2019 Ford Edge ST Review: A Fast, If Heavy, Family Hauler

A family crossover with 335 horsepower for under $50,000? Well, if you insist

OVERVIEW

The 2019 Ford Edge ST fits in what Ford calls a “white space” in that it really has no direct American rivals. Opt for such powerful SUVs as the Dodge Durango or Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, and you’re easily looking at $60,000-plus. However, although the Edge ST is generally well-equipped, load it with extras and you can top $50,000.

Like those performance SUVs, the 2019 Ford Edge ST certainly looks the part. It has distinctive front and rear styling and a wide mesh grille for optimal cooling and a tougher look. It also has deep side skirts and beautifully integrated dual exhaust outlets. This definitely isn’t your ordinary looking SUV.

The $42,355-and-up 2019 Ford Edge ST is the first SUV from the Ford Performance team. It has a specially tuned 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 generating 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. The estimated 0-60 mph time, per Ford, stands around 6.0 seconds or a bit less.

PERFORMANCE

The engine shoots power to a responsive 8-speed automatic transmission with two overdrive gears for better fuel economy. Also helping in that regard is an automate start-stop feature that shuts off the engine when the ST comes to a stop and automatically starts it when the brake pedal is released.The transmission has steering wheel shift paddles, but I found it best just leave the quick-shifting ST in “Drive” mode via the console’s rotary dial shifter.

The fastest performance comes when you hit the “S” (Sport) button in the center of the large console’s easily used space-saving rotary dial transmission shifter. Doing that makes a small digital tachometer magically appear near the speedometer. It holds the gears longer for faster acceleration — and more engine noise — besides generally firming up the handling. There wasn’t enough time with the ST for me to see how much the S mode significantly altered this SUV, but it has to help on such things as winding roads.

SURE-FOOTED HANDLING, DECENT FUEL ECONOMY

In normal mode, the steering is quick and precise, although it’s not as firm as it might be. The anti-lock brakes bite early and hard to allow sure stops. My test 2019 Ford Edge ST had the $2,695 Performance Brake package with upgraded front brakes rotors, red-painted calipers and performance brake pads. This option also includes extra radiator cooling.

A standard all-wheel-drive system with a disconnect feature switches automatically between two- and all-wheel drive in a faction a second, using a form of artificial intelligence to sift through information including wheel slip, road conditions, vehicle speed, windshield wiper usage and outside temperature.

Estimated fuel economy is 26 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in the city. With that, a caveat: premium-grade fuel is needed for the best performance.

Handling is quite good for a tall vehicle that weighs over 4,000 pounds. But then, the ST has a sport suspension with such items as increased spring rates and more roll stiffness. Standard are Roll Stability Control and Curve Control.  Also standard are large 20-inch tires, but my ST had the optional 21-inch tires.

The ST comes standard with lots of drive-assist technology. It includes Forward Collision Warning, Dynamic Brake Support, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Keep Assist, Auto High Beams and Hill-Start Assist.

COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

Front doors with big handles, inside and out, open widely to allow entry to the front extra-sportive sport seats, which have additional side bolstering. The Edge ST’s interior is upscale, with nice stitching throughout and high-grade plastics. There’s a push-button start and gauges are easy to quickly read. But the climate control dashboard buttons are very small, although clearly labeled.The steering column has a somewhat awkward power button on its side that causes it to tilt and telescope.

There’s a good amount of soft-touch materials in the spacious cockpit. However, the rear seats would be more comfortable with additional thigh support. However, even the center seat area, which can be occupied by a fold-down armrest with cupholders, is soft enough to be comfortable for a third person. Occupants sit fairly high, but driver rear vision is poor without use of the large power outside rearview mirrors.

The 2019 Ford Edge ST has plenty of storage areas up front, with extra-large beverage holders, and a roomy area where cell phones can be recharged.

SAFETY: NO WORRIES

Dual-stage air bags, side-curtain air bags, rain-sensing wipers and a rearview camera are standard, while front and rear ultrasonic sensors, 180-degree front camera and Enhanced Active Park Assist are options. You can get adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go lane centering to help keep the ST a comfortable distance from vehicles ahead.

Evasive Steering Assist helps drivers steer around stopped or slower vehicles to help avoid collisions. It works at city and highway speeds, using radar and a camera to detect slower-moving and stationary vehicle ahead and provides steering support to let drivers maneuver around a vehicle if a collision is imminent.

The rear hatch swings up smoothly on twin struts, and the cargo area has a low, wide opening. The cargo area is impressively large, and it becomes even more so when the rear seat backs are folded forward, allowing a whopping 74.3 cubic feet of cargo space. The seat backs can be powered forward and the rear hatch can be power operated.

TFLCAR’S TAKE

The 2019 Ford Edge ST provides sporty driving, style and roominess. Its ride was supple, even with the larger tires, although certain bumps will let occupants know this is, after all, a stiff crossover and not a big, cushy sedan.

The words “Ford Performance” are put on door sills and even the engine cover. Ford’s Performance team has a right to show off with this one. Check out more on the 2019 Ford Edge ST in Roman’s first drive review below:

SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Ford Edge ST

On Sale: Now
Base MSRP: $42,355
Price as Tested: $51,630
Engine: 2.7-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6
Drivetrain (Layout): Front engine, all-wheel drive
Horsepower: 335 hp @ 5,500 RPM
Torque: 380 lb-ft @ 3,000 RPM
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Tires: Pirelli P-Zero P265/40 ZR21 105Y Performance Summer (Part of ST Performance Brake Package)
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 19 City / 26 Highway / 21 Combined MPG

Dimensions:

Wheelbase: 112.2 inches
Length:  188.8 inches
Width: 85.8 inches (incl. mirrors)
Height:  66.3 inches
Passenger Volume: 91.1 cubic feet
Cargo Capacity: Seats up: 39.2 cubic feet

Seats folded: 73.4 cubic feet

Curb Weight: 4,081 pounds
Dan Jedlicka
Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times–far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.’s MSN Autos Internet site from January 1996 to June 2008.For more of Dan’s thoughtful and insightful reviews please visit his website, www.danjedlicka.com.