The new Edge ST is the only model to get the 335-horsepower turbocharged 2.7-litre V-6. All-wheel-drive is also standard with the ST as well as a sport-tuned suspension and a blacked-out grille and wheels. Photo: Ford

2019 Ford Edge

Of all the utility vehicles in Ford’s garage, this one could be the most practical and the most fun

The Ford Edge’s edge, at least when compared with other Ford models, is its size. It’s not too big. It’s not too small. It’s just right.

The middle child in the company’s utility-vehicle lineup — larger than the EcoSport and Escape, but smaller than the Explorer and Expedition — has come a long way since its introduction more than a decade ago. But the Edge’s basic function of transporting up to five passengers and their belongings despite foul weather and road hazards remains constant.

Although not all new, the Edge has undergone several changes for 2019 to bring it up to date with its siblings and competitors. The hood and grille have been reshaped, projecting both ruggedness and sophistication. At the opposite end there are new-look rear exhaust openings and added trim applied to the liftgate. There are also new standard and optional wheels for all trims.

The Edge’s cabin now has an available wireless charging pad plus an extra storage bin for the floor console. Both are made possible by replacing the shift lever with a rotary gear selector that takes some getting used to.

Adjustments have also been to the Edge’s range of engines. The standard turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder gets a five-horsepower bump (to 250) and five more pound-feet of torque (now 280). Fuel economy is rated at 10.9 l/100 km in the city, 8.0 on the highway and 9.6 combined for front-wheel-drive models.

The turbocharged 2.7-litre V-6 is exclusive to the ST trim, which replaces the Sport. Output is now rated at 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet, up from 315/350. The previously optional 285-horsepower non-turbo 3.5-litre V-6 has been cut from the lineup.

Replacing the six-speed automatic transmission for all engines is an eight-speed with paddle shifters.

The available all-wheel-drive system (standard with the ST) can direct up to 100 per cent of the torque to either the front or rear wheels, as needed.

The turbo four-cylinder, also found in the base Ford Mustang, moves the Edge along without any grumbling, other than the noise emitted through the exhaust pipes. In fact, without knowing what was under the hood, you would think there was a V-6 doing the heavy work.

Speaking of work, a 1,590-kilogram maximum trailer rating means the Edge can take care of hauling your travel home, horse trailer or what-have-you.

With or without a load, ride comfort and control is pretty solid, even over ruts and frost heaves.

The base Edge SE, at $36,050 including destination charges, arrives with a reasonable degree of content plus Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 driver-assist technologies. That includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and cross-traffic backup alert. Two additional bits come with the SEL: Lane Centering (helps keep you between the lane markers); and Evasive Steering Assist (helps the driver steer around an object in emergency situations by supplying the correct amount of steering torque).

The loaded-up Titanium adds a Bang and Olufsen-brand audio system, leather-trimmed seats (power-adjustable in front) and a power liftgate. Titanium-specific options include a panoramic sunroof, navigation system and hands-free Active Park Assist that gets you slotted into either a parallel or perpendicular spot.

Along with the turbo V-6, the ST includes most of the Titanium’s content plus a sport-tuned suspension, aluminum pedal covers, blacked-out grille and unique 20-inch wheels. Larger 21-inchers are optional, along with a performance brake package.

Whether pure practicality or performance flavouring is your preference the Ford Edge serves up just the right mix at just the right size.

What you should know: 2019 Ford Edge

Type: Four-door, front- /all-wheel-drive midsize utility vehicle

Engines (h.p.): 2.0-litre DOHC I-4, turbocharged (250)

2.7-litre DOHC V-6, turbocharged (335)

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic

Market position: The Edge has remained a popular choice among buyers who need more room than a compact utility provides, yet have no need for three rows of seats found in more-expensive mid- and full-size models.

Points: Midcycle makeover makes for a classier look. • Interior is relatively unchanged, other than a rotary dial that replaces the shift lever. • Ford is putting a lot of faith in the base turbo four-cylinder as it now powers all models except the ST. • Two more transmission gears help keep the small engine in its narrow power band. • Highly competitive base price includes key active-safety tech.

Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (std.); active cruise control (std.); emergency braking (std.); pedestrian detection (std.)

L/100 km (city/hwy) 10.9/8.0 (2.0, FWD); Base price (incl. destination) $36,050

BY COMPARISON

Chevrolet Blazer

Base price: $37,100

New 2019 model is stylish and offers non-turbo four- and six-cylinder engines.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Base price: $40,500

Popular off-road-capable SUV can be had with a supercharged 707-h.p. V-8.

Nissan Murano

Base price: $34,300

A poised and stylish wagon comes with a standard 260-h.p. V-6.

-written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media.

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The base 2.0-litre four-cylinder has adequate power and is rated at 10.9 l/100 km in the city and 8.0 on the highway. A new eight-speed automatic transmission replaces the previous six-speed. Photo: Ford

The Edge’s interior is mostly unchanged for 2019, save for a new rotary dial to change transmission gears. This frees up some room for an extra storage bin in the centre console and an optional wireless charging pad for your mobile devices. Photo: Ford

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