2015 Ford Edge Sport first drive review: What the cool kids drive

2015 Ford Edge Sport

2015 Ford Edge Sport

“That would be cool.”

Somehow you have to believe that was said a lot during the development of then 2015 Ford Edge. There just doesn’t seem to be an area where there wasn’t some improvement that’s, well, cool. Not that the original Edge, which defined its own crossover corner of the automotive market when it was launched in 2006, didn’t have its finer points. But when it came time for a new generation, you know there were a lot of moments when someone said, “Hey, why don’t we? That would be cool.”

Start with the frame. The body structure is all new, with increased use of high strength steel that increased bending strength by 26 percent and twisting strength by 14 percent. The pickup points for the suspension mounts were also strengthened. That would be cool, because first of all, less bending and twisting means less shaking and rattling, and because with more consistent location of the suspension mounts, the ride and handling engineers could revise the bushings and springs for improved, well, ride and handling.

2015 Ford Edge Sport grille

The 2015 Ford Edge Sport comes with an optional 180-degree camera (with pressure washer) located just below the blue oval. (click to enlarge)

And, it would be cool for the Edge to have replaced the trailing-arm rear suspension with an “integral-link” set up, because when the trailing-arm (“control blade”) suspension moves upwards when responding to a bump, it also moves forward, actually increasing the force of impact. The integral-link’s geometry, however, allows the wheel to move slightly rearward as it moves up, helping absorb the force of the impact.

Two new engines would be cool, too. The old Edge had a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, but with a new twin-scroll turbo (two inlets to one turbocharger for a quicker “spool-up”) along with other changes, the new two-liter 245 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque.

It’s not just the same old engine with different details. The only thing that’s the same are the deck height and the bore and stroke, to make it possible to make both engines on the same assembly line. Otherwise it’s new down to a lighter engine block and new aluminum balance shafts, lighter pistons, and a newly designed integrated exhaust system. New high-pressure direct injection allows a compression ratio of 9.7:1, up from 9.3:1, for improved fuel efficiency. That’s cool.

2015 Ford Edge Sport interior

The 2015 Ford Edge Sport interior was completely updated, including a lot of soft-touch surfaces. (click to enlarge)

The 2015 Ford Edge with the two-liter EcoBoost can be had with auto stop-start technology, which shuts the engine off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and eliminating emissions while the engine is not running.

Someone thought it would be cool to use the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 introduced in the new 2015 Ford F-150 pickup. This engine has technology usually reserved for diesel engines, such as Ford’s 6.7-liter V-8 Power Stroke diesel engines, an engine block is made of compacted graphite iron. It’s stronger than the usual cast iron, meaning they can use less of it, making the block lighter. The iron is mated to an aluminum ladder frame and composite oil pan, saving even more weight.

2015 Ford Edge Sport 2.7L V-6 engine

The 2.7-liter V-6 Ecoboost is available only in the Sport trim level of the 2015 Ford Edge Sport 2.7L V-6. (click to enlarge)

Although lighter than other engines its size, it produces 315 horsepower, more power than the standard V-6 engine in the 2015 Ford Mustang. Unlike the 2.7-liter in the F-150, however, the engines in the Edge sit crosswise, which costs the Edge ten horsepower.

The 2.7-liter V-6 Ecoboost also out-performs the 3.5-liter V-6, a third engine in the 2015 Ford Edge toolbox. Rated at 280 horses and 250 lb-ft of torque, it’s the biggest, heaviest and least powerful in the Edge lineup, and also down five horsepower and three lb-ft torque from last year, but is essentially still the same engine. The optional 3.7-liter V-6 was dropped from the lineup.

All three engines come with Ford’s “Selectshift” six-speed automatic transmission, all with paddle shift manual operation. The transmission in all applications has paddle shifting, and with mode selection between drive and Sport, the latter holding lower gears longer and allowing the higher revs. The paddle shifters can be used when in Drive, though after a while the driving mode will change back to full automatic.

The 2015 Ford Edge is nominally front-wheel drive, but someone thought it would be cool to have all-wheel drive as an option, so the Edge does, completely automatic in operation. There’s no locking center differential or other driver-controlled feature. Cool or not, you decide.

2015 Ford Edge Sport back seat

The 2015 Ford Edge Sport back seat gains an inch of leg room. (click to enlarge)

The 2.0-liter EcoBoost and the 3.5-lliter V-6 have an optional towing package that allows the Edge can pull up to 3,500 lbs. Otherwise towing is limited to 1,500 lbs for the 2.0-liter four cylinder engine and 2,000 lbs for the other two engines. Towing is available with front or all-wheel drive. Grown-up toys are cool to take with you.

There are a bunch of cool things about the exterior of the 2015 Ford Edge. The plain crossbar grille of the 2014 Edge and prior is replaced by the hexagonal grille of the Ford design theme, and contours have become bolder. Ridges on the hood are so tall they’re easily seen from the front seats.