Ford had a really good idea back in 1989. It commissioned Yamaha to conjure a high-revving V6 engine for what became the Taurus SHO, a sport sedan that could take the family to church, and afterwards, kick dad and mom into twisty two-lane backroads for a very spirited Sunday drive. Through generations, the SHO gained a bigger V6, small V8, and finally, a twin-turbo V6 in today’s iteration. Well, sedans are quickly going out in favor of crossovers. No worries because Ford is already building a better SHO, the 2019 Ford Edge ST.
Except for packing a manual transmission, the Edge ST is everything that won the SHO accolades plus so much more. It’s sleek, stylish, handles well, flies down the highway, and carries up to five passengers and their stuff while doing it. ST editions flaunt their sportiness with a wide mesh grille to optimize engine cooling, deep side skirts, and dual-exhaust outlets. Black 21” alloy wheels with red brake calipers are available. Full LED lighting gives the ST a modern glimmering grin. Definitely get it in “Ford Performance Blue Metallic” paint to attract attention.
Step inside and step it up with a special leather-wrapped steering wheel and deeply bolstered seats, “Performance” branded scuff plates, aluminum pedals, and black sueded seats that are heated and cooled up front. Rear seats are also heated. Click on the heated steering wheel when hands are chilly. Wireless phone charging and dual pane panoramic glass roof add convenience.
Our test model also had a dual-pane sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, and sweet B&O audio system. A full suite of safety gear includes adaptive cruise, forward crash mitigation, lane keep assist, blind spot warning, and rear cross path detection. The Edge can even center itself in its lane and parallel/perpendicular park itself. But, this is not a car for parking (unless you enjoy that sort of thing).
Back in the day, the first-generation front-drive SHO’s 3.0-liter V6 delivered 220 horsepower, 200 lb.-ft. of torque, 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds, and a 143 mph top speed – absolutely world class for the late ‘80s and plenty quick even today.
The Edge ST is far more potent. Its twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 sends 335 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque through a paddle-shifted eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel-drive. It toasts 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds on the way to a governor-limited 133 mph top speed. That would have shown taillights to very serious performance cars 30 years ago. Partially thanks to auto stop/start, fuel economy is rated 19/26-MPG city/highway.
Given the ST’s smile-inducing power, engineers worked over the underpinnings to match. A new Sport mode, selected via button in the center of the rotary gear selector, engages a more aggressive throttle response, alters shift patterns to allow the engine to rev out, and cranks up the exhaust note. In all modes, the steering and suspension are firm, but compliant enough for everyday comfort. Bigger brakes leave plenty in reserve.
There’s a time-honored formula of taking a boring family car, adding performance and visual glitter, then offering it to daddies and mommies who want to drive something special. It’s a formula that worked well for the Taurus SHO and is even better in the Edge ST. While the Edge starts at $29,995, our loaded ST came to $49,430. Competitors include the Nissan Murano, Honda Passport, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Chevy Blazer.
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2019 Ford Edge ST
Five-passenger, AWD Crossover
Powertrain: 2.7-liter TTV6, 8-spd auto trans
Output: 335hp/380 lb.-ft. torque
Suspension f/r: Ind/Ind
Wheels f/r: 21”/21” alloy
Brakes f/r: disc/disc
Must-have features: Style, Performance
0-60 mph: 5.7s
Top speed: 133 mph
Fuel economy: 19/26 mpg city/hwy
Assembly: Oakville, ON
Base/As-tested price: $29,995/$49,430