2015 Ford Edge Titanium Review - Manufacturer of Doubt

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
Fast Facts

2015 Ford Edge Titanium AWD

2-liter EcoBoost turbocharged I-4, direct injection (245 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm; 275 pounds-feet @ 3,000 rpm, 93 octane)
Six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission
20 city/28 highway/23 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
18.7 on the "Why Is My Fuel Economy So Freakin' Horrible?" cycle (Observed, MPG)
Tested Options
Equipment Group 302A - $5,645; 20-inch wheels - $995; others - $600.
Base Price (SE FWD)
$28,995 (U.S.)/$33,789 (Canada)
As Tested Price (Titanium AWD)
$44,785 (U.S.)/$50,289 (Canada)
All prices include $895 destination fee (U.S.) or $1,690 destination fee, PDI and A/C tax (Canada).
2015 ford edge titanium review manufacturer of doubt

As soon as I finished my time with the 2015 Nissan Murano, my mind immediately wandered to the new Ford Edge.

You see, the Murano is fantastic. It’s effortlessly comfortable. The ride is sublime. When you’re driving the Murano, everything is damn-near perfect. But the Murano could only be considered pretty by someone subjected to the “ Ludovico Technique” and thousands of flashing images of the Infiniti [s]QX56[/s] QX80.

The Murano is the violently green neon dress and pink knee-high boots to the Edge’s fitted black number and Saks Fifth Avenue pumps. At a black-tie affair, one of those is going to stick out, and for all the wrong reasons.

Yet, looks can be deceiving. It was underneath that retina-burning attire I found an incredibly comfortable, competent crossover in the Murano. It’s hard to fault it with your eyes closed.

Now it’s the Edge’s turn. Would I find the same characteristics in it that made me fall in love with Nissan’s lifestyle-mobile?

Exterior


From a distance, the Edge won’t be confused for anything else.

Since the first generation made its way to public roads, Ford’s middle child has tried its best to visually blend the lines between the Blue Oval’s cars and trucks. Up front, the Edge has always worn a version of the trademark Gillette barred grille, linking it closer to Ford’s trucks, but its headlights have slowly metamorphosed from an F-150-esque shape to that of the Taurus and Fusion.

Just like the first Edge, the design blending continues in the second generation — and to great effect. The 2015 Edge gets a new version of the barred grille — continuing its visual link to the F-Series trucks and larger Flex — nestled in a hexagonal surround seemingly pulled directly from the Taurus. Also up front on our Titanium-trimmed tester are a pair of pentagonal LED “signature” fog lamps in faux brake duct housings, standard on SEL and up models, and LED daytime running lights in the headlight housings. HID headlights are optional, even this high up the trim range, and came fitted on our tester as part of a $5,645 equipment group.

In silhouette, the Edge continues to feature aggressively raked front and rear glass, giving it a shape unlike anything else in the segment. Our tester came with stylish chrome trim surrounding its side glass and matching optional 20-inch polished aluminum wheels (Titanium models usually come with 19-inch “luster nickel-painted” aluminum shoes). Those large, round pieces of metal didn’t handicap its ride quality as much as I thought they would — but more on that later.

The rear is vertically split by a LED light bar connecting the tail lights on Titanium and Sport models and the license plate is mounted high up the tailgate. Further down, standard twin exhaust tips poke out through a faux diffuser.

Overall, the Edge scores high in the yuppie dink polls thanks to its styling, though it’s definitely not as [s]offensive[/s] bold as the Murano. The Edge also looks expensive — because it is. As tested, our Titanium tester tips the financial scales at $44,785 — $5,360 more than the Murano I tested earlier this year.

Interior


Compared to the Murano, the Edge is more luxurious to look at on the inside, but to the detriment of comfort.

For starters, while the seats in the Ford are much more pleasing to the eye, they can’t hold candle to the comfort offered by the Zero Gravity seats in the Murano. Nissan has a strong seat game, though, so I won’t fault Ford for not keeping up with the needs of my backside. Also, the cockpit in the Edge feels ever-so slightly more snug in a visual way — and I liked it. I felt more a part of the car.

The materials on the dash are decidedly more upscale. Instead of uber-fake grains, Ford gives you simple satin-finished plastics that are less likely to scratch than their brightly polished counterparts (though, there are a few of those as well around the cup holders).

And that gorgeous burnt-orange/brown leather is everywhere. As far as interior colors are concerned, this nails it — though, I personally wouldn’t have it in a vehicle painted black.

Powertrain


For 2015, Ford gave the Edge additional motivation options in a new twin-scroll 2-liter EcoBoost four cylinder and a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 in the Edge Sport. Our tester came with the former, producing 245 horsepower and 275 pounds-feet of torque — but only when you fill the tank with premium dino juice. If you opt to run regular pump gas, the engine won’t mind, but it won’t produce the numbers quoted either. If you want to insure yourself from the complexities of turbocharged engines, Ford still offers the normally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 as an option.

Back to that 2-liter EcoBoost engine in our Titanium model: the experience is a mixed bag.

On one hand, it’s really hard to fault the new mill from a drivability perspective. When mated with Ford’s SelectShift six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive, the little four pot is as smooth as any turbocharged mill can be. The Mercedes-Benz 2-liter turbo used in the CLA and GLA are downright agricultural in comparison, and the Ford mill is almost on par with V-6 smoothness thanks to what I’m sure is many cubic feet of sound deadening material.

But, there’s a cost associated with that smoothness: fuel economy.

Most of my time with the Edge was spent in city driving, but even then, I should have achieved better than the 18.7 mpg reported by the on-board trip computer. For comparison, the Murano with its V-6 engine and CVT transmission delivered 22.4 mpg in slightly less city-centric driving.

Infotainment


The 2015 Edge itself might be all new, but its infotainment is not.

SYNC in the 2015 Ford Edge is not SYNC3. We are still in the MyFord Touch era here. That said, I still don’t understand the derision hoisted upon “SYNC with MyFord Touch”, as it’s marketed, by people who shall remain nameless. Yes, it takes some getting used to and it might even be a little slow at times, but have you tried the infotainment systems from the Japanese brands — Honda, Subaru, Toyota, et al? I’d rather be stuck with this version of SYNC for the rest of my life if it meant never having to use Starlink ever again. And don’t even get me started on Honda’s apparent inability to manufacture a volume knob.

However, even this version of SYNC is not long for this world in the Edge. The 2016 model brings the newer version to dashboards. So, instead of asking me what I think, go to a Ford dealer and try them both. Chances are dealers will have both 2015 and 2016 model year Edges on hand.

As for the 12-speaker Sony audio system, it sounds good when being fed high-quality tunes as far as I could tell, but I’m no audiophile.

Perceived quality, and not the J.D. Power kind

So, remember that post from awhile back? You know, that one.

Well, as many of you guessed correctly, those photos were taken of this particular Edge. Here are all of them.

So, there are two possibilities here: 1. Either this is a pre-production model in a media fleet (which multiple sources have told me should never happen); or, 2. This is a production vehicle (which it should be since we are getting this car at the end of the 2015 model year run) with a few problems.

Also, I want to make it very clear to you — TTAC’s B&B, our more casual readers, and those at Ford who’ll be re-evaluating my future press fleet access — that I’m not doubting the quality of the Edge. Panel fitment is one of those things that can take a lot of time to get right, and a first year run of a new model is going to have some teething issues.

What I do want to highlight is perceived quality on what’s a near-as-makes-no-difference $50,000 top-trim crossover.

If someone is going to drop a significant amount of their income on a new vehicle — which can be the second- or first-most expensive purchase of their lifetime — they expect a certain level of quality, perceived or otherwise. I have no doubt the Edge is a quality product in the “mechanically sound and reliable” sense of the word, but I’m not sure the general public would be so forgiving.

And they haven’t been. Since I started at TTAC, I’ve received more emails about Ford panel fitment — mostly on Mustangs — than any other common thread. It might be time for Ford to renew their focus on perceived build quality, if for no other reason but to have its vehicles show better on a dealer’s lot.

Drive


The Ford Edge, when ignoring the dismal fuel economy, drives better than you’d expect with its large-diameter wheels and skinny tires for shoes.

When I expected Ford’s crossover to be crashy, it smoothed out the bumps. When I expected it to rock to and fro on undulating pavement, it stayed fairly flat. And when I expected the engine to crank and groan as many overstressed turbocharged four-cylinder engines do, Ford showed me that an automaker can build a small-displacement turbo that doesn’t act like a frenetic baboon.

Ford’s crossover did require a little more effort than appreciated to turn the tiller. The steering wheel, for whatever reason, offered up more resistance than found on the much bigger, much more truck-y Cadillac Escalade I recently drove. For a vehicle targeted at moms as much as it is dads, I think it could be a little lighter.

In a nutshell, though, I can put my conclusion of the Edge in three sentences:

The Edge is 9/10ths as good as the Murano.

But I’d still buy the Edge.

And I’d recommend both — though I’d tell people to get the 3.5-liter V-6 Edge instead simply based on fuel economy.

Buying a car is as much an emotional decision as it is a practical one. While the Murano is almost everything I’d want a crossover to be, it doesn’t have the one quality I truly crave: good looks.

And it’s with that I’d hitch my arm to the girl at the black-tie affair wearing the black dress — because it’s easy to stick out when you don’t belong, but much harder to do when you fit in.















Comments
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  • Compaq Deskpro Compaq Deskpro on Dec 21, 2015

    My first reaction was "that's some pretty good panel fitment". Until I saw the flopping rubber, I expected you to praise Ford on it. Those panels certainly look better than my Challenger's. I actually never paid attention to panel fitment until that last article, so I went and looked for it and now I can't unsee it.

  • Pupeperson Pupeperson on Jan 27, 2016

    My wife bought a 2015 Edge Sport when they first became available. I don't know exactly what she paid for it, but since she got the first one in our area, it was probably too much --- $48k or so. That said, it's quite a little car! So far, w/ the 2.7 TT and AWD, she consistently got over 27 mpg on 91 octane fuel until we put the winter tires on it -- 26.1 now on winter fuel and the winter tires. That's 90% highway, half of that freeway at 70+ mph and the rest 2 lane at 65 or so. It runs like a top, very smooth. It will accelerate like a late 60's early 70's muscle car and drives much better. At speed (130mph or so) it's very solid on the road with no hood flutter or rattles or shakes of any kind. Only problem she's had so far was a squeak in the panoramic sun roof that I fixed with a little graphite lube. The fit and finish to my eye are quite good. Overall, we've been very pleased with it...no gripes or warranty issues or anything over the 21,000 miles we've had it. The only issue I have with it is that it has about as much compression braking as a diesel ... like none at all, but that's getting pretty nit-picky. Contrary to many of the posts above that appear to find the Edge sub-standard or deficient in many ways, ours to date has been everything we expected it to be and perhaps more. Just sayin'

  • Wolfwagen I always thought the HRV and CHR looked similar and ugly and unuseful
  • DedBull How much of that debt is directly tied to their purchase of ADESA? While wholesale volumes are down, the dealer auction is still a backbone of the used automotive industry. I assume ADESA was a functional and profitable business before it's acquisition. Break it back off, with some amount of it's debt following, and start shrinking the retail side until it is stable.
  • Jon This does not seem like anything new for Oxford. In my one visit to England 10 years ago I received a random bill from the rental car agency for a ticket long after I had come home. I was driving in Oxford, made a wrong turn, and needed to turn around. The street ended at a cross street so the only way to do so was to cross over a "bus gate" which was just some lettering painted on the street. I think it was a weekend and there was no traffic, no busses around, etc. I drove over it made my u-turn and drove back down the road I was on. I did not continue on in a bus lane or cause harm or danger to anyone. One of their cameras caught my error and sent a hefty fine. After I received it I did some research and found many folks complaining of the same thing after visits to Oxford.
  • SCE to AUX Probably couldn't afford it - happens all the time.
  • MaintenanceCosts An ugly-a$s Challenger with poor equipment choices and an ugly Dealership Default color combination, not even a manual to redeem it, still no sale.
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