2019 Ford Edge ST: A rhino that shuffles, pivots

The freshened 2019 Ford Edge gets a new performance variant, the Edge ST, which replaces the Edge Sport. The Edge ST is equipped with a specially tuned 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 that generates 335 hp and 380 pound-feet of torque. It's the first Ford crossover to be tuned by Ford Performance, the automaker says. Here are snippets of Edge ST reviews from the automotive media.

"Rather than pull from the established ST playbook ... the Edge ST is much more analogous to the larger Explorer Sport. In creating that model, Ford fitted a bigger motor, included standard sport-tuned all-wheel drive, upgraded the brakes, and tweaked the shock absorbers. Sound familiar? The Edge ST receives Ford's 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6, standard sport-tuned all-wheel drive, big brakes, and stiff shocks. With the stability control on, it even drives like the Explorer Sport: big, a little heavy, lots of grip, and not a lot of personality. Or, the opposite of a Fiesta ST.

"This all starts to make sense when you remember the Edge ST replaces the Edge Sport in the lineup. That V-6 makes 20 more horsepower and 30 more lb-ft of torque now, but you wouldn't know it from the test results. The Edge ST hit 60 mph in 6.1 seconds on 91 octane, just one-tenth of a second quicker than a 2016 Edge Sport running on 87 octane and four-tenths of a second slower than a 2015 Edge Sport drinking premium gas. In the quarter mile, the Edge ST records the same 14.7-second elapsed time as the 2016 Edge Sport, but slightly faster at 93.4 mph versus 92.9. The ST is still eating the 2015 Edge Sport's dust, with its 14.3-second run at 95.9 mph.

"There's more to it than the handling, though. The new eight-speed automatic generally performed well, but it occasionally drops hard, clunky shifts and responds to the paddle shifters when it gets around to it. The brakes are strong, but after our testing they were stuttering at low speeds as if they'd warped. The performance shocks ride very, very stiffly on bad pavement and allowed a bit of early Focus RS-type pogoing mid-corner when pushed hard."

-- Scott Evans, Motor Trend

"At speed over the undulations of Utah country roads outside Salt Lake City, my ST gulped the landscape, setting fire to the fall leaves. WAAAAUGHHH! wailed the V-6, while the two-ton chassis stayed remarkably true to my direction. Make no mistake, this is a rhino compared to the Focus/Fiesta pitbulls. But it's a rhino in tennis shoes. ...

"Living with the Edge ST, like its brother Focus, will require putting up with flaws (but not the Fiesta ST, which is a consistent member of my Top 10 cars list). Despite the added torque and twin turbos, the Edge ST exhibits noticeable turbo lag under the cane. That sluggishness isn't helped by the eight-speed tranny's odd lack of urgency when called upon to shift. At full flog, I was constantly tempted to use the shift paddles.

"These negatives would be more annoying if they were in track-day cars like the Focus or Fiesta. But a track-focused vehicle this is not, which Ford telegraphs by not offering heavily bolstered Recaro seats or a manual shifter. Still got the need for track days? Keep your old Fiesta ST around."

-- Henry Payne, The Detroit News

"From a ride and handling standpoint, man, is the Edge ST stiff. The standard all-wheel-drive system (which features a 'disconnect' that allows drivers to switch to front-wheel drive for fuel economy savings) certainly keeps the 4,081-pound crossover planted in fast corners, and Sport mode is even more so in the ST compared to the rest of the Edge models.

"However, without active damping, the ST-tuned sport suspension can make for a harsh ride, which becomes even more apparent when equipped with the larger wheel set and performance tires. Parking lot entry/exit points, for example, felt unintentionally off-roadish. For most crossover consumers, a refined ride is preferred, but the Edge ST wasn't engineered to be subtle."

-- Beverly Braga, New York Daily News

"The drivetrain is a stand-out feature in the ST, as it should be. The 2.7 EcoBoost is really torquey across the range, but it's also reasonably smooth and it's more than okay operating near its 6,000 rpm redline. The ST is really quick compared to most comparably sized crossovers, including more expensive ones like the base Porsche Macan, and the eight-speed is decently tuned as a sporting automatic (though Ford still hasn't completely caught up with GM when it comes to programming automatics). Manual operation is worth it, and fun, but the Edge ST will shift up on its own at the rev limiter, rather than letting you bump, and it seems overly protective with the level of downshifts it will allow.

"V6 engines never sound as good as V8s, or even inline engines, but this one is appropriately aggressive, and the right pitch. The problem here isn't the cylinder configuration. It's the electronic manipulation. Ford gathers sounds from the Edge ST's engine bay, processes them with a chip and then broadcasts them through the audio system. The ST essentially uses noise-cancelling technology to enhance, and here it sounds like that -- enhanced, or maybe over-produced and almost staged. After an extended run at full song, music turned down, it gets annoying, and there doesn't appear to be a way to turn it off. Better to just open the mufflers a bit more and do it the old fashioned way.

"The ST's steering is good, for accuracy and appropriate ratio or speed, but there's an artificially heavy feel. Its ride is firmer than other Edges for sure, but fine to our taste. The ST would make good fun for a family outing where you're not inclined to get too aggressive. It's more fun in all circumstances than a Hyundai Santa Fe or a Toyota Highlander or a Ford Explorer, and more fun than the label "competent" might imply (though the Edge ST is certainly competent)."

-- J.P. Vettraino, Autoweek

"Unlike the Edge Sport, changes to the Edge ST have been led by Ford Performance, the same division behind cars like the Shelby GT350 and F-150 Raptor. The message was clear: Ford wants this to be a true performance car and not a crossover with a big engine and sporty pretenses. Unfortunately, that's where the Edge ST starts to fall apart. Yes, it certainly feels different than the standard Edge, but it's still missing the eagerness of the Fiesta and Focus STs. Try as they might, Ford's engineers can't overcome a 68.3-inch height and a 4,000-plus-pound curb weight. That said, even with the 21-inch wheels, the Edge ST handled broken pavement well and felt composed when you weren't heavily taxing it.

"The engine's power is stymied by a transmission that's all too eager to upshift. Mash the gas and there's a second or so delay while the transmission considers its options. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost in the standard Edge can feel punchier despite being down 100 pound-feet of torque versus the ST. The smaller engine always seems to be right where you want it, so there's no downshifting when you get on the power. The shift delay with the V6 seems to kill any on-paper power advantage. The Edge ST's power appears to [come] on strong and the engine gives a mighty roar, but passing isn't as effortless as you want it to be.

"The ride is firm, but the firmness doesn't totally mitigate body roll. There's still significant lean through corners and good amount of brake dive. It handles decently for a crossover, but this doesn't feel like the Focus ST's big sibling. Nor does it have the buttoned-down feeling of other performance crossovers like the Audi SQ5 or Porsche Macan, to which Ford compares the Edge ST."

-- Reese Counts, Autoblog

"Body motions were nicely controlled during our mountain-road and autocross antics, with brake-based torque vectoring aiding the ST's agility (there's no rear torque vectoring). Ride quality is commendably smooth even on the optional 21-inch wheels (20s are standard). While Ford Performance has tuned the ST's steering effort slightly to the heavy side, the action is reasonably quick and enriched with some feedback. The Edge ST is not a leash-tugging terrier like the effervescent Fiesta ST, but it will play along if you feel the urge."

-- Mike Sutton, Car and Driver

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