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First Drive: Ford Edge Vignale

Friday 28 October 2016

First Drive: Ford Edge Vignale
Summary

The Edge is the first SUV in the Ford line-up to be given the Vignale treatment, sitting alongside the Mondeo Vignale, S-Max Vignale and the recently released Kuga Vignale.

The makeover brings with it all manner of additions not found on even top-spec Ford cars. As such, you’ll now find 19-inch polished aluminium alloy wheels, quilted leather seats and the latest Sync 3 infotainment system. In short, there’s a huge amount of additions on board.

There are two engines to choose from at launch. Both are diesels, and come in the form of a 2.0-litre, 207bhp bi-turbo unit driven through a six-speed automatic gearbox, and a less powerful 178bhp 2.0-litre unit with a six-speed manual.

Looks & Image

The Edge isn’t a bad looking car as standard, so the extra elements that come with the Vignale only help to accentuate its handsome features. The hexagonal grille that sits on the front of all Vignale cars features on the Edge, while chrome brightwork helps give it a more premium look.

Although the exterior of the Edge is a solid hit, the interior is less so. Of course, quilted leather seats and leather trim do help give it a distinct sense of quality, but the use of cheap plastics in other areas that lets the effect slip. The area surrounding the infotainment system isn’t up to scratch, while the mock carbon fibre trim above the passenger glovebox looks a little cheap. They come as just two small areas in an otherwise nicely built cabin, but they’re certainly noticeable.

However, the Edge is certainly a comfortable place to sit. The seats have plenty of adjustment to them and are very supportive, which means it’ll be well suited to longer journeys.

Space & Practicality

Given its large proportions, it’ll come as no surprise that the Edge offers plenty of interior space. There’s lots of headroom for those riding in either the front or back, with those in the rear afforded plenty of legroom, even if there’s someone taller sitting in the front.

There’s a good amount of space in the boot too, with the load area measuring a usable 602 litres. However, with the seats folded down this rises to a substantial 1,847 litres. With the Vignale additions comes a hands-free tailgate, which allows you to open the boot by waving your foot under the rear tailgate, as long as the keys are in your pocket. Although it might not be used all the time, it’s certainly a feature that will come in handy.

Behind the Wheel

Once sat in the driver’s seat, you instantly become aware of the Edge’s sheer size. It’s easily one of the larger vehicles on sale today, and is comparable to a Range Rover or Toyota Land Cruiser in terms of size. You’re not likely to find this a hindrance when on the motorway, but it’ll certainly make you think twice going down a country road. It also makes navigating city roads a little tricky, too.

Despite its size, the Edge does remarkably well to disguise its weight through the corners. The tyres do grumble slightly when put through a fast corner, but for the most part it remains composed. The steering has a good amount of weight to it, and it provides a decent amount of feedback too.

Though able to deal with corners well, in reality the Edge is best suited to the motorway. Comfortable and quiet, it has a claimed consumption figure of 47.9mpg as well which means it’ll quite happily eat up the miles while not using much fuel either.

Our test car was fitted with the 2.0-litre bi-turbo engine, which was smooth under acceleration and provided all of the punch that you’d want in a large SUV. With the addition of Ford’s Active Noise Control system, any gruffness from the engine is removed, which makes for a relaxing acceleration style.

Value for Money

Prices for the Edge Vignale start from £38,000, which is perilously close to the price of Jaguar’s F-Pace. However, for the money you do get an awful lot of standard equipment. The Sync 3 infotainment system, which incorporates satellite navigation, smartphone integration and a reversing camera is an excellent addition. All functions are controlled through an eight-inch touchscreen display, which now includes pinch and swipe gestures just like a smartphone.

 

Who would buy one ?

The new Vignale range of cars are aimed at customers who want a more luxurious proposition than a standard Ford car. The Edge will appeal to those who want a large, well-finished SUV, but who don’t quite fancy a F-Pace or Range Rover Sport and the extra premiums they bring with them.

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