Can a crossover ever be a true performance car? A quick check of the Motor Trend inbox would suggest the answer is a resounding no. If we had a nickel for every “Maybe it’s just me, but SUVs should only be body-on-frame off-roaders like the Jeep Wrangler” email that came in, we’d probably be able to pay cash for said Wrangler.
The people at Ford, however, have a different opinion. They think an ST-badged Edge makes perfect sense. And although Ford is the first mainstream automaker to add a sport-tuned crossover to its lineup, if CUVs can’t be fun to drive, someone forgot to tell luxury brands such as Alfa Romeo, BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche.
Heck, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio didn’t just earn an invite to this year’s Best Driver’s Car competition. It beat several other entrants and placed eighth. If that’s not enough to put the performance-crossover controversy to rest, we’re not sure what is.
Steering was also an issue. It’s heavy enough, but in the corners, you have to turn the wheel more than you’d expect. Sport mode provides better throttle response, gives you quicker shifts, and pipes in a louder exhaust note, but without quicker steering, driving down a winding mountain road starts to feel like work.
Surprisingly, despite those complaints, there is one area where Ford Performance’s efforts shone through: sustained performance. Despite a group of aggressive auto journalists mercilessly flogging one poor Edge in an attempt to set a quicker autocross time, brake fade and overheating were never an issue. Understeer was a problem, even with stability control in its sportier setting, but it’s clear a lot of work went into making sure the Edge ST wouldn’t melt down on the track like lesser crossovers.
So Ford’s first performance crossover might not be a home run right out of the gate, but it’s still got a lot going for it. With a sportier steering, quicker turn-in, and less body roll, the Edge ST would be a great choice for an enthusiast who needs more space than hot hatches provide. But for now, it feels more like an improved Edge Sport than a mainstream (and probably more reliable) Stelvio.
If the ST sells well enough, though, perhaps Ford will address those issues in the future with an Edge RS.