Some vehicles debut strong but fade back in the pack as newer rivals pass them by. Others start slow but improve over time. So is the 2019 Ford Edge meh, or is it marvelous? We'd say it's working its way up in the second category. The Edge failed to impress in its early years, striking us as an underpowered, under-optioned midsize crossover. But it's gotten better every year, culminating in the updated 2019 Edge. It's packed with safety features and contemporary technology and has plenty of room for passengers and cargo.
The overall looks of the Ford Edge aren't radically different from those of the 2018 model. Despite a tweaked front fascia and several new wheel choices, the chassis and basic design of the Edge haven't changed. It's still a five-passenger SUV that's about 10 inches longer than the Ford Escape but about 10 inches shorter than the Ford Explorer.
A few similarly sized crossovers offer a third row of seating, but Ford likes to keep the Edge a five-seater to provide optimum space and comfort. The interior of the Edge is bright and airy, with big windows all the way to the rear of the vehicle and an optional panoramic sunroof. Rear passengers have plenty of legroom and headroom thanks to the long roof, which doesn't dip down till midway past the cargo area. That cargo space is big and accessible, measuring 39.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats or 73.4 cubic feet when those seats are folded down.
For 2019, Ford has redesigned the center console. It now has a rotary dial gear shifter (instead of a lever) and additional storage and cellphone slots. The interior is comfortable and usable but not particularly pretty. There's minimal use of color or texture, even in the high-level Titanium trim. And while the fit and finish is solid, it's done with a lot of plain plastic. We know from the F-150 and the new Mustang that Ford is capable of more stylish interiors, so the looks of the Edge's cabin are a bit disappointing, especially when compared to other vehicles in the same price range. The Edge Titanium we drove had an MSRP of $47,775 (including destination), which is well into the price of a nicely optioned Audi Q5 or a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, both of which offer more pizzazz when you open the door.
For our drive, Ford sent us along the curvy and hilly roads of Park City, Utah. The Edge is comfortable and controllable, even around tight switchbacks. Previous Edmunds reviews of the Edge pointed out a lack of power in the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. This engine in the 2019 Ford Edge gets a 5-horsepower bump (to 250 hp) and a new eight-speed transmission that replaces the previous six-speed. Neither upgrade is dramatic, but they do make a difference. The previous 3.5-liter V6 has been discontinued, but for drivers with a desire for more go, there's always the new Ford Edge ST with its twin-turbo V6 rated at 335 hp.
In the 2.0-liter models, the new transmission and revised all-wheel-drive system make for EPA fuel economy ratings of 23 mpg combined (21 city/28 highway). Ford Edges with the standard front-wheel drive get 25 mpg combined but give up some of that wet- and slick-surface stability. Even with AWD, the Edge isn't an off-road vehicle. It's comfortable over speed bumps and dirt driveways, but you're not going to be tempted to head out into Utah's famous red-rock canyons.
The Edge is very much an urban cruiser. It's all about space, easy-to-use controls and daily drivability. The driving position is adjustable to suit any size driver, and the front seats — available heated or cooled — are soft but supportive. The long windshield pillar causes some visibility issues, however. Not just in mountainous driving, but in parking lots and city maneuvering. There are also fairly substantial rear blind spots. But the standard Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of safety features takes care of that with blind-spot monitoring, a rearview camera, and rear cross-traffic alert on every model from the base SE up to the sporty ST.
Standardizing safety features is a good move for Ford. All 2019 Edges also come with pre- and post-collision braking, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, and auto high-beam headlights. Optional upgrades include adaptive cruise control and lane centering assist — which watches the lines and the traffic ahead and almost, but not quite, drives. You can even get the Edge to help you parallel park and move you out of that parking spot. It wants to be helpful.
Ford wants to be helpful, too, and is also making connectivity tech standard, with a one-year subscription to FordPass Connect, which gives your Edge a 4G data connection and a Wi-Fi hotspot. This tech can work in concert with a smartphone to start, lock or find your car — assuming the parking garage where you lost it has cell service. If you option up to Ford Sync 3 (standard on the SEL trim level and above), you can mate your car with other smart technologies. Maybe you'd want to use Amazon Alexa to lock or start it or check how much gas you have left from inside your house, or from across the country.
If you're not into advancing the machine takeover, you can also just plug in your phone and enjoy Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, both of which are compatible with Sync 3. Ford's operating system isn't going to impress visually; the gauges and touchscreen on the Edge aren't big or stunning in appearance. But they are easy to figure out and quick to respond.
Meh or Marvelous?
It's possible to option up a lower-level SE or SEL trim with a few choice features. But the best deal, assuming you aren't in the market for the sporty ST, is to go with the Titanium, which gets all the safety suites, bigger wheels and a leather-trimmed interior. And it ends up costing about the same as the highly optioned lower-level model.
The 2019 Ford Edge addresses many of the complaints we had about the previous model. It's quicker and safer, and it has a more responsive transmission and more impressive tech. For a customer with an urban-based, gear-heavy lifestyle, the Edge's large cargo space and respectable fuel economy make it a worthwhile addition to the test-drive list.