2020 Ford Edge ST AWD: A Mustang but taller?
Price: $52,540 as tested. The ST Performance Brake Package added $2,695; Cold Weather Package added heated steering wheel and more for $495. More below.
Conventional wisdom: "No quicker than the old Sport model," says Car and Driver.
Marketer's pitch: "Top IIHS safety pick." Wow. Exciting.
Reality: Somewhere between a Focus RS — and a Windstar.
What's new: The Ford Edge ST is a new name (well, new for 2019) for the sporty version of the Ford Edge midsize SUV.
Driver's Seat: But first, Ford Edge, how I haven't missed your cockpit. The long dashboard top, second only to an old Windstar or Pontiac Trans Sport for pizza box carrying abilities. The angled dashboard front, with the instrument cluster and infotainment systems oddly contorted. The seat that won't go the way I want and the steering wheel that telescopes just not far enough.
Odd perch: Maybe the name "Edge" refers to the feeling I get peering over the edge of the long, long hood? The front feels so long it's like the opposite of a minivan. It's like piloting a Duesenberg or a 1947 Lincoln Continental.
Up to speed: Despite its quirks, much is forgiven when driving. The Edge ST has plenty of juice to liven things up; Sport mode especially quickens the pace.
The 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 creates 335 horsepower and gets to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, according to Motor Trend. But Car and Driver and Motor Trend both note that it doesn't have the oomph of earlier Sport models.
Its power also comes on like an old Econoline, though — the handling gets erratic quickly in hard starts.
Twisty: The 8-speed transmission works smoothly, but the dial shifter is not my cup of tea. Especially in three-point turns. Navigating the tight turnaround in the Sturgis family driveway, back and forth, back and forth — the dial doesn't feel intuitive, and Mr. Driver's Seat fears he might set the dial to "Smash."
Consider he had more than once absentmindedly cranked up the stereo instead of putting the vehicle into gear. Let's hope the reverse never occurs.
The all-wheel drive is standard on the Edge ST.
On the road: The Edge ST does handle nicely on country roads, though it's no sports car. It's super for cruising on the highway as well, handling high speeds with aplomb.
On the down side, it translates all the bends, dips, and washboards distinctly, and maybe even with extra amplification.
Stuck in traffic: The other down side to the Edge ST comes when you're not zipping around by yourself. All the flaws of the vehicle seemed pronounced when I wasn't able to push it — the hard shifts and the slightly erratic accelerator made everyone glare at Mr. Driver's Seat on occasion.
Driver's Seat: Despite my opening whines, the Edge ST provides a comfortable place for drivers. Even Sturgis Kid 4.0 remarked on how comfortable the front passenger seat is. But the wings sit quite close together in the ST bolstered suede seats and make for sore hips after a while.
Friends and stuff: The rear seat offers room and comfort as well. Stretch out your legs and wiggle your toes, and even tall people should be able to sit straight up, and the seat sits at a nice angle. Only the middle person will suffer decreased foot room and legroom because of the console.
Bun warmers back here come as part of a $4,840 package that also cooled the front seats and added panoramic sunroof, evasive steering assist, adaptive cruise, and more.
Cargo space is 39.2 cubic feet, 73.4 with the rear seat folded. It seems immense, but the rear window slopes down drastically, so don't order that furniture for store pickup just yet.
Play some tunes: The 12-speaker B&O sound system with 8-inch touchscreen could be easier to get around, but it's a leap ahead of 8-years-ago Ford. A center dial controls volume, while buttons help find stations and change songs.
Sound from the system is really good, probably an A-.
Keeping warm and cool: The HVAC controls are also a little more complicated than they need to be. Give me three dials and I'm happy, but we have buttons for fan speed and buttons for temperature. For air source, it's back to the touchscreen.
Fuel economy: I averaged about 22 mpg in the usual post-COVID realm of testing, with a few highway trips to King of Prussia added in.
Where it's built: Oakville, Ontario
How it's built: Consumer Reports gives the Edge a 3 out of 5 for reliability.
In the end: If you like the Edge, and you're in a hurry, you'll like this Edge. Mr. Driver's Seat finds too much distraction in the cockpit, and the price is getting into Lexus territory anyway so I'd probably opt for the Lexus.