First Tests

2015 Ford Edge Sport AWD First Test Review

Making Salesperson Lives Easier at a Dealer Near You

Making Salesperson Lives Easier at a Dealer Near You

We’ll let you in on a little secret: It took a lot of effort to get this Ford Edge for a review. Between the hemming and hawing, the uncertainty, and the tough timetable to keep, there was a solid chance of this story never happening. In contrast, we had a Lamborghini Huracán not long ago for a highly unusual 30-day loan. Thirty days! By our “long-term” Lambo’s midway point, some staff members had already forgotten it was even here.

We’re not the only ones who encountered trouble acquiring an Edge. Ford revealed that its two-row midsize crossover sat in dealer inventory for a mere 10 days in the month of April, an exciting number for Ford PR to type, no doubt. The U.S. industry average is anywhere from 50 to 70 days, swayed by the state of the economy and other factors. The Oakville plant in Ontario, Canada, is whipping out Edges as quickly as it can and will see a shorter scheduled summer shutdown in order to stay on top of dealer fulfillments. There’s a delicate balance to the days in inventory statistic. Tighter supply looks better to news outlets (but mostly analysts), and automakers can be confident that there are hand-raisers. Yet if supply remains too tight, and either consumers might lose interest because of “market value adjustments,” or estimated delivery dates line up for after the Chicago Cubs win the World Series in five games.

By our account, the new Edge Sport probably sells itself right off the show floor without much of a sales pitch. For the first time in the brief history of Sportified Edges, Ford doesn’t draw a line in the sand to demarcate the Sport’s spot in the model line. Instead it’s a fat trench. The Sport’s visual cues have historically been a gimme: more aggressive exterior looks, darkened trim, and bigger wheels (up to 22s) with stickier tires. But examine the powertrain progress:

  2015 Ford Edge Sport AWD 2011 Ford Edge Sport 2009 Ford Edge Sport
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 2.7L/315-hp/350-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6 3.7L/305-hp/280-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6 3.5L/265-hp/250-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic 6-speed automatic 6-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,406 lb (60/40%) 4,405 lb (58/42%) 4,229 lb (59/41%)
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 1.8 sec 2.7 sec 2.6 sec
0-40 2.8 4.0 3.8
0-50 4.1 5.7 5.4
0-60 5.7 7.6 7.3
0-70 7.5 10.3 10.0
0-80 9.7 13.0 12.9
0-90 12.3 16.3
0-100 15.5 20.6
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 3.1 4.1 4.0
QUARTER MILE 14.3 sec @ 95.9 mph 15.9 sec @ 88.9 mph 15.8 sec @ 88.3 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 120 ft 124 ft 123 ft

The way we see it, there’s no better test-drive gimmick than to let the shopper feel the power. They’ll get a taste of where their not-unsubstantial $38,995 USD (Sport base price with front-wheel drive) to $40,490 USD (all-wheel drive) begins to go. We don’t know for certain, but customer-salesperson exchanges in previous years might have gone like this:

“Billy, not only does the 2011 Edge Sport look meaner, but it also pulls 0.06g higher on the skidpad than the regular Edge according to the esteemed enthusiast publication Motor Trend.”

“Please run my credit and sign me up for underbody coating and paint protection,” said no one ever.

The 315 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque out of the Sport’s 2.7-liter, twin-turbo V-6 leaves a great impression. At startup, the exhaust burble is innocuous enough, sounding like a very deep, bassy V-6. Every editor who drove the Edge Sport commented first and foremost on the engine’s pickup, which is immediate and an entertaining kind of ridiculous. The engine makes a mean, sporty noise, and turbo lag is minimal, the 5.7-second 0-60 mph time putting it in the company of the manually shifted versions of the Volkswagen GTI with Performance package and BMW 328i. And its 365-hp/350-lb-ft Explorer Sport big brother. The six-speed automatic gets into higher gear with no fuss, helping produce consistent acceleration runs, though the shifter itself is reluctant to change between the D and S slots.

The Edge Sport’s power potential can be witnessed through the fuel gauge. Our Real MPG findings of 18.5/24.3/20.7 mpg city/highway/combined are the energy tax levied from dragging 4,406 pounds worth of hardware, a sizeable frontal area, and a potent six-cylinder engine. Edges with the standard 245-hp, 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four log 20-21/28-30/23-24 mpg on EPA dyno cycles, depending on the number of driven wheels; the Sport does 17-18/24-27/20-21 mpg after the same tests.

At $44,860 USD, the Edge Sport we had is the most expensive Edge we’ve ever done business with. Higher quality, cooler technology features, and an interior that looks and feels more premium were goals for the 2015 major refresh, hence the pricier cost fallout. Part of the $44,860 USD is tied to the $3,700 USD Equipment Group 401A, toting a literal cooler feature in the guise of cooled and heated front seats. The package largely focuses on safety and driver peace of mind with blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, a novel 180-degree button-toggled front camera, power liftgate with remote open/close, and navigation, among other features. Passenger space is not an issue, especially when it comes to headroom. We’ve gotten used to the random Sync with MyFord Touch infotainment system software reboots, as they didn’t escape the Edge Sport, and we’re eager to learn if the next-generation Sync 3 is less fiddly and more stable and responsive. As a result of the high seat position, the small round buttons flanking the lower center stack are hard to read.

Another $595 USD went to the White Platinum metallic tri-coat paint, giving the Edge Sport a CHP Explorer look from afar. Seventy-five dollars buys our test vehicle’s final option, a set of rubber floormats. Every Edge comes with paddle shifters on the steering wheel, a feature we put to use around the figure eight. The Sport clicked off a fast time of 26.2 seconds at 0.72g average, 0.8 second quicker than the ’11 Sport and the same time as the 340-hp Porsche Macan S. We’d wager there are a couple tenths to gain by swapping the stock 20-inch wheels with 245/50R20 Hankook Ventus S1 Noble2 all-seasons — the same tire used on some new Mustangs — to the optional $1,990 21-inchers with 265/40R21 Pirelli summer tires. The steering has an overall light effort we’d recognize from any modern Ford product, but some drivers found acclimating to the ratio difficult. Larger inputs, such as with 90-degree turns or on tight, windy roads, were often met with corrections, making the steering action feel busy. We’re optimistic the variable-ratio setup coming for the 2016 model year and likely standard with next year’s Sport will be just the salve needed. Another quirk is the tight clearance between the right-side paddle shifter and windshield-wiper stalk, leading to inadvertent wiper activation by knuckle.

If the idea of chasing a Porsche (SUV) on curvy pavement is how salespeople are churning sales and contributing to the 10 days in inventory spec, then the more power to them. Saner Edge owners-to-be will notice the sportier suspension packs all the right numbers: coil springs 10 percent stiffer than the base units and 15 percent stiffer anti-roll bars with the appropriate accompanying shock absorber modifications for tight body control. The ride is firm but surprisingly supple on smooth roads. On choppier sections, the wheels chatter a lot more, as we expected.

Should you be in the market and score a test drive with the Sport, let us know if you thought the suede inserts in the front and rear leather seating caused discomfort, as they did with some editors. There’s no question this is the most impressive Edge yet. We’re looking forward to the 2.0-liter EcoBoost and 3.5-liter V-6 models, and we hope the many waiting customers will pardon our lane jumping.

2015 Ford Edge Sport AWD
BASE PRICE $40,490
PRICE AS TESTED $44,860
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 2.7L/315-hp/350-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,406 lb (60/40%)
WHEELBASE 112.2 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 188.1 x 75.9 x 68.6 in
0-60 MPH 5.7 sec
QUARTER MILE 14.3 sec @ 95.9 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 120 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.87 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 26.2 sec @ 0.72 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 17/24/20 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 198/140 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.99 lb/mile