What changes will make the 2018 Ford Edge different?
Freshened styling and a transmission upgrade from an automatic with six speeds to one with nine. The changes would be midcycle updates to a popular five-passenger midsize crossover SUV last fully redesigned for model-year 2015 and slated for its next full redesign in model year 2020. Edge will return to Ford’s ’18 lineup as the larger, costlier step up from the compact Escape and as a sportier alternative to the similarly sized but more family-oriented Explorer.
Why should I wait for the 2018?
To see what Ford does to update styling that still looks fresh after three years on the road. Waiting gives you access to the nine-speed automatic, which is intended to improve already-good drivability and to boost merely midpack fuel economy. It also positions you to take advantage if Ford makes Edge available with today’s most significant safety feature, autonomous emergency braking. Dimensions won’t change, leaving generous room for five and one of the largest cargo holds in the competitive set. But the price is almost certain to increase. And Ford could juggle some amenities or powertrain combinations to create a new flagship Edge model similar to the Platinum edition that was a successful 2016 addition to the Explorer line.
Should I buy a 2017 model instead?
Yes, if you’re fine with its looks and powertrains and satisfied with its good, if not exemplary, safety ratings. Lots of customers are: sales are strong, owners give it high ratings for performance and design, and predicted reliability is above average. Baring addition of a new flagship, Edge’s core 2017 lineup is likely to carry over for the ’18 version, with base SE, volume-selling SEL, upscale Titanium, and performance-tinged Sport models. Buying a ’17 means you’d likely benefit from clearance sales as dealers cull inventories of ’17 Edges in anticipation of the revamped ‘18s. That should offset most any near-term resale value lost to buying and Edge without the very latest styling and features; long-term, it’ll be a wash.
Will the styling be different?
Expect a tweaked beak, revised taillamps, new wheel designs, and maybe some new color choices. Cabin materials and details may be adjusted, as well. But the overall body shape and interior design won’t change. As before, visual differences between trim levels should come down to added exterior brightwork as you ascend the line, with the Sport again dressed in trendy dark and shadowed trim. Wheels will continue as differentiators, too, with 18-inch alloys likely standard on the SE and SEL, 19-inch alloys with 20s optional on the Titanium, and 20s standard with 21s optional on the Sport. Inside, expect leather upholstery to be standard on Titanium and Sport and probably a no-cost option on the SEL. The dashboard will again incorporate the automaker’s user-friendly Sync 3 infotainment interface, though Ford could conceivably increase the size of its touchscreen from the current 8-inch display. A new range-topper in the Explorer Platinum mold would likely add exterior gingerbread and up the interior luxury quotient, perhaps even featuring real wood and aluminum cabin accents.
Any mechanical changes?
Developed in cooperation with General Motors for use in a variety of front-wheel-drive GM, Ford, and Lincoln vehicles, the nine-speed automatic should provide smoother acceleration, quicker throttle response, and better fuel economy than the six-speed. It will, however, almost certainly mate with the same three engine choices. Expect a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder to continue as the standard engine in SE, SEL, and Titanium models. It should again produce around 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque for acceleration that’s perfectly satisfactory in everyday driving. Look for a 3.5-liter V-6 of around 280 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque to remain optional for SEL and Titanium. It should again deliver power in a more linear fashion than the turbo 2.0 but not appreciably more quickness. A surprisingly lively and well-mannered turbocharged 2.7-liter V-6 with 315 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque has been exclusive to the Sport model. A new flagship – Edge Platinum? – could well use this engine, but carry out its luxury mission with softer suspension settings than fitted to the Sport model. Like the Sport, it would likely come standard with all-wheel drive. AWD would remain an option in place of front-wheel drive on the SE, SEL, and Titanium.
Will the fuel economy improve?
That’s what the nine-speed automatic is designed to accomplish. Even with gas mileage a relatively low priority these days, Edge could use some improvement, and any gains would be valuable in helping Ford meet its federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy obligations. Expect the ’18 Edge to again employ some mileage-stretching features, such as active grille shutters designed to reduce aero drag by automatically opening and closing depending on vehicle speed and engine load. Ford could also expand availability of a system that automatically shuts down the engine at a stop and restarts it when the driver releases the brake pedal. That feature has been an option on front-drive SE models with the turbo 2.0-liter engine.
The 2017 EPA numbers Ford would aim to beat with the ’18 Edge rated models with the turbocharged four-cylinder at 20/29/24 mpg city/highway/combined with front-drive and 20/27/23 with AWD. Although the stop-start system isn’t counted in EPA ratings, Ford says the front-drive 2017 SE would rate 21/29/24 mpg if it were. With the 3.5-liter V-6, ’17 Edges rated 17/26/20 with front-drive and 17/24/19 with AWD. The turbo V-6 Sport rated 17/24/20 mpg city/highway/combined.
Ford probably will continue to recommend regular-grade 87-octane gas for all Edges but also will likely note it tested the two turbo engines with 93-octane gas. That suggests you’ll get their full performance and best mileage using the more expensive octane.
Will it have new features?
Addition of autonomous emergency braking would headline the important additions. Like the ’17 Edge, the ’18 would offer several driver aids as standard or optional, depending on model. These include blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control to maintain a set distance from traffic ahead, and lane-maintaining automatic steering. The current Edge also is available with sensors that warn of an impending frontal collision. But it can’t stop automatically to mitigate one. That ability is required if a vehicle is to qualify for a safety rating automakers covet for its marketing punch, Top Safety Pick+ status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The 2017 Ford Fusion sedan and the Lincoln MKZ and MKX crossovers merit the rating by virtue of autonomous emergency braking. So do Edges’ midsize-crossover rivals from Hyundai, Honda, Kia, Nissan, and Toyota. Top Safety Pick+ status would be a fine adjunct to the maximum five stars the Edge already earns for overall occupant protection in government crash testing.
Otherwise, expect the ’18 Edge to again offer an impressive array of comfort and convenience features. Among these would be a heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, and a panoramic moonroof. Also on tap will be hands-free parking to detect an appropriate space and automatically pull the Edge into – and out of – a parallel spot. Even the entry-level SE should return with a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, and remote keyless entry. Moving up through SEL and Titanium versions – and the possible “Platinum” — would again net items such as an imbedded navigation system, rear-obstacle detection, LED interior lighting, automatic high-beam headlamps, automatic climate control, and a hands-free power liftgate. Look for the ’18 Edge Sport to again feature among its equipment speed-sensitive adaptive steering and front buckets with enhanced bolstering.
How will 2018 prices be different?
They’ll increase; by how much, even Ford probably won’t know until it surveys model-year 2018’s competitive landscape. Our projections include Ford’s destination fee; it was $895 on the 2017 Edge. And since most Edge buyers order AWD, that’s the foundation for our base-price estimates. Subtract $1,995 to figure your front-wheel-drive base price. And remember that the ’18 Sport and likely any flagship will come standard with AWD.
With the 2.0-liter turbo four and AWD, look for the 2018 Edge SE to start around $32,250, the SEL around $35,100, and the Titanium around $38,900. The 3.5-liter V-6 should again add about $625 to the SEL and Titanium. Estimated base price for the 2018 Edge Sport is $42,200. We estimate any proposed “Platinum” version to be priced around $49,000.
When will it come out?
Expect a 2018 Ford Edge release date in the first half of 2017.
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Murano, Subaru Outback, Volkswagen Touareg
What change would make it better?
We’ve covered autonomous emergency braking, and with buyers of even mass-market crossovers yearning for full-house luxury and tech, many Edge intenders probably would welcome a near-premium flagship. One argument against Ford creating such an Edge model, however, is that it would bump up against Lincoln’s MKX, which is essentially a gilded version of the Edge. Ford risked no such in-house competition when it created the Explorer Platinum, since Explorer has no Lincoln counterpart – at least for now. We, along with you, will wait and see.