Buying Used: 2015-2019 Ford Edge
Let’s take a closer look at the current-generation Edge, a midsize ute that outsells competing intermediates
THE PROS & CONS
- What’s Good: Supremely quiet cruiser, immensely practical size, good engine choices
- What’s Bad: Underpowered with 2.0-L engine, hardly a gas saver, beware the wrench icon
One fascinating aspect of Henry Ford’s early incursion into Canada – just one year after opening his automaking facility across the river in Detroit in 1903 – is that he let the Canadian branch organize under the direction of its own shareholders.
Henry held just 13 per cent of Ford of Canada shares, but granted the fledgling company all of his patent rights and selling privileges to the British Empire (with the exception of Great Britain and Ireland). The Canucks went on to establish the blue oval in India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Ford of Canada’s first car was the Model C, which rolled out of the factory in Walkerville (now part of Windsor) in 1904. Rapid growth after the Second World War, together with the acquisition of majority control of Ford of Canada by its American parent, prompted a move to the green fields of Oakville, Ontario, where a new head office and assembly plant opened in 1953.
The Oakville facility has been a fixture beside the Queen Elizabeth Way ever since, having made familiar nameplates like the Mercury Meteor, Falcon, Torino, F-150, Econoline and Windstar minivan. Today, Oakville assembles the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus sport utilities.
Let’s take a closer look at the current-generation Edge, a midsize ute that outsells competing intermediates like the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota Highlander and even Ford’s own Explorer.
Ford’s five-passenger crossover sport utility, introduced for 2007, came with either front-drive or all-wheel drive using the same platform that underpinned the Mazda6 sedan. The second-generation Edge for 2015 adopted the well-sorted chassis of the second-gen Fusion, whose CD4 platform was a wholly Ford product (Mazda had gone its own way), lending it a stiffer structure and a more sophisticated suspension layout.
The new model was longer by 10 centimetres, but beyond that the Edge maintained its pleasing proportions. The added length pays dividends inside with more room for passengers and cargo; Ford resisted the temptation to squeeze in a third row of seating, which is the Explorer’s domain. An additional 2.5 cm of rear legroom provides comfortable accommodations for adults riding in the back seat; in fact, three-across seating is no hardship for families of five. Cargo capacity is near the top of the segment, too.
The available MyFord Touch infotainment interface returned much improved, thanks to software upgrades and new physical buttons. There were also numerous driver-assist features available, including automated parking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping intervention. One safety feature of note is Ford’s clever second-row inflatable seatbelts to minimize injuries to passengers sitting in the outboard seats closest to the windows.
There were noticeable improvements in the quality of the cabin materials, with more soft-touch surfaces lending a premium feel. The overall effect elevated the formerly mundane, workaday Edge to a near-luxury model that quietly impressed without a swanky emblem.
“I had a Mercedes previous to this car. I thought I was taking a step down in luxury, but it doesn’t seem to be that way,” read an online post by a 2017 Edge owner.
DRIVE TRAINS AND UPDATES
The 2015 Edge offered a choice of three distinct engines each working through a conventional six-speed automatic transmission. The base powerplant was a 2.0-L four-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost engine that produces 245 hp and 275 pound-feet of torque. An automatic engine stop-start function is optional in the front-drive model to save fuel.
Traditional buyers could opt for a naturally aspirated 3.5-L V6 engine that makes 280 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. The Sport model came exclusively with a 2.7-L turbo EcoBoost V6 that churns out 315 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. All three engines are rated to pull 1587 kg (3,500 lbs) when equipped with the towing package.
The 2016 models got an optional, easy-to-use infotainment system called Sync 3 that’s supplied by BlackBerry, while variable-ratio power steering became available on higher trims. Every 2016 Edge got a noise-reducing windshield along with keyless entry and ignition standard.
The 2019 Edge benefited from a significant refresh with revised bumpers, a new grille and wheel designs, and updated lighting elements setting it off visually. All models came with a new eight-speed automatic transmission replacing the outdated six-speed unit. The 2.0-L EcoBoost four made five more horsepower (to 250 hp), while the 2.7-L EcoBoost V6 made 20 more horses for a total output of 335 hp. The non-boosted 3.5-L V6 was retired.
DRIVING THE EDGE
Thanks to its Euro-tuned chassis, the Edge is a surprisingly good driver displaying reassuring stability in the corners. The electric steering is nicely weighted, if not that communicative, and the ride is comfortable over lumpy asphalt. While not overtly large, the weighty Edge makes its heft known on the road by tracking well and keeping its big wheels planted.
When equipped with the base 2.0-L EcoBoost four cylinder, the Edge is a bit of a dullard, taking 8.3 seconds to reach 97 km/h. Opting for the old 3.5-L V6 doesn’t improve matters much, requiring 7.7 seconds to attain highway velocity – a class-average effort. Impatient types will appreciate the Sport or ST model, whose turbocharged V6 propels the porky Edge to 97 km/h in just 5.6 seconds – “sleeper” performance that is bound to surprise some BMW X5 pilots.
Despite the Ford’s aging platform, one appealing trait has been the crossover’s remarkably hushed operation. The structure is so well packed with insulation that the engines work discreetly, and even wind noise and tire rumble are kept to a minimum. It’s a key reason for the Edge’s enduring popularity. Buyers like to feel pampered.
Unfortunately, they don’t like paying for a lot of fuel. None of the engines, including the four-cylinder EcoBoost, have proven to be frugal at the pumps, prompting some owners to join a class-action lawsuit challenging Ford’s published fuel-economy ratings.
“I bought it for the great gas mileage. It only gets 16 mpg [17.5 L/100 km] and the dealership says it’s normal. NOT!” wrote the owner of a 2016 Edge four-cylinder emphatically.
OWNERS TALK RELIABILITY
Edge owners love the crossover’s practical size and roomy cabin, its quiet demeanour and its choice of engines, which run the gamut from sensible to swift. On the negative side, outward visibility is hampered by thick pillars and blind spots, the ride is a little stiff with low-profile tires, and not everyone’s thrilled with their real-world gas mileage.
Reliability is always top of mind for used-vehicle shoppers, given that they’re usually buying a car without a warranty. The Ontario-made crossover is better than many of Detroit’s efforts, but it falls a little short of expectations, particularly the inaugural 2015 Edge models.
A key concern – one that’s plagued a number of Ford products – has been an ongoing issue with faulty electronic throttle bodies that can cause a sudden loss of power as the engine reverts to “limp home” mode and a wrench symbol is displayed. Ford has an extended warranty to address this in 2015-16 models (and earlier vehicles), although there’s a lawsuit in U.S. courts, too.
Some owners have experienced a failed engine due to coolant seeping into cylinders. Some 2015-2018 Edge (and Escape) models equipped with the 2.0-L EcoBoost may exhibit low coolant, white exhaust and a rough-running engine with or without an illuminated Check Engine lamp. Ford has a technical service bulletin TSB 19-2208 that describes the remedy.
Beyond these significant frustrations, drivers have reported some power-steering issues, torque converters that can lose their connection to the engine flex plates, reluctant infotainment interfaces and spontaneously shattered sunroofs. We’ve written about exploding auto glass previously, but what Ford owners have also reported are shattered back windows that show no signs of impact. Some dealers have rightfully replaced the glass under warranty.
Owners of 2018 and newer Edge models have had relatively few warranty claims of any kind. The fact that this Canadian-made model continues to find loyal buyers year after year is a good indication that it has benefited from continual upgrades to keep it competitive in the hotly contested SUV segment. Old Henry would have been proud.