volume manufacturer would market an SUV that goes to pieces at the first threats of snowfall, so if you live in a place where temperatures hover around 40 degrees for more than a few months at a time, go for the all-seasons or buy a good set of winter tires.
However, the Edge ST might justify the available summer rubber, thanks to stiffer springs and dampers. The hunkered-down stance is mostly an illusion of the side skirts and large wheels, as the ST rides at the same height as other Edges. But still, Ford promises excellent on-track performance from the all-wheel-drive–only ST. Rebalanced brakes with substantially larger rotors are standard; Ford Performance brakes are an option.
Inside, the Edge ST gets heavily bolstered sport seats up front, and the red ST logo appears on the steering wheel and seatback embroidery. But aside from the serious black upholstery, the performance SUV’s interior looks remarkably similar to the regular Edge’s. That’s a bit of a shame, as we’d love to see some more pop on the dour cockpit—perhaps red-anodized trim bits or a chunky steering wheel?
Ford promises the 2019 Edge and Edge ST will arrive in showrooms this summer, with pricing and fuel economy TBA. However, the Edge’s new styling is at least as nice as it was before, and the Edge ST looks to be more than just a badge-and-tape job on the outgoing Edge Sport. As long as the Monroney in the Edge’s window doesn’t go totally bananas, we’re sure Ford will enjoy another year of strong midsize-crossover sales.