By on October 12, 2018

2019 Ford Edge ST, Image: Ford

Reading Matt Posky’s review of the new Edge ST got me thinking about CUVs of the expensive variety. Though Ford argues that the Edge ST is in a “white space” of its own because of the serious performance it achieves, I’m not so sure. I’m not so sure that outright performance makes that much of a difference in this segment.

Let’s put it to the people and find out if I’m wrong.

Ford Edge ST

Visually revised for the 2019 model year, the Edge’s top-spec ST trim is today’s offering. As the only way to get a V6 in the Edge, the ST features a 2.7-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 making 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is standard, and power shifts through a new eight-speed automatic. We’ve allowed for one option today: the $5,000 adaptive parking/cruise/camera and hot/cold seats package. That brings the total to $48,350. There will be no panoramic roof, no black wheels or big brakes. Matt finds the materials in the Edge to be top-notch, but build quality on the Edges your author has seen in the wild is questionable.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland

The oldest design of the trio today, our budget allows for the middle trim in the series of seven offered by Jeep. In Overland trim, the most basic version of the Grand Cherokee stickers for $45,295 and drives the rear wheels. Jeep asks exactly $3,000 for the privilege of having four driven wheels, bringing our total to $48,295 — almost identical to the Edge. Heated and ventilated leather seating is standard, as is the 8.4-inch UConnect display. Equipped with Chrysler’s smooth and powerful 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, power figures reside at 295 horsepower and 260 lb-feet of torque. The Overland has a nice interior, but there’s perhaps a question about long-term trim fidelity.

Lexus RX350L

The 2019 model marks the second year of the L version of Lexus’ ever-popular RX model. That L stands for long-wheelbase, and means that for the first time ever, the RX has three rows of seats. Pipping the other two in our trio for seating capacity by two full humans, Lexus also pips them on pricing. The least expensive RX350L with front-drive is $47,710. Add two grand for the all-wheel drive example, and we’ll pay $49,710. Leather seats come standard, but heated seats cost extra, and so does any sort of hole in the roof — or map in the dash. Standard is the familiar 3.5-liter V6 engine, which uses an eight-speed automatic to send 290 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. One might assume there are always top-tier materials in a Lexus like this one, and one would be wrong on some occasions.

Which of these three CUVs warrants a Buy?

[Images: Ford, FCA, Toyota]

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52 Comments on “Buy/Drive/Burn: Expensive Family CUVs for 2019...”


  • avatar
    jkross22

    Buy: Lexus – resale, reliability
    Drive: Jeep – let’s find a trail and like uConnect
    Burn: Ford – lame interior, overpriced

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Agreed on the order. The Lexus is eye-searingly ugly, but will likely hold up the best and the L version has some decent interior utility. I almost made the GC a buy just because it’s not Lexus-ugly and the only one with a modicum of rough road ability left, especially in Overland trim (unless they changed that?). But time has shown the WK2 to suffer from a range of electrical glitches, even years into the production cycle. Burn the Edge, even though I don’t want to. I’ve spoken highly of the rentals I’ve had with the 2.0L, the 2.7TT sounds like a serious step up in motive force and smoothness, and I think the interiors are actually pretty decent (*in the realm of $35k crossovers, maybe not $50k crossovers). What also is out of line with the asking price is the frankly quite poor exterior fit and finish/panel gaps.

    • 0 avatar
      Hogey74

      Yep good order, but I wouldn’t spend my money on any of these over-priced and inferior driving machines. SUVs are a trend among non-drivers that will fade out in time. If you’ve got the room and the life that demands it, a good second-hand car plus a battered 4WD will be cheaper to buy and own, better to drive and actually capable of stuff. A 4 year old Mazda 6 and a 10 year old Landcruiser. A miata and a wrangler. $50K on an SUV? Cummon. That’s annual income for many people.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Buy Lexus – someone will pay mad money for it in 3 to 5 years but stripper trim is meh to me
    Drive Jeep – Pentastar, cushy interior, 4WD, good looks. When those interior bits start to die can switch to the Lexus
    Burn Ford – overpriced for what it is – performance isn’t THAT much more amazing , I’m still driving a SUV

    This is tough – as the Edge is a vehicle I desperately want to love.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Buy Lexus and hold for resale
    Drive Ford aggressively and wring out the turbo
    Burn Jeep because it is the one most likely to have issues

  • avatar
    ajla

    Buy the Lexus for resale purposes and I guess I can be an Uber driver on the weekends.
    Drive the Ford because I expect it’ll be the fastest.
    Burn the Jeep because you fish-hooked me with the Pentastar Overland instead of a V8 Limited.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    Burn all of them. Why do I have to tell you people these things? Jeebus.

    • 0 avatar
      redgolf

      agree Verbal! they are all a bunch of over priced CUV’s, ya don’t need 250 hp plus to get you where you ya want to go! go buy a Buick Encore for $ 20K after rebates!!!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Buy: Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland — I have one. In that same color. With those same wheels. Although mine is RWD. Don’t forget that if you get the 4WD, you get a low-range gear and a height-adjustable air suspension. Also note that the 2017+ models will have a restyled and simplified front bumper.

    Drive: Lexus RX 350L — The interior is sublime, and I actually like the exterior styling. Plus, it’s so cushy. But I would take the standard non-L model; I don’t need a third row.

    Burn: Ford Edge ST — I dug the styling of the pre-refresh Sport, but this is too much. Especially in that color. I do hear it drives well, but I just don’t like the way it looks.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      “and a height-adjustable air suspension.”

      Yeesh, the last thing I’d want from FCA (or anyone, frankly) is one of those. Especially if I planned to actually go offroad.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Which is why mine is RWD. So far, no electrical issues, but I’ve only had it a few months.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “eesh, the last thing I’d want from FCA (or anyone, frankly) is one of those. Especially if I planned to actually go offroad.”

        Why? Much better on-road ride, Better off road capability, easy to get in and out of, etc.

        And Chrysler’s “Qaudra-Lift” is proven. It doesn’t use air and it’s completely closed and not prone too issues like open systems are.

        Chrysler puts it on Jeeps which they sell tons of and Rams that they sell tons of. It’s not a problematic system

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          “Better off road capability”

          Sure it’ll lift up to give more clearance, but in that “on its toes” mode it gives a lousy ride with even worse articulation than the IFS/IRS WK2 already has, with the struts banging away at their limiters.

          It’s also a major liability offroad. You might end up like this fella:
          http://www.toyota-4runner.org/5th-gen-t4rs/251010-do-i-dare-ask-grand-cherokee-trailhawk-3.html#post2910870

          Closed or not, it is still a pressurized suspension system with seals and bladders to wear out and fail. No one has figured out how to make one of these systems last a seriously long time, period.

          There might be a good reason a place that makes replacement air springs for them is out of stock:
          http://www.suncoreindustries.com/product/21023/jeeps-quadra-lift-system-features-functionality-common-issues-w2k-grand-cherokee

    • 0 avatar
      Oreguy

      I agree with your order Kyree.

      We also bought an Overland, AWD, in black and different wheels. 11 months into it and we still love it. I’m indifferent on the air-suspension other than it’s nice that it lowers for easy egress/ingress.

      We shopped the Lexus, but the high price kept us away. Loved the interior, but the exterior… that’s a familiar story.

      Grew up a Ford fan, and still want to be one, but just can’t embrace anything in their current non-pickup lineup.

      • 0 avatar
        hreardon

        I wasn’t sold on the air suspension until we drove it back to back with our previous JGC Altitude, which lacks it. It’s definitely subtle, but it soaks up the road much better, and if you’ve got craptastic roads like those here in Northeast Ohio, it makes a difference.

        My wife and mother-in-law really like the fact that it lowers to make entry and exit easier, too.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      We’ve got a ’17 Overland and love it; 4×4 with air suspension.

      So far, no issues at all. Only thing missing: CarPlay.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Buy? You mean lease.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    Burn the Lexus there is nothing “Luxury” about the vehicle. The ride is too rough. Engine is too loud and not in a good way. The whole thing feels like it was built to take a group of fat chicks to all you can eat buffets.

    Rent the Jeep: Great vehicle to have on vacation. Not so good as a daily driver.

    Drive the Edge. Ford usually does most things well: smooth ride; good amountv of power, handling, breaking. Plus they offer a ton of bells and whistles as options at a reasonable price. but once you start loading up on the options, the interiors start looking very weak.

    Buy: Lincoln MKX or Buick Enclave.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      “good amountv of power, handling, breaking. ”

      Subtle joke?

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        In Fords, I never had to adjust my driving style to compensate for a vehicles weaknesses. When renting a car most people find Fords to be adequate. On the road most Ford drivers blend in with the rest of traffic. By enlarge you don’t see Ford drivers:
        -Leaving large space cushins to compensate for weak breaks
        -accelerating slowly after red lights not to over stress their engines
        – or having trouble keeping the vehicles in their lane on the highway.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I guess that’s a no on the sarcasm. You wrote “power, handling, and “breaking”‘ and I assumed you were replacing “braking” with “breaking as a joke. Never mind then.

          Since I’m here I’ll comment anyways, but your rationalization for the Ford seems a bit far fetched. For example, and I’m not advocating for the Jeep but…

          1st I highly doubt the Jeep has braking problems, and I know for a fact if you option up to the 6 piston Brembos on the Grand Cherokee it will stop long before the Ford.
          2nd I’ve never seen anyone accelerate slowly from a stop light to not overstress their engines, that doesn’t even make sense. Granted I come from the LS engine world where I can floor every GM V8 I have at every stoplight/sign I encounter for 300k miles and never once worry about causing damage. I’d also trust the N/A Jeep engine to last much longer than the tiny heavily boosted engine in the Ford.

          3rd one hasn’t been an issue with vehicles since the 1970s why would the Jeep or Lexus for instance have trouble staying in their lanes? They all 3 have nearly the exact same steering setup and numb feeling.

    • 0 avatar
      9Exponent

      Enclaves are great for driving a fat guy to a buffet. Maybe you can meet someone on your league there.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Assuming this is a lease…
    1) Buy the Edge. It’s the quickest, and it’d be a first class sleeper to boot.
    2) Drive the Jeep.
    3) Burn the Lexus. Gawd, it’s ugly.

    Assuming this is a buy…
    1) Buy the Lexus and drive around in a Reagan mask to save yourself from embarrassment.
    2) Buy the Jeep.
    3) Burn the Ford.

  • avatar
    Carfan94

    Corey, I challenge you to try to Fit two full humans in the RX third row. You should check one out. The only reason to get the 3 row version is more cargo room from the extended length. The third row is a lame joke. It is obvious this generation of the RX was not designed with the 3rd row in mind from the start as evidenced by its 2 year late arrival. Lexus dealers were begging Lexus for 3 row cossover MDX competitor, and this is the cruel answer. It makes Lexus look like a lazy car company, and that’s been a topic of discussion lately at ClubLexus.

    I don’t like playing this game but.

    Buy the Lexus* 2 row version
    Drive the Jeep
    Burn the Ford

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    Buy the Lexus – It should be a more refined version of the Highlander my father-in-law had and I found that very smooth and serene with plenty of power on tap.
    Drive the Ford – For the TT-V6
    Burn the Jeep – The Ford and Jeep would have swapped positions if the Jeep had a V-8

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Buy the Lexus because Resale, Drive the ford because it should be fast, Screw the jeep

  • avatar
    slavuta

    This one is easy –
    burn – lexus – who wants to drive this sloppy mobile?
    buy – ford – you will enjoy daily performance
    drive – jeep – so, you can say “I drove a jeep”. And then you might be able to climb some rock

  • avatar
    JimZ

    Buy the Jeep
    Drive the Edge
    (if the Jeep had the V8 I’d reverse these two)

    Burn the Lexus. I don’t care about Toyota anything when the thing is so sinfully ugly that I’d want to take a sledgehammer to it every time I walk up to it.

    Oh, and their infotainment is a cruel prank.

  • avatar
    dingo426

    Buy: Jeep.
    Drive: Ford to see if it can change the bad opinion I have of it
    Burn: That horrendous Lexus mall cruiser. Just can’t stand its looks.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    I said this on here before but I really don’t see the point of the ST version of The Edge. I think Ford should focus on luxury and bring back the luxury decor packages of the 1970s and put those on it.

    That would be far more in keeping with the desires of the buyers in this segment and would allow Ford to do the always powerful retro advertising.

    To go back to the original post I would burn all of them. I can’t see spending that much money for a vehicle that doesn’t drive overly well due to its weight and ride height.

    • 0 avatar
      seanx37

      “Ford should focus on luxury”

      That is Lincoln’s job.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Srsly? Dude…

      http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird1976cremegold.html

      http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird1976lipstick.html

      http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird/tbird1979heritage.html

      https://www.cjponyparts.com/resources/mustang-ghia

      http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird/tbird1978diamondjubilee.html

      Young ‘uns have no idea about this glorious time in Ford history. Now that we once again have the perfect vehicle platform for it, it’s time to bring it back. NOW!

      You elude to one correct point though. It is an absolute crime that Sir William Blass has not made his appearance on one of the new Lincoln CUVs. I don’t mind them crapping on their performance history, I guess, but at least they should respect their luxury history. IMO.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Agreed. I would be waaaay more likely to buy one of these with pillow top seats, a “forget the outside world” ride and Brougham badges than one with ST badges…and I own an ST badged vehicle. But you are fighting physics here. Like trying to make an F1 car ride well.

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          Yes, and my chances of buying would also increase, albeit from -1000 to maybe 0. But still. That kind of treatment just makes more sense than the ST treatment on something like this.

          There would be some snickers at first but once they realize how comfortable those pillow velour seats are on the trip to IKEA, buyers in this segment would be sold.

  • avatar
    rhduff

    Burn the Edge, drive the Mustang GT, buy the Fusion Sport.
    Burn the Grand Cherokee, drive the Challenger R/T, buy the Chrysler 300S Hemi.
    Burn the RX 350, drive the GS F, buy the LC 500.

  • avatar
    ernest

    We bought a loaded Highlander a few weeks ago. Quiet, comfy, wife loves it. About $5K cheaper than the Lexus- if you can call $45K for a CUV “cheaper.”

  • avatar
    seanx37

    Buy Lexus. Resale value, reliabiliy.
    Drive Lexus. Because you can’t see how ‘effing ugly it is from the inside. Unless it is snowing really bad. Then drive the Jeep.
    Burn, none of them really. But since it is a Ford, it is somewhat likely to set itself on fire. OR explode from light rear end hits. Or burn when it rolls over.

  • avatar
    Shawnski

    Burn the Ugly Lexus.
    Buy and Drive the Edge, does everything better than Lexus except resale (which is not the first reason to buy IMO)
    Jeep; MEH

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Buy the Lexus.

    Drive the Lexus.

    Burn the Ford and Jeep.

    Usually, when you get a new Toyota product, you are not impressed. But, 10 years later, when the vehicle has 150K miles on it, you are very impressed.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Burn the Ford because it’s awful, the interior is awful, and it’s a Ford….It’s going to start on fire regardless.

    Buy the Jeep. Best midsized SUV on the market and I got $11K off of my new one ($57K MSRP). V8, RWD, amazing tech, new uConnect, and stunning good looks all for $46K.

    Drive the Lexus. It won’t do much right, but it will drive well.

  • avatar
    RSF

    This one’s simple:

    Buy the Lexus because it holds up so well and holds so much value down the road.
    Drive the Ford- Ford’s are great driver’s these days. The Edge ST looks fun and is a tremendous value.
    Burn the Jeep- This thing is ancient and long term reliability is poor. Go find one nearing 100k miles and sit in it and drive it. You’ll see what I mean.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    So the definition of ‘expensive’ here is ‘under $50K sticker’?
    In today’s world that’s not cheap, but certainly not expensive.

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