Three Dressed Up As a Nine: Ford Debuts Edge ST-Line
All the flash with only some of the dash — that basically sums up Ford’s 2020 Edge ST-Line, a midsize CUV that mimics the looks of the sport-focused ST but politely says “no thanks” to a hotter engine.
Orders opened today for the new addition to the oft-overlooked Edge family. It was the strange popularity of the Edge ST, which landed back in 2018, that prompted the minds in the Glass House to copy a trend that’s become all the rage among its import rivals.
Hyundai has N Line, Volkswagen has R-Line, and now Ford has ST-Line.
In the case of the Edge, going the new ST-Line route means the 4,000-pound crossover maintains the model’s stock 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, good for 250 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. Omitted is the well-regarded 2.7-liter turbo V6 (335 hp, 380 lb-ft) found in the ST.
Clearly, the appeal here is to just look like you can put the power down.
By ticking the ST-Line box, Edge buyers line themselves up for all the visual trappings that set the ST apart from its run-of-the-mill brethren. There’s an ST-style grille, body-colored bumpers, a black ST beltline molding with sporty lower cladding, fog lamps and LED lighting, black roof rack side rails, 20-inch gloss black aluminum wheels, and, of course, Edge ST-Line badging to confuse your friends.
“So, this is the hottest one they make, right?” they’ll ask.
“Wrong. Dead wrong,” you’ll hopefully reply (unless you’re on a date).
The appeal for customers is obvious; not everyone wants to shell out for a V6, and not everyone is content to look like they’re driving a rental. For Ford, the appeal comes from a slightly loftier sticker gained from an appearance package cobbled together from an existing trim bin.
Stickering for $38,100 before destination in front-drive guise, the ST-Line sits above the volume SEL ($34,355) and matches the price of the upmarket Titanium. Moving up all the way to the top-slight ST would set a buyer back $43,265, so, if looks are all that matters, the ST-Line can be seen as something of a bargain proposition. TTAC readers might see it another way.
Ford claims that in 2019 and 2020, “nearly 13 percent of all Edge sales have been ST models” — enough of a take rate to break out a whole new trim.
While we haven’t received any confirmation from the boys and girls at the Blue Oval, it seems pretty likely that Ford has a similar treatment for the Explorer in mind.
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The Germans have been doing this forever with their AUdi S-Line, etc. Count me as a fan of the Edge, I always enjoy my upper-trim 2.0T rentals. But that much money for some dolled up variant? No thanks. What I'd rather see is the 2.7T as an option in a plainer-wrapper Edge that has some real meat on the wheels for pothole duty.