Mountain Wheels: Ford Edge’s Sport edition boosts its power supply (review)
2017 Ford Edge
MSRP: $40,900; As tested: $48,575
Powertrain: 315-HP 2.7-liter V-6 with six-speed automatic transmission
EPA figures: 20 combined (17 city/24 highway)
I’ve been spending a lot time in northern Colorado and I’ve noticed an abundance of vehicles bedecked, often less than subtly, with stickers and decals celebrating the “thin blue line” — a once on-the-down-low system saluting the efforts and contributions of police officers, or demonstrating some implied connection to law enforcement. No doubt a useful thing to help avoid speeding tickets, I might imagine, above and beyond whatever politics they express in support of the police.
Another option, I guess, is to go out and grab yourself a Ford Edge Sport, especially the white 2017 model I drove in late summer (the 2018 is now on sale), which has an oddly sexy-cop-on-the-prowl comportment to it. While it doesn’t have quite the same impact as you would rocking Ford’s Explorer-based Police Interceptor model, the Edge Sport takes on some stylish and definitely police-worthy looks and performance attributes that make it an imposing option.
The impact stems from a concise combination of scale, the impressive addition of a 315-horsepower 2.7-liter V-6 twin turbo and suspension and steering enhancements that really do give it a sporty feel. Scale is important, wedged between the nice but undersized Escape and the slightly too-large Explorer, but still comfortable with 39.2 cubic feet of storage behind its second row and a 112.2-inch wheelbase.
The sweetened looks (also available as an appearance-only package on the lower SEL model) kind of give the Edge Sport a vaguely Range Rover-styled vibe, though Ford’s performance-loaded machine starts at a more affordable $40,675 for 2018 models.
Mine was almost $49,000, but I had the entire range of options — navigation, blind spot warning system, remote start, heated rear seats, heated and cooled front seats, the larger 21-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, and Ford’s one-of-a-kind inflating-airbag seat belts.
Those smoked platinum 21s, a jump from the Edge’s standard 20s, do contribute to a very sharp appearance, with details that include LED outline lamps, big dual exhaust tips and a gloss black horizontal grille, mirror caps and oversized spoiler running off the top of the rear glass.
The engine’s a considerable upgrade from the 2.0-liter turbo or the 3.5-liter V-6 offered in the rest of the Edge lineup, with a modicum of menacing gurgle spitting out as you motor along. Solid acceleration is pretty easy to achieve (with 350 lb.-ft. of hill-eating torque there at your disposal), and the addition of standard all-wheel drive in every Sport model means solid winter performance as well, provided you shell out for 21-inch winter-worthy tires.
I was also impressed by the Edge Sport’s handling dynamics. Rear suspension has been stepped up to include an independent, multi-link system with trailing blade control arms and a stabilizer bar, plus gas-pressurized hydraulic shocks. That all contributes to a more precise road feel and dynamics that are indeed sporty. Expect mileage performance in the mid-20s, provided you do not drive it in pursuit mode at all times.
Sport’s biggest attributes can be found inside, where the looks and finishes are definitely a deal-maker. There’s quilted leather everywhere, an abundance of carbon fiber-styled trim and a whole lot of black on black — matte black and glossy piano black, plus white stitching and even some chrome highlights.
Seating is quite tall and precise, usefully sporty, and the 2018 Edge Sport Appearance package takes things up a notch with gray fabric seats and suede-like cloth inserts (and a whole copper-colored scheme that sounds quite tasteful). Rear seat passengers will also appreciate the expanse and comfort they’ll find in this mid-sized machine.
A tall center console is glossy indeed but wonderfully simple, with only the electronic brake and Ford’s parking assist buttons, plus two deep cupholders. Heating controls are also happily simple, as is what is commendably the most minimalistic audio control setup on the market, though you still get very impressive audio results from the Sony system.
Ford’s much-updated third version of the Sync navigation and control interface is also easy to use.
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