• New safety features are standard, expanded list of advanced safety features is available
  • Updated styling enhances the Edge’s looks
  • Pricing starts at $30,990, including destination charges

 

Not everyone needs a midsize SUV with a third row. Some would rather have a roomy second row plus a huge cargo area. For those shoppers, there are 2-row midsize SUVs, a segment that made up for more than 600,000 vehicles sold last year. One of the more popular vehicles in that segment is the Ford Edge, which returns for 2019 with updated styling, an expanded roster of safety features, and a new transmission. In addition, all Edges, with the exception of one model, are powered by a 2.0-liter 250-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The 3.5-liter engine is no longer available, and the only model to get 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 is the all-new Edge ST, which replaces and goes far beyond what the Sport offered last year. You can also read our first review of the 2019 Ford Edge ST.

Updated Looks

Starting with the sharper nose, the Ford Edge now has a wider grille and redesigned hood. New LED lighting and new fog lights are available, as are five new wheel designs. Also new for 2019 models are a new liftgate design and available LED taillights. Inside, the console was redesigned, due in no small part to the change in the transmission shifter: instead of a lever with the PRNDL in a line, 2019 models use a rotary dial to control the new 8-speed automatic transmission. Another change in the cabin: Wireless smartphone charging is an available option.

Expanded Safety

One of the biggest updates to the 2019 Ford Edge is its extensive list of available safety equipment. For the new model year, Ford Edges come standard with the company’s Co-Pilot360 suite of safety features: automatic high beams, lane-keep assist, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning with cross-traffic alert, and a rearview camera. Higher trim levels are available with evasive steering assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and a lane centering system.

We had the chance to try out many of these features, some of which were safest to evaluate on a closed course. Ford began the safety demonstration by showing the features offered with the Edge’s optional Alexa compatibility. From your home, you can lock or unlock your Edge, and start or turn off the vehicle (all four of those actions require use of a vehicle-specific PIN), and you can also remotely check your vehicle’s tire pressure as well as the amount of fuel left in the tank (distance to empty). From there, we walked to a faux home garage, got in the Edge, and prepared to back out. As we started, we were alerted to an Expedition that was driving along the road, and we stopped until traffic was clear.

Also: Get your first look at the new and redesigned cars of 2019

Next, we arrived at an automatic emergency braking demonstration. This wasn’t a simulation: We actually approached a stopped car at about 20 mph, but the car was a facsimile. Automatic emergency braking uses forward-collision warning, then if the driver doesn’t stop, the system pre-charges the brakes, pumping in brake fluid to prepare the system to stop the car. If the driver still doesn’t stop, the Edge intervenes and stops before you hit the vehicle ahead. We tested it out and it worked like a charm. The fake car was safe to pose another day.

On the Highway

After the Co-Pilot360 safety demonstrations, we took to the roads in and around Park City and Midway, Utah, driving in the comfort of a 2019 Ford Edge Titanium. The Edge’s engine receives a slight power bump from last year, and the 6-speed automatic transmission is replaced by an 8-speed, with defeatable stop/start technology returning for 2019. Those last two features improve the front-wheel-drive Edge's fuel economy by one combined mpg, despite the horsepower increase. All-wheel-drive models use all-wheel-drive disconnect for when AWD isn’t necessary, which also makes the Edge more efficient.

The new transmission works well with the 2.0-liter’s 250 horsepower, and there is plenty of power for the Edge. Everything about driving the 2019 Edge is agreeable and comfortable. Ride quality is pleasant, and while there is some body roll with hard cornering, that’s not likely to be part of the Edge’s daily to-do list. The 2-row midsize SUV layout creates a spacious interior, and the massive (optional) panorama moonroof makes the cabin feel even more airy and open. The interior is quiet -- if you hear the Edge’s engine when you’re standing outside the vehicle, then get in, you'll really appreciate the lack of sound inside. Someone sitting in the middle rear seat loses some legroom to the center console which juts out a touch, but the Edge is plenty roomy overall. Also wonderfully roomy is the cargo area, where you can stow nearly 40 cubic feet of gear behind the cargo area when the second row is up -- that increases to over 73 cubic feet with the rear seats down. If there is a part of the Edge that could use an update, it’s the climate controls. Some of the buttons are small and hard to read. In addition, the infotainment screen is still fairly easy to use, but the touch screens offered by other manufacturers are larger, higher-resolution units with more intuitive controls.

2019 Car Reviews: First takes on new models

We tried out lane-keep assist and lane centering, and the difference is noticeable. Lane-keep assist will nudge the Edge back into the lane when the system senses that the vehicle is about to leave the lane. If the driver doesn’t intervene, the system can tend to “ping pong” between the left and right sides of the lane. The system works, but it isn’t all that subtle as it makes corrections. The better day-to-day system is lane centering, which makes constant adjustments. The result is a smoother series of adjustments within the lane.

Pricing

The 2019 Ford Edge is already on sale, available in SE, SEL, Titanium and ST trim levels, with the base price starting at $30,990 including destination fees. The SEL begins at $34,085 and the Titanium at $39,545 – although the one we evaluated was $47,775, which also included all-wheel drive, a $1,995 extra. The sportiest model in the line, the Edge ST, starts at $43,350.

The Edge is in a relatively small segment of SUVs that includes the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Subaru Outback and Nissan Murano, and while it its platform isn’t new, Ford’s 2-row midsize SUV is a well-balanced, easygoing way to get from here to there, with a lot of room for gear and an even more impressive list of safety equipment for 2019.

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