NEWS

2019 Ford Edge: Old Look, New Spunk

08-ford-edge-st.jpg 2019 Ford Edge ST | Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

CARS.COM — Ford tells us that the refresh of the 2019 Ford Edge took two-and-a-half years, enough time to design a new platform from scratch for some car companies. Yet all that’s changed on the new Edge is the front and rear end, a new tailgate, some revised powertrains and the addition of an ST model that feels a lot like it’s only slightly more performance-oriented than the old Sport trim.

The interior isn’t much different, either, aside from the rotary shifter now nestled in the center console in place of the transmission lever. In short, the changes Ford brought to most versions of the new Edge are underwhelming.

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These criticisms are leveled at most of the Edge’s trim levels: SE, SEL and Titanium. The updated face brings it in line with the Escape and EcoSport, but not with the larger Explorer, which itself is getting rather long in the tooth. It’s an attractive design, but it doesn’t look all that different from the two previous redos of the Edge. The doors, roof and fenders all carry over, meaning only the front and rear lights, grille and bumpers are different.

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Inside is the same interior that’s graced the Edge since Ford did away with the touch-sensitive panels for the 2015 model year. Acres of black plastic may be durable, but it doesn’t convey the snazzy look of the Nissan Murano or the upscale appeal of the Jeep Grand Cherokee even in top trim levels. It’s not a bad interior, but it certainly doesn’t feel fresh anymore. One area Ford has gotten right is the multimedia system, with the latest version of Sync still impressing with its clarity and ease of use.

The one saving grace of this redesign is the ST high-performance model. We asked Ford in 2015 why it didn’t make an ST model for the Edge given that the Sport model had all the makings for it. Ford said that the ST model denotes something specific, a certain level of performance that had to be achieved. On paper, it looks like Ford has achieved that with the Edge ST, providing an aspirational vehicle for growing enthusiast families to step up into when they’ve outgrown their Focus ST.

It looks sufficiently sportier (despite the high ride height), has been thoroughly massaged with performance equipment (a retuned suspension and transmission, what Ford says is the most powerful engine in its class, big wheels and summer tires as well as optional performance brakes). While the appearance of the ST doesn’t entirely make up for the fact that this is a fairly mild refresh of a critical model, it should serve to keep interest — at least until a new Grand Cherokee arrives.

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Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman has had over 25 years of experience in the auto industry as a journalist, analyst, purchasing agent and program manager. Bragman grew up around his father’s classic Triumph sports cars (which were all sold and gone when he turned 16, much to his frustration) and comes from a Detroit family where cars put food on tables as much as smiles on faces. Today, he’s a member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. His pronouns are he/him, but his adjectives are fat/sassy. Email Aaron Bragman

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