When automakers glue the word “SPORT” onto the ass of their crossovers, it usually means there’s a bunch of plastic accouterments screwed to the sides. Perhaps they change some dash trim from woodgrain to carbon fiber, but that’s usually it. Well, except for the Ford Edge Sport that looks and goes like a hurled hatchet.
Being honest, Ford did tack some plastic onto the Edge Sport. The grille turned to black, there are aggressive ground effects, and a set of 21” wheels went under the fenders, but it all looks menacing and appropriate. I like the twin hood bulges that appear as fangs from behind the wheel. LED driving lamps and wrap-around LED taillamps look good day and night. It looks the way a 21st century sporty crossover should.
Designers scripted restrained luxury inside. Black leather and suede-ish seats are heated front/rear, cooled in front, and comfortably grip your sides. A thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel begs to be worked. Subtle carbon detailing on the dash and piano black finishes are nicely applied – as is the 12-speaker Sony audio system. Load your gear through the foot-swipe power rear hatch and hop in back to appreciate inflatable shoulder belts that reduce injuries in severe accidents.
Beyond all of the finery, the Edge Sport is an electronics superstore. Ford’s SYNC3 touchscreen with voice controls is intuitive, with icons at the bottom for audio, climate, navigation, and phone. Bluetooth and on-board Wi-Fi connect devices to the infotainment system and beyond. A 180-degree camera in the nose and another in the rear enhance safety – as do blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane keeping assist, and forward collision warning with brake intervention systems. Adaptive cruise control and automated parallel/perpendicular parking system add convenience.
Step into the throttle and you’ll think Paul Bunyan is the muscle behind the throwing. The 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 engine puts down 315 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque through an advanced all-wheel-drive system. It only clicks through six speeds, but they can be paddle-shifted for improved control. Fuel economy reflects the Edge Sport’s performance at 17/24-MPG city/highway. Yep, keep the AmEx handy!
That’s not the Edge Sport’s entire performance quiver, though it made me smile every time I rolled into the throttle. Often when cars are fitted with 21” wheels, even ones with electronic suspensions, the ride becomes harsh and jittery. Ford applied stiffer mono-tube shocks for the Edge, which allows drivers to punch into a corner without the hang-over of shaking their teeth on rough pavement. Ford hit the sweet spot at the convergence of ride comfort and engaging handling. Variable-ratio steering adjusts from more turns at lower speeds to fewer on the fly.
All of this adds up to a pretty upscale axe – whether thrown from some fable or your very real grandmother. The Ford Edge Sport is far more than a fancy appearance package; it transforms a very good crossover into one you look forward to driving every day. The Edge starts at $29,220, but came to $46,700 as tested.
Contact Casey at [email protected] Follow him on YouTube and Twitter, too: @AutoCasey.
2018 Ford Edge Sport
Five-passenger, AWD Crossover
Powertrain: 315hp 2.7-liter T-V6, 6-speed auto trans.
Suspension f/r: Ind/Ind
Wheels f/r: 21”/21” alloy
Brakes f/r: disc/disc
Must-have features: Style, Performance
Fuel economy: 17/24 mpg city/hwy
Assembly: Oakville, ON
Base/as-tested price: $29,220/46,700