For many, a compact crossover sport utility vehicle is a bit too small when it comes to accommodating all of the cargo and baggage that comes with modern family life. But, with one to two kids, a three-row minivan or larger SUV isn’t really necessary, either. Buyers caught in between these two very popular segments still have a few options – and this week’s Daddy’s Digest car review is one of them. The basic design and body style of the 2022 Ford Edge ST-Line has been around since 2015, making it a relatively model on the market, but after some seat time, we found that it was still reasonably compelling as mainstream small family transportation.
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With a base price of $37,279 Canadian for the base SE model, the ST-Line slots in between the midrange SEL and upper Titanium trims, and is essentially an appearance package that doesn’t get the hotter engine and suspension of the performance-oriented Edge ST. The ST-Line’s point of entry is $43,989, and standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, a 110V AC power outlet, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power rear liftgate, wireless phone charging, a unique interior with red accent stitching, and 20-inch gloss-black painted aluminum alloy wheels.
Specific options on the test car were Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 Assist+ ($950; adaptive cruise with stop and go, evasive steering assist, lane centring, and a Connected Services navigation system), a cold-weather package ($500; heated steering wheel and rubber floor liners), a panoramic sunroof ($1,850), and a Class II trailer towing package ($600). All told, the as-tested price came in at $47,889, which puts the Edge ST-Line in the same ballpark as competitors such as the Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda Passport, Nissan Murano, and Toyota Venza. Beyond the optional Co-Pilot 360 Assist+, the base Co-Pilot 360 system has most of today’s driver-assist safety systems as standard equipment. This includes a blind-spot monitor, a lane departure warning system with steering assist, forward collision warning with automatic braking, and automatic high beams.
Inside the 2022 Edge ST-Line is an interior that’s somewhat outdated but is nonetheless quite useful in terms of function and ergonomics. There’s a massive 12-inch touch screen housing the Ford SYNC 4A infotainment. It’s not a bad system to use, but a few of the automatic climate control’s functions require drivers to take their eyes off the road a little too much when making adjustments, and there’s a good amount of wasted real estate on the screen when using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity. Otherwise, buttons and controls in the rest of the cabin are neatly laid out, and while the materials and design aren’t too luxurious, they look and feel about right for the price tag.
Powering all SE, SEL, ST-Line, and Titanium trim levels of the Edge is a 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder that makes 250 horsepower and 280 pound-feet thanks to the use of a twin-scroll turbocharger. These healthy figures, combined with standard all-wheel drive, give the midsize Ford plenty of merging and passing power for any driving condition, and the twin-scroll technology means that throttle response is just about instant. It does sound particularly coarse on cold startup, but after a few minutes of runtime, it settles down and becomes a mostly strong and silent performer. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission available, and shifts are smooth and without much complaint.
Back in 2015, the Edge originally used a 3.5-litre naturally aspirated V6 as the base engine, but after being replaced by a turbocharged four a few years in, fuel economy became a pretty strong suit. Rated at 11.6 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 8.5 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway, observed highway economy with a careful right foot was able to hover around the 8.0 mark fairly easily. Unlike turbo engines of the past, regular 87 octane is perfectly acceptable.
Ride and handling of the 2022 Ford Edge ST-Line are about what you’d expect for a crossover SUV of this size. Traditionally, things can get a bit too firm with low-profile tires and large-diameter wheels such as the 20-inch units we see here, but that’s not the case at all, and the highway ride stands out as being above average. Because the ST-Line is an appearance and options package only, there isn’t really anything to report on in terms of performance improvements, but the sportier look without a penalty in comfort could be seen as a good thing. The rear cargo area is more much useful than a compact crossover and combines the cargo area length and width of a midsize sedan with the height of an SUV. The Edge takes the best parts of smaller and larger cars, and combines it all into a decent package that just simply works for a lot of people, even after eight model years on the market.