Flexible, capacious, comfortable and quick, just like the Edge Sport. Just more so.
This is not a true ST in the vein of STs past and present. It’s just not fun to drive.
What is it?
This was always going to be tricky to pull off. Adding an ST badge to any Ford raises expectations of performance to a level far above the merely quick. The new – and non-US – Fiesta ST is one of the all-time most fun, best handling cars you can buy. As was the Focus ST – now also banned from the US. And all the others before it. So adding the hallowed moniker to an ageing crossover which is more workhorse than racehorse was a bold move by the Blue Oval. Like slapping running spikes to a walking boot.
But add it they have and that means this Edge has met all of the strict internal parameters Ford Performance – Ford’s global standalone tuning arm which produces such gems as the Ford GT, the Mustang GT350R and the all-conquering F-150 Raptor – sets for a vehicle to be awarded the ST badge.
They key metric that’s relevant here is durability of performance. FP’s vehicles are designed to reliably churn out lap times and stopping distances way after a standard version of the vehicle has overheated its componentry – and driver. So STs, and RSs, have bigger coolers, brakes, tyres and other parts.
And the Edge ST is no different. Compared with the Edge Sport, with which it shares its 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6, the ST produces 20 more bhp (335) and 30lb ft more torque (380). The ST’s suspension has been tuned to be more responsive to inputs. And there is an optional performance brake package, which was fitted to our test car.
But are those mechanical upgrades, plus some interior changes and a new coat of paint, enough to make this a proper ST?
What's the verdict?
Ford Performance was set a near impossible task with this vehicle. Take a mature crossover and retrospectively give it proper sports car performance. The numbers on paper suggest that they have done a good job of getting close to that task, but the driving reality is that this is not a true ST in the mould of what we have come to expect from previous models wearing the two letters.
However, while that’s disappointing, if you can overlook the ST badges and expectations, this Edge makes a compelling case as a quick, useful, flexible daily driver.