By on October 28, 2020

Despite rumors that the current-generation Ford Edge will be the company’s last, Blue Oval has decided to give the crossover a 12-inch touchscreen as standard equipment for 2021. You probably didn’t ask for it, you definitely don’t need it, and it will likely increase the chances of a horrific accident when someone has to take their eyes off the road to use it. But it’s coming and will be the largest-in-class center stack screen going into production, trumping the optional 10.1-inch unit that’s available on the larger Ford Explorer.

Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to take up much more real estate, as the automaker has chosen to install it portrait style. But it does appear to be supplanting psychical climate controls while leaving knobs for the volume and radio turning/track selection. Other updates to the 2021 Edge include fresh wheel designs, additional interior trim choices, and a couple of new exterior colors ⁠— both of which happen to be shades of gray.

But the big get here is the enlarged touchscreen, which the manufacturer promised would receive the latest version of Ford’s infotainment software (Sync 4A). This opens the door for over-the-air updates and new (purchasable) features that can be sold to the customer without their having to visit the dealership. It also comes with Wi-Fi-enabled Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, as well as Sync’s AppLink.

That means there’s no need to plug in your phone, though more occupants can if they wish since the 2021 Ford Edge adds two additional USB ports (one of them USB-C) for a grand total of four places to charge mobile devices. The company has yet to announce pricing for the model, but trim levels will once again include SE, SEL, Titanium, ST, and ST-Line ⁠— the latter of which offers the looks of the standard ST with none of the performance.

Beyond that, the car appears to be mostly unchanged. Major mechanical components will presumably carry over entirely with any remaining upgrades being cosmetic ⁠— minus the spruced up software/screen and the automaker’s now-standard Co-Pilot360 driver assistance features. But there’s likely to be a few options missing as this car edges closer to the grave so its probably worth checking for changes to equipment packages once order forms are made available. Pricing is also TBD but assumed congruent with previous model years. Ford said anticipate the 2021 Edge to grace dealerships within the next few months, noting that it was directed at “tech-savvy customers on the go.”

[Images: Ford Motor Co.]

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28 Comments on “Ford Adding Big Boy Touchscreen to 2021 Edge...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Cool EVs aside, massive smart center screens are one of Tesla’s key influences on all subsequent car designs.

    • 0 avatar
      Tele Vision

      And more’s the pity.

    • 0 avatar
      Mackey

      Ancient Proverb Say:
      “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”

      I have a Honda with an 8″ display (give or take) and even with constantly adjusting screen brightness, I can’t imagine how much more such large screens erode outward nighttime vision. Then factor in buried menu options, missing buttons, etc.

      Unfortunately there is a segment of the population who are not experienced, focused drivers, and to them buttons and knobs are what old cars have. Lemmings…almost literally.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I don’t mind the big screens as long as there are redundant physical controls which it doesn’t look like it’s going to have any. Not good

  • avatar
    wdburt1

    This is precisely what I will not buy.

    It makes me think of Joni Mitchell: “All these jack-offs at the office.”

    We need to move on from the tech toys obsession. Why is it that half of all oncoming drivers are looking down?

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Unsurprisingly, TTAC got a lot of this wrong when they sait it appears unchanged.

    One of the things that Hack Job implemented was all vehicle programs MUST return a certain profit percentage (and then set those percentages way too high). Not only has that had a dramatic effect on quality, but it makes it impossible to offer a big screen without taking things away to pay for it.

    Looking at the 2021 order guide, All trims of the 2021 Edge lose a lot of equipment. Some things are:

    -A gear in the transmission (now a 7-speed)
    -Rain-sensing wipers
    -Media door cover
    -Illuminated sill plates
    -Turn signal mirrors
    -Heated wiper park
    -10-way power seats (now 4 or 6 way)
    -Foot activated liftgate
    -9 speaker stereo system (now 6 on SEL and ST)
    -Laminated sound glass
    -Sound glass windshield
    -Front camera washer

    …and a whole lot more.

    But let’s get excited about a bigger screen running the same awful software and no physical HVAC buttons. At least this screen is integrated better than the abortion that is the 2020 Explorer/MKExplorer

    • 0 avatar
      Liger

      To be fair, Ford always seems to decontent as models get older (especially after the first model year) and aren’t an F150. Ford always swings for the fences when a new model debuts, and sometimes they really change the game with new model debuts, but not lately…

      This big screen is a clever way to hide the decontenting of more expensive features, and good job on reporting this EBFlex, I’m not trying to throw shade in any way, you reported this better than any other site I’ve read.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        I totally agree. The problem is Ford then charges the same or more for far less.

        But the Edge is basically the same vehicle it has been since it came out. An answer to a question nobody asked. It just makes no sense in the lineup and now with so many features now gone, it really makes the Edge pointless.

        But maybe that’s Ford’s goal. Decontent it to the point where nobody wants it and then blame its poor sales on anything and everything and cancel it.

    • 0 avatar
      Rocket

      Yeah, I’m not buying that – especially the 7-speed transmission. Feel free to provide a legit source though. I’ll gladly admit if I’m wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Car and Driver didn’t mention a new transmission.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “ Yeah, I’m not buying that – especially the 7-speed transmission. Feel free to provide a legit source though. I’ll gladly admit if I’m wrong.”

        It’s straight from the order guide. I’m not sure it’s available online but I’LL look (Google broken for you?).

        It could be a misprint, it could be a draft order guide that was never meant to be published but Ford has a very long history of decontenting vehicles that are long in tooth.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Google works fine…just no mention of such a change. Seems odd given the cost to recertify a new powertrain combo so I’m thinking no.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            Then Ford and their order guide are wrong.

            Honestly, we’re talking about Ford doing something stupid so it’s highly possible.

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          https://media.ford.com/content/dam/fordmedia/North%20America/US/product/2021/2021-ford-whats-new.pdf

          8 speed transmission stays
          Turn signal mirrors stay

          Front washer isn’t shocking. They deleted it on the Explorer.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “8 speed transmission stays
            Turn signal mirrors stay

            Front washer isn’t shocking. They deleted it on the Explorer.”

            ST gets a 7-speed transmission according to the order guide. Here is the exact verbiage:

            “CHANGED
            ● Series Line Up: SE, SEL, ST-Line, Titanium and ST
            ● 7-Speed Automatic Transmission is standard on ST
            ● Mini Spare Wheel and Tire is Optional on all series
            — Tire Inf lator and Sealant Kit is Standard on all series Note: Spare Wheel and Tire is not included
            ● 8-way Power Driv er’s Seat is Optional SE (Fleet Only ) and Standard on SEL
            ● 4-way Power Passenger Seat is Standard on SEL
            ● 6-way Power Passenger Seat is Standard on Titanium and ST
            ● Door-Sill Scuf f Plates – Silv er Logo replaces Illuminated Scuf f Plates
            on Titanium
            ● Floor Liners, Front and Rear with Carpet Mats (16W)
            ● Front Console Surf ace Area – color v aries by series
            ● Head Restraints Two-Way standard on all series
            ● Heated Steering Wheel is Optional on SEL, ST-Line and included on
            ST 401A
            ● Powerpoint 12V – Two (2) – Console passenger side panel and
            Inside center console
            ● Unique IP Appliques – color v aries by series
            ● Steering Column – Power Tilt/Telescoping with Memory is av ailable
            on 301A
            ● Rev erse Sensing Sy stem is now Standard on all series
            ● Roof -Rack Side Rails are now optional on SEL, ST-Line and Titanium
            ● Panoramic Vista Roof is now optional on 301A
            ● Power Lif tgate replaced Hands-Free Foot Activ ated Lif tgate on ST-
            Line and standard on ST (400A)
            ● SiriusXM® with 360L replaces SiriusXM® Radio
            — SYNC® 3 has been updated to SYNC® 4A with Enhanced Voice Recognition and 12” Center Stack Multi-Function Screen
            ● Premium Audio Sy stem with Nine (9) Speakers hav e been deleted f rom SEL and ST-Line
            ● Six (6) Speakers are standard on SEL and ST-Line”

            As for the mirrors, here is the wording directly from the order guide:

            “Mirrors, Sideview – Security Approach Lamps and LED Signal
            Indicators has been removed from SEL and ST-Line”

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        The envelope please:
        https://blueovalforums.com/forums/index.php?/files/file/526-2021-edge-order-guide/

  • avatar
    Liger

    To be fair, Ford always seems to decontent as models get older (especially after the first model year) and aren’t an F150. Ford always swings for the fences when a new model debuts, and sometimes they really change the game with new model debuts, but not lately…

    This big screen is a clever way to hide the decontenting of more expensive features, and good job on reporting this EBFlex, I’m not trying to throw shade in any way, you reported this better than any other site I’ve read.

  • avatar
    Rocket

    Disappointing to see Ford jump on the touchscreen bandwagon. #buttonsmatter

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    “But it’s coming and will be the largest-in-class center stack screen going into production, trumping the optional 10.1-inch unit that’s available on the larger Ford Explorer.”

    Did you mean largest going into production from Ford? I believe Tesla and Ram are still larger. Ram is 12.3″, not sure on the Model 3.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    Since the “save the manuals” campaign hasn’t worked out, maybe its time to try “save the buttons/knobs” although the effort will likely be as futile.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Disagree, there are far more people impacted by it than losing a manual transmission option.

    • 0 avatar
      Rocket

      But unlike the manual transmission, buttons aren’t dying because there’s a lack of demand for them. In fact, I’ve never heard anybody complain about the presence of a physical button. It’s all about cost savings disguised as ‘progressive technology’. Or my favorite … “freeing up center stack space”. Freeing it up for what? The only thing I want there are freakin’ buttons!

  • avatar
    jkross22

    As gratifying as it is to beat up on Ford for stupid decisions, slapping on a bigger screen seems like a good call.

    I think these big screens are as obnoxious here as they are in a Tesla, but many buyers disagree. Car buyers are the same people who walk into Best Buy to shop for TVs and are drawn like bunnies to the shiniest, brightest one.

    Many people are dumb, and this is appealing to the most dim among us. Putting larger and larger distracting screens in cars is asking for more accidents. It’s astoundingly stupid.

  • avatar

    Mildly amazed they still build these. I’m sure they must sell them in other markets but here in the Northeast they are very uncommon.

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