1. What’s new for 2015?
Everything. This popular five-passenger, midsize crossover gets a stem-to-stern redesign. New and updated engines join freshened styling and a host of new high-tech amenities. In size and price, Edge ranks second in Ford’s crossover-SUV lineup, above the compact-class Escape and below the seven-seat Explorer and Flex.
Front- and all-wheel drive configurations return in base SE, volume SEL, luxury Titanium, and performance Sport trim levels. The 2015 Ford Edge is about 1 inch longer in wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear axles) and about 4 inches longer overall than the outgoing model. Front-passenger room is largely unchanged while rear occupants see a roughly 1-inch increase in headroom and legroom. The extra length most benefits cargo capacity, which increases to 73.4 cubic feet from 68.9 with the rear seatbacks folded.
2. How much does it cost and what sort of deal can I expect?
Front-wheel-drive models range in starting price from $28,995-$38,995, including Ford’s $895 destination fee. Add $1,495 for all-wheel drive. Despite a number of enhancements for 2015, Ford is largely holding the line on prices. The base SE is unchanged while other trims cost only about $200-$500 more than their predecessors.
A number of packaged and standalone safety, comfort and convenience features are offered. These can raise sticker prices to the low-$30,000s for the SE. Other trims can be equipped much more lavishly, with items such as leather upholstery, a navigation system, blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert, hands-free parallel parking, power tilt and telescopic steering column, the brand’s MyFord Touch control interface, a power rear liftgate, and more. Popularly equipped, an SEL will run you roughly $38,000. The Titanium can easily break $40,000, and a loaded Sport brushes its head against the $50,000 barrier.
Despite the new design, dealers should be willing to negotiate on the cost of a 2015 Edge. Pricing service TrueCar.com reports average transaction prices running roughly 8-9 percent less than MSRP. This can represent a significant savings when you’re talking about a vehicle that can top $38,000 without much effort.
3. When will the next big change be?
The first-generation Edge launched for model-year 2007 and received a significant freshening for 2011. Expect this all-new, second-gen 2015 to get it next notable update for model-year 2019. The changes aren’t likely to be as drastic as the 2011 update. Figure a nip-and-tuck to exterior styling. Happily, the automaker plans to abandon its much-maligned, Microsoft-powered SYNC and MyFord Touch infotainment systems. Replacing them will be the new “Sync 3” developed by Panasonic and BlackBerry. The same firms created the backend for Chrysler’s Uconnect, a suite of connectivity technologies that have been received much more favorably by the press and consumers. A timeline for Sync 3’s rollout has not been announced.
4. What options or trim level is best for me?
Follow the crowd, and select the SEL trim level if you want the best value for your money. As standard, it comes pretty well equipped with SYNC Bluetooth and USB connectivity (with no MyFord Touch), dual-zone automatic climate control, power driver seat, and rear-obstacle detection on top of the usual array of power accessories.
The $2,700 “Equipment Group 201A” adds leather upholstery with heated front seats, a power passenger seat, upgraded audio system, and the MyFord Touch control system. The $1,395 Technology Package nets a voice-activated navigation system, blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert, remote engine start, 110-volt power outlet, and an auto-dimming driver-side exterior mirror. A universal garage door opener and hands-free power rear liftgate are included as part of the $775 Utility Package.
Standalone extras include a $435 trailer hitch that allows V-6-equipped models to tow up to 3,500 pounds; $1,595 panoramic sunroof; $195 inflatable seat belts for the outboard rear passengers; $1,995 dual-screen rear DVD entertainment system; and a number of dealer-installed cosmetic and utility accessories.
Most of the above are either standard or optional on the Titanium and Sport. Some items available on these models that can’t be found on the SEL include a heated steering wheel, hands-free parallel park assist, a front-view camera, HID headlamps, cooled front seats, and lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist. It would be nice if the latter two safety features were available on the SEL, but we find it hard to justify the stiff price premium required get them in a Titanium or Sport.
5. What engine do you recommend?
Outgoing versions came standard with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produced 285 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque was a $1,000 option on certain Edge models with front-wheel drive.
Ford is reversing its policy on the 2015, bestowing the SE, SEL, and Titanium with the turbo four, regardless of drive wheels. It even gets a slight power boost to 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. The V-6 (this time with 280 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque) remains available on these models but is now a $425 option. Sport trims come exclusively with a 2.7-liter turbocharged V-6 producing 315 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed automatic is the sole transmission.
The standard turbo four-cylinder should prove plenty powerful for most buyers. It scoots well from a stop and is capable enough for passing and merging. Those who even occasionally tow will want the improved mid-range response and smoother power delivery of the V-6. The Sport’s turbo V-6 is stronger still, but not enough so to justify its price premium over the other four- and six-cylinder powerplants.
6. How is the fuel economy?
Decent, but not great, for its size and available power. The standard turbo four-cylinder engine rates 24 mpg city/highway combined with front-wheel drive and 23 with AWD. Models with this engine and front-wheel drive come with a stop/start system that shuts down the engine at a stop and instantly restarts it when the driver releases the brake pedal. All V-6 models rate 21 mpg combined with front drive and 20 with AWD.
The V-6-only 2015 Nissan Murano rates 24 mpg combined, regardless of drive wheels. Turbocharged four-cylinder versions of the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport rate 21-22 mpg. With its optional 301-horsepower V-6 engine, the Chevrolet Equinox earns 19-20 mpg designations. While technically a compact crossover, the Subaru Forester has the room of a midsize; with its available turbo four-cylinder engine and standard AWD, it rates 25 mpg combined.
7. How does it handle?
It doesn’t have quite the sporty “Edge” (pun completely intended) Ford would like you to think it does, but all versions of this crossover are competent, if largely unmemorable. Non-Sport models have fairly numb steering and moderate body lean in corners.
The Sport attempts to be a cut-rate BMW X5 or Porsche Cayenne, but that effort largely falls flat. It’s certainly sharper all around than other Edge models, but that improved performance takes a toll on ride quality and your bank account.
8. Are the controls easy to use?
All models made available for us to test came with MyFord Touch. Major controls (audio, phone, climate, and if equipped, navigation) are broken into quadrants on the central dashboard touchscreen. Ford has spent the better part of the 2010s working to improve MyFord Touch’s responsiveness and operation. At long last, the company might have exorcised the system’s demons once and for all. Models tested did not suffer the bugs and crashes that plagued previous Fords equipped this way. Operating MyFord Touch on the 2015 Edge was smooth and responsive. Hopefully the company will take the painful lessons learned from this experience (Ford’s scores in vehicle quality surveys took a large hit due to customer dissatisfaction with MyFord Touch) and not repeat them when Sync 3 comes online.
The high-tech instrument panel with analog speedometer and flanking LCD displays that debuted in the 2011 Edge carries over to the 2015. It works well, with clear graphics that can be customized by a pair of four-way directional buttons on the steering wheel.
9. Is it comfortable?
We appreciate the extra inch of rear legroom afforded the ‘15. The back seat itself is nicely padded and should provide comfortable for extended road trips, at least for two adults. Three-abreast seating is possible, but is not advised for anything more than a trip to the corner store. Edge lacks the Chevrolet Equinox’s novel sliding rear bench. On the flip side, it handily outclasses Chevy in terms of cargo space and flexibility.
Up front, the story is much the same. The seats are designed for comfort, rather than sporty bolstering, and they do their job just fine. We would advise against purchasing the panoramic sunroof as its housing noticeably reduces headroom. Fortunately, it’s a standalone option for most configurations, so it can be easily avoided.
Interior materials are unusual in that they feel better than they look. Decent-looking faux-metal accents are on the door handles, air vents, gearshift lever, and the space between the upper dashboard and glovebox. We wish the higher-end trim levels, especially the Sport, offered some specific bits to help their interiors stand out more.
Ride quality is best on the standard 18-inch tires; 19s, 20s, and even 21s are available, depending on model and option selection. Sport models come only with the 20s or 21s. Pair that low-profile rubber with a firmly tuned suspension, and you’ll have a vehicle that borders on jarring, particularly if you live in a climate where the road is susceptible to potholes.
10. What about safety?
The 2015 Edge acquits itself well in crash tests. Under the government’s 5-Star Safety Ratings system it received a five-star (out of five) rating overall and in front- and side-impact collisions. Like most crossovers and SUVs, Edge received a four-star score in rollover crashes.
The insurance-industry-sponsored Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave Edge its top “Good” score in the categories tested. Keeping it away from one of the organization’s coveted “Top Safety Pick” honors is a lack of advanced front-crash prevention features, such as forward-collision alert or pre-collision braking.
11. How’s the reliability and resale value?
This information for the ‘15 Edge was not available at time of publication. The outgoing model is a bit of a mixed bag in these regards. Despite people’s misgivings about MyFord Touch, the 2014 Edge received an Initial Quality Award from consumer-research firm J.D. Power. The company rates the Ford brand as slightly below the industry average for customer service.
Its new design should help a bit, but resale values for the 2014 Edge are nothing to write home about. Price-tracking firm ALG projects the outgoing model will retain just 31-33 percent of its value after 5 years of ownership. That’s about on par with the Chevrolet Equinox and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport (data for the similarly redesigned 2015 Nissan Murano was not available).
12 Is it better than the competition?
The 2011-2014 Edge was just sort of there — doing nothing exceptionally well yet failing to offend, save perhaps for MyFord Touch. With the glitches of its infotainment system seemingly banished for good, the ‘15 is…just sort of there.
This redesign was an opportunity for Ford to assert itself as a dominant player in the hotly contested midsize crossover SUV segment in the way its second-generation Escape did in 2013. While objectively better than its predecessor in most every category, the 2015 Edge lacks a killer app — something that distinguishes it from the competition. The Sport model is not the answer. It might be fast, but it lacks polish.
The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport delivers a comparable feature set with a stronger warranty for less money. The similarly redesigned 2015 Nissan Murano has bolder styling, greater refinement, and a V-6 engine that delivers more power with similar fuel economy versus the Edge’s standard turbo four-cylinder. Unless you can snare a significant discount from the sticker price, we suggest shopping the competition first.