The Ford Edge ST landed with much fanfare. A big splash from Ford. An ad campaign that championed its performance and, heck, one Hollywood company turned it into a legitimate, high-speed camera car.
But we all know that the ST badge stands for Ford Performance – as emblazoned on the door sills of this Edge ST – so any Ford with these letters must be impressive because the ST badge has been built on a reputation for performance.
I think the Ford Fiesta ST is the best car Ford’s produced in recent memory. Light, powerful, and fun to drive. It’s a legitimate hot hatch and I wish they would continue to build it, but it seems small car buyers are looking for something other than hot hatches, which is a shame because they’ll never know the joy of driving one of these little firecrackers.
On the other hand, I was never a fan of the Focus ST. For a larger car than the Fiesta, the interior should be more voluminous and its seating position less compromised. Plus, the 2.0-litre turbo consistently overtaxed the front tires, leaving the faux-limited slip diff, brake-based system clawing at the front rotors anytime you had a hint of wheelspin. That meant every time I got out of the car, I’d smell brakes. Annoying to say the least, particularly when both VW and Honda offered legitimate limited slip diffs in competitive product.
On the other hand, Ford is the same company that produces the GT supercar and a range of thrilling Mustangs, so when this Edge ST was announced – and advertised with the promise of performance and handling – I knew I had to drive it.
Plus, it’s made in Oakville, Ontario, and I always like to root for the home team. As it turned out with my timing, I ended up taking the Edge ST for a bit of a road trip and was able to fully evaluate this hot dog of a crossover.
At first glance, there are plenty of ST badges outside and in, making it glaringly obvious that this is the ST and not your normal Edge. Over the regular Edge models, the ST adds a few bits of bodywork and black trim for a more sporting appearance, your choice of 20- or 21-inch wheels, an exhaust that has a sport mode, optional larger front rotors, a more sporting suspension, and the EcoBoost 2.7-litre, twin-turbo V6.
Of course, the key consideration is that twin turbo V6 because this is the only way to get a V6 in an Edge these days, as all other models are fitted with the proven 2.0-litre turbo four. In the Edge ST, it produces a wonderful 335 horsepower and an exceptional 380 pounds of torque, which makes daily driving chores a cakewalk. Making a quick pass around a slower car or getting up to highway speeds is no stress with all of that torque.
The interior isn’t considerably different than a regular Edge. There’s plenty of space in both rows and under the hatch, and both rows are exceptionally comfortable, even for stretches of hundreds of kilometres. The ST’s huggy-spec seats are aggressively bolstered, perhaps an attempt at the promise of performance, but they cross over to the unnecessary side of the line.
The seating position is quite alright, even though the wheel is not as vertical as I’d like, and visibility is excellent. Ford’s interfaces are always straightforward and the displays are similarly forthright. Even the dial shifter works well and there is plenty of storage throughout the cabin.
Devouring road miles in quiet comfort is the Edge ST’s strong suit. Even the ADAS bits – the adaptive cruise and lane keep assist – work exceptionally well, taking some anxiety out of a long road trip.
In a straight line, this Edge ST is a quick little crossover when needed. The rest of the time, it’s remarkably fuel efficient and, for the first time in a long time, I was able to achieve fuel consumption numbers close the official rating. The government says the Edge ST is rated at 12.7 city and 9.2 highway. After my road trip, the ST settled in at a final average 9.8 litres per 100 kilometres. That’s remarkable efficiency, as I’m no hypermiler.
As for the Edge ST’s handling, that’s another story. It has more overall grip than any other Edge and its body and wheel control is quite good around town or on back roads, which actually makes it pleasant to drive. However, driving this ST at the limit is not rewarding.
Feedback from the steering and chassis is perfectly numb, and if you’ve exceeded its limits, as I did in the rain, you have to rely on your wits and your vision to haul it back under control. Not to worry, though, because I explored the ST beyond its limits in the name of science and its stability control will do a fine job keeping you safe.
While the Edge ST will cut a solid line through a corner, it’s nowhere near as fun as it is in a Mustang – or even a Fiesta ST.
In some ways, I wish they’d call this anything else other than an ST. For me, the ST line holds so much promise of performance that it’s disappointing that this Edge ST isn’t as confident a handler as it is a straight line hustler.
Still, the ST is the only way to get the big EcoBoost V6 in the Edge and, if that’s your jam, then this is a much more compelling option than the endless number of dull crossovers on the market. It does everything that an Edge does, but with a little more speed and a bit more style.
2019 Ford Edge ST
Base Price: $49,199
As Tested: $53,299, including options, less current incentives, and $1,850 delivery
Drivetrain: 2.7-litre, twin-turbocharged V6, 335 horsepower, 380 lb-ft, 8-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive
Performance: 9.8 litres per 100 km in mostly highway driving
The VVUZZ Verdict: A quick, competent, and efficient crossover that doesn’t quite live up to its badge.
Images courtesy of Ford.