|2015 Ford Edge|
2015 Ford Edge: Ford Advances the SUV Art and ScienceThere’s no stopping the SUV juggernaut. At Kelley Blue Book we’ve watched SUVs and crossovers of every size and price range garner increasing shopper interest over the past 2 years (well before the latest drop in fuel prices). The shift from cars to crossovers continues in 2015, putting extra pressure on automakers to keep their high-profit SUVs compelling. Ford’s Edge predates the current SUV craze. It’s been a strong seller in the midsize SUV category since it was introduced 8 years ago, yet Edge sales were down 16 percent last year while the category grew 12 percent. Ford updated the Edge 4 years ago, but the automaker needed an all-new model to stay competitive. That’s what the 2015 Ford Edge is — all new — with a revised exterior and interior paired with upgraded drivetrains offering better performance and increased fuel efficiency.
Given Ford’s increasing focus on global products, along with rising SUV demand in every major vehicle market, the 2015 Edge comes at a critical moment. After launching in North America this spring it will go on sale in Europe, South American and China, eventually being sold in more than 100 markets across the globe. Ford reps describe the new Edge as “Technology with Purpose” because the new model offers a range of advanced features compared to the outgoing model. Changes to the Edge’s exterior include a body structure with a greater percentage of high-strength steel (including boron steel in the B-pillars) and an overall platform that is 26 percent more resistant to bending forces and 14 percent more resistant to twisting forces. The body is also 4 inches longer and 1.3 inches taller than before and rides on an updated McPherson strut front suspension and all-new independent rear suspension. The new rear suspension features coil springs and a 23 millimeter antiroll bar to achieve a 20 percent reduction in body roll.
The 2015 Edge’s larger body and slightly longer wheelbase (.9 inches) translate into greater interior space, with 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row (7.0 cubic feet more than last year) and 73.4 cubic feet of cargo space when the second row seat is folded down (4.5 cubic feet more than before). The interior isn’t just larger but also clearly a step up in overall design and material quality. Interior panel seams are tighter and better integrated, with soft-touch surfaces dominating the dash and door panels. Storage space is abundant, including a two-level center console, a covered storage area ahead of the shifter and a new storage pocket on the dash above the center stack. The increased interior volume translates into an open, airy cabin with plenty of space in the front and rear seats (rear seat legroom is up 1 inch this year). The cabin also benefits from upgraded door seals and thicker glass to reduce noise. We found road and drivetrain noise to be almost non-existent in the new Edge, though there was noticeable wind noise at speeds above 50 mph.
Four versions of the 2015 Ford Edge are offered, starting with the SE at $28,995. This is the same price as last year’s model, but the 2015 Edge SE is powered by a new 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine. Updates to this engine include an upgraded block and a new twin-scroll turbo designed for improved throttle response and better fuel efficiency. This engine makes 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. The EPA rates a front-wheel-drive 2015 Edge with the 2.0-liter engine at 20 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined.
Buyers can add all-wheel drive to any Edge for $1,495, but mileage drops to 20/28/23 for AWD models with the 2.0-liter. The SE also comes standard with 18-inch wheels, LED taillamps, cloth seats, a rearview camera, a six speaker audio system with a CD/MP3 player and Sync (which includes a 4.2-inch central display screen, Bluetooth phone pairing and voice-activated controls). SE buyers can step up to Ford’s 3.5-liter V6 for $29,420. The 3.5-liter is a carry-over engine offering 280 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. It’s rated at 18 city mpg, 28 highway mpg and 21 combined mpg in front-wheel-drive form (15/24/20 for AWD)