With stellar offerings like the Focus RS, Shelby GT350, and F-150 Raptor, Ford Performance consistently rolls out some of the most exhilarating production vehicles on the market each year.
In a class of their own, the Ford Performance moniker is reserved only for the elite. The team is known for its enthusiast offerings designed with one purpose in mind—to get your heart racing from behind the wheel. When the blue oval brand announced earlier this year that the 2019 Edge ST would be the first-ever SUV to be built by the Ford Performance division, we could hardly wait for its arrival.
With advertisements touting the ST’s sports car attributes, Ford’s marketing team certainly did an admiral job selling the hype. When you open the door for the first time, the “Ford Performance” embossed door sills are there to remind you that as soon as you step over that threshold, your daily commute will soon evolve into an experience worth remembering.
But does the ST actually live up to its lofty expectations, and did Ford execute on its promise to deliver hair-raising performance?
The truth is somewhere in between. Featuring the most powerful V6 engine in its class, the Edge ST boasts an impressive 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque with its specially tuned 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine.
The engine isn’t new to the model’s lineup, as it was previously found in the discontinued all-wheel drive Edge Sport. But with a hotter tune and a new eight-speed automatic transmission equipped with two extra gears, the ST would assuredly deliver better performance, right?
And therein lies the problem. Yes, the ST’s aggressive mesh grille, 21-inch gloss black wheels, bright red calipers, and oversized 13.6-inch front rotors certainly portray the image of a race-inspired SUV. You can even order it in “Ford Performance Blue,” a color not available on lesser Edge trim levels and exclusive only to the ST.
That’s why Car and Driver’s recent road test of the 2019 Edge ST is so disheartening. While a 5.7 second zero to 60 mph time and a 14.3-second quarter mile at 98 mph is nothing to scoff at for a 4600 pound SUV, the ST was actually one-tenth of a second slower than the discontinued Sport in both performance tests.
Yes, the rather pedestrian looking Sport without any of the flair is faster than Ford Performance’s first ever flagship SUV. If you can somehow overlook that grave injustice, you’ll discover that the ST is still an intriguing option in a segment with very few competitors.
Suspension and Technology
Even if it’s not any faster in a straight line, the ST is sure to handle better than the Sport in the corners with stiffer spring rates and larger diameter front and rear sway bars. And the ST will have no trouble delivering power to the pavement either, thanks to Ford’s Intelligent AWD and torque vectoring control that balances torque between the front and rear wheels to optimize traction on various surfaces. The innovative all-wheel-drive system is also unique in its ability to allow drivers to disconnect the rear driveline when maximum traction isn’t needed. The result is reduced drag and increased fuel economy, which is rated at 19 city/26 highway (21 combined) in the ST.
Each ST is also fitted with Ford’s Co-Pilot360, a safety suite of the brand’s latest driver-assisted technology features. Auto high-beam headlights, blind spot monitoring, a lane-keeping system, and pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking is included in the package.
With a base price of $42,335, the Edge ST slots in nicely as an affordable entry-level sport SUV. If you plan to order one, be mindful when checking boxes, as the price will climb above $50,000 if options like the 401A technology package ($5,585) and ST Performance brake package ($2,695) are selected.
The Edge ST may not be the racetrack-inspired SUV we were expecting, but it’s an admirable first offering from the Ford Performance team. It’s devilishly handsome, intriguingly quick, and sure to leave sport-minded SUV owners questioning their decision to pay five figures more for a German badge.