The fun Ford Focus ST and Fiesta ST left critics and buyers impressed, but what happens when the Ford Performance folks tackle a crossover? The results are mild, to say the least.
Engine: 2.7L turbocharged V6
Output: 335 hp, 380 lb-ft of torque
Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic
Fuel Economy (MPG): 19 mpg city, 26 mpg hwy, 21 mpg combined
Fuel Economy (L/100 km): 12.6 city, 9.2 hwy, 11.0 combined
Price (USD): $50,920
Price (CAD): $58,289
Let’s first revisit the Focus ST and Fiesta ST. Both were aggressive and sporty models that catered to enthusiasts. They were manual-only and seemed to be tailored for the track or autocross. They connected the driver and machine in a fantastic way via noise, engagement, performance, and style.
This Edge ST, despite all the changes Ford has made, is missing large chunks of the formula that made those prior ST vehicles so special.
The most important part of the Edge ST is the engine: a turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 that isn’t available on any other trim level. It used to be offered on 2018 models, but this ST tuned vehicle makes more power and torque, measuring in at 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 20 horsepower and 30 lb-ft. It’s a powerful engine with smooth power delivery, but it sounds a bit awkward at times. It gets up to highway speed pretty quickly though and is especially swift from a stop and in a straight line.
The transmission has been upgraded across the board for the Edge in 2019, meaning this ST has eight ratios to shift through. However, there were plenty of harsh shifts experienced, especially between park and reverse, or reverse and drive. Additionally, using the Sport drive mode enables the vehicle’s paddle shifters, which again seem to be hit or miss in their operation. At times, it seemed like hitting the paddle will make the gear displayed in the dashboard change, but not actually initiate a gear change. Sometimes the number changed, but the transmission waited until redline to change gears.
There’s standard all-wheel drive here, which is handy, but the Edge can disconnect the rear axles if the system determines that those wheels don’t need it. Alternatively, the rear wheels can get 100 percent of the vehicle’s power if called for. Ford says they’ve calibrated the all-wheel-drive system for better balance.
At nearly 4,500 lbs, the ST isn’t a lightweight, but it handles surprisingly well. The suspension is stiffer and tuned for more road feel and feedback, but the steering is a bit too numb to leave a positive impression. Still, it’s well weighted.
The crossover definitely feels more aggressive in the Sport mode, but more than anything else, the vehicle can feel a bit unrefined, and not in a sporty or engaging way. Was it fun? Not exactly, but we didn’t get to drive it on a track or autocross… and we probably wouldn’t want to. With a vehicle this big and heavy, it could put some stress on the brakes and tires in a way that no owner would really want. What’s the point?
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It might be worth arguing that the ST is about showmanship. This Edge looks a bit sharper and more sinister than other ones, thanks to its unique dual-exhaust exits, sleek side sills, and large mesh grille, as well as sporty looking 20 and 21-inch wheels.
The cockpit has a few ST badges on the seats and steering wheel as well to remind buyers of the Ford Performance pedigree.
Otherwise, the cabin has a number of appreciated features, including a heated steering wheel, heated seats, ventilated seats, ambient lighting, dual-zone climate control, and wireless phone charging. The Sync 3 infotainment system is good, although some controls require a few too many button presses, and a few controls are a bit too small to hit without having to take your eyes off the road.
On the other hand, the Edge is available with a number of handy driver assistance systems that work pretty well. I’m happy with the way the Co-Pilot 360 worked, with the adaptive cruise control, lane keep assistance and blind spot monitoring helping me stay safe during the busy holiday season. The parking sensors are a bit on the sensitive side, beeping well before anything is close to the vehicle, but the array of cameras helps you get a better view of the situation.
Usually, ST vehicles haven’t been as well equipped as the Edge, as the badge denotes a more pared down, enthusiast-focused model. The Edge bucks that trend, but then again, comes with a steep price. As equipped, including the extra cost Ruby Red paint, our Edge ST would cost $50,920. Whether you’re buying this vehicle for its performance, or luxury, it can seem like a lot. Buyers might want to consider you could get a V8-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee for less, or a less powerful Nissan Murano; the former is more powerful and can feel a bit more luxurious at the cost of fuel economy, the latter is much less powerful, but features a more premium cabin and exterior design.
The Verdict: 2019 Ford Edge ST Review
After spending a lot of time behind the wheel of the Edge ST, I’m missing what exactly Ford Performance did to improve the vehicle. The Focus ST and Fiesta ST were both so lovable, but the Edge ST is definitely lacking something that made those smaller cars feel so special. The normal Edge variants are well balanced, easy to drive vehicles, and the ST is marginally stiffer and harsher but without any additional playfulness or engagement. Instead, this vehicle is just more powerful and sporty looking. It’s not bad, but it seems like little more than just a marketing gimmick.
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