I recently attended the launch event for the new 2019 Ford Edge ST in Park City, Utah. The drive took us along city streets, down six lane highways and through some steep, winding canyon roads, a wide variety of terrain ideal for experiencing the Edge ST’s wide variety of talents.
This got me wondering: Does any vehicle cover more bases — mainstream, family, performance, practicality — than the new Ford Edge ST? Probably not. Is the new Edge ST successful in this attempt to be a little bit of everything? Well … kind of. And I do mean everything.
What Is It?
New for 2019, the Edge ST replaces the outgoing Edge Sport and brings with it a more potent engine, sport-tuned suspension and a stylish, sporty aesthetic in line with the ST variants of the Ford Focus and the Fiesta. Unique front and rear fascias, an ST-specific color, paddle shifters, sport seats, an optional performance brake kit and optional 21-inch gloss black aluminum wheels are all on tap. Altogether, the Edge’s ST variant is a pretty compelling package that builds on the proposition of the standard Edge, adding performance and more style to the equation. This makes for a vehicle that is pretty good, but not necessarily great, at just about everything.
The Edge ST doesn’t offer sportscar performance, but it isn’t boring to drive.
With 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque on tap from its turbocharged 2.7-liter V6, the Edge ST is no slouch. Ford hasn’t announced 0-to-60 times, rather stating on record that the Edge ST should achieve the feat in "under 6 seconds" — enough to get your heartbeat going a bit. Handling is improved over that of a regular Edge, but it still won’t give you the same level of enjoyment you get from piloting a roadster or sport sedan through the twisties. Blame physics — there’s a reason the Mustang and the Miata don’t have as much ground clearance as the Edge. Still, the Ford Performance engineering team has fitted the Edge ST with thicker sway bars, performance-oriented shock absorbers and additional cooling to ensure buyers can use it at the track in the same manner they would ST variants of the Focus and the Fiesta.
The Edge ST isn’t a fuel sipper, but it isn’t a gas guzzler.
Thanks to its tall ride height and portly proportions, a vehicle of the Edge ST’s size and demeanor isn’t going to achieve industry-leading fuel economy. Still, thanks in part to a new driveline disconnect system that can disconnect the rear wheels, leaving the Edge as a front-wheel-drive-only vehicle for periods at a time, the new Edge manages to achieve 19 miles per gallon in city driving, 26 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg overall, a 1-2 mpg improvement over the outgoing 2018 Sport model, despite the added power.
The Edge ST isn’t a small car, but it isn’t a behemoth either.
With 39 cu ft. of cargo room behind the second row and 73 cu ft. with the second row folded, the Edge ST is like a blown up hot hatch, in a way making it the closest thing you can get to a reasonably priced performance-oriented station wagon here in the United States.
The Edge ST isn’t a full-blown utility vehicle, but it does offer utility.
While an Edge ST won’t replace your truck, it does come standard with a 2-in receiver hitch and a 3,500-lb towing capacity. This is enough to tow a small toy trailer or camper, and the hitch alone will come in handy for carrying a bike rack.
The Edge ST isn’t an off-roader, but it isn’t a sedan either.
The Edge ST offers crossover-like ground clearance, making it capable of traversing terrain you’d likely want to avoid in your Mustang or Fusion. Still, the vehicle’s standard 20-in or optional 21-in wheels and low-profile performance tires mean that traversing the rough stuff should probably be kept to an as-needed basis.
The Edge isn’t a luxury car, but it does offer style and amenities.
One area where the Edge doesn’t quite straddle the fence so eloquently is in the interior — it’s a little dated and cheap feeling inside. The center stack is comprised of large swaths of black plastic and a large clamshell-style dome encompasses the infotainment display. Still, that infotainment system, running the newest version of Ford’s Sync software, is quite competent and offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.
The Edge ST comes with compelling sport seats, as well, wrapped in black leather and microsuede. The front seat bolsters aren’t extreme, but they are noticeable, and they’ll hold you in place in the turns. Both of the front seats are also adorned with an embossed "ST" logo.
The Edge ST also offers just about all of the modern driver-assistance tech you could ask for in a vehicle and all of the infotainment features you could want, as well, including the aforementioned Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, multiple USB ports, a wireless charging pad and available 4G LTE with Wi-Fi connectivity.
The Edge isn’t an economy car, but it isn’t outrageously priced.
The Edge ST starts at $43,350, including destination, and reaches around $52,000 in fully-loaded configuration. This is more than your standard 5-passenger midsize SUV, but still considerably less than a comparable Audi SQ5 or BMW X3 M40i, allowing the Edge to split the difference nicely between mainstream and performance luxury.
The Survey Says…
Altogether, it’s hard to tell who exactly will buy the Edge ST — buyers wanting more from a mainstream SUV or those turned off by the high prices of the German competitors are the likely targets. Nonetheless, it certainly should appeal to a wide range of buyers. The performance-oriented Ford Edge ST is uncharted territory for the red-hot midsize SUV segment, but it’s safe to say we’ll likely see more vehicles like it in the very near future that carefully toe the line between affordability, performance and utility.
To gain access to this information, Autotrader attended an event sponsored by the vehicle’s manufacturer.