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2019 Ford Edge first drive review: A baby step improvement

Ford throws more tech and light styling revisions at its midsize crossover SUV.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

When the freshened 2019 Ford Edge debuted at the Detroit auto show earlier this year, the addition of a hotter ST model naturally garnered most of the attention, thanks to its 335-horsepower twin-turbo V6, tighter suspension and sharper looks. Just as important, however, are the updated SE, SEL and Titanium models that will make up the bulk of Edge sales. And to experience the changes to the redesigned Edge first-hand, I jumped on a plane and headed to Utah.

Small nip and tuck

Visually, the 2019 Ford Edge only undergoes mild visual alterations. The exterior receives a new hood, fascias, a wider grille, plus new liftgate and wheel designs, while the front fenders, doors and rear quarter panels carry over. My Stone Gray Metallic-painted test car also strikes a more premium look with an available Titanium Elite package that adds 20-inch wheels with dark-painted spoke inserts, body-color bumpers and side cladding, as well as a tasteful helping of chrome trim sprinkled throughout. Overall, it's a clean and attractive crossover, even if it doesn't look all that different from when this second-generation Edge debuted for 2015.

Slide into the cabin and things again don't seem all that different, with the only design update being a reconfigured center console that now houses a rotary gear shift dial. It's more compact than the old lever-style shifter, freeing up space for a larger storage compartment at the base of the center stack.

High-quality materials are used throughout, with the majority of the dash and door panels constructed of soft-touch surfaces, while some stitched panels and chrome and gloss black trim offer nice contrast. With the power front seats at their lowest position, the seating position is still high and I could do with more side bolstering, but space for front and rear passengers is respectable. Cargo space is plentiful, measuring 39.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 73.4 with them folded, offering enough room for some serious Ikea shopping trips.

More tech

On the technology front, the Edge Titanium runs Ford's responsive and intuitive Sync 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, a crisp-sounding B&O audio system with 12 speakers, a Wi-Fi hotspot, optional navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Amazon Alexa integration, which can be used to lock and unlock doors and open and close garage doors via commands, is also available.

Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring are standard on all 2019 Edges.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

There's no shortage of device charging points with two USB ports and 12-volt outlets in the passenger foot well and center console. Titanium also feature a wireless charging pad in front. Folks out back have access to their own 12-volt outlet and a three-prong power outlet on the back of the center console. While the number of charging options is certainly useful, trading in one of the 12-volt outlets for a couple more rear-seat USB ports would surely serve families better.

For safety, the 2019 Edge is the first vehicle to get Ford's Co-Pilot360 package that includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, a lane-keeping system, auto high beams and a backup camera standard. Disappointingly, the backup camera image quality on the center screen is not so sharp. To further bulk up the Edge's safety technology arsenal, a Co-Pilot360+ package is available that adds an excellent adaptive cruise control system with stop-and-go and evasive steering assist.

Under the hood

Charging up mountain roads just outside Park City, Utah, requires a heavy right foot to squeeze all 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque out of the 2.0-liter turbocharged I4. Ford engineers squeezed an additional 5 ponies out of the engine for 2019, which isn't a dramatic change but it's something. The slight output increase is also good because the 280-horsepower V6 available previously has been dropped for 2019, meaning any non-ST Edge you buy going forward will have a turbo four-cylinder.

All non-ST 2019 Edges are powered by a 2.0-liter turbo four with 250 horsepower.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

It's worth noting that the above output ratings are when running on the recommended premium fuel; while using 87 octane gas will bring output down some. Exactly how much is unknown as Ford engineers wouldn't provide output figures, but in all likelihood it's a minimal power drop.

The transmission update is more substantial, with an eight-speed automatic tagging in for the old six-cog unit. The new transmission whips off smooth and fairly quick shifts. It's definitely not on par with ZF-built gearboxes, but it's not terrible, either. Together the drivetrain combo returns an estimated 22 miles per gallon in the city and 29 mpg on the highway on front-wheel drive Edges, and dropping by 1 mpg in both cycles with available all-wheel drive. Both configurations boast a 3,500-pound towing capacity.

When not caning the Edge up steep inclines, grunt from the turbo four is adequate to motor away from stops and merge easily onto the expressway. Ride quality is well-damped, softening the blow from the few road imperfections I come across on Utah roads. The steering tuning is set up for comfort, too, being lightly weighted and featuring a dead spot on center before tightening up as more angle is dialed in.

The Edge Titanium is a comfortable ride even with 20-inch wheels.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Through bends and tight turns, the 2019 Edge slices through with acceptable body lean and grip from the P245/50R20 Pirelli Scorpion Verde all-season tires. The only real complaint while exercising the Edge Titanium's handling chops are that the thick A-pillars obstruct the side view when rounding corners.

Just in time

The updated 2019 Ford Edge is available in dealers now wearing a $30,990 base price, including a $995 destination charge. Adding all-wheel drive to any model tacks on an additional $1,995. My front-wheel drive Titanium tester punches in at $44,890, which is very well optioned-out with all the available tech and fancy Titanium Elite styling package.

Even though the updates to the regular Edge models aren't substantial, they do improve on what was already a solid midsize crossover, ensuring it will remain competitive with the likes of the Nissan Murano. Dynamically, the Murano holds the upper hand over the regular Edge models, but the Ford trounces the Nissan when it comes to tech. Both should be looking over their shoulders, though, because the field of competitors is about to get deeper with the arrival of a new Chevrolet Blazer and rumored return of the Honda Passport.

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Editors' note: Roadshow accepts multiday vehicle loans from manufacturers in order to provide scored editorial reviews. All scored vehicle reviews are completed on our turf and on our terms. However, for this feature, the manufacturer covered travel costs. This is common in the auto industry, as it's far more economical to ship journalists to cars than to ship cars to journalists.

The judgments and opinions of Roadshow's editorial team are our own and we do not accept paid editorial content.