Ford has made the decision to discontinue the vast majority of their car lineup.
It is well documented that the change in consumer taste has led to crops of SUVs and crossovers being pushed to market to meet the needs of buyers. This shift has also led to a decline in the number of performance-oriented family sedans and wagons offered to the car enthusiasts, and instead we are seeing an increase in the number of go-fast SUVs, like this 2020 Ford Edge ST, to choose from for the morning school drop-off.
In light of this consumer trend, Ford has made the decision to discontinue the vast majority of their car lineup, which included a couple of our favourite performance hatchbacks, the Fiesta ST and Focus ST (reviewed here). They are instead focusing their energy into developing crossovers and SUVs. This decision is also aligned with Ford’s performance division’s efforts in creating ST variants of their popular Edge and Explorer SUVs, in hopes of attracting a new group of buyers looking for more performance out of their next vehicle.
The Edge ST is the first SUV to come from Ford’s in-house performance team. The 2020 model we have here arrived in a very attractive Ford Performance Blue paint job, suiting the blue oval that is donned up front. The styling is one of the Ford Edge’s best features, it looks classy while staying modern thanks to a good combination of curves and edges. The optional 21-inch wheels look aggressive and fill out the wheel gap nicely, but we like the look of the standard 20-inch wheels enough that we prefer them for cost efficiency and better ride comfort.
The heart of the 2020 Edge ST is a 2.7-litre EcoBoost twin-turbocharged V6 engine that is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, delivering 335-horsepower at 5,550 RPM, and 380 lb-ft. of torque at 3,250 RPM. The additional 85-horsepower and 100 lb-ft. of torque over the rest of the Edge lineup is evident, rewarding drivers with punchy acceleration that beats many entry-level sports sedans. While the Edge ST is fast when pushed, its overall driving experience is dulled by a noticeable delay from its throttle and gearbox response. Luckily, the deep growl from the standard dual exhaust helps to make up for some of that excitement.
The Edge ST’s handling is on par with many crossovers in the segment. The electric steering rack has moderate weight; however, feedback is lacking which is a common flaw in the segment. The Edge’s beefy curb weight is evident during hard braking and in corners. The Edge ST comes with standard Ford Performance tuned suspension, helping to keep things from getting too messy around corners, and its standard Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive system sends power to the rear wheels when traction is needed. Overall the Edge ST is more at home on the straightaways than on twisty roads, matching the profile for many of its intended buyers.
Ford estimates the 2020 Edge ST will consume 12.5L/100km of fuel in the city, and 9.2L/100km on the highway. Our observed fuel economy came in at around 11.2L/100km over a mixed setting, and we managed an impressive 8.9L/100km on a highway stretch. The Edge ST can accept a minimum of 87-octane gasoline, but it recommends 91-octane or higher for optimal performance into its 84-litre fuel tank.
Inside the Ford Edge ST, users are welcomed to a minimalistic cabin design. There are shortcut keys on the centre console for easy climate control, and we appreciate the physical keys for heated and ventilated seat settings rather than having to look for them in the Ford SYNC 3 infotainment unit like other Ford models we have experienced. A downside to the simplistic layout in the Ford Edge ST is that it leaves a lot of blank real estate on the dashboard which are unfortunately covered in hard plastics. We would have also liked to see physical shortcut keys for multimedia controls around the infotainment screen instead of the thick trim that is currently around it.
The SYNC 3 infotainment has always been a benchmark for its ease of use, and this continues to be the case amongst its peers in the mainstream segment but the gap is quickly closing. The screen size and resolution also trail many of the newer entrants, and we expect that to be revamped in the next couple of years with a complete redesign. Despite its age, the infotainment still has many of the modern features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, SYNC 3 AppLink connectivity with Waze navigation app integration, as well as FordPass Connect for Wi-Fi Hotspot. Buyers looking for a premium audio experience will enjoy the standard Bang & Olufsen twelve-speaker sound system.
Ride comfort is another category in which the Ford Edge excels. There is little noise transmitted to the cabin thanks to double-paned glass up front, and the suspension system does a good job soaking up any imperfections on the road. Head and leg room is great for all passengers, and the Edge has a bright and airy interior aided by the optional panoramic sunroof. Cargo space is generous with a maximum capacity of 1,110 litres behind the second row, and it opens up to 2,079 litres with the seats folded. Those who would like to tow with the Ford Edge ST can do so up to its 3,500-pound limit using the standard class II trailer tow package that is optional on all other Edge models.
Safety is a priority for Ford and they have equipped their 2020 Edge ST with a host of standard safety and drivers assist features, including Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert and Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking systems. Our tester was also equipped with the Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist package, which includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Evasive Steering Assist, Lane Centering, and Enhanced Active Park Assist systems.
Pricing for the 2020 Edge ST starts at $48,399, and our tester was optioned with the all-inclusive 401A package that adds the Convenience, Canadian Touring, and the Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist packages for $5,800, bringing the as-tested total to $56,199. As a mid-size two-row crossover, the Edge normally competes with the likes of the Honda Passport (reviewed here) and the Nissan Murano (reviewed here); however the sporty Edge ST currently finds itself in a class of its own as it offers additional performance not found in either of its peers.
The 2020 Ford Edge ST presents a unique proposition given its combination of price, performance, practicality and ride comfort, and is particularly interesting for buyers who are specifically looking for a bigger vehicle to carry their family without giving up on performance. It is certainly not without its flaws; however, Ford is on the right path in terms of catering to the needs of this group of buyers, and we suspect other mainstream automakers will take notice and follow suit as long as consumers continue to salivate over crossovers and SUVs.