Performance versions of SUVs and crossovers are just dumb. To put outlandish power in a top-heavy vehicle originally designed to haul people and cargo across foreboding terrain is simply asinine. In the last year, we’ve seen Chevrolet launch the Tahoe RST, Jeep launch the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, and Dodge debut the Durango SRT. Now Ford is getting into the game. Just a single day after teasing a new ST-badged model, Ford has debuted the Edge ST – yes, you read that right.
It’s a 2019 Edge crossover with a 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 making 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission and turning all four wheels. It rides on an ST-tuned suspension and offers optional performance braking package. How crazy is that?
But really, how crazy is that? In reality, it’s not. Think back to the late 1960s when muscle cars developed from ordinary sedans and coupes. Automakers like Ford (and all the various divisions under General Motors and Chrysler) stuffed increasingly powerful V-8s into cars that, just a few years prior, wouldn’t be out of place in your grandmother’s driveway. It seems the same is becoming true for SUVs. These mommy-mobiles are turning into the 21st century’s version of the Ford Torino, Dodge Dart, and Chevy Impala. And who doesn’t love a vehicle that can pull double duty doing family errands and tearing up the autocross course? Maybe performance SUVs aren’t so dumb after all.
Let’s see how the 2019 Ford Edge ST stacks up.
Setting the Stage
Okay, so what’s this all about? Well, the Edge ST isn’t just a badge-engineered crossover with a new engine. Rather, Ford handed the project over to its in-house skunkworks team, Ford Performance. These are the same folks responsible for the F-150 Raptor, Focus ST, Focus RS, Mustang GT350 and GT350R, and the mighty Ford GT supercar. The 2019 Edge ST is Ford Performance’s first SUV, so the stakes are high and reputations are on the line.
- More aggressive front & rear fascias
- Shares updates with the standard 2019 Edge
- 20-inch wheels
- Optional 21-inch wheels with performance tires
The Ford Edge is undergoing a mid-cycle refresh for the 2019 model year, so the ST version benefits from the changes. The front and rear fascias have been updated for a more modern look while retaining Ford’s six-sided grille. The Edge ST takes this new, sharpened design and turns it to 11. The grille is blacked out with the same mesh seen on other Ford Performance models and the lower apron gets the same black-fin treatment found on the Mustang GT350 and Focus RS.
Down low, the Edge ST rides on standard 20-inch wheels, while 21-inch wheels with performance tires are optional. The rocker panels have a more aggressive design, too, much like the other street-biased Ford Performance vehicles.
At the rear, the lower fascia has dual exhausts with squarish tips finished in satin chrome. A trailer hitch receiver is also present, meaning the Edge ST is functional for more than just going fast.
- Updates from 2019 Edge appear in ST trim
- ST brings deeply bolstered front seats & ST badges
- New rotary shifter
- Tons of built-in connectivity features
- A slew of available safety features
The 2019 model year brings changes to the Edge’s interior, too. The biggest change is the center console. Gone is the conventional gear shifter – replaced by a rotary knob seen elsewhere in the Ford lineup. The cup holders are now larger and have more room for odds and ends. A wireless charger for smartphones and two USB ports now resides in the hidden storage bin below the HVAC controls.
The ST model sees these improvements, but also gets ST and Ford Performance logos scattered around. The seats are thickly bolstered for more support during turns. They are leather trimmed with cloth center sections. White contrast stitching adorns the seats, as well as the leather inserts on the door panels.
The Edge offers an available 12-speaker B&O Play audio system with an 8.0-inch infotainment screen with the new Ford+Alexa app. It allows for greater voice commands that even extends to smart home controls connected to the Internet.
Every Edge comes standard with FordPass Connect, a smartphone connection point that allows owners to control various functions like starting the engine, locking and unlocking the doors, and finding their Edge on a GPS map – all from their phones from anywhere in the world. Imagine being able to monitor your vehicle parked at the airport from a hotel room in Europe. Nice. The 2019 Edge also includes a Wi-Fi hotspot with bandwidth for 10 devices.
- 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6
- 335 horsepower & 380 pound-feet of torque
- New eight-speed automatic transmission
- AWD is standard on ST
- Sport-tuned suspension
- Available performance brake package
Of course, the biggest news here is the POWAR!. Ford uses its familiar 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 to make an impressive 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. A new eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters replaces the old six-speed gearbox. The ST comes standard with AWD that’s been tuned for gripping both dry and slippery surfaces.
But this isn’t the first time the Edge came with EcoBoost power and AWD. The Sport trim on the 2015 and newer Edge came with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost making 315 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic shifted gears and AWD spun all four tires. The Sport was undoubtedly sportier than the Edge’s less spirited trims, but it wasn’t a performance hound. The porky 4,400-pound crossover needed 5.6 seconds to hit 60 mph and 14.2 seconds to run the quarter-mile, passing the line at 98 mph, according to Car & Driver.
However, the new ST tries to fix the Sport’s weight issue by adding more power and spicing up the suspension. The ST has 20 more horses and 30 more pound-feet, while a Sport Mode in the transmission keeps the twin-turbo spinning in the meaty section of its power band. Throttle response is sharpened, too, and the gearbox will rev match ahead of downshifts. The Edge ST’s 0-to-60 mph time hasn’t been announced, but we’re expecting the added power and sport-tuned eight-speed auto to really help. We’d guess the 60 mph will happen in 5.0 to 5.2 seconds.
Ford also tuned the suspension and traction control for more fun in the corners. While the traction control won’t completely turn off, (Ford says to prevent roll-overs) the Sport Mode allows for more wheel slip and sliding. Ford didn’t specify the exact changes made with the suspension setup but says the ride, handling, grip, and braking metrics all meet targeted goals.
Other mechanical upgrades include a water-cooled transfer case and the available performance brake package. The transfer case is the gearbox that intercepts power going to the front wheels and sends it to the rear wheels, giving the Edge ST its full-time AWD system. Interestingly, the performance brake package only adds larger (13.6-inch) rotors to the rear wheels and colors all four brake calipers in red paint.
Fuel economy hasn’t been estimated by the EPA, but we’d speculate the added power is negated by the two extra gears in the new eight-speed automatic transmission, so we’d estimate the 2019 Edge ST could still achieve the 2015 – 2018 Edge Sport’s 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.
Included in the updates for 2019, the Edge ST can be optioned with a slew of active and passive safety systems. These include Forward Collision Warning and Dynamic Brake Support; Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection; blind spot monitoring with Cross-Traffic Alert; Lane-Keeping Alert; Lane-Keeping Assist; Auto High Beams; and Hill-Start Assist. New for 2019 is Post-Collision Braking, Evasive Steering Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane Centering.
The standard array of safety tech includes AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control and Curve Control and 911 Assist.
Ford has not released the pricing specs on the 2019 Edge ST. Don’t expect any information until closer to launch, either. Ford says the new Edge and Edge ST models will arrive in showrooms sometime during the summer of 2018, so we won’t have long to wait.
Currently, the 2018 Edge Sport starts at $40,675. Expect a sizable price increase from that figure, so Ford could start the 2019 Edge ST around $45,000 without optional equipment.
We chose these competitors because they are SUVs with recently new performance packages, not because they directly compete within the two-row compact crossover segment.
Chevrolet Tahoe RST
The RST, or Rally Sport Truck, version of the Tahoe is just arriving at showrooms as 2018 gets started. It combines a few parts General Motors has laying around, including the Chevy Tahoe, the powerful LT1-derived 6.2-liter V-8, the new 10-speed automatic, a cat-back performance exhaust from Borla, and a big brake package from Brembo. The RST is the first time the current-generation Tahoe has used any other engine besides the 5.3-liter V-8. It’s also the first time the Borla exhaust and Brembo brakes come as “standard” in an option package. Last but not least is GM’s fantastic Magnetic Ride Control that reads the road and adjusts the dampers’ firmness and responsiveness.
The 6.2-liter V-8 kicks out 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, though Chevy says the Borla exhaust adds another seven to 10 horsepower at the rear wheels. It also adds up to 28 percent more sound at certain engine speeds.
Technically, the RST is just an appearance package on the Tahoe. It costs $2,630, but it opens up the Tahoe to the optional 6.2-liter Performance Pack – another $2,820 package that brings all the performance goodies. Added to the cost of the Tahoe, the RST equipment makes this three-row SUV rather expensive at $79,000. Ouch! A little secret though, buying a GMC Yukon Denali with the 6.2-liter and ordering the brakes and exhaust results in a less-expensive copy of the Tahoe RST – even down to the Magnetic Ride Control.
Read our full review on the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe RST
Dodge Durango SRT
The current Durango has been around for a while and Dodge apparently thought it needed a kick. Having come off the high of debuting the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk, Dodge figured it would be fun to shoehorn the 6.4-liter (392) Hemi V-8 between the Durango’s unibody subframe.
The result is a 475 horsepower, three-row SUV with 470 pound-feet of torque twisting all four wheels through a full-time AWD system and an eight-speed automatic transmission. A sport-tuned suspension offers a crisper ride than even the 5.7-liter-powered Durango R/T, while still preserving the big SUV’s ability to tow 8,700 pounds! A unique front fascia with its “mail slot” grille and Hellcat-inspired hood give it a menacing appearance.
Pricing is more reasonable than the Tahoe RST. The 2018 Durango SRT starts at $62,995, though with options, the cost rises into the low $70,000 range.
Read our full review on the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT.
The Ford Edge ST is an exciting, if not odd, addition to the Blue Oval’s lineup. It combines the Edge’s good people-hauling ability with Ford Performance’s sport-tuned suspension and powerful 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine.
While performance SUVs and crossovers might not make perfect logical sense, it’s in keeping with the spirit of early muscle cars from the late 1960s. More power, better handling, upgraded brakes, and more aggressive styling inside and out – that’s the exact recipe used by Detroit’s Big Three. Now, it will be interesting to see who exactly buys the Edge ST or whether it will live up to the reputation and brand image of Ford Performance and the ST badge. It will also be interesting to see if the 2019 Ford Edge ST sell for big money as a collectible piece of SUV performance history in some 50 years.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Edge.
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